How to Turn Old Clothes Into Fashionable Outfits

We all have those old tank tops, t-shirts, jeans and pants sitting at the back of our closet gathering dust. If they still fit you, and aren't too worn out, chances are you can easily turn them into pretty, fashionable outfits for every day use. This article should help to give you an idea of the endless possibilities.


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    Sort out the clothes that can most easily be turned into fashionable clothes. Examples are plain tanks and tees, old jeans and other pants. Clothes that look slightly worn, have a few holes, small stains, or are slightly too short to fit you, can still be used fairly easily. However, if your clothes are starting to resemble rags or are far too small to fit you, it's probably better to put them in the rag pile or donate them to the salvation army.
    • Plain tees and tanks: If you have a t-shirt or tank top that looks in a fairly good state, it is very easy to glam it up. Try cutting the sleeves off of your t-shirt or cutting one shoulder out. For a tank top, play around with the sleeves: cut off the straps where they meet at the back, and then tie them around your neck like a halter top. Another idea is cutting them off completely and replacing them with ribbon or braided yarn. For both tanks and tees, you can try splattering it with various shades of "t-shirt paint" (available at most craft stores) for an artsy look, or screen-printing a design on (again, ask the workers at your local craft store.) Get a needle and thread and sew a pretty bow onto the front or back, or iron on some sequins. If your t-shirt is too short for you, try layering a camisole or tank-top underneath.
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    • Old jeans and other long pants: These are very easy to work with: just turn them into shorts! Measure out exactly how short you want them to be, and then get a ruler and draw a straight line across each leg. Then take some scissors and cut them off. You may want to turn up the hem to avoid the material fraying. If so, fold up the fabric at the bottom about half an inch, and pin it in place. Then simply sew over it. You can also glam them up a bit, as seen below:
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    • Old shorts: For shorts, try braiding 3 strands of yarn tightly together, and then sewing them onto the bottom. You can also make a braided belt this same way. Add any sequins, embroidery, or even patches of other materials. If you feel that your shorts are a bit too short, you can try wearing them over leggings or tights. You can also get other bits of material and sew them onto the bottom so that they make them look longer.
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    • Holes and stains: If your clothing is holey or stained, try cutting it up some more. Cut out all stains, and around all holes. Add a few more as well, but not too many; it should still look fairly neat. Then just wear a different-colored camisole or tank top underneath. Make sure that the colors compliment each other. If a top is slightly stained all over, you can try dying or bleaching, or wear it under things instead. Try adding other embellishments as well if the top still doesn't appeal to you after you have cut it up. For pants, try wearing them over tights, or even sewing material under the holes. Otherwise, distressed jeans are fashionable.
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    • Worn-looking clothes: Clothes that look work are thrown out all too often. However, the fabric can be cut up and used to add accents to your other clothes. Worn clothing can be worn under see-through clothing and lace. If the clothing is white, try bleaching it to even out the color, and if it is colored, try dying it.
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    • Other clothes: For all other clothes, remember to think of all possibilities of keeping clothes. A hundred years ago, clothes were kept much longer. This was not only because clothes were made of less synthetic materials, but also because they were valued a lot more. In order to save money, and help to protect the environment, it is wise to try to reuse clothes.
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  • When cutting clothes, be sure to draw in pencil where you want to cut and straighten out the material first.
  • Think everything through before you do it.
  • Try to coordinate colors as best as possible.
  • Do some crafts with the clothes scraps.
  • If you have a plain colored top, try adding a few rows of sequins or a few rhinestones.


  • If you are a kid , make sure your parents approve of this, if not you might get in trouble for cutting up your clothes.
  • Accidentally ruining clothes

Things You'll Need

  • Old clothes
  • Bleach
  • Dye
  • Ribbons, sequins and other embellishments
  • T-shirt paint
  • Yarn

Article Info

Categories: Fashion Fixes