Have you ever opened up your closet doors and just thought, "ugh." Then, have you opened up your wallet and thought, "ugh, why?" If you're in a spot where you can't handle your closet anymore, then you need to figure out how to upgrade your old clothes into things you'll love again. It's always an easy fix to pop into the store to get something to update your wardrobe, but it's a whole other thing when you don't have the funds to do so. And as new styles are rolling in and everyone on the street seemingly turns into a streetstyle star, you can begin to feel a little stir crazy.
So do you know what you need to remedy this situation? A little bit of needle and thread, and a whole lot of creativity. You can upgrade your wardrobe into fresh, exciting styles if only you tweak a couple of details here and there. Turn a boring old blouse into a playful crop top, get rid of a dated dress and use it as a fun summer skirt, give a dowdy maxi a touch of youth by turning it into a flirty mini —
do you see how many possibilities we have? Below are seven ways to upgrade old clothes into something you'll love again.
1. Change Pant Hems
Do you have a pair of trousers that would look super cute... if only they weren't two inches too short? Or do you have the opposite problem, and have long, baggy hems? The answer to your prayers is to do a quick tuck and roll. Fashion writer David Yi from Mashable suggested, "If you have jeans that are too long, do the instant hem by rolling up your trousers in a manner that seems like an afterthought."
But the possibilities don't have to stop there, either. You can turn long pants into shorts if you're bored with them (that includes trousers or printed pants, too,) or cut jeans above the ankles and let them fray in the wash, introducing a new detail to the silhouette. You've got options!
2. Alter Details On Coats
Coats are a major part of our winter wardrobes, so it's a total bummer when a well-loved one starts looking a little dated or dull. To mix things up, try altering a couple of details to give it new life.
Yolanda Wikiel, fashion writer from Real Simple, offered, "Coats tend to be big-ticket items, so it’s a shame to retire them. Update old styles by cropping, adding new buttons, narrowing boxy shoulders, or shortening sleeves." Example: I cropped the sleeves of an old coat to a three quarters length and then bought chartreuse to-the-elbow gloves to introduce a new pop of color to the coat. The outcome? Something completely new and fresh. Give it a go!
3. Change A Dress Into A Skirt
Sometimes a dress loses it's appeal because you've already styled it every way possible, it became dated in its style, or it no longer fits you properly. An easy fix for that is to turn it into a skirt, quick and simple.
Wikiel pointed out, "If the waist is elastic, a tailor can cut off the bodice for roughly $20. Most styles, however, will need a new elastic waistband or a zipper, which will cost about $15 to $30 more." And if you don't want to spend money on a tailor, you can always use layering to your advantage. Pop a sweater or crop top over it to turn it into a skirt, or button up an oxford shirt on top and tie the ends into a knot for the same effect.
4. Play With Hems
You'll be surprised how different a dress looks once you change the hem length. Turn long maxis into demure midis, or go all in and turn something into a mini. The feel of the frock or skirt will completely change.
Fashion writer Adam Glassman from Oprah recommended, "Hem a midcalf skirt to a...knee-length." Just think how a long prairie dress will look if you cut it to mid-thigh, or how a granny-inspired midi will look once you hem it to babydoll lengths. It'll be a completely new style.
5. Crop Yo' Tops
Whether you take scissors to old sweaters and tees, or if you simply knot them into crops, the change will do the trick. Fashion writer Hannah Weil McKinley from POPSUGAR suggested, "The easiest way to define a waistline without a belt is knotting your shirt right at the middle. It lends a more creative finish than just tucking in your shirt and adds a playful touch." You can alter almost any top into this style: Take baggy sweaters and turn them into flowy cropped knits, knot oxford shirts at the hems, change tees or blouses you're bored with and cut them to mid-rib-cage to give them a more playful touch — the possibilities are endless.
6. Change An Evening Dress Into A Fancy Top
Do you have an evening dress you enjoy, but can't really see wearing out again? Or maybe you got an impossible stain down the skirt portion, or aren't comfortable with the length anymore? Well, snip the skirt part off and turn it into a fancy top.
Wikiel pointed out, "The tailor can cut the skirt at midhip and discard any lining to make the top a little lighter, suggests Jacqui Bennett, a tailor based in New York City." This is also a great tip to keep in mind when thrifting: If you come across an amazing evening dress and really enjoy the top portion, you can always turn it into a fun going-out blouse!
7. Or Into A Fun Skirt
The opposite goes for that evening dress: You can also turn it into a brand new skirt. Glassman explained, "Formal gowns are often too over-the-top to wear again. Transform yours into a floor-length skirt for night, or shorten to the knee for day." You can use the same trick where you either get it altered professionally or just pop a shirt on top — oxford shirts and chambrays work wonders when it comes to contrasting the fancy style with something more casual.
So whether you go with a tailor, needle and thread it yourself, or just rely on clever layering, there are so many ways you can update your wardrobe without buying new clothes. Get creative and you'll fall in love with your old pieces in no time!