Is That Item Of Clothing Worth Your Time And Effort?

Is That Item Of Clothing Worth Your Time And Effort?

Do you try to make the most of your wardrobe so every item of clothing feels exciting, and is something you want to wear?

I do.

But what happens when there’s a garment you’re not quite sure about? You kind of like it, but not as is. 

It needs….something. Like a different color (a dye job), an alteration (to customize hemlines and silhouettes), or a personal touch so it feels more you.

Unfortunately, these adjustments don’t happen on their own. They require time, effort and sometimes money.


So how do you know if it’s worth it?

It’s a risk.

You could end up with the perfect item of clothing that you wear all the time. Or it could be a waste.

As someone who takes risks with my wardrobe frequently, and has 25 years of professional styling experience under my belt…I’ve come up with an easy way to make the decision. 

Click play to watch the video where I take you through my stylist process and show you how to decide if that garment is worth investing your time, energy and money into, or not. I demonstrate with an item from my wardrobe so you see how to do it yourself. 

And read on for more style advice.

3 Steps To Decide If That Item Of Clothing Deserves A Reinvention

Step 1 Make a Plan

So you’ve got a garment that you kind of like, but it’s not 100% as is. Maybe the pants are too long. Or the neckline of the blouse isn’t the best. The first thing to do is see the potential in that item of clothing.

For example, I’ve got a pair of jeans. They were actually my son’s, and he’s done with them. But before I put them in the donation pile I had a moment of…

Wait a minute — I think these will fit me! They’re super soft and seem comfortable. But I won’t wear them like this. I need to tweak them. I wonder what would happen if I made them into shorts?

So before you perform any tweaking, make sure you have a vision for what you’re going to do. A blazer could be taken in at the waist. A button up shirt could be dyed. Have a plan. 

Step 2 Try-On

Next, make sure that you like how the garment feels BEFORE you tweak it. This is when you’d say something like:

It’s perfect except for_____ ” (Fill in with the problem you’re going to fix — like take it in the waist, or dye it.)

My daughter had a pair of pants that were way too long. When she tried them on, she thought…

I wish they were shorter.

So think about your garment, and what you wish were better.

Interestingly enough, when I tried on my jeans — they felt great! I like how they looked. 

I then questioned if I needed to tweak them at all. The hemline suited me well, and I loved the straight silhouette. I decided NOT to cut them.


This may happen to you too. Once you try-on the item, you’ll see that was all you needed to do…try it on. Your decision has been made.

If you decide you like how it feels, but the item still needs a tweak, complete your vision by imagining how you’d wear it once the adjustments are done. What would you pair it with? If I was to cut my pants, I’d imagine how good my “new” shorts would look with a long sleeve button down blouse.

Quick note: if you don’t like how the garment feels, then you’re done. You’ve got your answer. DO NOT proceed with the investment in time, energy or money. It’s not worth it. 

Step 3 Execute the Plan On That Item Of Clothing

You’re now ready to move forward and make the investment. If you’re changing the color, I love going to the art supply store and looking at all the options. (There’s also a color remover product which you could buy as a back up if the dye-job doesn’t work out. It happened to me, and I’ve used this product.) 

If you’re having someone else do the alterations, schedule your trip to the tailor. 

If you’re cutting jeans into shorts, it’s time to get the scissors out. Be sure to note — during the try-on how high you want the hemline to be and make a small cut to mark the length.

Then it’s GO-TIME! 

After you perform the tweak, try on your NEW garment and see how it feels.

If you want to wear it immediately, it was a huge success!

If you don’t want to wear it…it didn’t work out.

That’s why it’s important to note before getting started that it’s a risk.

And if you’re not taking risks in your life, ask yourself why.

Because what I’ve discovered with my style and in my life, nothing truly exciting comes without risk.

Get the free style guide, 7 Steps To An Incredible Outfit that shows you how to put together a fresh outfit from your old clothes.

Elysha Lenkin
Elysha Lenkin helps women express themselves through fashion so they look current, feel confident and stay true to themselves. For over 20 years, she's worked on commercial shoots styling women in all shapes, ages and sizes including Carrie Underwood, Tina Fey and Serena Williams. Now her focus is to make fashion fun and approachable for real women so they show up feeling like superstars in their lives.

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