7 Ways To Upgrade Your Boring Old Clothes into Something New

High fashion is an expensive world. It can be hard to keep up with all the changing trends and shifting ideas. It’s even harder to be a fashionista with an empty wallet. Hard, but as it turns out, not impossible. If you want to give your wardrobe an upgrade without the credit card bills afterward, upcycling may be the answer. Clothing manufacturing is the second largest polluter in the world. So by restyling your old clothes, you’re not only saving yourself money, you’re helping the environment! Plus, it’s a lot of fun. By making a few little changes to your clothes, you can make some major changes to your style. Check out this list for some ideas on where to start.

1. Change up your buttons

An easy way to upcycle your clothes is to swap out your buttons. Sewing and crafting stores have a variety of options. Class it up with mother of pearl, or go a little funky with chunky or colorful buttons. Add some edge with metal buttons or studs, or just experiment with buttons on old clothes you don’t wear anymore. It’s a little change that can make a big difference in the overall look.

2. Cut it up

If you’re feeling brave, take a pair of scissors, and go wild! Cut some slashes in your favorite shirt. Make some more cuts, and turn a shirt into a skirt, or a pair of shorts. Cut the sleeves off your favorite shirt, and replace them with ribbons, to see how that fits. Put some artful slashes in your jeans. Add some colorful patches to your clothes, for a bohemian look. Just go for it, and make a change by cutting something up.

3. Try some embroidery

Embroidery is a great skill to learn if you have an interest in fashion. It’s not just about creating cute detailed patterns on your clothes. Once you have some skill, you can even create custom patterns, so you can embroider anything you want onto your clothes. Choose something in a basic color, and stitch away! With a little practice, you can go from basic flower and letter patterns, to animals and even your favorite logos. Get a good quality embroidery machine for beginners, take some classes, read up on some embroidery machine tips and you can turn yourself into a brand!

4. Do something different

The easiest and cheapest way to upcycle is just to change the way you see your clothes. Sometimes, we get into a rut. Those jeans look so great with those boots, we never question why we don’t wear them with something else. Try something new. Add some layers. Try adding a belt to give a new shape to an old dress. Look at your wardrobe staples, and mix and match. Pick up some fun accessories, and restyle your favorites. Upcycling is about breathing new life into your old clothes, so make some changes, and don’t be afraid to get a little uncomfortable.

5. Try another length

The right length can drastically change the look and feel of a piece. You can change your look by rolling your shirt sleeves. You can re-hem your jeans to make cute capris or shorts. You can even add length by adding fabric, for a cute layered look.

6. Add some fun details

The great thing about upcycling is you can get really creative. Don’t be afraid to try things. Taking a paintbrush to a silk shirt can give you a patterned effect like you’d see on a Prada catwalk. Bored of your favorite strappy sandals? Add some big feathers, and you can give it a touch of Haute couture. Adding a fringe to your favorite hat, or shirt, and you’ll be totally on trend. You can even pop by a craft store, and get some metal studs to update your denim jackets or old running shoes. Once you start experimenting, you’ll find there are things you keep coming back to. Who knows? You might just start the next big trend yourself!

7. Tailor your clothes

It’s the biggest fashion secret around, and it’s not even a secret. Have you ever seen your favorite celeb in a plain gray t-shirt and jeans and wondered why you could never look like that? It’s not just about genes and self discipline. It’s all in the tailoring. Most women don’t bother to think about tailoring. But it’s relatively inexpensive, and makes a huge difference in the shape of your clothes. If you really want clothes that fit like a dream, tailoring is the best way to go. You’d be amazed at how different your clothes will look when they’ve been shaped just for you. It’s not exactly DIY, but it’s a simple fix that makes a huge difference.

Keeping up with fashion may mean retail therapy for us, but it puts a lot of stress on our wallets. It’s also bad for the environment. Not that you should ditch your shopping sprees altogether, but a few simple upcycling techniques can help you update your wardrobe and help you save money. Best of all, it’ll give you a totally new look that is all you. And who knows, you might even start a few new trends yourself! So get creative, and make something gorgeous.


