How to make old clothing feel like new again

You know how when you open your closet you think: I have nothing to wear!?

Well I get that way sometimes. Yes this can be hard to believe coming from a girl who owns 20+ dresses but it’s true.

So what do I do? Here are some of the ways I make old clothing feel like new again.


Try a top with a ruffled neckline for something different peeking out underneath a sweater, or a longer top in a brighter colour paired underneath a sweater for a pop of colour.

This sounds like such silly advice, but layering your clothes can create some really pretty results, and you’d be surprised how something old can look new again, paired underneath what you already own.


The best minimalist trick in the book. When I travel for business, I take the minimal number of tops, sweaters, pants and a dress or two. To keep such a monotonous wardrobe fresh, I wear different necklaces (sometimes layering necklaces) and rings.

Not only is jewellery easier to tote around in a suitcase, it is also cheaper than a new outfit.


Belting something, anything, makes it look different. I do this all the time, seeing as I have a very slim frame, and I have to work at getting a waist to appear.

Experiment with widths of belts, colours, and the placement of those belts on your body.


Brooches are so underrated.

If you pair a whole bunch of pins and brooches, clustered together on the side of your sweater, you can create some interesting visual interest in an otherwise boring sweater.


This is where it’s going to start to get interesting for updating new clothes. If you are handy with a needle and thread, cut off the buttons on a sweater and sew on new ones. You can make a boring sweater a lot more interesting if it has sparkly buttons on it.

Just make sure the buttons are the same size as the old ones, so they can still fit into the buttonholes.


I am not a fan of dying clothing because it creates a huge mess and isn’t so hot for the environment. But it’s an idea.

If you are even craftier than your most basic seamstress, sewing on flowers, beads and other decorations can add a little Anthropologie-like flair to an otherwise neutral item.

Check out what you can do to a plain ol’ sweater via Beautiful Mess – Sweeten your Sweater:

It may be too sweet for you and not at all your taste (it isn’t mine) but the idea still holds true, just choose different shapes, beads, accents and whatever else to fit your own sensibilities.

There are some pretty amazing YouTube videos to teach you how to DIY EVERYTHING from fabric flowers to cutting up old T-shirts, to making necklaces or flowers out of zippers.

Me, I’m not very crafty, so the best I can do are things with felt, glue, some quick hand sewing and pins. Very basic items.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.