I’ve always loved to stand out using my outfits. If you didn’t know me in junior high or high school, my style was pretty out there, using inspiration from my fashion icons like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. While my outfits weren’t as crazy as the pop stars, I still loved creating my own unique style (which is a little cringey to present me, but I totally admire my “I don’t give a hoot attitude”)
Altering my clothes has been my new favorite way to update my closet in an eco-friendly way. Buying clothes every time you want a new look is not very sustainable, especially when you buy fast fashion. Not only do I get to keep myself busy with a fun little hobby, I get rad one-of-a-kind pieces out of it. I wanted to share some of my favorite ways I’ve made stuff my own.
Turn dresses into shirts
When you get tired of wearing the dress, it’s easy to just chop off into a tunic, a shirt, or even a crop top (you can totally alter it three times in that order!). It can also be as easy as chopping it off using scissors or you can even hem if you have the sewing skills or if you are looking for a cleaner line.
Turn pants into shorts
This has arguably been the most popular DIY.., getting those mom jean Levi’s and chopping them into that perfect short. I’ve definitely done this with my dad’s old jeans, and they’ve become my favorite shorts. This is not limited to just jeans too! Transform overalls, rompers, and other pants. However, it definitely works best with denim fabric, unless you have the ability to hem.
Turn short sleeves into tanks
Due to my irrational fear of a farmer’s tan, turning my short sleeve t-shirts into tank tops has greatly improved my summer and hiking wardrobe. I’ve gotten a lot of free T-shirt’s from events, school, and jobs, so turning them into tanks means I’m not cutting up super expensive tees. Depending on the style of tank I’m turning it into determines if I hem or not. More casual, workout, or hiking tees are not hemmed, but shirts I might wear to work or out on the town will probably be hemmed real quick. Also if I’m just cutting the sleeves off, I don’t worry about hemming but if i am turning the tee into a Razorback, it usually looks better.
Turn a straight leg into a flare
The 70’s chill hippie style is for sure in, so we’re bringing back the flare. All you need is some straight leg or bootleg high-waisted pants, a little bit of fabric and thread, and some scissors. Depending on how far up you want the flare, cut up the seam on the outside of the pant leg, and add a triangle of fabric. You don’t even have to go very far to get the flare fabric. In my case, I used the leftover scraps from making a maxi dress into a mini one. Inspiration is from my dad and his high school friends.
Turn basic jean jackets into unique ones
Jean jackets are a girl’s best friend. They can class up an outfit and make you ready for the bars, for casual Fridays, and even for ol town roads and rodeos, But there’s nothing wrong with having a couple that have different styles. Add Sherpa to the collar. Flannel to the inside and cuffs. Fringe to the arms. Embroidery or paint on the back. The possibilities are endless.
Turn leggings into bike shorts
Bike shorts have been famously made into something chic thanks to Kim K. So whether you want a comfy trendy option on hot days or actually want to bike without your legs getting chaffed in shortie shorts, cutting those older leggings is the way to go. I had some 3/4 length leggings that I love too much to give away, but now hate the length, so I chopped ’em. I also added some old bra pads to make them into DIY padded mountain bike shorts, but feel free to skip that step if you just want the look.
Turn fabric into anything you want
All it takes is some inspiration or a sewing pattern, and a little problem solving (and of course, fabric, thread, and a sewing machine). It helped me graduate high school because I sewed a dress for my senior project, and it helped me look like Gal Gadot at my sorority formal. Definitely the most labor intensive, but for sure the most rewarding.
My closet is constantly transforming. I always look back at pictures, and I wonder what happened to that item of clothing???? But I’m honestly totally fine with the fact that my closet is ever-evolving. Plus I’ve loved creating my own pieces from scrap and from other items. Hopefully this inspires you to reinvent your closet instead of just buying fast fashion.
Your full-time plant eater and full-time eco- fashionista,