Wardrobe Malfunction: Stapling My Skirt

I wear dresses or skirts almost every day. I ride my bike everyday.

As a result, I’m way beyond the point of caring about my skirts and dresses flapping in the breeze while I ride. A regular knee-length skirt covers more than shorts, even when riding up. As long as the skirt doesn’t fly up completely with a strong wind, it’s all good. That said, my new jean dress ($3 at Salvation Army!) was not behaving today.

The dress is button down in the front and the culprit was the 8 inches or so at the bottom after the last button. In the morning, soon after discovering the problem, I pulled over, took the scrunchie out of my hair and tied the side of my skirt up with it. That solution worked well enough, but for the ride home I wanted a more sophisticated fix. For the life of me, I could not find a safety pin in my office. That’s when the stapler started to look awfully attractive. Crunch, crunch – and my skirt was fixed.

In the future, I’ll try to remember to wear spandex shorts under new dresses, until I know how they will behave. :) But it’s good to know that I can think on my feet (wheels?) when necessary.

Anyone else have quick fixes for wardrobe malfunctions?

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43 thoughts on “Wardrobe Malfunction: Stapling My Skirt

  1. Carolyn I. says:

    I just ripped the right hand side of my pant
    legs recently and had to get my seamstress friend to repair it for me last night, so no quick fixes needed this time round. But I have done the stapler fix before on some pants that I was wearing that ripped, and it worked great! :)

    I should maybe carry a stapler with me all the time, I do have room for it in my panniers! LOL!! You never know when you’ll need it.

  2. Amy says:

    Good thinking! Does the job, looks fine from a distance, and isn’t going to screw up the fabric (good thing denim is tough!). I was trying to think of creative emergency fixes for wardrobe malfunctions that I’ve had, but since I almost always have needle and thread and/or safety pins with me it hasn’t been an issue yet. Unless you count a ride a few weeks ago where the lacy edging of my petticoat caught on a bolt on the bike and ripped a couple inch hole in the it. I didn’t have anything with me that time to patch it, and since it was quite warm out and I had a dress on anyway, I just took the petticoat off (realizing midway through that I had stopped right in front of a church to strip down!) :)

  3. Maria says:

    I’ve been known to scotch tape a hem or two. I’m pretty sure I’ve stapled things in the past….but that might have been the early 80’s and I was longing for a bedazzler.

  4. ridon says:

    bobby pins. double stick tape. the scrunchie is a great idea. spare leggings maybe??

  5. Katie says:

    I keep a clothespin clipped to my bike basket for this very reason. But a staple is very chic indeed!

  6. jane says:

    I’ve used my hairtie more times than i care to mention! I’ve also resorted to actually tying the skirt itself in a knot a couple of times; only works with stretch jersey type skirts which won’t leave you looking seriously bedraggled, but it’s very secure if you can do it. But yes, i’m often beyond caring too!

  7. Nancy says:

    I just flashed back to high school when I used to staple the hem of my uniform skirt. I’ll bet I left like that for months!

  8. cycler says:

    Great solution!
    I’ve used binder clips, and recently a “bannana” clip hair thing on a super windy day when I wore a very poofy skirt.
    I do try to carry a pair of cotton/ spandex knee length “workout shorts” with me when I try our a new skirt for the first time, and sometimes with very full midlength skirts that are prone to blowing upwards.

    It’s funny that I almost never think about riding in a skirt. A co-worker just asked me about it on Thursday, and I realized how much I just don’t think about it anymore. As you said, A knee length skirt feels as modest as shorts, in the winter I’m always wearing opaque tights, and in the summer, well, if someone gets a peek of my upper thighs, and it really makes his day, he needs to get a life, and I can’t be too fussed about it.

    I’d much rather give a random guy on the street a tiny bit of a view than walk in and out of my office every day in a skintight spandex kit that leaves little to the imagination of my coworkers who I have to interact with every day.

    • Dottie says:

      “well, if someone gets a peek of my upper thighs, and it really makes his day, he needs to get a life, and I can’t be too fussed about it.”

      Ha – well said! :)

      • Elnorzat says:

        I’ve never cycled in a dress or skirt. I take my clothes in my rack bag and change at work. It’s a 20km commute one way and I always wear knicks. Over the Christmas break I might give a skirt a try on some local rides. In my normal day-to-day I find skirts/dresses far more comfortable to wear so I’ll give it a try.

  9. Son of Shaft says:

    Are safety pins stainless? If so you can put several through a seat/saddle cover and store it under your saddle.

  10. Erin McFarlane says:

    Hi! I find your blog quite inspirational. My husband found your blog and then added it to my reader – he is more of an avid cyclist than I am. However after our recent move I’ve been more motivated to get out on my vintage cruiser and bike. I do have a question … how do you look so good and bike! I have found that I have two skirts that I can wear and bike the rest of my dresses/skirts its impossible! Do you always wear shorts? I think you look fabulous on your bikes! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Dottie says:

      Why thank you! That’s so nice to hear. I wear shorts under my dress only if it’s several inches above the knees or is known to fly up (for example, a thin silk dress). Most of my skirts and dresses are a-line and go down to my knees, which are perfect for cycling.

      What is it about most of your dresses and skirts that makes it impossible? If they’re too short or fly around, go ahead and wear shorts underneath. If they’re long and flowy, consider adding a skirt guard to your back wheel. If they’re too tight, make a slit in the back, that usually solves the problem. Or just don’t wear them. There are a couple of skirts that I never wear because they’re not bike-able.

