How to bring old clothes back to life

How to bring old clothes back to life

Leggi in Italiano

I’m definitely not a hoarder. On the contrary, the truth is to be honest that I’m naturally prone to entropy which, combined with the silly inclination things and objects have to turn upside down when I get close to them, makes me think that the less I have the better it is.

I often do some clean-up of the old stuff I no longer use. I give it away, sell it or get rid of it somehow. I don’t have much furniture at home either, because empty spaces are actually the only way I have to make room for myself and new things.

how to bring old clothes back to life
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This said, there are things that seem to be made just for me, to follow me and change like I do, things I actually can’t get rid of. Sometimes I try but it’s useless, I simply can’t.

This post can actually prove useful to whoever has clothes (today’s topic) they want to get rid of or those who currently prefer to give old clothes a second chance rather than turning to compulsive shopping.

I hereby also give some advices to those who changed size and need to adjust their most cherished clothes to new life stages.

Let’s see how to get from old clothes the same enthusiasm as the first day or the first time we put them on.

Let’s start with the easiest thing:

Look for accessories

(a particularly useful suggestion to those who make long travels and rely on a capsule babbage )

During my first trip to Australia, the capsular baggage was a MUST. Therefore, I only had a few things and many accessories to look different. Among these, this belt is one of the accessories that can make any outfit / overshirt / tube dress look slightly different than usual.

There’s a wide choice of accessories like necklaces, brooches of any kind, bands, special suspenders or belts, and it’s not just by chance. They complement the outfit and can both enhance the personality of the clothes you wear and give them a new life.

The advantage of knowing how to use the jewellery box better than the wardrobe lies in being able to revive any clothes in a few touches.

A poncho or a shawl changes the concept of a coat. A pair of tights (sheer or 20 deniers, clear or embroidered) completely changes the essence of a skirt.

A standard jacket combined with a gipsy-style pochette bag purchased in some ethnic market of a faraway country gets a completely different look and meaning. It’s a way to impress, a contradictory and therefore interesting message.

The same applies to wearing a hat that doesn’t fit the style of the general outfit at all, just like wearing a shapka, possibly in fake fur, on that pair of rugged jeans that you really don’t want to get rid of.

Talking about jeans: try wearing 5-inch heels under your old and washed-out jeans, and everybody will end up asking “how come you’re so elegant today”? It’s true, try and then tell me if I’m wrong.

Combine styles and clothes that are apparently not meant to be matched. 

sabrina in Australia spiaggia St Kilda
un ballerino nero in pizzo, regalatomi durante un viaggio in Australia, ha reso più elegante jeans e maglietta.

A black lace bolero that I was given during my trip to Australia made my jeans and t-shirt look definitely more elegant.

Mixing, just like making a cocktail of details as if they were gin and Martini, doesn’t only relate to accessories.  Even the new clothes that you somehow have in your wardrobe can help old clothes give you renewed emotions, as in a joint game of sisterhood among your wardrobe dwellers.

Learn the basics of cutting and stitching  

Many of us may gain or lose weight during life. The cover picture shows my favourite skirt, that I bought when I was 16. It has travelled the world with me and I have always cut a fine figure in it; I’m sure I’ll never be able to get rid of it and that one day my grandchildren will appreciate it too.

Yet… more than 10 cms and three sizes have been removed from the waist and hips.

Learning the basics of cutting and stitching can be useful to save our favourite clothes or else we can (should) make the wise and easier decision to resume the good old practice of having tailors make small alterations and adjustments.

Taking clothes apart and putting them back together  

Turning to tailors is even more useful when you want to create something new out of something old.

For instance, you may have a skirt you particularly like for its fabric or colour (or because it is particularly precious to you) but that you don’t use that much, so you’d like to turn it into something else (as shown in the picture below in my case: my jacket was a long skirt…unfortunately, it didn’t fit my winter style).

Otherwise you can look on social networks for ideas to transform your old clothes, searching for the hashtags on Pinterest or Instagram.

