Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted on MSA’s literary arts blog, curated by junior and senior literary arts students.
This is a brief video of Disney star, Dove Cameron, explaining what upcycling is and what it means to her. She describes upcycling as “taking any article of clothing and making it your own” and that is sort of what I do to my clothing. However, most upcycling requires sewing, if you want to add more detailed, extravagant changes to your clothes. Unfortunately, I do not know how to sew, so I can only do minimal changes. Attached is a pictorial of how I upcycled a sweater.
This super cute sweater was given to me, and it’s so warm and soft, but it had a STAIN on the sleeve. So, I grabbed some scissors and got to snipping.
This is the final result! I cut the sleeves to cap sleeve length and cropped it at the bottom. If I could sew, I would hem the places I cut, but until I learn, my sleeves will have these awkward, jagged edges, but I don’t think they alter the shirt in a negative way. Overall, I think the look turned out great!
I paired the look with this cute denim jacket and sparkly, silver Converse that aren’t pictured.
I also did a bold makeup look to really dress up the outfit.
For those who know how to sew, upcycling goes way more in depth. Here’s a video from Youtuber, Madison Fay, who uses sewing to upcycle her clothing.
Most of the items that people upcycle are thrifted. This is mainly because clothing from thrift or consignment stores have cheaper prices than retail prices or because most of the clothing that end up at thrift stores aren’t necessarily on trend with the style, so people transform them into something that is in style. This is kind of what I like to do with my clothes. Below is another pictorial of how I usually go thrifting.
Most of the clothes on the racks are $1, so I head over to the section with the L-2X sizes. As a bigger girl, it is sometimes hard to find clothes in my size, but at Yard Sale, they have a great selection and variety of sizes.
When I go shopping, I have to try on EVERYTHING! Some clothes just don’t fit the way you envision them to, and if you don’t try them on, then you’ve wasted money. [Edit: please use COVID-19 safety protocols and recommendations.]
To style something means to make it trendy or fashionable. How you style an outfit can make or break it. Youtuber, Sierra Schultzzie uploaded a video in which she styled clothes given to her by grandmother and made them cute, modern day outfits.
After trying on an outfit she styled using her grandma’s sweater, Schultzzie said, “It’s very my style, and I also think it’s very on trend. Sometimes my style doesn’t always match up with what’s like trendy at the moment.”
Below is a pictorial of how I styled a “grandma” shirt that I thrifted.
I got this shirt from The Yard Sale Place, and not gonna lie, at first glance, it’s kinda ugly, but I saw potential. This piece didn’t require any scissors, but my end result was so cute!
First, I tied the shirt and made it a makeshift crop.
Then, I added this simple red tank to keep the look conducive to dress code policy.
I paired the top with some simple light, ripped jeans, and I cuffed them at the bottom.
To add to the look, I added these Birkenstock style LoudMouth “Bailey Bug” shoes.
This is the final look! While I didn’t wear the tank cropped, due to dress code, I still thought it was a cute look, so I snapped this mirror pic. I did minimal makeup and simply wore my hair down to complete the look.
It doesn’t matter what your style is because fashion is subjective. Fashion is whatever you want it to be. It doesn’t matter if you wear “grandma” clothes or designer brands. It only matters that you feel good and confident.