Making The World A Better Place – The Joe Takeover

My son Joe has been doing a very special project at school all about making the world a better place. He asked if he could take over Fashion-mommy to tell his school (and the world) what he has been doing.

Over to you Joe.

My school project is all about making the world a better place. My partners are Jack Ward, Oliver Haldron and Oscar Glass. We planned what to do together at school. So I decided to do my project in Wales in the Easter Bank Holiday.

I decided to do three things:

  • First I rode around our campsite on my JD Bug scooter instead of using the car and wasting petrol.

  • Secondly I did a litter pick around my campsite also using my JD Bug scooter, and looked at what could go in the recycling bin.

  • Finally, we went to the Dyfi Osprey project where I walked all around to have a look at all the rare insects and species they have there. Some of the Ospreys had still not come back from Africa where they go in the Winter time, but some other Ospreys had come to stay instead.

I really using my scooter instead of using the car because I got fresh air and wasn’t wasting any petrol or energy.

There was quite a lot of litter on the campsite and I didn’t really mind picking it up because it makes the campsite look tidier and neater.

The Dyfi Osprey project was a lot of fun. I found out that some frogs are born with no legs because birds had picked at them when they were frogspawn. I thought Monty the male Osprey was just amazing. I watched him in his nest eating his fish which he wouldn’t share with the other Osprey because she was not his partner. Ospreys are very big birds and I think they are cute too.

I thought the Osprey project was a lot of fun and I learnt a lot of new facts.


I have really enjoyed doing this project.

Christmas Recycling tips – More dash, less trash

It is hard now to remember a time when we didn’t recycle. Christmas especially used to mean overflowing dustbins of rubbish that were then left like that for a couple of weeks, as the dustbin men enjoyed their holidays too. You can learn more about how to use special services to help you keep your yard in order. It is very important to enjoy Christmas at the fullest without worries that can be easily solved. Now, recycling is part of our psyche and more than ever, we use it in every part of our lives, from our household refuse, to selling on our old or unwanted clothing, even extending to scrap metal from copper to  old cars,with companies like CJ Metals offering good money for unwanted cars, and also practicing ethical recycling.

I have put together a small list of things you can be recycling this Christmas. So with a little more dash, we can cut the trash this festive season.

Carrier Bags

We know that it is now law to have to pay for carrier bags, but we are still buying them. So save them, put some in the boot of your car for when you make those trips to the supermarket and always forget to take any. Put one in your everyday bag ‘just in case’. Now you are paying for bags, they should pay their way and earn their keep!


Gift Bags

I take my presents out carefully and then keep the gift bags for the following year. On average these cost anything from £1-£2 each and are used just once so it is crazy to just throw them in a bin. Especially good are the plain foil ones that can be used for birthdays as well as Christmas.

Christmas Cards

Christmas cards have so many other uses. Use pinking sheers to make tags for next years gifts, or keep them for collage and crafts with your child. Failing all that, check out places like WH Smith or your child’s school who often have recycling boxes especially for Christmas cards. Cards are just too pretty to head straight for the bin.


The Turkey

Everyone seems to buy a turkey that could literally feed the five thousand, but be creative with your leftovers. Turkey doesn’t have to be left for sarnies and cold cuts, my dad does a mean turkey curry that goes down a treat in the days after Christmas. A stir fry is another great option.


You need to add to that party wardrobe, but your budget is minimal. This is where you can take advantage of other people’s recycling skills by checking out your local charity shops. I went to my nearest town yesterday and almost every charity shop had a rail of sparkling, glittery clothes, shoes and bags. You can find some stunning bargains, and, even if you only wear the item once, it has hardly dented your bank balance.



What will you be recycling this year?

*This is a collaborative post with CJ Metals