      • Erin McFarlane says:

        Thanks for the reply! Yesterday my husband and I went for a ride and I wasn’t sure about my new skirt and it was a bit cool so I put on 3/4 leggings. I’m glad I did – I didn’t have to worry about the “ride up factor.” Is there a certain way to sit so it limits the skirt’s ride up factor?

    • Alex Hanes says:

      I don’t know why I found this till now but I am from Mexico I’m a guy and I’m having so much fun reading all of your adventures, and also you have really good tips for everyone, I can also use some of this tips to help my girlfriend so she can go ride with me..

  11. Quibblingelm says:

    Duct tape! Keep a few inches of it wrapped around, maybe your water bottle. It’s super sticky so holds better than office tape.

  12. neighbourtease says:

    The stapling the uniform kilt comment gave me waves of nostalgia. We used to staple ALL over ours. Oh what subversive little preppies.

    Classic stylist trick is to use wig tape to secure lighter weight clothing to your body. It’s particularly good for securing silk camisoles and light sundresses, which don’t respond that well to being clipped or stapled, but can also be a problem sometimes. Somebody now makes a product called Hollywood fashion tape that is essentially just wig tape but more expensive and marketed to consumers and comes in a tin and with pre-cut easy to use strips. Plain old wig tape works fine, too, though. I use it to prevent one particularly billowy-on-top silk shirt dress from getting caught in the breeze and revealing my entire body.

  13. Hayley says:

    Hey Dottie, I totally agree — I’m a big skirt-wearer whenever I can be because I just find them more comfortable, and even when they ride up they’re more modest than bike shorts…

    What I do to help keep my skirt from flipping up completely is just wear a old style garter — you know, like the silly ones brides wear. When I get on my bike, I discreetly tuck a bit of my skirt’s fabric under the garter, and it holds my skirt down on my legs while I’m riding while remaining pretty much invisible. When I dismount, I just tug the hem so the fabric pops out from underneath the garter. Voila!

    Side benefit — you get to walk around wearing a garter, something normally reserved for brides!

  14. Christy says:

    I’m a bit late on commenting on this post, but it is sooo timely for me. I’m a newby biker and last week for reasons unknown to me I decided to wear a long peasant skirt with an elastic waistband. I’d worn many a skirts before and I guess I didn’t think anything of it. Well, as you can probably guess, it didn’t take long for the hem to get caught in the chain. Fortunately some quick thinking with some backpeddling kept me from showing my skivies to the world. I ended up riding holding the sides of my skirt hems up to the handle bars, which, I’m sure looked hilarious…but not as much as the during the ride home when the wind had picked up. I laughed the whole way home and placed that skirt in the “non-bike days” side of the closet.

  15. Kelsey Reese says:

    I use dutch/cruiser/etc style bikes, and I fold my skirt under me so it’s a lot more taught. Sometimes I fold it up between the thighs and tuck it in that way, so the area on my hips is taught and then the potentially-offending area looks as if it’s in shorts. For dresses too short for that to work I do the spandex shorts thing, but my spandex shorts are quite short, and I’m pretty sure people think I’m flashing them anyway, which kind of negates the whole thing.

  16. Bobbie says:

    Heavy, limp fabrics like acetate. Small weights like little short pieces of solder wire (lead free plumbing solder of course!) inside the hem. Skirts just wide enough for free movement but no extra (no circle skirts please!)

  17. Elnorzat says:

    I’ve never cycled in a dress or skirt. I take my clothes in my rack bag and change at work. It’s a 20km commute one way and I always wear knicks. Over the Christmas break I might give a skirt a try on some local rides. In my normal day-to-day I find skirts/dresses far more comfortable to wear so I’ll give it a try.

  18. Alex Hanes says:

    I don’t know why I found this till now but I am from Mexico I’m a guy and I’m having so much fun reading all of your adventures, and also you have really good tips for everyone, I can also use some of this tips to help my girlfriend so she can go ride with me..

  19. Emma says:

    I’m reading you from Madrid, Spain, you are great! I love your outfits while you ride your bike, I’m gonna be brave and ride my bike with a skirt as well.

    Thank you!

  20. Emma says:

    I’m reading you from Madrid, Spain, you are great! I love your outfits while you ride your bike, I’m gonna be brave and ride my bike with a skirt as well.

    Thank you!

  21. [...] Dottie at Lets Go Ride a Bike has used every slapdash solution from bunching her skirt into a hair tie, using binder clips from work, and even stapling her skirt. [...]

  22. David says:

    Do you ever wear jeans, or pants? Just wondering.

  23. Melissa S. says:

    Love the look, staples or not! :-)

  24. cycler says:

    Don’t know about Dottie, but jeans and pants offer a lot less ventilation than a nice skirt (and tend to be bulky in all the wrong places)

  25. Dottie says:

    Sometimes. Like cycler said, skirts are much more comfortable.

  26. bobo says:

    Take the staples out put on a flutter sleve and show some leg and flap!

  27. Kelsey Reese says:

    I use dutch/cruiser/etc style bikes, and I fold my skirt under me so it’s a lot more taught. Sometimes I fold it up between the thighs and tuck it in that way, so the area on my hips is taught and then the potentially-offending area looks as if it’s in shorts. For dresses too short for that to work I do the spandex shorts thing, but my spandex shorts are quite short, and I’m pretty sure people think I’m flashing them anyway, which kind of negates the whole thing.

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