Wardrobe Malfunction

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On June 3, 2021

Category: Business Travel, Careers, Getting the Job Done, Jury Research, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, RoadWarrior, Travel, Trial Consulting

The most famous wardrobe malfunction was in 2004 at the Super Bowl halftime show and involved Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake. While it later became apparent that this was a planned incident, not a malfunction, it sure got the world’s attention. But, that is not what this post is about; it is about more mundane malfunctions. For me, it was the time I jumped into my car after a photography job and my pants split open. Fortunately, I didn’t have another assignment right away so I went home and changed. But, that incident permanently altered my life routines. After that happened, I always kept a change of clothes in my car when I was working as a photographer. Though my life today is vastly different, with frequent travel, I do think of what happens if a wardrobe malfunction occurs. For me, that means packing spare stuff and not traveling as light as I would like to be able to do. Recently, one of our team members experienced a sort of malfunction with the loss of his suit pants; they apparently fell of the hanger unnoticed. He managed the day by wearing the blue jeans he had worn traveling to the project. That’s not the dress code for the day, but it worked under the circumstance. Over the past 30+ years, stuff like this has happened a few times. One split pants incident resulted in an emergency repair with a stapler. Another, with a early morning trip to Walmart. The show must go on and the question is, how do you prepare for the unexpected? Don’t let that unexpected event destroy your game (work) focus! Be prepared or find a solution.

The recent loss of our employee’s pants is the latest in a long string of similar incidents among Magnus’ staff. We have experienced numerous wardrobe malfunctions, all of which are now rather humorous but which were, at the time they happened, pseudo crises, especially for the person with the malfunction. Here is a list of things that come to mind:

-a male employee’s mistaken packing of his petite wife’s white blouse instead of his large white shirt;

-one of our consultant’s forgotten dress shoes, resulting in him wearing his sneakers with his suit;

 -the same consultant’s forgotten black socks, resulting in him wearing bright, white athletic socks with his dress slacks;

-a female employee’s packing of 2 shoes, from different pairs, both of which, fortunately, were the same color;

-my broken shoe heel, which, luckily for me, happened near Grand Central Station, resulting in a mere 30 minutes wait for it to be repaired (where else can you get a shoe repaired in a New York minute?); 

-all of David’s and my clothes being lost by an airline, resulting in a last minute shopping trip before an important meeting with clients (many similar incidents to this have happened); and

-my forgetting my contact lens (I am legally blind, but was wearing glasses while traveling), resulting in David sending them to me on a Greyhound bus for early morning arrival the next day.

These are some of the more memorable wardrobe problems, not to mention the more common issues of having a run in my stockings (I always pack 3 pairs for every day of wearing), losing my hairbrush, and employees losing their cell phones. It’s all in a day’s work, so to speak, when one travels for a living. The main things to do, as David mentioned, are being prepared and finding a solution when a wardrobe malfunction occurs. Who’s got a safety pin I can borrow? How about a Band-Aid? And some nail polish to make a quick repair on my stockings?


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