Shrunken jeans, too-long hems and ill-fitting closet items are some of a girl's greatest woes. But without the cash for a visit to the tailor and a (totally justified) fear of needle-wielding machinery, who can blame us for making do with less-than-ideal store-bought fits? We've got great news, collegiettes—never again will you have to sacrifice style for the lack of a sewing needle. These five easy fixes will make at-home hemming a no-brainer, leaving you with perfectly shaped and structured outfits every time.
1. Hem Tape ($1.67, Walmart)
Hem tape is a double-sided adhesive with strong lasting power and extreme ease of use. A go-to tool for both adjustments and repairs, hem tape comes in a ton of varieties and can be purchased for both temporary and permanent solutions. And the usage possibilities truly are endless. Any area a tailor could hem— such as pant legs, shirt sleeves and skirt lengths—can be altered in minutes. Just be sure to read your package for specific instructions and check out this simple go-to guide.
2. Extenders ($9.99, Sears)
Have you ever slipped into last year's favorite jeans only to realize you've outgrown them? We have, and it's heartbreaking. Never experience that pain again, thanks to the ingenious invention of waist extenders. Fasten them to your waistband button and instantly gain an extra inch of breathing room—no tailor or dreaded denim shopping spree needed! Need some extra room elsewhere? No problem. Extenders can be found for any button-fastened bottom, as well as for bra bands!
3. Bobby Pins ($1.69, Walgreens)
If you weren't convinced that bobby pins were the universal lifesaver, you will be now. Thanks to the fashion experts over at Man Repeller, we now know that bobby pins are fool-proof tools for all of your nipping, tucking, adjusting and fastening needs. Temporarily crop a hem, keep structured lines in place—possibilities abound.
4. Fashion Tape ($5.99, Walgreens)
Anyone who's worn a strapless gown to prom knows the beautiful power of "boob tape." But there's way more behind these magic double-sided stickers than a no-slippage night of dancing. Have a button-down shirt that awkwardly bunches, leaving gaping holes between buttons? While some might make the trip to the tailor to get the shirt fitted just right, if you're anything like us, you don't have time for that. Instead, just seal down those slits by sticking on some fashion tape. Anytime you face aggravating bumps and gaps (or just want a more form-fitting feel), reach for your fashion tape for an unbelievably quick solution.
5. Fabric Glue ($9.61, OfficeSupply.com)
If you have a bit more patience, try fabric glue on for size. Different formulas are designed for specific materials, meaning that no matter where your rip or unraveling hem exists, there'll be a glue out there to fix it. And when you're sick of repairs, use the stuff to add fun and flirty additions to any outfit—embellishments and patches can be slapped on without any need for sewing.
Believe it or not, there are plenty of stress-free (and ridiculously cheap!) alternatives to professional alterations—who knew? So if you're all about that DIY, stock up on these essentials and enjoy your new collection of long-awaited, perfectly-fitted and seamlessly mended outfits.