Four DIY Solutions to Stay On-Trend

The quest to constantly keep our wardrobes up-to-date — despite tough economic times — makes me realize that my mantra of “re-think, re-use, and re-invent” is more necessary than ever before. There’s no need to splurge on the latest items to stay on-trend — you can turn older, everyday items into high-fashion fabulousness (and you don’t have to be a seamstress to do it)! DIY may be intimidating at first, but keep in mind, this is not just about doing it yourself — it's about doing it your way! Bobbie Thomas, TODAY style editor and author of the Buzz column for In Touch Weekly, shows you how to incorporate four trends onto pieces from your very own closet.

Exposed zippers
Designers like Michael Kors, Preen and Philip Lim all paraded exposed zipper ensembles down their spring runways, but this style is one that takes minimal effort to emulate. In fact, it’s easy to update your tailored basics by simply adding zippers. 

Start by selecting solid, structured pieces like a little black dress, blazer, or skirt — any of which will make a great, clean canvas for this cool accent. Use some double stick tape to affix zippers along a seam for a temporary transformation. Another option is to sew on an exposed zipper with an easy base stitch. Or, for a few extra dollars, and a more permanent solution, take it to your dry cleaner and have someone sew it for you. Note: You can find a wide variety of affordable zipper styles from resources like

Asymmetrical lines
From necklines to hemlines, no one has been playing it straight these days!  Follow in the footsteps of designers like Erin Featherson and Jill Stuart, and shift the shape of your dress for an asymmetric look.

You can alter a spring or summer favorite with a mere safety pin or ribbon to cinch the side of a skirt. Pick up and pin a hemline of a knee length dress by opening up a hole at the midway point between your hip and knee, and then another at the opposite hip bone or higher. Then thread a ribbon between the two to create a ruching effect that falls from the side. If this is too much effort, use a pin or a brooch to pick up the hem and pinch to your desired length.  And for a tweak on the top, consider twisting and tucking one sleeve to create a new neckline. As seen on TODAY: Mossimo dress $24.99; 

Cropped pants
While the dress has been fashion’s darling for a number of seasons, this spring, pants took centerstage on runway shows from Calvin Klein to Versace, with most designers displaying cropped versions that make it easy to show off the season’s sizzling footwear.

City shorts and cigarette lengths may be the latest looks to hit the stores, but there’s no reason to shop — just chop! For a few dollars you can custom tailor your forgotten favorites into flattering new fashions. Search your closet or a discount department store such as Filene’s Basement, Loehmann’s, or TJ Maxx, for outdated styles or pants with a stained hem or shrunken length. Then just take up those trousers to get this season’s “it” look in no time flat.

Fringe accents
Fringe is the cutting edge accent of spring, and it’s adorning everything from hobo handbags to boho boots. By tying a fringe trim to a cropped boot, or using a pair of scissors to shred the flap of a handbag, you can instantly create the trend for just dollars.

M&J Trimming ( has a huge variety of fringe strips to choose from, including the chunkier, heavier versions that are surging ahead in popularity this season. You can affix them to the side, bottom or around your handbag using double stick tape. For a more permanent fix to a stained or outdated style, chop off the edge of a flap that folds over, then tear and tie the ends into knots. 

If you need even more inspiration, here’s a little secret — even designers do it themselves!  Backstage at the spring William Rast show, designers were taking fringe trim right off the roll from the store, and wrapping it around the ankles of all the models' boots before they stepped onto the runway.

While you're certainly not the only person getting crafty with their clothing, by doing it your way, you’re bound to have a finished fashion that is unique to you!

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