It is with great pleasure that I announce to you the winner of the Wardrobe Malfunction Essay Competition. The multidisciplinary panel of judges voted unanimously for Rachel from Glasgow, who managed a near superhuman feat with her wardrobe malfunction. So without further ado…
The Wrong Side of the Tracks, or What a Bally Embarrassment
I was waiting at the station, on my way to work, smartly suited in my Austin Reed jacket (boxy) and skirt (upper-calf). (I always wore an underskirt back then. I’m not sure why, but I think it was normal at the time. Are they now extinct?) And I was wearing my new Bally court shoes. Navy blue, sensible chunky heel, with a little gilt trim round the back. In my Bally shoes, I felt I was going places. But something was bothering me about those shoes, They were just a little loose. I had to scrunch up my toes to stop the left shoe flapping when I walked, but I was confident that I had mastered this technique. I was young and optimistic and Janet Jackson at the Superbowl was in the dim and distant future. I hadn’t even heard of the phrase "wardrobe malfunction".
My train pulled in. I was ready at the front of the platform, poised at the door nearest the driver’s cab. As I stepped aboard, right foot first, I briefly relaxed my left foot-gripped toe position. You cannot change the laws of physics, and my left shoe slipped off my foot, falling between the platform and the train onto the track below. Hoping that no-one had noticed, I hopped back onto the platform to consider my next move.
This being Glasgow, there was a complete absence of politely-pretending-not-to-notice. Fellow passengers alerted the train driver, who reversed the train so that one of them could jump down and retrieve the (undamaged) shoe for me. This being Glasgow, I also had to endure being greeted with “Awright, Cinderella” for the rest of the week.
I never wore the shoes again and moved house at the earliest opportunity.
Ladies and gentlemen, the winner. Rachel moved a train…A TRAIN... with her wardrobe malfunction. That's some serious, Superman-caliber stuff, and for that, our panel of experts decided that it was worthy of the respect and accolade that is the giant basket of various and sundry beauty products.
I got way more entries than I thought I was going to for this competition….waaay more. Which is amazing, but it also means that I cannot publish them all here. However, there were a few that are worth an honourable mention. To read a few of our honourable mentions, click below to expand this post.
Honorable Mention: Indecent Exposure Category
It Wasn't In The Least Bit Drafty!
by Anna P
It was a couple of years ago, during the height of the summer when I managed to outdo myself in the ranks of most embarrassing mother to my grown up children. A Sunday morning like any other and I needed to get some groceries from the local supermarket. I had pottered about at home for most of the morning in my pjs when I remembered that the shop closed at lunchtime (small village store whose staff all seemed to play in the cricket team). After a quick shower I dressed in tee shirt, skirt and sandals and set off at a brisk place to walk the quarter mile there with half an hour to spare. The village was busy with lots of visitors making their way to the beach or the shop or just sitting on the roadside benches just enjoying the sun. I gave lots of hello's on my way to those who looked my way and got friendly smiles and responses back.
The shop was crowded with last minute shoppers like me as I made my way to the deli counter. My daughter was working there for the summer and came forward to serve me. We chatted as she sliced some ham, and packed up a chunk of cheese. I progressed through the throng to pick up some milk and bread then joined the queue at the checkout. I was aware of some stifled laughter and a child being rebuked behind me and resisted the desire to turn around to see what the fuss was about. The queue moved forward, I bent down to pick up my basket and was quickly served, packed and out the door. My shopping done I turned to walk home along the narrow seafront road. A gaggle of young girls swung past me on bicycles, and the last two looked me in the face and burst out laughing. Just as I was thinking how rude youngsters seem to be nowadays, a woman following them slowed down and called out "Excuse me, your skirt is stuck inside your pants!"
I was wearing a crinkle chiffon skirt with a silky lining. Somehow in the rush of getting dressed I'd managed to catch some of the back of it inside my knickers. I'd then walked past goodness knows how many holidaymakers as I beetled along to the shop and Lord knows how many had enjoyed the comical display while I went about my shopping. My daughter denied knowing anything about it but took a great deal of pleasure in sharing my embarrassment with all of her friends. Needless to say I always double check that skirt and knickers are both located exactly where they're meant to be before leaving home!
Honorable Mention: Ingenuity Category
The Wrong Hem
by Monica T
I'm short. 5 foot 2 when I'm standing as straight as I can. I am also a scientist. The majority of the time, I'm in a lab wearing clothes that I don't really mind having confiscated from me if I spill radioactivity on myself. (Have I mentioned I'm a klutz?) This usually consists of jeans, a t-shirt, and a pair of really comfortable shoes, the uglier the better.
I've been wearing the above uniform for decades now. I even moved out of academia and into industry, but again, wet lab work. However, one of the perks of being a scientist is traveling (in fact, I'll be in Scotland next week!), but with traveling comes lectures, and with lectures comes dressing like a professional.
I'll admit, I usually just go into stores, pick out what's on a mannequin, make sure it fits, and that's it. The problem is, I'm 5 foot 2, so I have to buy my pants in the 'petite' section. I'll buy dress pants, but I still insist on the comfortable shoes (dressy of course). The last time this happened, I was being helped by a gentleman that politely told me that all dress pants were to be worn with 3 inch heels, and if I wanted anything different, I was going to have to have them hemmed. So, I proceeded to hem my pants.
I don't really sew. I have a sewing machine and I can make curtains for my kitchen. Hemming seemed simple. It's not.
At some point between putting these hemmed pants on, walking to the registration desk to get my name tag, and walking to the auditorium, the hem was unraveling. It looked like the bottom half of my pants were disintegrating into a black spiderweb. I had 15 minutes until my talk which was to take place on a dais in front of 2000 people and no where to hide.
I didn't have a sewing kit with me. I didn't know you could buy travel sewing kits. So, as any scientist, I took what was available to me and crafted a solution. I walked past the registration desk, surreptitiously took their stapler to the bathroom with me, and proceeded to staple the bottom of my pants so that I wouldn't trip over them.
I gave the talk. My new rule is either skirts or capris.
A giant thank you to everyone who participated in the competition! Couldn't have done it without you!