The Emergency Office Wardrobe

Photograph by Michael Yarish, Courtesy AMC

Remember that night when Don Draper got drunk, hit on Peggy, vomited on his shirt, got in a fight, slept in his office, and still managed to look flawless the next morning? Even if you’re not Draper, it’s highly advisable to keep an emergency office kit at your place of work. Nothing too fussy, just the essentials to make it through the inevitable:

1. White shirt. Duh. Whether you spill some of your liquid lunch or just drip pizza sauce, stained shirts make you look like a slob. Normally you want to get your shirts back from the cleaner on a hanger, but unless you have an office closet, get one folded and stash it out of the way somewhere. Bottom desk drawer is fine, as long as that’s not also where you keep the Scotch.

2. Full stock of medicine. Whether it’s for your hangover or just simple indigestion, the last thing you want is to be stuck at your desk all day feeling like crap. Get one of those pill cases with the days of the week on it, fill each compartment with something you might need, and stop counting the hours till you can grab some aspirin.

3. Extra socks. Wet feet suck. Anyone who has ever stepped in a puddle and spent the rest of the day listening to an awful squishing noise accompanying each step can attest to this. Stash a pair of neutral navy with that white shirt. And throwing an extra dark tie in the drawer won’t hurt anything either.

4. Comb. Whatever you do with your hair—side part, fade, or something that requires less pomade—you don’t want to look like you jogged to the office. Running a comb through your hair doesn’t make you fussy; it makes you respectable. Keep one with your pens and pencils and don’t forget to use it.

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