For me and my humble wardrobe, it’s been a summer of alterations. This is really just a fancy way of saying that in the last few months I’ve made two pairs of cut-offs and I have no regrets except that I didn’t make them sooner and have spent the last few summers failing to wear shorts at all.
Here’s my advice regarding taking a pair of scissors to your jeans: Firstly, the very best pair of cut-offs is made from your former best pair of jeans. If you like the way your butt looks in a pair of jeans, you will like the way your butt looks in a pair of cut-offs made from them. Jeans that offer nothing in the way of posi butt vibes will not magically transform into shorts that do. (Sorry to say.) Secondly, I don’t personally believe in buying pre-made cut-offs. The magic of cut-offs is in giving a second life to pants by turning them into shorts that get softer and more frayed with age and no amount of factory floor distressing can mimic the real deal so you might as well start cutting and let time work its magic.
In terms of more complicated alternations, my skills on the sewing machine remain firmly at novice level but that hasn’t stopped me from throwing caution to the wind and putting them to work. Maybe I’ll take a class eventually, but for now I’m winging it and honing my nascent skills through practice hours, making small fixes and adjustments to clothes that I already have and paying attention to what it is that I actually want to wear. In addition to turning too-short jeans into just-right cut-offs, I’ve hemmed too-long dresses, taken in the waist and shortened a second-hand skirt for Faye, turned an old dress of hers into a new shirt, and most recently, transformed a stack of stained onesies into a stack of stained t-shirts for a toddler starting her toilet learning.
My fixes are far from perfect, but they’ve made certain items more wearable than they were before I messed with them, which is really all I could hope for. It’s been years since I’ve added to this series, and I know I’ve touched on this theme before, but in a summer that’s been so hot in a year that’s felt so heavy, I felt compelled to pass along a bit of encouragement for myself and maybe for you: If the dress fits, wear it, and if it doesn’t, cut off the bottom and see if you like it any better.