These faux pas are so common, you've probably seen every single one of them already today.

By Real Simple
Updated August 21, 2014
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Illo: woman with wardrobe malfunctions
Credit: Serge Bloch

A wardrobe fail doesn’t have be as spectacular as a stuck zipper or a button missing from exactly the wrong place to influence how others view your work. Even loose threads can raise suspicions of loose ends on your report—like it or not, our colleagues judge us by how we look, and a sloppy appearance can earn you an unfairly sloppy reputation. The good news? Every single one of these common mistakes is easy to fix (and even avoid), so you'll always look perfectly polished and pulled-together.

Loose Threads

Buttons and buttonholes are notorious. Also snip away stragglers at the hem.

Scuffed Shoes

No time to bust out the shoe polish? Give the leather a quick buffing with the microfiber cloth that you use for dusting.

Run-Down Heels

Bring them to a cobbler. Meanwhile, disguise nicked areas with a permanent marker of the same color.

Dingy White Shirts

Don’t try to get a second wearing out of anything white. “Any residue of perspiration, lotion, or perfume easily discolors the fabric if it sits too long, so launder immediately after wearing,” says Steve Boorstein, the founder of To return a yellowed garment to its former glory, wash it in a sink in the hottest water that the fabric will allow using an ounce of oxygen bleach (such as OxiClean; $8 at drugstores) for every gallon of water; let soak from 30 minutes to two hours.

Sweaters With Fuzz Balls

Target the high-abrasion areas (underarms, cuffs, the sides of the torso, and wherever the strap of your handbag hits) with an electric fabric shaver, which will work better than the manual options. (Try Conair; $19, “Place one hand underneath the sweater and depill with the other hand,” says Boorstein. “That way, you won’t apply too much pressure and thin out the knit.” In a pinch, use a single-blade razor—gently, please!

Beat-Up Bags

Wipe dull or scratched leather with a clear leather conditioner (like Leather Honey, $19). Also check for frayed stitches, which tend to start on the handles.