Ah, the wardrobe. Wardrobes are where we home our personal style. Where our clothes lie dormant until their next escapade.
Whether your wardrobe is clean, minimalist and formed of particular outfits ready to roll for any occasion, or stacked to the brim with pretty much anything and everything, there are ways to breathe new life into them.
Bringing new life to your wardrobe is a wholesome activity. Freshening your outfits without necessarily spending a lot on new clothes saves time and money. Another aspect of this is recycling, upcycling or customising clothes with ‘hacks’. You don’t necessarily need to know how to cut or sew to breathe new life into your wardrobe.
Without further ado, let’s find 8 new ways to bring new life to your wardrobe.
1: Get Everything Out
The first step is to get everything out of your wardrobe and onto the floor, bed, hallway, wherever you have room. You need everything in one space so you can visualise what you have. Choose a quiet night in...preferably one where no one else is in...and get your clothes out and experiment.
Put on pieces you haven’t worn in a long time. You might be pleasantly surprised and think “actually, why haven’t I been wearing this?!”
When you get everything out of your wardrobe, arrange your different styles and try on different colour combinations, match pieces you wouldn’t normally match, etc. Experimentation is key here. You need to know what you’re working with!
2: Rework Your Shirts
Shirts are some of the easiest clothes to rework or try with new outfits. Shirts can be cropped, chopped and changed without much hassle. Here’s an excellent guide on cropping shirts.
A designer who’s made a name for themselves cropping and editing shirts is Soul and Flare, whose Depop you can find here. Vogue also has an article on hacking old shirts into new garments.
3: Old Denim Rocks
Never throw out any old denim. Denim practically never wears to a point that it’s fashionless. Old denim can be edited in so many ways, either by adding funky patches and sewing up frayed hems, or by leaving them, or even by ripping them up even more!
Visible mending, as it’s called, is the practice of mending clothes using very obvious techniques. In fact, if you don’t know how to sew, visible mending might be for you! The cruder you are, the more fashionable it might be!
4: Dye Your Old Clothes
Dyeing clothes is very easy and can completely change some pieces. Of course, you need to bear in mind that lighter colours can dye to similar shades or darker, whereas brightening old pieces is pretty much impossible without bleaching them in some way (which is possible).
Like visible mending, dying old clothes is not necessarily a precise art. Uneven dying or even mixed dyes can look good, especially on vintage-style clothes. Denim is also excellent to dye.
And then, you can consider tie-dye. This old-school style has been trendy for a while. It’s fun and easy to do DIY and you can get some awesome effects. What’s more, is that virtually any piece of clothing can be dyed (though check what material it is as some won’t work) - you might get some funky results from dying dresses, jackets, leggings and denim.
5: Reinspire Yourself
If you’re looking at your wardrobe thinking “how do I become more fashionable?” then this might be an opportunity to put aside pieces you definitely love and focus on those you’re unsure about. Check out whether you’re making any of these style mistakes and retweak things accordingly.
You might find you have tons of plain clothes and not enough patterned clothes or stripes. You may have too many brands - you might need more plain clothes!
Your shoes might also be missing a beat. Do you have stacks of trainers and winter shoes but too little for summer, or vice-versa?
Another aspect is the colours of your clothes. Do your colours match?Check out our guide to fashionable colour schemes to see if you have anything that matches. It’s very common to see an excess of duller or plainer clothes, making people realise that they need to refresh their wardrobe with some colour.
Of course, plain clothes are fine and they’re the staple of most fashionable wardrobes. But still, a little bit of colour goes a long way, and adding some colour-block plain right coloured clothes to your wardrobe is cheap. Don’t forget colourful accessories too, and colourful purses and bags!
6: Cut Dresses in Half
Seems dramatic? It is, a little, but it’s possible to split unused dresses into either a new shirt and new skirt, or you can even stitch them to other halved dresses.
This is great if you have a dress that fits perfectly on one half but the other is not so great, or perhaps one half is damaged when the other is pristine. Cutting them in half and sewing the cut seam is pretty easy and you never know - it’s well worth trying on stuff you think “I’ll never wear that!”
7: Focus on The Clothes You Think You’ll Never Wear
There’s bound to be stuff you think “I’m just never going to wear that”. In this situation, you’ve got a couple of options. You either charity shop it, sell it, or modify it in some way. If you are good with textiles then spare clothes can be used to patch up other clothes, e.g. your denim. You can even go full custom, using the textile to create anything from scarves and scrunchies to crop tops.
If you find yourself with spare textiles then there are tons of guides on YouTube for custom-making your own clothes using bits of fabric.
This guide on how to sew your own clothes provides an excellent starting point. This tutorial provides tons of inspiration on clothing upcycling - there’s some really cool stuff on there.
8: Cheap Solutions
If you feel you do need to add some new stuff to your wardrobe then think about cheap, sustainable solutions. A charity shop session after you’ve had your entire wardrobe out could be fruitful, allowing you to add some cool pieces that compliment your existing clothes.
Another idea is to add some cheap, plain clothes to juice up some of your finer garments with a new style. You might have some trousers that look stunning...all you might need is a handful of plain
Summary: 8 New Ways to Bring a New Life to Your Wardrobe
As tempting as it might be to talk about a ‘new wardrobe’, breathing life into your old wardrobe is a surefire way to find a new groove, whilst also helping you work out what you do need and what you don’t need.
If you’re proficient in sewing or want to get creative then you certainly can. A sewing machine and a pair of scissors is all you need to get cracking and hacking and with numerous incredible tutorials on YouTube, it’s easy to get stuck into clothes DIY and upcycling.