I’m a pack rat, so the only time I clean out my closet is times like this, when I’m faced with moving something up a flight of stairs to a new apartment. Some of my out-of-date clothes need to be retired. Before I do that, I assess whether they can be repurposed for a newer trend.
I have some destroyed denim pants, circa 2004, with holes in the knees. I paid way too much for them, so I’ve been hesitant to let them go. A new trend is denim shorts, so I’ll cut off the legs and wear them with tights. To avoid extra fraying, I’ll give the ends a once-over with my sewing machine.
Before: destroyed denim
Make sure to finish off the ends to avoid too much fraying.
The end result is recent comeback trend, jean shorts.
I bought some black exercise tights in college years for an event, and I’ve never worn them besides the one time. I’ll layer them under shorts for a warmer workout or as leggings (the black color conceals an obvious workout pants look).
The capris of the past few years have a dated length – usually midcalf to right below the knee, with a straight shape. Short pants in 2010 collections have two different looks: right above the knee, or tapered right below the knee. You can take your old pants to a tailor for an update, or just tuck them into knee high boots.
If you’re nervous about revamping your clothes, pay a tailor, but reinventing your clothes yourself can be a fun project. I’d recommend buying or borrowing a small alterations sewing machine to finish new seams. DIY is cool, but you don’t want it to look sloppy.
I wouldn’t recommend doing this for everything -- for example, just cutting a sleeve off of an old dress won’t make it part of the one-shoulder trend – but reusing trendy clothes that already are dated will save you money on buying new soon-to-be-dated clothes. Keep your staples in tact so you can wear them longer, but be brave with formerly trendy items.
There are some trends that you won’t be seeing again soon. I’ll be taking mine to a thrift store: a dress with a loud geometric print, wicker shoes and peasant-style dress.
Do you have a way to transform old styles into new looks? Start a conversation here with your ideas.