Putting A Stop On Jean Zippers

I once saw a dress that was worn during the 1930s. It buttoned up the back. Literally! There were so many buttons, I counted them. Twenty-seven in all. With all those buttons, it's no wonder button hooks were an essential part of Madam's toilette. More than likely, a second pair of hands were employed, as well.

Seems a bit odd, really. By the 30s, zippers had been on the scene for about twenty years, or so. I suppose buttons, especially those silk covered buttons on the dress I saw, were considered more fashionable than a flat, two part assembly of metal teeth.


With the modern day type zipper having been around for over one hundred years, one would think the garment manufacturers would know by now how to set a zipper so it doesn't get stuck in the bottom of the track. Not so.

With every pair of jeans I buy, there's the same dilemma. The zipper gets stuck in the bottom of the track. You can forget trying to get it out with your fingernails. I usually resort to using needle nose pliers, or more than likely, one of the tines of a handy fork. Who would have ever thought a dinner fork would become as much of a gentleman's toilette as his shaving brush, his ivory handled straight razor and his favorite scent, Hoyt's cologne.

If Lee Riders can't get it right, I can. And you Gents can, too. Get yourself a 4-5 inch piece of wire (I use a strand of stripped copper telephone wire, though steel wire would be better). With a pair of utility scissors, cut the tip of the wire at an angle, creating a sharp point.

With a pair of pliers (needle nose would be best), grab the first 1/4 inch of wire.

Aim the point of the wire about 1 inch up from the bottom inside of the zipper, as close as you can get to the teeth. Twist the pliers in a circular motion, back and forth til the wire goes through the zipper fabric to the front side. Pull half of the wire through to the front.

From the front, loop the wire, and with pliers, feed the wire back through to the backside, again staying as close to the zipper as you can.

Twist the two strands of wire tightly as you would a bread tie, at least two good turns.

Clip the two wires, leaving about 1/4 inch. With pliers, twist the two strand tips together, firmly. With pliers handle, force the strand tips into the bottom of the track so there will be no exposed ends. That's it!

It's a man's world. It's a man's job. The man of the house displays a smile of self satisfaction as he admires his handiwork before putting his pliers away.

The lady of the house whips out a needle and a piece of dental floss, achieves the same effect in one tenth of the time, and smiles to herself and thinks, 'My my. Boys will be boys'.


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February 27, 20171 found this helpful

I put a small key ring on the zippers then it's easier to pull up

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February 28, 20170 found this helpful

I've done that in the past. Don't know why I stopped. Maybe it attracted the wrong kind of attention.

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February 28, 20171 found this helpful

How clever - but I like the last part best - that is what my son wants me to do with every new pair of jeans he buys. I comply because he does so many things for me, its nice to repay sometime.

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