Creative Ways To Refresh Your Wardrobe (So You Can Stick With That Shopping Ban)

Great news: my clothes fit again!  Well, at least some of them fit me again.  I had a lot of trouble finding clothes to wear during the end of my twin pregnancy, but I didn’t go out and buy anything new.  One of the ways that we’ve been able to pay down so much debt over the past couple years is by not buying any new clothing.  Now that I can wear normal attire again, there has been a little bit of temptation to update my wardrobe, but I’m finding creative ways to refresh what’s been hiding in the back of my closet.



I guess you could say that upcycling or refashioning old clothing is one of my hobbies.  Everyone has clothes that they’re bored of, or that are looking a little old.  Instead of throwing them away or giving them to charity, I try to find ways to keep on using them.  It’s my way of trying to make the best use out of our current resources.  Also, I certainly spent a good amount of money (plus credit card interest) on my wardrobe back in the day, so it’s painful to think about just tossing those things in the trash.


There are so many inspiring refashion projects on sites like Pinterest, but they can seem pretty daunting too.  Many of these transformations require a decent amount of sewing experience.  However, you can also make a couple of small changes to give your clothes some new life.  You don’t need to be an expert to add some embellishments or re-purpose an item of clothing.  Try some of these ideas so you can stick with your shopping ban and save money, while enjoying wearing something “new.”



Turn It Into Something Else


If you want to make some radical changes to a piece of clothing, just turn it into something else. One pretty simple thing to do is to cut into an old pair of jeans to turn them into denim shorts.  You just need a good pair of scissors and, if you want, you can finish off the raw edges by sewing the hem or sticking on some lace or ribbon with fabric glue.  You can also turn a scarf into a wrap or even make a T-shirt into a skirt.  I made a super comfy skirt out of a sweatshirt.  Much of the time, you don’t even need a sewing machine.




Add Embellishments


Adding something a little extra to an old item of clothing can make it feel exciting again.  If you have a plain shirt that needs jazzing up, you can usually update it in a few minutes. One possible method is ironing on a design.  You can also embroider a design into your clothes, either by hand or by using this embroidery machine for your home.  A sewing machine makes it easier to do complicated designs, because you can just choose a programmed design and let it run.  Of course, there’s always something a little extra charming about a hand-sewn embroidery design.


Add Some Trim


Adding a cute trim to something is a quick, cheap, and easy way to refresh an item of clothing.  Get yourself some ribbon, lace or cord and attach it to the hem, neckline, cuffs or armholes of a piece of clothing.  You can sew on your trim if you want, either by hand or with a machine.  Another option is to use fabric glue, which makes it much easier.


Use Some Fabric Dye or Paint


If you want to add some color to an old item of clothing, just pick up some fabric paint or dye.  Add designs with stamps and fabric paints, fabric markers, or even a Sharpie.  I’ve always want to attempt tie die and ombre designs.


Don’t throw away old clothes just yet – instead, see if you can come up with some cool ideas to refresh them.  I have two bags of old clothes set aside, and a million different ideas.  Hopefully, I can find a little time to create some “new” items before my maternity leave ends.


    1. You’re welcome! Going on a shopping ban only feels like a struggle for a little while, then you don’t even really think about it anymore. It’s crazy how much people budget for clothing, especially when they’re paying so much in credit card interest every month.

      Thanks for stopping by, Sarah!

  1. I like your ideas. Do you think it’s worth investing in an inexpensive sewing machine when you don’t know anything about using one? I’ve often thought even if I could sew patches on correctly I can make my jeans last longer. (I couldn’t open up the link to the embroidery machine but I could see the Brother model # in the URL. Too expensive for my skills.)
    Mrs. Groovy recently posted…What Goody Are You Willing to Give Up?My Profile

    1. Hi Mrs. Groovy! I would recommend that a novice look for used sewing machines at garage sales, thrift stores, or on Craigslist. It’s really nice to have one around. You can watch YouTube videos to learn how to use your sewing machine. Once you’re more proficient, or if you start doing a lot of sewing, you can always look for a better machine.

      My mom gave me her old sewing machine and it works just fine for my needs 🙂

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