Stuck in a Moment: How to Fix a Dysfunctional Zipper

Between the puffer coats, corduroys, jeans, and skirts you’re rocking this season, zippers likely rule your wardrobe. So, what to do when the one on your coat breaks outside in a blizzard, or your favorite skinnies’ zipper refuses to move while you’re at work?

How to Fix a Broken Zipper

If your zipper gets stuck: Grab the nearest graphite pencil and rub its sharpened point over the teeth of your troubled zipper. The soft graphite will act as a dry lubricant and get your zipper moving freely once again.

No go? If this doesn’t do the trick, try something even more slippery, like Windex®, soap, or lip balm. For maximum effect, start the process with the zipper all the way up and work your way down.

If its teeth won’t stay locked together: Make sure no teeth are misaligned. If they are, use a small pair of pliers to right them. (On the go? Use those do-it-all tweezers in your purse.)

If the teeth are straight but still won’t stick together, the trouble might be with the slider. Make sure there are no stray strings or pieces of material stuck inside it. Finally, check to see if it’s loose, which will keep it from bringing the teeth together. If so, give it a squeeze with your pliers or tweezers to tighten things back up.

If your zipper won’t stay up: You pretty much only have two options here: a temporary fix, like hooking a key ring to the button on your pants, or a total replacement. Just make sure to add a sewing machine to your Christmas wish list, stat.

By Lindsay Lambert, Editor

Want to know more about fixing fashion hang-ups? Tweet us @ruelala, or check out our Style Snafu column every Monday. 

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December 2, 2013