These quick tricks will spiff things up―and save you money.

By Amanda Hinnant
Updated August 26, 2004
Burcu Asvar

Pants and Skirts

  • For pants that cinch at the waist or are too short, have the waistband removed, so that they fit more loosely (and lower) around the hips.
  • To improve the break across your feet, or to detaper pant legs, have a one-inch slit made at the bottoms of the inseams.
  • Shorten skirts to hit at or around the knee; it's a more classic length.


  • A good cobbler can work miracles. But check the cost of resoling―a new pair of shoes might be cheaper.
  • Have heels cut down if they're uncomfortably high.
  • Rain-damaged shoes can be dyed back to their original color.


  • Have sleeves removed or made three-quarter length for a more modern cut.
  • Add darts to taper a boxy top or a vintage shirt with a great print.


  • If there's a hole in a favorite sweater, save it by having it rewoven.
  • Defuzz a pilly garment with a fabric shaver. Try the Brookstone fabric shaver, $25,