Upcycling refers to the process of reusing an item by transforming it into something else. In fashion, this is many times quite easy to do. All it requires is some imagination and creativity with which one can transform any garment into something else quite easily.
Transforming clothes into other clothes, accessories or other things usually also requires some handy work – it’s best to know how to sew and be good at crafts. If you can’t do it yourself, you can always ask someone to help you do it.
Generally, menswear is harder to transform than womenswear, which generally uses more fabric (dresses, etc) and is less structured. For example, a women’s top can be cut and made into a workout top, which doesn’t work all that easily with men’s clothes.
Here are some ideas of how you can transform your clothes.
Clothes can be turned into other clothes. For example, a shirt can be transformed into a sleeveless shirt, which has a completely different vibe. A hoodie can be transformed into a vest. A Henley can be made into a workout top and trousers can be morphed into shorts. Sometimes, even a larger piece, such as a trench coat or a big sweatshirt can be turned into a pair of shorts, but it might require some additional fabric.
Accessories and trimmings
Men’s clothes can often be turned into accessories. Parts of your shirts, (unstructured ) jackets and pants can be turned into pocket squares very easily: all it takes is to cut a piece of clothes in a good geometric shape (squares or circles are usually preferred) and make sure to work on the edges.
Leather and thicker materials such as tweed can be also turned into patches and sewn on the elbows of the jackets you wear.
If you don’t have a lot of material to use, you can use older garments as accent fabrics and make your clothes more interesting by adding colorful touches to the cuffs, the collar or the pockets. You can also use fabrics from old clothes to add accents to your hats.
Old clothes can be very easily repurposed if you wish to turn them into other objects than clothes. Anything that requires fabrics can be made. Think of using your old shirts into pillows, toys, phone, tablet or laptop sleeves. Depending on the material, you can also make wallets or bags (think tote bags, but sometimes duffle bags can be made from rougher materials too).
When you are upclycling clothes, one thing you should always take into consideration is that you don’t have to use just one fabric. You can always mix fabrics or make great color combinations or even combine patterns. This way, your new items will be very visually interesting and unique.
Upcycling clothes is a great thing. You can repurpose a clothing item if you don’t want to give it away or turn it into a rag and make use of it in another form. Morphing your clothes is also a great way to stay green: you will make the most of your clothes in more ways than one.
Fraquoh and Franchomme
P.S. We want to hear from you! What is your take on upcycling clothes? Have you ever transformed your clothes into something else? In what? Share your feedback, questions or thoughts in the comments below! For more articles on style, fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!