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Bored by your clothes? Three cheap, DIY solutions

Looking like a million bucks doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. TODAY Style editor Bobbie Thomas explains how to transform your bland basics into fashion-forward couture.
/ Source: TODAY contributor

Looking like a million bucks doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. With a few simple alterations, a no-frills garment can instantly look fabulous. While your closet is one source for staples waiting to be updated, department stores like Filene's Basement, TJ Max and Loehmans have quality basics that'd serve as an ideal canvas. Bobbie Thomas, TODAY Style editor and author of the Buzz column for In Touch Weekly, shows you how to transform your bland basics into fashion-forward couture.

Easy embellishments
Large-and-in-charge necklaces have taken center stage, as necklines across the country have become encrusted with every accent imaginable. Instead of hanging jewelry from your neck, consider attaching a chain, strand of beads or gems to your top for a new focal point.

Simply baste-stitch a necklace (or two) directly onto your dress or blouse. In addition, you can cluster brooches or affix an ornate beaded appliqué. Your local trimming store is brimming with decorative adornments. Don’t miss the bridal and upholstery sections, as that’s where you’re likely to get the best baubles. If you’re still in search of inspiration, take a peek inside the famous “Project Runway” supply center at

Rich ruffles
Feminine folds and attractive pleating can add soft flair and make a simple design stand out. Transform the lapel of a jacket with ruffle trim. The texture will glamorously frame your face, while a color contrast is an instant way to add drama. Alternatively, add flattering pleated tiers to the top of a skirt by using the extra material left over after hemming.

Another great way to incorporate this trend is to pleat and sew parts of an old white pillowcase along the front edge of a white button-down blouse. But before you get crafty with just any item in your closet, consider using this tip to save your “too small” favorites. Ruffles are a great solution for adding an inch or two to a strapless dress, or lengthening the arms of a shirt that shrank in the wash.

Lovely lace
A romantic peekaboo layer is very trendy right now, but no matter the season, it’ll instantly add interest to one of your closet’s classics. You should consider covering the entire garment for a full, flirty look, or using a strip around the waistline of a skirt to replace a belt.

Tacking lace to the inside hem of a skirt or dress will create a sliplike effect, making any garment look longer and feel more demure. Use a small piece to hide a plunging V-neck, or add sleeves to a strappy number. For those who want to get really creative, cover a bracelet or clutch and you’ll have an accessory that is very of-the-moment.

There are numerous ways to work lace into your look. For a simple tweak that doesn't require any tailoring or alterations, layer a lace camisole or slip over a shirt or dress!