Sick of Your Wardrobe? Here’s How to Transform the Clothes You Already Own

Emily Ratajkowski shirt dress

After staring at our unchanged wardrobes for all of last year and potentially making a few impulse purchases we now regret, it’s time to upcycle the clothes we already have.

Rather than immediately donating a neglected piece or sending it to landfill (please don’t do that), how’s about you save some money and the environment all in one by altering your garment slightly to achieve a whole new look.

Here are a few of our favourite hacks on how to transform the clothes you already have. 

Oversized Shirts

We all have oversized shirts. Or we know someone that has at least one to spare. If not, they’re easy to find — every op shop has a “shirts” section filled with zany patterns, shoulder pads and unusual fits… but who knows! It could be your next party piece.

There are many ways to transform the oversize shirt, and here are some of our favourite ideas. 

Tie it up

The first, and the easiest is; tie it up. You can tie it super tight so it fits like a boob-tube crop, or loosely like a senorita salsa dancing on the streets of Mexico. Pair it with a high-waisted pencil skirt or jeans and you’re set. 

Give it the chop

If you really like your new shirt as a crop (I would suggest tying it up first for a trial run), then take those scissors to it and give it a chop. Put the top on and mark where you’d like it to sit on your torso, then put a marker (pins or pegs work perfectly), take it off and chop away. If you like a clean line you could get it hemmed, but the rough scissor cut is a vibe to be honest. 

Wear it as a kimono

This works best with shirts that go past your butt. Leave all the buttons undone and let it trail behind you in the wind like a beachside goddess. Wearing it over a tight dress looks fabulous, ask does over jeans and a cami. 

Wear it as a dress

Leave all the buttons done up and you’re ready to go. If the shirt is a little on the longer side you could belt it for a chic Parisian look. Alternatively, the just-got-out-of-bed tousled look of a loose shirt dress is very Mila Kunis and we love to see it. 

Short dresses

Sometimes when we grow, our clothes don’t grow with us. You might’ve bought a tight short dress a few years ago that doesn’t suit your style anymore, but you love the pattern or colour so much that you can’t bring yourself to give it away. Don’t worry, same. 

You can always make a long dress shorter, but it’s also pretty easy to make a short dress longer! You might just have to embrace a bold colour/pattern clash. Even if you don’t think it’ll work, try it anyway – you might be surprised.

Tight dresses 

Find a skirt that you think would match and pop it over the top. Depending on the style and material of each piece, it may look like a two-piece or a long dress. You can do the same thing with pants and voila! You have a jumpsuit. 

Loose dresses

Simply invert the method and put your bottoms underneath. A tight skirt or pants will look best, so as to contrast the shape and accentuate legs and height. This look works well belted and with heels too. Play around! There’s no wrong answer. 

Long Skirts

Long skirts are super versatile. They can be worn with heels and crop for a dinner party vibe, or with a T-shirt and runners for more of a brunch look. They can also be turned into a dress. 

For a strapless dress style, just pull the skirt above your chest. This works best with skirts that have an elasticised waist or tight tube-style skirts, but can work with a zip or buttons too depending on size. 

For a sundress or smock style – it’s time to get those scissors out again, so only do this if you’re sure.

  1. Lie your skirt down on a flat surface. 
  2. Fold it in half. 
  3. In the top corner, cut a curved crescent-shape line. 
  4. Unfold the skirt.

You should now have two little arm holes. 

Even after cutting out arms, you could still wear your skirt as a skirt. You’ll have an edgy cut-out vibe. This looks great with a leotard.

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