Picture this: it’s opening night of your school’s play, and you’re backstage getting ready. You pull on your costume—and a giant tear rips down the back! Horrified, you look to the costume team, but they can’t do much to help on such short notice. You hear the overture start to play…
What do you do?!?
Well…don’t let last-minute wardrobe malfunctions take you by surprise. Instead, learn some quick costume cures to make your wardrobe wonderful again.
Here are three common costume problems, and how to fix them:
- TORN FABRIC:
Gather the two ends of the rip on the inside of the garment, so that the frayed parts are pointing in, and the smooth parts are pointing out. Then, center and fold a long piece of duct tape over the frayed ends. Pinch the tape at intervals down the length of it to hold it in place. Add another two pieces of duct tape to both ends, to reinforce the hold.
- RIPPED STOCKINGS:
- Got nail polish? A dab of clear nail polish on each end of the rip will dry quickly and stop the
- further. If you catch the rip at the beginning, it won’t be visible to the audience! If the rip is already noticeable, use a water-based marker in the same color as the stockings on your skin to “fill in” the gap.
- MIS-SIZED SHOES:
Wearing shoes that are too big or too small is incredibly uncomfortable—especially in a dance-filled musical! Here are a few quick fixes for mis-sized shoes:
Too small: Shoes tight and pinching? Ice your feet! Sounds crazy, but it actually helps in two ways: first, your feet will contract a little when exposed to the cold, so they might actually become smaller and fit into the shoe better. Second, the ice will act as a numbing agent on your feet, so you might not feel as much pain from small shoes when you’re dancing onstage.
Too big: Stumbling over giant “canoe” shoes? Stuff the toes! Playdough and Silly Putty are best comfort-wise because those substances mold to your feet. If you don’t have them on hand, other helpful shoe stuffers include cotton balls, tissues, and—ready for this one?—soft breakfast rolls! (Just remember to take them out overnight!) If you can, test these inserts before you go onstage so that you can choose the one that works best for you and fine-tune their placement for maximum comfort.
Costume emergencies are often unpredictable, but they don’t have to be impossible to solve. The next time you’re faced with one just minutes before you go on stage, don’t panic! A little know-how and some creative re-purposing of everyday household items can make it look like tears, rips, and slips never even happened.
Share your costume cures in the comments below!