You can find very nice and easy tricks or ideas to put into practice.

Put your wardrobe in order 

ph. shanna camilleri – unsplash

This suggestion is not meant for everybody but only for people like me, who leave stacks of clothes in their wardrobes in an attempt to hide the Narnia world, and convince themselves that they have nothing to wear.

My Instagram followers, besides proving extremely wise, also know that I’ve recently sorted out my wardrobe and what did I get out of it?

I’ve actually managed to recover some skirts, tops and clothes I had completely forgotten about. Their recovery is a bit like finding 10 euros in the coat you wore last winter or in a bag that you haven’t used for months. Going through my stacked up clothes makes me have three kinds of reaction depending on what I find:

1 – “Where does this come from? If I’ve never looked for it, it means I don’t need it. Out!”

2 – “Where does this come from? It’s fantastic, I’m gonna wear it tonight (after some ironing maybe)”

3 – “There you are, my dear old friend! I won’t leave you again!”

What about you? Do you tend to collect or get rid of things? Do you renew your clothes or the wardrobe?

If you have other suggestions, feel free to talk about them in the comments, and follow me on Twitter and Instagram besides adding me as a friend on Facebook


24 commenti su “How to bring old clothes back to life

  1. This is a wonderful post. My biggest goal this year is to not shop more and get the maximum use of the items I already have in my closet. I love the idea of knowing the basics, that’s the foundation of the wardrobe.

  2. I just loved the story of your favorite skirt. When you bought it, was it love at first sight? I have a jean jacket like that too. My first boyfriend gave it to me and I still have it to this day (30 – eeps!) years later. It’s faded and ripped and (mostly) still fits like a glove. Plus, it reminds me of the carefree days of being a teenager. x

  3. Such a great and timely post. I love all the tips especially the cleaning out wardrobe part …. .that is on my to-do list for next week and I will have those 3 suggestions in mind. Great post!

  4. I love your advice to pair accessories with outfits that are not typically meant to be matched to create unique outfits. The way you also repurpose old clothes is awesome

  5. I tend to keep clothes for a long time and hesitate to get rid of any item until it starts falling apart or having holes. Last year I sent two bags full of clothing to charity when I did some spring cleaning to clear out my closet. I promptly went out and refilled it with more up to date items. I love the idea of repurposing items that have gone out of style have not yet found a tailor to do so.

  6. I always keep up my old clothes because it’s so hard for me to throw away. And I loved the way you repurposed your old skirt for good. Maybe I shall learn a thing or two from you and revamp clothes from my closet diaries which are forgotten.

  7. At times, our old clothes prove to be gems that we wouldn’t want to get rid of. So the only option is bringing them back to life. I especially use bold accessories to liven up the look and yes, learning basics of stitching and sewing is very vital; could help one to turn an old cloth into something else pretty.

  8. Lots of my old clothes have been sitting and just taking up so much space in my closet. I guess its time to repurpose them instead of tossing them out or giving them away.

  9. Putting my wardrobe in order is something I do too – glad I’m not the only one! I used to think it was because I had an OCD haha, but after reading this Sabrina, I can say it’s because I’m efficient with my dressing x

  10. I have several pieces that are old. Sometimes the pieces come in handy for kids to dress up with for school. I am pretty good though and will give them away when they are no longer appreciated.

  11. Wow, you still have clothes since you were 16? I’m impressed! I do have clothes which are almost 4 yrs. old! ” I don’t look for some of them” so I guess its about time to clean my closet today! Excellent tips Sabrina!

  12. I like how you repurpose old clothes to give them a second life. I tend to hold on to the clothes that I don’t wear (always thought of I will eventually wear them, unfortunately, I never will). Style them up with accessories is a great idea. Reminded me time to get some new accessories for the new year!:)

  13. I tend to clean out once in a while. I don’t like hoarding clothes that I will not use. I wish I knew how to make small alterations to help me, but oh well!

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