It doesn’t take a fairy godmother to transform your wardrobe. Fashion insiders know that a few clever alterations can turn an old dress into something current and upgrade an inexpensive suit. Here’s how.
WHAT IT WAS A long, Elvira-esque dress, bought 20 years ago and stashed in my closetWHAT IT BECAME Cocktail chicHOW IT WAS DONE Dress and sleeves both shortened, sleeves taperedORIGINAL COST $550 (in 1988)TAILORING COSTS $100
Add a Belt It defines my waist and updates the look (this one’s metallic, big for spring). BR Monogram leather belt, $95,bananarepublic.com. Thea Grant vintage rhinestone necklace, $385, Sucre, 212-352-1640.
Taper the Sleeves "Shorter and slimmer looks more youthful," our tailor says. Donna Karan New York metal clutch, $1,495, donna-karan.com.
Hem It Long is dowdy. With 16 inches taken off, the length is more current and more flattering to my legs. Giuseppe Zanotti Design leather sandals, $775, 212-650-0455.
WHAT IT WAS Nondescript gray suit, a size too bigWHAT IT BECAME Polished and boardroom-readyHOW IT WAS DONE Waist nipped, sleeves tapered, buttons replaced, trim addedORIGINAL COST $110TAILORING COSTS $150