The Poor Girl’s DIY Guide to Summer 2011 Fashion

Real Flo vs. Me Flo -- Easiest Halloween costume ever. But what to do with those pants?

I treated myself to some new clothes with my new paycheck on Friday afternoon. But I wasn’t going to pay $59.95 for a pair of denim shorts, even though they were 40% off. Hell no. So when I got home I went through my pants drawer to see what I could alter from the last few years: a pair of pipe-legged white pants that I’d gotten from JCPenney last fall ($12.95 during summer clearance) for my Halloween costume as Flo the Progressive Insurance Girl; a pair of denim trousers from the Gap ($29.95 or thereabouts) that I bought on clearance years ago that were too big in the waist and so had a saggy crotch, and also weren’t really long enough for my legs; and a pair of light grey denim crop pants from the Gap that were on clearance for $9.95 that I’d bargained down to $7.95 because of a missing waist button, but were always too tight in the calves.

Last summer was maybe the first time I’d ever had the guts to wear shorts in public, and I had bought one pair of shorts at–where else?–Express. On Friday I treated myself to two more pairs ($39.95 + 40% off each) and went home and made myself two more pairs. Oddly, the distressed denim shorts were more expensive than the nice pairs, eliciting a “WTF?”

But now, aside from maybe some skirts to wear to work, I have three more pairs of bottoms that should get me through the summer. Check out the before and aters below!

First: The white pants

White pants before -- wide pipe legs

White pants after... skinnier legs and nipped in at the hips. Very work-appropriate.


Second: The grey denim goes from crops to shorts

Fraying and distressing was totally easy using my cat's Furminator brush

Shorts done, frayed bottoms paired with a free sailor-style stripped shirt (free with buy-one-get-one at Express)

Distressed back pocket courtesy of the Furminator brush.


Third: Denim trousers go from saggy to ’70s-style high-wasted shorts

Denim trousers before...

Denim higher-wasted shorts, with crotch taken in just enough to fit properly, held in place at the waist with a belt.

Gold/yellow thread gives the bottoms a nice professional, finished look.


So, there you have it! Save the money to invest in a sewing machine and sewing tools. It will save your life for years to come!


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