Don’t throw out your old jeans. Update them instead! Altering denim takes minimal sewing. If you’re uncomfortable wielding a needle and thread, or doubt your DIY abilities, take poorly fitting jeans to a tailor. A professional can easily turn outdated denim into a fresh new look.

Fix holes and rips

Jeans with holes can be mended or altered. Sew shut a ripped seam or add a patch to a hole in the knees. Weathered denim is still in30 style, too, so you might be inspired to add more rips.

Cut off the legs

Jorts (jean shorts) are virtually always in style for women and they’re easy to make with an old pair of dungarees. Slice off the legs and leave the seams raw. You can hem the ends if you prefer a cleaner look or line them with another fabric. Almost any inseam length is in this season. As for men, chop off legs at or just above the knee. If you’re feeling daring, aim for a tight fit through the thigh. Otherwise, a tailored fit is ideal – not too tight and not too loose – and slice off any dated cargo pockets.

Get creative with embellishments

Sew on denim patches or ones in a contrasting fabric. Line hems with fabric or lace. Embrace your inner artist and draw designs or polka dots with a permanent marker, bleach, acrylic paint or fabric paint.

Adjust leg openings

Tired of rocking a bootleg? Try a new fit. Expand the leg openings with cloth for a vintage flare. If you prefer a more modern fit, take in the inseams to make a straight or skinny leg. This season, men are wearing relaxed, straight and skinny fits. Like denim shorts, most long fits are in style for women this year. Try flare, bootleg, straight or skinny cuts. A new trend is the “boyfriend” jean. This cut is straight through the leg and slightly relaxed in the hip and thigh.

Try a different color

Return faded black or dark blue jeans to their former shades by dying them black or navy. Fabric dye is available at most craft stores and is easy to use at home. You can also try an unusual color. Denim in all colors of the rainbow is fashionable this year. Want to go lighter? Bleach your jeans. Use rubber bands for a tie-dye effect or splatter with bleach to create an acid wash.

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