Reframing 'Boring' Clothes
Whenever I leave my college residence for my family home, I have the privilege of traveling luggage free. I embarrassingly have enough of a wardrobe at my house that bringing home suitcases to power me through breaks or holidays is not necessary. While they are certainly my second tier choices, I have some fun trying to style my outlived high school (and middle school) items that I rejected worthy of bringing with me to college. The selection is certainly not with the times, but I have managed to style some of my favorite outfits from pieces I had not worn in years. And as a sustainable fashion geek, I take great pride in extending the lifespan of my wardrobe as much as possible. Before you embark on spring cleaning, I encourage you to keep these tips in mind before discarding that tunic you frequented in ninth grade.
1. Put it over tights
I am not NECESSARILY suggesting you hold on to every dress/romper that is suddenly a pinch too short, but instead to reframe the way in which you would wear them. I had this romper listed on my Depop accounts for months and after no bite, it started to anger me just seeing it sitting there. So I threw the too short romper over tights, added a cropped cardigan and some chunky booties to toughen the look and voila! It was no longer the coverup I donned to the beach in tenth grade, but an actual outfit.
Many of the pieces laying around were old tanks and ratty tees I felt superior to; often without pattern and sometimes with holes (whoops). While initially uninspired by these tops, I placed them over silky maxis and was shocked by how chic it made the look. While I believe a dress can stand alone any day, it surely is fun to diversify its range of wearing. Conversely, throwing said ratty tee over a turtleneck automatically elevates both items, giving it a 90s like grunge yet composed vibe.
I am an outlier in that I would never ever reach for leggings on a day at home. I find jeans more inviting than them. However, I have recently discovered that pairing a legging with a wide calf heeled booty is exceptionally flattering and a far cry from the legging and nike sneaker the former me opted for in middle school. Paired with a billowy top, the legging sharpens the look.
4. A monochrome moment
Paying homage to Harling Ross’ iconic stick of butter aesthetic, I have happily hopped on the monochrome bandwagon. If you were to observe last year’s fashion week shows, many spectators would be fashioning an all lavender or all white outfit. Firstly, it’s mesmerizing. There is something so smooth about a monochrome look. And secondly, consistency in color is happy, even if it’s all black! Pairing my forgotten cream camisoles with my cream slip skirts feels like cheating when I end up looking so dang chic.
5. Deconstruct sets
As an owner to perhaps one too many sets (if there is such a thing), I am guilty of only utilizing the pieces simultaneously. Recently, I have started wearing them as separates and am pleasantly surprised by the duality they offer. While I appreciate the appeal of matching, I get a certain thrill out of creating alternative styles simply by extending the article’s lifespan.
6. Pattern play
One of the many beauties of fashion is its cyclical nature. I cannot tell you how many times I have grieved the past disposal of my mother’s work clothes when she deemed them no longer ‘trendy’. If your Instagram feed serves as any evidence, it is a testament to the eventual return of certain styles. For example, the 70s are surely having a moment right now. Thus, while I firmly believe the foundation of any wardrobe is built off of staples, do not so quickly dismiss your old patterned pieces. While they can stand alone, there is something so enticing about mixing patterns. It looks intentional even when matching your floral dress with a leopard print jacket is just a means of keeping warm.