Ideal for giving your wardrobe a custom look this cold season.

Ways to cheer up old clothes? We’ve got just the idea; tell them a joke! 

Hmmm, extremely bad jokes aside, it seems as though the country has entered a new season – hell, a whole new era‘ with a new attitude; thrift. The nation’s grandpa David Attenborough said it with an impassioned plea, that ‘we’ve got to stop waste’. The continuing global pandemic shone a harsh light on the excess of the fashion industry. And, last month was declared ‘Second Hand September’, with celebrities encouraging the public not to buy anything new for a month.

But why end your commitment to ending fast fashion after just 30 days? (have September, April, June….yep, we were right). Moving forward, this rejection of excess and waste could well become a permanent fixture. All you need is a little imagination, a dexterous touch with the iron and sewing kit, and you could give your wardrobe a makeover for the next season. Here’s how; our 6 ways to cheer up old clothes this Autumn.

BRILLIANT BROOCHES  

Perhaps the easiest way to jazz up clothes, this one. Because if you like it, then you better pin a brooch on it, as Beyonce nearly sang. No longer reserved for your Grandma or eccentric friend in thrall to fashion a little too ‘vintage’, brooches can really help you personalise an outfit and breathe life into old clothes. 

What’s more, brooches can add a splash of colour and that decorative touch. Adorn your cardigans and sweaters with just one for a subtle effect, or dozens of dazzling, jewel-encrusted design brooches for something all the more spectacular.  

Cheering up your old jumpers with brooches needn’t break the bank either; just head down to your local charity job and embrace your inner magpie. That said, the beauty of the brooch is that you can go all out and bling up your clothes with gorgeous gemstones, or keep things a subtle and restrained affair with just one or two, carefully deployed. The power is in your pinning hands! 

COOL & CUTE PIN BADGES 

Punk’s not dead and neither are pin badges. Yep, we’re all for bringing this original rebel accessory back this Autumn and using them to jazz up our denim jackets, teddy bear fleeces and winter coats. In our humble view, there’s no better way to cheer up your autumn/winter wardrobe, all for the price of a couple of quid. 

While of course, you can embrace that rock and roll look, today there are a plethora of pins to choose from and you needn’t be confined to a Sid Vicous aesthetic, stylistically. He wouldn’t have approved of such conforming, after all. We like to think of a badge as a mini work of art, and just like art, there is something for everyone, open to interpretation and flexible in its delivery. 

If you want to get serious, use one as a statement to pledge allegiance to a group or cause; BLM, Extinction Rebellion and red stars are all popular pieces right now. Or, keep things fun and frivolous with cute pin badges, depicting your favourite fruit, animal, pun or even houseplant! 

That said, there’s no harm in channelling both energies, simultaneously. After all, it’s okay to be an avocado lover and a socialist, right?

EMBROIDERY

If you’re looking to take up an easy craft this Autumn, consider trying your hand at embroidery. A new hobby and a way to freshen up your wardrobe, all rolled into one…what’s not to love? 

Not only will learning embroidery give your clothes a new lease of life, but it’s also a hugely relaxing and productive way to spend the coming months inside (must. not. utter. the. L word). 

If your stitch work isn’t quite up to scratch, consider a simple on trend, in vogue pattern such as the abstract faces that we’ve seen dominating the interior design space this year. We’re also huge fans of Autumnal floral motifs – think perennial blooms over dark brooding backdrops; in other words, that old black knit at the bottom of your draw. We’ve all got one, right? Some stunning Autumn flowers include Chrysanthemums, Dahlias, Cornflowers and Nerines, to name but a few.  

Looking ahead to Halloween, why not adorn your clothes with spooky spiders or some pumpkin patches? A little further on into the year (yep, we’re mentioning it in October), Christmas jumpers are a festive season must have, but they do all tend to look the same. Instead, why not create something truly unique, using tasteful alpine trees and a flicker of glitter?

PEARLS OF WISDOM

If you’ve strutted your stuff down the local high street of late, or simply browsed clothes online, then no doubt you’ve seen sweaters and jeans decorated with pearls. Indeed, pearl-adorned prices are everywhere right now. And if you can’t beat them (you can’t, we’ve tried), then join them…

It simply takes an old blouse, T-shirt, knit or long sleeve top and a few pearls or buttons to create a statement top this autumn. The secret to giving clothes a new lease of life lies in your own creativity, but if you’re stuck for inspiration, simply add to the collar of an old shirt or blouse for that funky effect. The good news is that pearl embellished sweaters are transeasonal, meaning you can wear them beyond this autumn/winter.

IRON ON LETTERS 

A great way of giving benched items of clothing a new lease of life is through iron-on letters. Stuck for what to say? Firstly, what not to…be careful not to actually add letters which spell out ‘Bench’ to your top; not only will you get sued for plagiarism, but you might inadvertently revive an early 2000s trend we hope we’ve seen the back of.   

Back to 2020 – slogan sweaters and T-shirts have been making a statement for a while now. Whether it’s a mood, a political message if you’ve got something to say and express, then wear it for the world to see. 

TAKE TO THE CHARITY SHOP 

#Secondhand September has been and gone, but the facts haven’t changed; fast fashion produces some of the highest percentages of waste of any industry on the planet, with the UK alone sending £140 million of clothes to landfill each year. So, if you have any pieces in your wardrobe which you simply can’t figure out how to cheer up, then instead, take them to the charity shop. Cyclical fashion – rather than linear – is the future. Please play your part.

THE BOTTOM LINE

All this time spent at home has had us looking for meaningful ways to pass the time, and we’re sure you’re the same. And what could be more meaningful than trying to improve your environmental credentials while giving your clothes a new lease of life? While we’re on the subject, we’ve written more about how to reduce your fashion footprint over here, so check it out!

Indeed, giving a new lease of life to a benched item of clothing will extend the longevity of your clothes limitlessly. And that’s what you’re here for, right?