How To Use Old Clothes To Make New Outfits Without Spending A Dime

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How To Use Old Clothes To Make New Outfits Without Spending A Dime

Feeling like your wardrobe is getting you down, but don’t have the funds to go on a shopping spree? You are not alone!

How to Use Old Clothes to Make New Outfits

There are ways to revitalize your wardrobe without spending a single cent.

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Get rid of stuff even if it still sparks joy.

Is the problem that you don't have enough clothes or that you hold onto too many? Stick to the facts, and keep the emotion out of it. 

You don’t need fourteen over-sized t-shirts and six black turtle necks. You haven't worn one in three years. Just like that philosophy bro in your Intro to Poetry class, they're taking up waaaaaaay too much space. 

De-cluttering your wardrobe isn’t counter-productive, it's liberating. You need to eliminate the "in case of an emergency" mindset. The smaller your wardrobe, the higher the chance you’ll wear things you love 100% of the time. If wearing a black turtleneck becomes a matter of life or death for you in the future, go to Target or phone a friend.  

Pretend your closet is a party — no, an intimate gathering — and your wardrobe is the guest list. Would you think to invite your former "best friend" who took your kindness for granted and made-out with your crush in front of your face? Apply the same answer to those atrocious leopard flip-flops your Aunt gave you ten years ago in that game of white elephant. 

Anything that sucks the life out of you doesn't make the cut.

Try on every piece of clothing you own.

Time heals all wounds. But even more importantly, it assists in the formation of the perfect outfit!

Trying on every piece of clothing you own sounds like a big pain, sure. But you want to know something? Pain is Beauty. Beauty is Truth. Truth is absolute. And if you aspire to re-vamp your wardrobe, this step is absolutely essential.

Be sure to mix and match every bottom and top combo possible. The point is to use old items to create new looks. Layer long-sleeved shirts under tank tops. As a throwback to the early 2000s, slip your most preppy mini skirt over denim jeans.

This process will take much longer than anticipated, but you feel like giving up, don’t. Instead, look in the mirror and say, “the most essential practices in life are often the most exhausting.” Three times fast. 

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Go outside your fashion comfort zone.

Challenging yourself will enable you to grow. The New You can be exactly what the Old You despised! Assemble an outfit you wouldn’t be caught dead in —­­­­­­ just for funsies! Sprinkle Halloween accessories into your day-to-day looks. Dress down your sexiest black lingerie with your favorite pair of mom jeans and knee-high boots.

Record a list of the fashion guidelines you’ve been conditioned to follow and break them! Rules are no different than your ex's Instagram account; they’re meant for unfollowing.

Nip tuck your tops.

Surprised you haven’t tried this one sooner. Sometimes we like the idea of a shirt, not the shirt itself. Just like the people who slide into your DMs!

Grab a pair of scissors and cut that oversized softball shirt you never wear. From baggy to beautiful in a matter of minutes, you can shake up your whole world, one t-shirt at a time. Be careful not to snip too much cloth off, though! And don’t forget to cut in a straight line.

Organize a clothing swap with your BFFs.

Just because some of your clothes don’t look good on you doesn’t mean they won’t on your friends. Maybe there’s a pair of lavender overalls that don't quite flatter you but would look super cute on your BFF.

RELATED: 10 Ways To Shrink Your Jeans & Make Them Smaller For A Cozy Fit

Izzy Casey’s work is published in or forthcoming from Corriere della Sera, The Iowa Review, Bennington Review, Gulf Coast, Black Warrior Review, BOATT, NY Tyrant, and elsewhere. She received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

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