How I DIYed my way through quarantine szn – The Stute – The Stute

October 8, 2020 - Short Yoga Pants

When malls closed down and we could not fulfill our retail cravings, many shopaholics resorted to online shopping. Of course, I am always a fan of a good retail therapy session from the comfort of my cozy bed snuggled up with my laptop and trusted companion Honey, the coupon-finding browser extension. However, when the ides of March ignited more chaos than Brutus killing Caesar, my bank account too cried for help. So shopping was not (for once) my first option to distress amid the uncertainty. Summer was approaching though and although I was unsure whether the quarantine would trickle into the warmer months, I prepared my wardrobe accordingly.

I personally have always been a fan of DIYs; back in middle school I used to cut t-shirts into all sorts of shapes and sizes experimenting with different designs and tactics to remain unique amongst my friends. Whether I was chopping sleeves off, or cutting collars, or even getting bold and chopping my t-shirt in half for a cropped look … I was certainly always up to something with all that cloth and a pair of fabric scissors. Once quarantine began I quickly jumped right back into DIYing to up-cycle my old clothes and to remain sane while locked in the house.

The easiest DIY I always find myself doing is cropping just about any top. As soon as I feel like a top is getting boring, I crop it. Cropped tees, tanks and even hoodies are much more stylish these days, especially in the summer months. Many tanks I used to wear throughout the summer became neglected in the bottom of my drawer until I took the scissors to them and brought them back to my active wardrobe. These tanks can we worn into fall too, paired with oversized sweaters and flannels. In addition, any t-shirt I felt was too short became cropped. If it looked too plain or simple in its original stitching, I would crop it and or often times cut a slit in the front of the shirt through the collar to create a v-neck style. I personally prefer my t-shirts to be oversized, so any shirt I had going into quarantine that was not oversized ended up becoming a cropped tee. I get much more wear out of them this way! Some shirts had the hems on the end of the sleeves cut off to create a rolled effect when stretched, which added to the cool vibes of the shirt. It is quite easy to alter a basic t-shirt into something trendy and fashionable. All you really need is a pair of scissors, a creative mind, or Pinterest!

This Jimi Hendrix t-shirt actually used to belong to my brother. I cropped it and cut a slit in the collar for a v-neck look and now it is a perfect top for casual fits!

Hoodies were a little different than t-shirts. They take slightly stronger scissors and require more planning before cutting. The simplest way to alter a hoodie or crewneck in my opinion is to cut a slit to make it a v-neck style, which I have done many times. Furthermore, there is the option to crop the hoodie and/or remove the entire hood making it into a crewneck style. Personally, I have done every combination possible in an effort to get use out of old clothing I never saw myself sporting again without a little touch up. One style I have yet to try is turning a regular hoodie into one with short sleeves. I am a fan of this unorthodox style, especially amongst workout apparel. It will probably be my next challenge!

Perhaps my favorite DIY project during quarantine was all the acid washing I did! By the time April rolled around, I found a bottle of bleach and began to acid wash most anything I could. I strategically sifted through my closet to uncover the pieces I never wore anymore and imagined how stylish they would be if I dumped some bleach on them. Before I knew it I was in my bathtub reviving some of my forgotten articles of clothing. Among my first victims were cropped tees, cropped hoodies, a band tee, and even an old pair of Nike jogger sweatpants. These were my favorite DIYs perhaps because it is so rewarding and satisfying to see your clothing transform. Acid wash is simply just so cool! Especially when you work with different color fabrics. Since you are using bleach, you want to go for darker colored fabrics that will react to the bleach, not be cleaned by it. Black and other really dark fabrics like navy blue will usually turn to a vibrant orange color. Dark wash denim will lighten up to the normal light wash denim color, or even lighter depending how much bleach you use. Some other colors, depending on their fabric, just turn to a lighter shade than they previously were; for example, red turns pink. The process is exciting, and you often do not know exactly what results you will get until the task is complete. My personal favorite bleach dye I did was bleaching just one leg of dark wash denim jeans to get a split effect between dark and light wash. You can create a lot of really cool looks with just a little bit of bleach! Of course, be careful when using bleach; always wear gloves and crack a window to ensure good air circulation.

Finally, one last way I up-cycled my clothing was taking old leggings or outdated yoga pants and cutting them into biker shorts. Biker shorts are a very trendy piece these days. Whether they are paired with an oversized band tee or maybe a cropped hoodie, they are the perfect addition for your wardrobe. Not to mention they are of course so comfy; therefore, in the warm months they replace leggings. And no, you do not need to go on a bike ride in order to wear them. Trust me, I don’t. As you can probably imagine, it is quite simple to alter your leggings into biker shorts — just be aware of the length you are cutting to or you might end up with something a little too short. Biker shorts are meant to be a little longer; that is the style of them.            

All of these not only kept me busy and creative during quarantine, but they saved me money from shopping to revamp my wardrobe. The next time you are drawn to begin online shopping, I urge you to first look through your closet and see if there is anything you can salvage. Each of these are extremely simple and can be done by anyone, anywhere! Now more than ever it is important to look to your closet before looking online, or look to thrift stores or local boutiques rather than fast fashion and huge corporations. With sustainable and durable clothing, we can alter our wardrobes as trends change without having to spend a dime!

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