As a nurse working with the public, it’s important to look professional. So while anti-bacterial hand gel and a wallet are essential to keep in your bag, a nurse’s best friend can be a small collection of items that will keep you looking pulled together when your day…um…unravels.
Here are the bits and pieces that I always have readily accessible for my fashion emergencies.
Next time there’s an award show on TV, check out how many actresses on the red carpet are wearing strapless dresses. I can assure you that most of them have some toupee tape on to keep everything in place!
Toupee tape, which really is designed to affix a toupee, is double sided. It comes in a variety of widths. The strips are approximately 1½ inches wide by 3 inches long. A perfect size for your purse!
When I was a costume designer, we must have gone through dozens of boxes of toupee tape on every show. It’s one of the greatest quick-fix items I know. For example, the tape can be used to hide unsightly bra straps. Just use a piece of tape on your bra strap and stick it to your clothing to keep the bra strap in perfect alignment.
If you’re wearing a scrub top that hangs open a bit and you’re not in the mood to give your patients a show when you bend over, just put a piece of toupee tape on one side of your top where it gaps, and secure the scrubs straight to your skin. Voila! No more risks of “exposure.”
Did your scrub pants come unraveled at the hem? No time to sew it back together? No problem. Just tape a piece of toupee tape on the inside of your hem and press the hem back in place on your scrub pants. You’re good to go. (Just remember to remove the tape before washing or dry-cleaning your clothing.)
You can find a tin box with 36 double-stick strips for about $9. It’s a reasonable price and, again, it can fit easily into your purse.
Let’s say you get a rip in your scrubs—maybe when moving a patient you tear the armpit, or when squatting down you realize that your behind is now exposed (hint…that’s a sure sign that it’s time to buy new scrubs…the fabric has just worn out from too many washes).
But you’re at work, not at the uniform store buying new scrubs, and your rip has to be fixed, and right away.
For this kind of jam, make sure you have a mini emergency sewing kit. If you only purchase a single item for your fashion fixes, this is the one to get! It’s ideal not only because of its small size, but because it carries the basics when you’re in a jam.
Sewing kits come in fun, colorful cases and contain enough thread colors to invisibly mend your scrubs in a jiffy. And the price is right. I also keep a kit in my car for on-the-road emergency repairs.
There is nothing that can make you feel like you want to go home and change more than when you get a big stain on your scrubs. For those moments, I keep packaged cleaning wipes in my purse. I like Shout Wipe & Go. For about $24, you get 80 individually packaged wipes. They’re so small you can put a couple of them in your in scrub pockets for any unfortunate mishaps at work. They’re fine on color-fast clothes and dry-cleanable fabric.
If you have a small stain, try to feather out your motions away from the stain. It will avoid creating a ring around your original stain.
Three small, simple things – toupee tape, a mini sewing kit, and wipes. They can take a fashion disaster and turn it into a minor inconvenience that barely slows down a busy nurse.