Picture this, you are going through your closet and you find a piece of clothing that you used to love. Why are not reaching for it as much anymore? A few of the reasons could be because the style is outdated, you wore it too many times, or you don’t fit it the way you want anymore.
There is more emphasis on sustainable fashion and becoming more earth-conscious. One way you can bring this initiative into your wardrobe is to see if you can tailor or alter your existing pieces to give them a second life. This ensures that you yourself are keeping them out of landfills for at least a few more months.
As much as we hope that the clothing that we donate will 100% make it into someone else’s life as their treasure, the statistics for donated clothes is not as high as one might hope. About 80-90 % of donated clothing does not get resold (Jay, 2018). Most people drop off clothing at The Salvation Army where the items even if they do make it out to the racks, only get 4 weeks to sell. The majority of items donated do not make the cut and then are discarded (Jay, 2018).
Knowing this information has helped me make more informed decisions on trying and giving my clothes to good places or better yet, keeping them in my wardrobe. The altering and tailoring of clothes have been a part of my clothing habits since I can remember.
Examples of items I altered:
A pair of Aritzia pants that are a little long and skinnier along the ankle than wanted
Altered: Unstitched the outside vertical seems to make them have a trendy slit
A beautiful vintage trench coat
Altered: Unstitched the inside shoulder seems to take out the very vintage/ outdated puffy shoulder pads
Aritzia Teeshirt Body Suits
Altered: I cut at the mid-section of the bodysuit so that there would be a cropped tee-shirt and also the other half with the bottom. Now I have two wonderful tee shirts I wear all of the time
Altered: Cut into every length of jean short ever
Altered: Cut into all the different kinds of muscle tanks
Altered: Cut to bring a full-length semi-awkward jean jacket to chic cropped. Also, cut it a little different than straight across leaving the centre where the buttons are a little longer to give a unique touch
Altered: I bought a full-length skirt that had a thick slip and a chiffon overlay. The slip was not well done and did not allow for the flow of the overlay to shine
If you wanted to go into a more drastic alteration and you do not sew, many great seamstresses around town are more than happy making your dream vintage Levi’s fit beautifully or giving an old frumpy business suit new modern lines.
I personally love finding vintage two-piece suits, hemming the skirts, and hemming the blazers to give it a very updated look suitable for wearing around matching or as separates. I have personally taken over a dozen things to my tailor and asked him to do various updates to thrifted items. The fabric and buttons for example are things that are just wonderful quality, but the shape is a very 50-year-old businesswomen vibe, which to me as a 24-year-old could look outside of my fashion sense. Being able to transform your vision for a piece is one of the most exciting things for me.
The moral of the story, there usually is a lot you can do to give your well-loved items some new life. Whether it be a big cut, undoing a few stitches or removing a shoulder pad or two. The excitement I get from re-working a piece is something that for the most part is easily attainable.
Join me and let’s go into Spring and Summer with a fresh outlook on the items in our wardrobe.
Jay, P. (2018, May 29). Here is Where Your Donated Clothing Really Ends Up. Retrieved from CBC: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/donated-clothing-where-it-ends-up-1.4662023