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Recycle and re-use in style

If you thought the only way to keep up with the latest trends was to get rid of old clothes and opt for a new wardrobe, then you are mistaken. Three designers Dev and Nil, Nishka Lulla and Shane and Falguni Peacock show you how to use what’s in your closet without burning a hole in your pocket

Picture this: A wardrobe full of clothes, but nothing to wear. Don’t we find ourselves in this quandary too often? While you are likely to think that it’s time to get rid of everything and renew your closet, simple DIY tips will not only keep you up with the latest trends-in-vogue, it will also save you a sharp pocket pinch.

Designers Dev and Nikhil suggest making flowing maxi dresses out of your mother’s old printed chiffon saris. Pics/ Upahar Biswas
Designers Dev and Nikhil suggest making flowing maxi dresses out of your mother’s old printed chiffon saris. Pics/ Upahar Biswas

Three fashion designers give expert tips on how to recycle your old clothes and carve trendy ones out of them, without spending a fortune. Read on to find more.

Beg, borrow, steal
Designer duo Dev and Nil opine that rather than making the rounds of roadside stalls to look for cheaper but trendy options, you can raid your own wardrobe or that of your family members. A little snip and a cut and you will get a whole new outfit.

Nishka Lulla and Falguni and Shane Peacock advise cropping your old denims into shorts and teaming them with printed leggings and a plain T-shirt
Nishka Lulla and Falguni and Shane Peacock advise cropping your old denims into shorts and teaming them with printed leggings and a plain T-shirt

They say, “Denims lend themselves easily for a makeover. Cut your old denims and turn them into funky shorts of your favoured length. Boys can use the loose baggy denims and cut them to the Bermuda length.”

If you are too nostalgic to part ways with your favourite old T-shirt that is extremely comfortable and fits you well even today, then chop it and convert into a crop top, which is the latest trend in town. If you want a desi look, then tie-dye the T-shirt at home using natural colours.

Turn old saris into skirts
Turn old saris into skirts

If you always envied your mother’s sari collection but didn’t know how to make the most of it, then turn some of those printed chiffon saris into flowing maxi dresses or kaftans, with some assistance from your neighbourhood tailor.

Get a white shirt from your brother or father as the anti-fit boxy, sporty look has a classic charm to it. Enhance it with a statement necklace, suggests the duo.

A cut and sew in time
Young designer Nishka Lulla believes that cutting your old clothes or adding a glamorous element to them can give you a whole new look. “Add your own patchwork or a little lace at the bottom of your denims. Cut off the collar or the sleeves of an old shirt and go retro.

Convert your old top into a crop top by cutting it off from the midriff
Convert your old top into a crop top by cutting it off from the midriff

Add crochet to the collar or the side of your shirt to give it a sophisticated look,” she suggests. If you are not in for leg show, cut your old denims into shorts and pair those with leggings. With the rains just around the corner, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all.

Raid your father or boyfriend’s wardrobe for a white shirt and team it with cropped denim shorts
Raid your father or boyfriend’s wardrobe for a white shirt and team it with cropped denim shorts

Turn your old plain tees into something funky by adding lace or beads to them. Lulla has a quirky idea to convert your mother’s sari into a western attire. She says, “One of the most exciting trends right now is to turn old saris into blazers. One can also use sari borders to make kurtas and skirts.”

Colour and wear it with style
Designer duo Falguni and Shane Peacock believes that minor changes in your old outfit can give it a whole new look. “Restyling is the best option. Minor things such as adding some fancy buttons or zippers or sewing on a quirky patch on your old outfit can do wonders,” says Falguni.

Nishka Lulla and Falguni and Shane Peacock suggest adding crochet or lace to your old shirt for a chic look
Nishka Lulla and Falguni and Shane Peacock suggest adding crochet or lace to your old shirt for a chic look

Shane suggests that sometimes all you need to do is add a dash of colour that can turn your old drab outfit into a trendy attire. “Old clothes are usually faded. But you don’t want to dump them, as they fit you well.

In such cases, dying the fabric is the best option. If you love the print of your clothes, but do not wish to wear them anymore, then make fabric accessories such as headbands, hair ties, scarves or belts with it and flaunt your favourite print in style,” he adds.

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