Jeans with zippers inserted in the side seam

New from old, how to shop your own wardrobe.

''The most sustainable garment is the one already in your wardrobe'' Orsola De Castro.

It's great to see so many people are trying to reduce the amount of 'new' clothes they buy and looking to second hand clothing to satisfy their shopping cravings. But can you get that 'New' garment feeling from what you already own?

Most of us are guilty of hanging on to clothes that we don't ever wear, they might need repairing or maybe we've kept them for sentimental reasons or perhaps they cost us a lot to buy in the first place. My number one reason to keep something is that it was a gift! Instead of squirrelling these away for a rainy day these should be the garments you look to first the next time you feel the urge to go shopping or want something new.

The reasons why we don't wear them will be as varied as the reasons why we hang on to them; they might not fit how we would like them to, there is a feature missing that would make it more useful or visually appealing, you like the fabric but not the style, and many more. Most of these things can be easily fixed by small alterations or additions.

Small changes like altering hem lines or adding different buttons can really make a big difference to your garment and how it makes you feel. People come in so many different shapes and sizes but mass produced clothing is sized to an industry standard, it makes sense that these clothes will not fit everyone in the same way and alterations will be needed to make something fit well.

I recently helped someone add some small zippers to the seams of their trouser legs at the ankle, giving them a little update in this way instantly made the trousers more special. They are now a unique item, the ideas and care transferred to the trousers in this way have added an unseen value that will hopefully keep them in the owners wardrobe longer and give more pride and and joy to the wearer.

With some clever thinking and a little love and time you can turn unworn clothes into something you will wear again and again, and also give you the added confidence and pride that this garment is now unique to you. 

If you need a helping hand to make your ideas a reality look out for local repair events or sewing studios that offer sessions for help and advice. Or if you are short on time use services like The Seam to find makers in your local area to help you.

For more garment alterations and upcycling ideas subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on instagram. I'd also love to hear about your successful garment revamps drop them in the comments below!

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