You know the opening scene of The Wedding Planner? Where Jennifer Lopez is running around and putting out last-minute fires, from assuaging the bride’s fears to fixing a bridesmaid’s wardrobe mishap? No? Just me, then? Well, anyway, that’s how I think of Hollywood fashion stylists—the unsung heroes behind every red carpet success. As professional fixers, they problem-solve, avert disasters, and handle every single emergency with razor-sharp focus.
And now that we’re in the throes of holiday party season, there’s a good chance we’ll probably find ourselves in the midst of a fashion emergency while navigating the scene. From sweating through your dress on the dance floor to clumsily spilling red wine, we listed every possible scenario and asked three celebrity stylists to walk us through each one.
1. You’re zipping up your holiday dress and it breaks.
“If it’s simply stuck, try a graphite pencil and rub the tip on the teeth. Lip balm, soap, or even Windex can also do the trick! If the zipper comes off or is stuck because individual teeth have become misaligned, you can try using a pair of pliers to move the teeth back into place and see if the slider works once again. In some cases, once the teeth are straight again, you can simply maneuver the entire slider back on track and it will work temporarily! I would then spend the $10 to $15 after one wear to replace it!” says Tara Swennen, stylist to Kristen Stewart, Julie Bowen, Aja Naomi King, and Lucy Hale.
“I take those cute little complimentary sewing kits from hotels (they usually have multiple colors of thread) and sew yourself up. If there’s a will, there’s a way,” says Dani Michelle, stylist to Bella Thorne and Amanda Steele.
“If the worst comes to worst, make it a cool-ass dress and safety pin it together (a la Versace circa 1994) or use a stapler and staple it together,” says Jessica Paster, stylist to Olivia Munn, Emily Blunt, and Leslie Mann.
2. You’ve just slipped into your little white dress when you notice your foundation has, too.
“Your first instinct is to get something wet and clean it—don’t do that because you’re going to get a water ring. First, blot it with a dry towel, and if that doesn’t work, use talcum or baby powder,” Paster says. “Or, if it’s a little stain, use Wite-Out, let it dry, and scrape it off.”
“Shaving cream can actually do the trick! Simply rub some in to the streaky area, rinse with cold water, and repeat until satisfied,” Swennen says. “Then, use your hairdryer to quickly dry the area and get you on your way!”
“In this case, I would say re-accessorize because you can add a blazer, a cardigan, a brooch or a necklace, and if it covers the spot, it saves the look and your dress until you take it to the cleaners,” Michelle says. “Shout wipes sometimes do more harm than good on white, so I would re-style. “
3. You’re on the dance floor and you’re sweating through your dress.
“My suggestion in this case is to pregame. I always carry around underarm sweat protectors for just this reason. They are lightweight and fit easily in one’s purse,” Swennen says. “Once again, in panic mode, simply throw on a jacket!”
“I would go to the bathroom and put my underarms under the hand dryer and blow dry them,” Paster says.
“This is one of those perfect moments to get fresh air,” Michelle says. “Go outside, cool off, and re-enter a fresh woman!”
RELATED: Here’s What Celebrity Stylists Say You Need Before an Event
4. You’re wearing new shoes. It’s only five minutes into the party and you can already tell a blister is starting to form.
“With new shoes, always be packing—BandAids or moleskin will save your night and your feet,” Michelle says. “If you don’t have either, I would go to the closest drugstore and pick up a pair of stocking sheers. Socks and heels are cute together, and it looks adorable. Roll it down a little and you’re back on trend again and comfortable.”
“Blisters come from friction so prevent them with powders if available, throw on a Band-Aid, or even use toilet paper from the bathroom to protect the area temporarily,” Swennen says. “A quick trick before leaving, however, is to spray some antiperspirant on your feet before you don your new shoes just in case.”
“Slather lotion on your feet because it will 1) let your feet slip and 2) stretch out the leather,” Paster says. “To break in new shoes, I like to put water bottles inside them and leave them overnight to stretch it out.”
5. It’s snowing outside and you didn’t realize how long your pants actually are.
“Create a fake hem by folding it up, sewing or taping it in place, and then pressing a flat iron on the new hem to create a hard edge so that it doesn’t look rolled up,” Michelle says.
And if you didn’t get the chance roll up the hem before stepping outside: “At that point your best bet is rolling the hem under and either safety pinning or taping it up,” Swennen says. “Dry clean the pant as soon as possible as those stains tend to linger forever.”
6. You spilled red wine or eggnog or cider all down your dress.
“The easiest thing to do is dab the stain with water and salt,” Swennen says.
“This is my great-grandmother’s trick and it works: If you have a red wine stain, soak it with white wine, let it sit, and rinse it out with water,” Michelle says. “The red wine stain will be gone. I have done this so many times and it leaves no trace.”
7. You over-indulge at the party and now your dress is too tight.
“Bring a blazer or a light long coat, unzip your dress in the back, relieve a little bit of the pressure, put your layer on and say you’re cold,” Michelle says. “Or, if you’re wearing pants, unbutton them and pull your blouse out.”
“Start shimmying and hope your dress doesn’t bust open,” Paster says. “Or, hopefully you brought a pair of Spanx!”