When clothes get tattered, or when you have extra clothes, you can save money re-purposing and reusing the clothes in the wardrobe. This article will look at ten alternative ways to wear old or extra clothes, some involving how to alter them to use in different ways.
#1: Ripped jeans: Jeans that are ripped at the knees can be cut to make “jorts,” jean shorts. Lay the jeans out even and cut each leg, at the level of or just above the highest rip. Or simply hack them off and then line up the shorts and trim evenly. Jean cloth frays initially, after a quarter inch of the material has frayed, the frayed material will prevent more fraying. Alternatively, the ripped jeans can be worn in winter under another layer, or on top of another layer when painting or doing work.
#2: Ripped thermal underwear: Thermal underwear that rips at the knees can be recycled into the wardrobe. They can be cut at the knees to make thermal shorts; these are useful on warmer winter days. They can be chopped shorter to serve as a pair of boxer briefs. If making thermal underwear into briefs, sew the inch of each leg hole closest to the center shut, this will replicate the shape of a normal brief. The legs can be turned into rags, or made into leggings or arm warmers.
#3: Sweat pants: Sweat pants, unless extra baggy, can be worn as thermal underwear, although they tend to be more bulky. Sweatpants that aren’t ripped can be cut to capris; if there are holes in them they will have to be cut to shorts. Sweatpants shorts are useful for the gym, as pajamas, or worn under pants in winter. Sweatpants cloth does not fray and need not be hemmed.
#4: Other types of pants: Gym pants can be cut off to shorts or worn as thermal underwear. Lounge wear and pajama pants can be used as pajamas, long or cut to shorts. Old dress pants can sometimes be made into cutoff shorts or hemmed; more formal dress pants might look stupid but Dockers types look fine as shorts.
#5: Turn old shirts into alternative undershirts: Cut the sleeves off of a thermal top at the seam to make a sleeveless thermal top for wearing under a short-sleeved shirt. Cut the sleeves off an old sweatshirt and wear the sleeveless sweatshirt as an undershirt. If it’s baggy, trim back the sides and sew shut. Many shirts can work as a thermal layer; cut collars and sleeves back or off and they won’t be visible, if worn under T-shirts or sweaters.
#6: Make a short-sleeved sweatshirt: Reuse the sweatshirt that has ratty cuffs. Spread the shirt out and line a T-shirt on top of it to see where it is even, then cut the sleeves an inch longer than the T-shirt. Try on the sweatshirt and make any necessary corrections to the angle of the sleeves. When the angle is satisfactory, trim to the desired length. Sweatshirt cloth does not fray or need hemming; if hemming cut the sleeves a half inch longer to allow for the hem.
#7: Make a sleeveless T-shirt: Any T-shirt or long-sleeved T-shirt makes a great sleeveless T-shirt. Just cut the sleeve off at the seam. Leave the seam on the shirt for a stronger, neater shirt; cut it off for greater comfort.
#8: Make a tank top: Most T-shirts and some other shirts will work well for this. Cut off the collar and sleeves of the shirt, one side of cloth at a time to avoid cutting parts too deep. Try the shirt on and see if the neckline is good. It often needs to be slightly wider or deeper, cut in small increments as cloth will stretch and make openings wider with time. See if the shoulders are too wide, and cut back in gradual increments. See if the cloth curls. Cloth that curls needs to be cut an inch wider to allow for that. It is better to not cut enough and go back and cut more. Do not cut lower than the bottom of the sleeve unless the final result is too shallow, as tank top arm holes tend to stretch a lot and get deeper naturally.
9: Make a vest: Turn sweatshirts and sweaters into vests for around the house. Occasionally, one will make a really good vest if it is hemmed properly.
10: Miscellaneous clothing uses: Recycle T-shirt sleeves as headbands. Use long sleeved T-shirt sleeves as nightcaps. Wear sweatshirt sleeves or sweatpants legs under hats as liners, or trim and sew them into actual hats. There are many ways to reuse and re-purpose clothing.
These ideas of re-purposing clothing will allow you to save a lot of money, especially on thermals, summer clothes, and clothes for around the house.