Fun and Easy Ways to Upcycle Your Old Wardrobe

Now a days, so many people have started to upcycle their wardrobe. With so many designer duds ranging from $300-$1,000, it’s really hard to buy sustainable and fashionable clothes when you’re on a budget. Also, buying more clothes than what’s needed can impact our carbon footprint and contribute to unethical forced labor.

So how exactly can you amp up your summer wardrobe? Hello, upcycling! That pile of clothes sitting in your room  could potentially be a new wardrobe favorite with a simple DIY tweak. 

If you’ve been inspired by recent runway collections like Prada, Vaquera, Balenciaga, and Maison Margiela, a DIY project can help your get an inspired look minus the price tag.  

Here are some of my favorite upcycling projects inspired by the industry’s hottest designers that I’ve tried! 

The Silk Scarf Shirt

This DIY project recreates this silk-scarf shirt combo from Mexican label BANZO. The shirt seemed so effortless and chic that I had to make a version – and it’s very easy! 

What you’ll need:

  1. A shirt or top of your choice
  2. a handkerchief or scarf
  3. Needle & thread

For the this project, the pictured mustard suede shirt was paired with a plaid silk scarf that was thrifted eons ago. First, the scarf was pinned alongside the left shoulder stitching on the shirt. Then, sewed following the stitching of the shirt & et voila! Done! This takes no more than five minutes, and is a simple hack to amp up an old garment. 

DIY Version: 

The Margiela Vaquera Ruffle Dress Shirt

The second piece is inspired by details from this white frill dress shirt from Vaquera, and the ruffle accent from this Maison Margiela dress. A yard of pink tulle fabric for $3.99 was purchased from my local crafts store, and an oversized poplin shirt (for a true Margiela look) from a thrift store for $1.99.

What you’ll need:

  1. Oversize dress shirt
  2. Two or one yard of Tulle (depending how extravagant you’ll want the ruffle).   

First, cut and fold about 4 layers of tulle, then gather the fabric using a straight stitch on a sewing machine. This video tutorial perfectly demonstrates alternative ways to make ruffles for beginners.

There are three ruffles in total. Then, take the smallest of the bunch and hand-sew it on the left shoulder of the shirt to act as “strap.” Finally, take the second biggest ruffles and hand-stitched across the torso, connecting it to the smaller ruffle.

The end result: a runway top virtually priceless. 

DIY Version:

Ostrich Feather Prada Shirt

For the third and final piece, inspiration was taken from this feathered-trim shirt from Prada. You don’t have to stick to the black fabrics; fun prints can totally work with this shirt! Instead, this 70’s disco shirt with a Japanese-inspired print was perfect for this!

A yard of pool-blue feather boa can be purchased for about $3.99 at your local crafts store. 

What you’ll need:

  1. A shirt or top (preferably satin/silk)
  2. Ostrich Feather boa
  3. Needle & thread

What may be the chicest and easiest method to Prada-fy an old top. Measure the boa around your wrist and snip the excess rope. Then, place boa on the cuff on each sleeve, fold the cuff, and stitch over and under the rope (you can feel the rope on your fingers when doing so).  Add another layer of the boa for extra volume. 

And there you have it! A psychedelic top made for just $3.99! Perfect for a night out or small affair!  

DIY Version:

You don’t need to spend big bucks to get high-fashion looks! Upcyle old clothes for a runway ready closet!

What are your favorite tips to upcycle your wardrobe? Drop a comment below and let us know!

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