Upcycle Your Wardrobe

old clothes Upcycle Your WardrobeChanges in seasons and in fashion trends often means that our clothes are outdated well before they are worn out.  How can you keep your wardrobe fresh without spending a bundle?  These tips will save you money and will help prevent tons of textiles from ending up in our landfills.

When it comes to recycling, or upcycling as it is known, your out of date clothing into something more chic, nobody knows how to do this better than Elena Garcia.  Elena is a designer and the co-founder of  EcoLuxe, an eco fashion promoter.  She also created Sew Last Season, a fashion label which specializes in “upcycling and providing sustainable solutions to the waste generated by the fashion industry.”   According to an interview with Elena, upcycling is about developing your own style and understanding your shape.  She says, “Once you know your shape and what goes with it, you’ll be able to acquire classic garments that need only a little updating to be able to turn them into something of your own.”

New skirts from old shirts
tshirt skirt Upcycle Your WardrobeWhen it’s hot outside and you are in short supply of cooler clothing, pull out some old t-shirts and turn them into fun and funky skirts.  Elena’s tip: “Just stretch the neck so you can fit your waist through or make it bigger by putting an elastic band around it. Sew up the bottom of the sleeves and place them inside the skirt to turn them into pockets.”

Reuse an old tie
Accessorize with your guy’s old tie by wearing it backwards.  Elena’s tip: “I like wearing silk ties the other way around, with a halter neck top or dress and the tie showing on a bare back, it looks sexy.”  You can also use an old tie as a great belt with jeans or a jersey knit dress.

Repair and restyle
A hole or tear in that favorite top is no reason to get upset.  If it cannot be repaired by sewing it up, alter it into something new and fabulous!  Elena’s tip: “You can always cut sleeves, stick on an embroidered flower, stitch a patch on it or even shred it to make fillings for a cushion.  Try and see the imperfections as a way to do something new with it, a chance to wear something differently.”

T-shirt chic
Those old t-shirts that can be found in everyone’s dresser can be given new life with a few snips from a pair of scissors.  Elena’s tip: “Cut two short or long sleeved t-shirts diagonally making sure they have different lengths and then wear one on top of the other for a t-shirt kimono. The layering effect is really interesting. You can also turn t-shirts into vests by cutting the sleeves off or try making small slashes on t-shirts and weave ribbons through them. The more ribbons the better.”

Something old becomes something new
reuse wedding dress Upcycle Your WardrobeNeed a new party dress?  Look no further than a thrift shop or consignment shop that sells wedding dresses!  Elena’s tip:  “Wedding dresses from charity shops can make brilliant party dresses.  The fabrics and the make tend to be very good.”   Because of the detail that is in a wedding dress, you can use them to create wonderful handmade pieces.   Use some of the lace and embellishments to fix the hole in that favorite blouse or patch a tear in those great fitting jeans!

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