In the fashion world, trends come and go…and come again. It’s no secret that styles throughout the decades are frequently recycled and emerge on the scene years later. Take, for example, y2k fashion trends of the early aughts; just 20 years later they are back in the spotlight again. But trends aren’t the only things that can be recycled; your very own clothing pieces can be recycled too! Instead of throwing out a beloved piece, you can give it new life with a little TCL. In this post, we will look at clever ways to transform old clothing and get more value out of your beloved staples.
If you have old T-shirts stuffed away in the back of your closet that you love, but haven’t worn in a long time, consider giving them a little makeover. Is there an old T-shirt you could wear for days on end that shows some signs of wear? Turn it into a crop top by cutting the shirt just above the waistline and hem at the bottom. If you prefer a top tank style, cut the sleeves to show off your shoulders. Giving your tees a little “trim” will instantly give them a fresh new look and allow you to pair them with a wide range of bottoms, from high-waisted denim cut-offs to straight-leg jeans to high-waisted midi skirts for an on-trend high low look.
You don't necessarily need to transform old T-shirts into items you wear; your well-worn clothing can also be used for other purposes! If you’re crafty, consider taking several of your old T-shirts and turning them into a patchwork quilt. Having a quilt made almost entirely of your favorite band tees and graphic shirts will give it sentimental value…and keep you cozy when you need something to curl up on the couch in. Another item you can turn your T-shirts into is a tote bag. Cut up old wardrobe staples and sew them into a stylish, eco-friendly tote bag. You can experiment with different fabrics, like colorful cotton tees and old denim, to add texture and a unique quality to your tote.
Many clothing fabrics work fabulously as hair accessories. If you have a holey, tattered tee that has seen better days, cut off the most well-preserved parts of the shirt and use the strips as a headband. You can use old shirt fabrics as a stylish neck scarf if you cut longer strips and sew multiple pieces together. Alternatively, you can use all the pieces of an old shirt to create a multi-use accessory: something you can wear as a headband or head scarf one day, a neck scarf the following, and a trendy belt the next.
Get in touch with your inner artist, by dying your old clothes. If this seems daunting, brush up with an online tutorial and have a dye party with your girlfriends. Turn on the tunes, pour some drinks, munch on snacks, and invite everyone to bring some of the oldest pieces they still want to hold on to. Put out a spread of dyes ranging from dip dyes to tie-dye and give your old pieces a makeover. A plain white tee can be turned into a radiantly colorful top by dipping it in a bright color or pastel shade. If you like a playful, funky look, turn your old white tees into tie-dye tops or create a gorgeous, ombre top with bold colors like teal and orange. Just a little craftiness can provide you with vibrant, fun new tops for the summer!
In addition to your clothes-dying party, have your girlfriends over to flex their fashionista muscles. Little style details can go a long way when it comes to transforming old tops. For example, if you have a chic women’s blouse that’s missing a few buttons, give it brand new buttons in different styles, prints, and colors. To achieve a boho look, give a beloved sweater a lace detail by sewing or crocheting a strip of lace to the cuffs, neckline, or hemline. Feeling daring and want to try your hand at embroidery? You can give your old clothes a unique touch by embroidering fun designs or wording on old clothing, ranging from cotton tees to sleek blouses to denim pants. Want to razzle dazzle ‘em? Stock up on sequins to add sparkle to old clothing like dresses, shorts, pants, skirts and skorts, and tops. And finally, to give your old clothing a little edge, add studs into old shoes, pants, and tops to achieve that punk rock effect.
These are just a handful of ways you can transform old clothing into fresh, new pieces. Use these ideas to get more wear and value from your favorite wardrobe essentials!