Summer means you want to wear less clothing and enjoy the summer sun, maybe even get some attention. But most people don’t have the time or money to invest in an entirely new wardrobe when summer comes around, and warm weather clothing tends to wear out after about one season. Reusing last summer’s clothes may be completely out of the question. A great solution to this is to repurpose old clothing items into summer clothes. Here are a few tips and tricks.
Cut up pants to make capris and shorts
No one wants their legs completely covered in summer, but shorts can be expensive or hard to find in the right style and length for your body. Fortunately, all you have to do is take a pair of scissors to old pants and you’ll have a brand-new pair of shorts or short pants.
“Mom jeans” that cut off just above the ankle are in style this season, and hacking away at a pair of old, oversized and faded pants will instantly give you the look that many are foolishly paying for. You can add a cut at the knee or a couple of rips to make them look even more authentic. Old, unwanted pants can also make great Daisy Duke shorts or generally any kind of cut-off.
Hack up graphic tee shirts and get creative
You can add a little bit of extra breathability to your wardrobe by cutting off the sleeves of a beloved graphic tee or cutting out the neck to make a stylish scoop neck. These are easy fixes for old shirts and can be done in a matter of seconds by anyone, no matter the level of crafting skills. If you want to get even more funky, try cutting up a tee shirt into a unique pattern that will flatter and draw positive attention.
There are numerous tutorials online for different styles, but some simple, ideas are to cut a low dip in the back and braid the two sides of the shirt together, cut out a striped pattern on the sides after removing the sleeves to make for some sexy breathability, or cut the tops of a sleeveless shirt and tie them together to make a classic summer look.
Experiment with dresses
If you wear dresses, this is another great area where you can get creative pretty easily. For starters, figure out which of your dresses can be worn without tights or leggings and still look good. You may be surprised — the dress you thought was too short for anywhere but the club might actually work as a stand-alone item. For pieces that are too long or too warm and expansive for summer, try cutting up some of your dresses. You will probably need to hem them, but that can be done pretty easily.
To repurpose a long dress, carefully measure where you want to cut, make some light pencil marks a little below how short you want it to be, and neatly cut off the fabric. To hem, fold over the fabric and neatly sew along the folded line. This will be easier with a sewing machine, but with patience and attention to detail, you can also do it by hand. As a bonus, the cut-off material can be reused for other projects, such as patching ripped items or making a scarf in the fall.
Consider bike shorts or cut-off leggings
These can be the perfect items underneath dresses or with a slightly longer shirt on a cool summer day. Bike shorts work super well in the summer because the light yet clingy material doesn’t feel suffocating, and they are normally sleek, black, slimming garments. The same effect can be achieved by cutting off and hemming some leggings.
Hint: If you are self-conscious about a little extra weight from the cooler months, a pair of bike shorts can help keep things in check and in place while wearing a tee shirt or dress. This is ideal if you normally rely on leggings or tights under dresses to do the same thing.
Make some fun jewelry
Remember making friendship bracelets all summer as a kid, because you were bored or stuck at summer camp? Well, with the major ‘90s revival going on in fashion this year, you can brush off your old summer habits and make some new jewelry for the season. Friendship bracelets and chokers can easily be made with string, and hemp necklaces and bracelets can be woven with special pendants or beads to make for some awesome jewelry. And you definitely don’t have to break the bank to do it. You can often find old string, unused beads, and other material lying around the house. You can also get a bunch of colored string or some hemp for dirt cheap, and beads can be found in thrift or vintage clothing stores.
With all that in mind, summer doesn’t have to be a stressful time filled with worries about fashion faux pas, weight, body image, or breaking the bank when money is tight. It can simply be about looking good and having fun. So don’t wait; look around the house for those old clothing items and get started!