How to Use Old Clothes to Make New Outfits: 5 Tips
We are reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
In case you have been staying safely inside out of the cold, inflation is one thing that’s heating up. A shopping trip might not top your springtime agenda, but you want to update your look. What to do?
T’is the season to spring-clean your closets, anyway. While you’re at it, why not get playful and inventive? Here are five tips on using old clothes to make new outfits.
1. Mix and Match Your Patterns
Before you scoff at the idea of stripes and plaid happily married in one outfit, spend some time watching a golf tournament. Those folks rock creative patterns all the time and they look maaahh-velous. Best of all, you don’t need to spend any time on the green, paying high admittance fees, to get funky with your duds.
It takes a certain attitude to pull off this look and the right know-how. You don’t want to clash — no Charlie Brown tops with a purple-and-red plaid skirt. Instead, stick to patterns in complementary hues and tone your accessories down a notch.
The most important part about rocking this look is confidence. No feeling timid, as if your mom should have dressed you. Your attitude should say, “look at me.”
2. Adjust Your Hems
Hemlines go up and down more often than gas prices and that’s saying quite a lot. Savvy clothiers know this and add a bit of extra fabric in the hem in case you need to adjust your bottom half.
Of course, you can always go the opposite direction, creating a fresh new pair of culottes or even capris from those slightly too-short slacks. You can taper a pair of bell-bottoms or cut a slit in a narrow pair to add a boot flare.
Holey jeans have a fashion appeal all their own. Add a pair of fishnets beneath them for a groovy punk look. However, you could also transform that worn pair into shorts with summer on the way. Rolling the hem to the outside creates cute country chic while turning it inward creates a sleek pair that may be office-appropriate.
3. Dress Up a Tee
Tee-shirts offer the ultimate versatility. They can transform into an artist’s smock for your favorite toddler, but that’s far from the only use you can find for them, even once you wear them out a bit.
Do you have an old jumper that you once adored but could never find a top to fit comfortably beneath? Why not tailor your tee into a tight-fitting cropped number that won’t bunch up around your belly when you buckle the straps.
Dressing up a statement tee with a dressy skirt or neatly ironed pair of jeans and shined shoes creates a hip look. It may or may not be appropriate for casual Friday, but it’s a fashionable way to showcase your ideals around town.
4. Get a Little Funky With Your Socks
There’s one area of male and female attire where you can be as wild or whimsical as you like with nary a care — your socks. Make them a statement of your wardrobe, especially if corporate America has the rest of your closet looking like a dour episode of “Wall Street.”
Did you lose one of your favorite pairs? Not to worry. Proclaim that you believe life is too short to worry about such foolishness as matching your socks in the morning and go deliberately mismatched. Think orange and green, argyle and polka dots.
There’s no law saying you can’t sport socks with dress shoes, even heels. However, you might find the right pair the perfect excuse to finally rock those funky boots to the office. A thick pair with sherpa lining will bless your feet in softness all day while preventing chafing.
5. Invest in Statement Jewelry and Accessories
What if your workplace requires you to wear a suit, or, worse, the same boring uniform, day in and day out? Are you out of hope for adding any personal flair to your daily attire?
You can still get creative with statement jewelry and accessories. You can start with what you have in your closet. Could that old belt look chic belted around the hips of your required apron? If it does and it won’t earn you a write-up, why not?
Even the most conservative office places can’t complain about a bold bracelet or necklace. A colorful scarf is another way to add a hint of color to an otherwise uniform navy.
Use Old Clothes to Make New Outfits
With inflation going through the roof, shopping might not be on your spring to-do list. However, cleaning your closet may be.
Instead of spending a dime, find creative ways to reuse what you already have. Take these tips for using old clothes to make new outfits and have fun with your spring cleaning!