The Guide: Cutting Your Pants Short

To be perfectly honest, I've never done a do-it-yourself clothing project in my whole life. Izzy of The Dandy Project is quite the master at this, in my opinion, but I've not done any altering myself because of my twitchy hands and my suspect craftsmanship. That is, until I read about GQ's suggestion to make my own shorts from old pants which aren't getting much love anymore. Sounds simple enough, I think. Just cut right? Yeah, but easy there, young fella.

I say if you're going to do something, you better do it right. So before you go snip-snip crazy, listen to these simple tips first so that your pants can look like pristine new shorts. First off, choose the right base pair. When choosing old pants to butcher, go for those old trousers you're not wearing anymore, preferably the ones of khaki or cotton make. Sorry, cargo pants don't count here and though denim shorts can look good on some, skip it. For best results, just go for plain regular chinos you have stashed deep in your closet.

Once you've chosen the lucky pair, wear it and mark the spot where you want to cut with a pencil or a marker. Remember, you can always lessen the length if it's too long, but you can never bring back what you've already lost, so take it easy with the short-shorts there, sir. Make sure to mark both sides at exactly the same point so they'll be at the same level once your done.

Now, for the cutting. If ever you have an extra body around, it'd be smart to enlist his or her help to hold the pants steady as you cut them. Needless to say, it's time to put your little sister's scissors away here. You need big boy snippers so go for shears instead. You can get them at any hardware store, just ask. When you have the right equipment, cut away ever so slowly. Be sure to follow the line you've set and if you're not satisfied with the length, keep on cutting until it suits your taste.

To finish, apply Sew No More (a fabric adhesive for altering) to the inside part of the edges you cut. Fold the edge you cut inwards and make a small cuff on the inside of your shorts. Essentially, you need to do this to avoid fraying of the cut material. If you want, you can sew that baby up as well. But being that a huge percentage of us can't, let's leave it at that.

So there, finally, a D.I.Y. project that all of us fellas can do without being too intimidated. No better time than now to learn this too, if you ask me. With the summer temperature continuously going up, I'd wear shorts every chance I get. Added bonus to feeling cooler would actually be the pride that I actually semi-made the sweet pair I was sporting. Now woudln't that give you a warm feeling inside?


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