Despite our best efforts to buy fashionable classics that withstand the change of styles from year to year, at one time or another, we all end up with one or two trendy pieces that simply will not work with this season’s new look. Here are a few ideas for what you can do with those items without adding to a landfill:
1. If the outdated item can serve as business attire, consider donating it to dressforsuccess.org. Although that means someone else will be wearing a slightly off-season outfit, many of these women will gratefully accept it as a way to get by until their financial situation can afford them more current pieces.
2. Get your kids, nieces and grandchildren involved! Turn those old garbs into brand new doll clothes. Break out some hot pink sequence and glitter from the craft store and transform jeans and t-shirts into hip doll wear. Barbie and the Bratz never looked so chic! There are tons of resources for free doll clothes patterns and instructions online. As a group effort, the process could be a fun, bonding experience on a rainy autumn day.
3. Save on new school clothes. If you’re not handy with a pair of scissors, make a quick stop at your local tailor and have jeans, dress shirts and other garments sized down and re-structured to create new tops, skirts and bottoms for your kids based on the current school trends. Dated puffy snow jackets and vests may make useful snow pants for the little ones if you live in a cooler climate. If your children don’t expect name brands, this might be a great way to get more mileage from your old wardrobe.
4. Turn last year’s cocktail dress, leather skirt and jeans into spicy new handbags and totes. Formal wear, when lined with cotton from old t-shirts, can become fabulous dress purses while other materials can make for durable carry-ons, totes and handbags. Again, if sewing is not your thing, hire a crafty friend or local tailor to get the job done. Craigslist is a great resource for stay-at-home moms looking for a little cash on the side.
About the Author
Katherine DalPra is the owner/designer for Green Diva Jewelry, an eco-friendly jewelry boutique featuring recycled, Fair Trade and sustainable materials.