Upcycling Wardrobe: How To Upcycle Your Clothes

How To Upcycle Your Wardrobe

Throwing away your clothes which you have barely worn can feel like a waste of money. It also means that you have wasted the time and effort which was put into crafting the garment. Not to mention the time it took to farm the materials for the cotton or other materials it may have used.

If you want to change your shopping habits and start making the most of your clothes, it is time to start upcycling clothes. Make the most of your old clothes that you no longer wear and become more sustainable in 2023. Let’s take a look at how you can upcycle your clothes in 2023.

Dressy to Casual Wear

Depending on the type of clothes you own which you want to upcycle, there are a couple of things you can do with them. For example, a blouse. A blouse is a relatively dressy/formal item of clothing and can be made more casual if you wanted to, especially if it is still in good condition.

To upcycle clothes such as a blouse, you need to unbutton the bottom of the blouse and then tie it in a knot. Then, unbutton the top part of the blouse and wear it as an off-the-shoulder top. This can then be worn with a pair of shorts or jeans, depending on the weather. To add something a little special to the outfit, wear a straw sun hat and sunglasses. Accessories like these can take your outfit to the next level.

Don’t Let Go Of That Old Jacket

Time to start making the most of those old jackets as well. Denim jackets almost last a lifetime if bought from a high-quality brand such as Levi’s. Nonetheless, they can get a little worn down over time. If you wish to make the most of your jacket, give it some new life by lining the inside with faux fur. This is great for making that denim jacket a much warmer piece of clothing, making it a fantastic piece for winter wear.

Cotton Tees

Up next is cotton tees. These eventually get worn down but you can upcycle them to make them last longer. Additionally, you might no longer like the style of this cotton t-shirt. If that is the case, redesign the garment yourself.

To do this, redesign the collar. Make the most of the piece by turning the collar into a choker tee. All you need to do is cut a v shape, almost like you are turning it into a v-neck t-shirt. However, make sure to leave enough fabric around the neck. Chokers are on-trend and so are choker tees so upcycle that cotton tee to make the most of it.

Pom-Pom Sweaters Have Made A Return

Pom-pom sweaters have now made a return to fashion and it isn’t just for young girls/teenagers either. Pom-pom sweaters are worn by many adults because they are fashionable and a great way to upcycle clothes, especially your sweaters. If there is an old sweater that you no longer like to wear, add a bit of life to it by stitching on some pom-poms. 

The best bit about upcycling clothes is that you can get creative with them, this includes pom-pom sweaters. You can either mix up the colour of the pom-poms or you can keep it simple and stick to the same colour. Additionally, you can mix and match their sizes as well. This time of method for upcycling clothes is a great way to make the most of your unique artistic style and display it on your garments.


Tie-dying is one of those trends that come and go. In the 1970s, it was a popular trend then. Then it disappeared for a while until the early 2010s when the youth were tie-dying their clothes. Then it faded away again before returning during the lockdown period because people were bored and had nothing to do with their old clothes.

Although it might not be on-trend now, tie-dying is a great way to upcycle your clothes, especially unwanted shirts, tees and sweaters. All you need to do is soak them in a bucket of bleach for 30 minutes which then gets rid of the colour, giving them that tie-dye effect.

Make The Most Of The Wool Blanket

Upcycling doesn’t just mean you only upcycle clothes, it also means you make the most of other items in your household as well. Old blankets are another great item that you can upcycle in your household. If you have a woollen blanket you no longer use then turn it into a shawl.

Make sure to secure it with a belt of some sort and then people will never know the difference. You could always turn it into an oodie blanket if you wanted to as well.

Turn Your Old Shirts Into New Headbands

Flannel shirts are stunning pieces of clothing but, if you have fallen out of love with them, don’t worry. You can upcycle these as well into headbands. Cut the shirt up, keeping the materials that you will need for the headband and then tie it together. You will likely have more than one headband so you will have spare left over as well.

Upcycling Tracksuits

Another fashion trend that has been around for a long time is tracksuits. These pieces of clothing have been worn for several years so we would be surprised if you don’t have a full tracksuit yourself. Nonetheless, they seem to be less common to wear as more people are choosing to wear cargo bottoms instead of tracksuit pants.

If you want to make the most of your full tracksuit and add it to your upcycling clothes pile, cut the bottoms to knee length and change them into loungewear shorts.

Best Materials For Upcycling Clothes

There are many different fabrics that you can use for upcycling your clothes. However, there are also many which cannot be upcycled. The best materials which you can upcycle are natural fabrics. This includes recycled cotton, denim, hemp and linen. Furthermore, these materials are compostable at the end of their life in upcycled form.

Materials that are not good when upcycling include synthetic fabrics because they don’t have a green end to life. Nonetheless, they can be kept in a circular system, similar to how the water cycle works.

Most synthetic fabrics are constantly recycled. Additionally, this process of recycling materials will require 90% less water, and 85% less energy and produce 90% fewer CO2 emissions.


Upcycling clothes is a great way to make sure you are living a more sustainable lifestyle. Additionally, it is a great way to prolong the life of your clothes that you thought no longer belonged in your wardrobe. There are several different ways to upcycle your clothes so make sure you research on the internet before you throw them away.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What Does Upcycling Clothes Do?

One of the benefits of upcycling clothes is that it can save on production costs. If you start to upcycle your clothes, that will mean you will be buying from fashion brands a lot less. Therefore, there will be less need for major businesses to mass-produce clothes.

Q2. Can I Sell My Upcycled Clothes?

Selling your upcycled clothes can be very risky, especially if it is a branded piece of clothing. It is one of the exclusive rights of a fashion brand so therefore, it is best not to sell your branded clothes as it can lead to copyright infringement.

Q3. Are There Any Cons With Upcycling Clothes?

Despite the many benefits of upcycling clothes and prolonging the life of your garments, there are some cons to it. Sometimes, there are few opportunities to upcycle clothes and therefore can be a little frustrating.
Furthermore, upcycling clothes can result in you needing to buy other products such as a sewing kit or other craft tools. It may seem like a good idea at first but sometimes, upcycling clothes can be costly, depending on how you want to upcycle them.

Q4. Are Upcycling Clothes Still Common?

Upcycling is still very common because it is a good way to make sure people are living a more sustainable lifestyle. Amongst other things, upcycling clothes is a great way to prolong the life of a garment that you love. It has become a massive trend for many people around the world, including those who are conscious about fashion brands over-producing clothes.
If you search upcycling on Instagram, you will be able to see how many people are still interested in upcycling. It is a great way to ensure you are not wasting materials that have been used in previous products. When viewing the images on Instagram, you will notice a wide range of products that are upcycled, including upcycled clothes.

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