Vintage Wardrobe Malfunctions

marilyn monroe beach wardrobe malfunction

Marilyn Monroe

Wardrobe malfunctions, we have all been there. The wayward swimsuit top as you emerge from the surf, trying to look Marilyn-Monroe-hot. Or the gust of wind that lifts your skirt and shows the world your granny-style underpants. Or returning from the ladies room and the guy you fancy pointing out that your dress is tucked into the back of your knickers.

wardrobe malfunction knickers tucked into skirt Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan

Marilyn Monroe subway

Marilyn Monroe

To most celebrities, the odd ‘nip-slip’, deliberate or not, is a good career move as it invites media attention. But for the rest of us, the extra attention is undesirable.

eva mendes wardrobe malfunction

Eva Mendes

In a effort to be more fun than all those sugary-sweet fashion blogs which take themselves way too seriously, I will be revealing some of my most embarrassing vintage wardrobe moments. Because bad decisions make good stories. Don’t say I do nothing for you.

1. My underpants

My earliest memory of primary school is hanging upside-down on the monkey-bars and the other kids laughing at my terry-toweling, toilet-training underpants. Chance of later life therapy: 90%

Girl hanging upsidedown Jed Devine


2. Letting my boobs hang out for a REAL girls night out

Fast forward 15 years to the day a friend gave me the most perfect button-up vintage dress. Perfect except for a couple of missing buttons. I quickly sewed on some similar buttons and hit the town. It wasn’t until halfway through the night that I realized my new buttons were too small for the buttonholes and that my upstairs lady parts had forced open my dress. I spent the remainder of the evening checking that my girls were where they were supposed to be and wondering how many people had noticed. Good times.

Jayne Mansfield Sophia Loren wardrobe malfunction

Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield


3. Breastfeeding: When I show people my breasts in exchange for food

Once I attended a barbeque at a friend’s house while breastfeeding my first child. I wore one of my favourite vintage dresses; I was delighted that I could finally fit into it again. As my son began to cry for a feed, I suddenly realized my mistake; it was not a button-down dress. I was forced to find a private corner and lift the hem of my dress over my shoulder to access my leaking bosoms. Let me tell you how much I enjoyed this.

Oh yes, it gets worse.

By the time I had my third child I had the whole breastfeeding-button-down-dress-maneuver sorted. I have always thought that lactating women were impossibly beautiful so I was perhaps, a little too confident.

I was standing at another barbeque, breastfeeding my daughter while comfortably chatting with friends. I became so intensely absorbed in conversation with a friend’s husband that I failed to notice that my daughter had finished her feed, detached herself and fallen asleep, leaving one bosom on display. Still deep in debate over the science of global warming, I hadn’t noticed the crowd which had gathered to hear my insightful opinions. My friend’s husband politely gestured towards my sleeping baby. I really wish I could C+Alt+Del that moment.

maggie gyllenhaal nursing breastfeeding

Maggie Gyllenhaal


4. Oh dear I seem to have left the house again without wearing underwear

I just adore those floaty, floral polyester beauties from the 1970’s. The fabric is usually lightweight and sheer, designed to be worn with a slip underneath. I have however, been known to rush out the door, forgetting to wear the slip. A stranger once kindly pointed out that she could see my polka-dot underpants. At least I remembered to wear knickers that day. Sorry I made you read that.

vintage 70s sheer floral dress


5. If you pick a wedgie and nobody sees you do it then it didn’t really happen

Dear guy who caught me with my hand down the back of my pants in the underground car park, thank-you for not making a big deal about it. Sorry for bruising your retinas.

vintage wedgie pick perma-lift


Do you have your own wardrobe disaster story to share with us in the comments section? Seems only fair.

Now I’m off to photoshop some Hitler moustaches onto supermodels until I feel better.


3 thoughts on “Vintage Wardrobe Malfunctions

  1. Rose

    My most embarrassing moment was at my high school swimming carnival 10 years ago, and my breast popped out of my swimmers. Everyone has probably forgotten about it now but I still cringe when I think about it. I just wanted to crawl away and die!

  2. Briony

    I was on a diet and I was quite proud of doing well! Pride commeth before a fall as they say…

    I was wearing an elasticated skirt that normally of course was a perfect fit, but I had not considered the diet. Walking into hospital through a crowded carpark and full of CCTV security cameras, I was laden down with four heavy bags when I felt things slipping south. I made a mad grab but I couldn’t hold on to anything because of all the full bags in my hands.

    I stopped to put the bags down, but that little crouch over to put them on the ground was the last mistake! Down they went, taking my knickers with them. I immediately stood up and held the bags round me to cover the necessary bits, but I could hardly move with everything around my ankles, and besides, where was I going to go looking like I was doing the dance of the 7 carrier bags? Think fast…except that isn’t going to help when there is no solution to be had.

    There was only one thing possible, put the bags down, grab everything and pull them up. A perfect stranger who must have seen parts of me I’ve never even seen, offered to carry the bags in to the reception for me, while I hung on for grim life to stop them doing it again. I didn’t just blush, I must have turned maroon. Everyone was very kind, pretending that they had not noticed, but I noted that the woman at the reception desk did not seem at all puzzled when I asked for her roll of sticky tape. A couple of visitors almost walked into doors staring at me while I wrapped the tape around my waist to make an improvised “belt” (I’ll worry about getting it off later…).

    You want to embarrass yourself? Ask me how to do it, I’m an expert…


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