Cute New Ways to Wear Old Clothes

Woman with old clothes

Knowing cute new ways to wear old clothes can showcase your creative side with style. Your budget may be stretched to the limit, but you still want to be fashionable. Buying brand new duds every week isn't within your means, but you can work with what you already have by expanding your creativity.

Working with What You Have

Every old piece won't update well, so take stock of what's currently in your wardrobe. Donate or toss out anything that can't be salvaged, doesn't fit or that you never want to see again. Once that's done, here's how to work with what's left.

Refresh Those Old Clothes

Old clothes don't have to look old and ratty. Repair tears and rips yourself, or carry these slightly damaged pieces to a trusted tailor. There's no need to toss out an otherwise good item just because it has a small rip. Sometimes, all it takes to return a garment to like-new condition is a simple sewing job.

For stains that won't come out, it may be more difficult to update a piece of clothing, so consider:

  • Dyeing the garment to disguise the stain
  • Cutting the stained portion off, if it's part of an overhaul
  • Covering the stain (if it's in a suitable position) with a button, ribbon trim, patch or embroidery

Get Your DIY On

If you're handy with a needle and thread, or know how to work a sewing machine, you'll be able to revamp just about anything. Turn old jeans into skirts or shorts. Make that floral print bohemian dress into a skirt or top. Look for inspiration in books like New From Old: How to Transform and Customize your Clothes or in the huge variety of crafting blogs on the Internet.

Old Fads, New Ways

You bought into several fads that hit the runway in recent years and now your closet is full of outdated trends. What to do until these old looks become popular again? Cut the stirrups off those old stirrup pants and turn them into modern day leggings. Dye those acid-washed jeans a dark indigo and bring them up to date.

Add Accessories

You can make an old outfit feel fresher by choosing the right accessories to add some flair to your ensemble. Ripped jeans and that favorite old tee shirt can be jazzed up with the addition of a funky belt. Fishnet stockings worn under a little black dress easily updates your look, while also being incredibly sexy.

Six Cute New Ways to Wear Old Clothes

Try these ideas the next time you're faced with a full wardrobe and an empty wallet.

  • Wear a dress as a top: You may own a few dresses that were perfect for your 20 year-old legs, but are too short for your age-30 gams. Slip that same dress over a pair of leggings or funky tights for a new look. In winter, wear a great pair of boots to complete the outfit; in the summer, slip on a pair of high-heeled sandals.
  • Pair old with new: Don't dress yourself head-to-toe in old clothes if that's only going to depress you. Instead, mix things up with a favorite old piece with a newer piece. Not only do you avoid looking like a blast from the past, you create your own eclectic style.
  • Use separates wisely: Wear that vest that came with your old three-piece skirt or pantsuit, but ditch the suit. Instead, slip the vest over a contrasting tee shirt and wear jeans or a denim skirt with it.
  • Dye it: That dingy white shirt can be brought back to life with a little color. Dye it magenta, yellow or lime green - you don't have to go super dark.
  • From pullover to sweater vest: Snip the sleeves off an old pullover and turn it into a sweater vest.
  • Skirt to top: If you have an old short skirt with tubing at the waistline, pull it up and wear it as a strapless top instead. Be even more inventive by sewing or crocheting straps onto it.

Reusing and Recycling: Modern Ideas

Recycling isn't just for plastic and paper. Many people are into reusing in all areas of their lives, and this includes finding fresh new ways to update their outfits. There are many cute new ways to wear old clothes, so if your budget won't allow for brand new finds, use what you already have. You may be surprised how many creative and stylish ideas you come up with!

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Cute New Ways to Wear Old Clothes