I’m always boasting about my ingenuity.  How I can reposition things in ways they were never meant to be. Here’s a perfect example. A few summers ago I made a fashion mistake.  Cut-off pants were very popular and i bought a pair.  I should have known better.  I’m just 5′ tall and cut-off pants make me look even shorter. They’re very pretty pink and yellow plaid cotton.  I wore them a few times and soon realized my mistake.  Mostly they sat in my closet eyeing me reproachfully.  My sense of thrift rebelled at throwing them away. Suddenly I had an idea.  Why not cut them off and make them into bermudas?  And that’s what I did  I cut off about 7-1/2″ to just knee-length and them hemmed them about 2″.  They now look perfect and no one
would ever guess they started out in life as cut-offs.  The next day I wore them to a business lunch with a crisp, white shirt over them (the pants’ waist is elastic) cinched at the waist with a macrame belt, a straw fedora and jewelry and received so many comments on how chic I looked.  I was so proud of myself  I just can’t figure out why it took me so long to think of this.
There are so many other things we can do to fix mistakes.  I’m a firm believer that practically everything is improved by shortening it.  At least in my case it works because I’m so short and I have excellent legs. I had a leather skirt that was too loose and too long and just drab.  I took it to an old-time tailor who really knew what he was about.  He looked at it, said, “shorten it, A LOT and you won’t need to take it in.”  Somehow, he was right and I now have a very sexy skirt. Another leather skirt was also too long and too loose.  Again, he shortened it a lot and the whole proportion changed from drab to A-line.  Now I love it. Always think whether something can be salvaged either by doing it yourself if the item is inexpensive and the
repair is easy or by taking it to a good tailor if the item is expensive or more difficult.
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Miriam Silverberg is a freelance journalist and owner of Miriam Silverberg Associates, a boutique publicity
agency in Manhattan.  She may be reached at silverbergm@mindspring.com.