How to turn casual clothes into stylish outfits | the ReFab Diaries

There are a couple of items in my closet that have traveled with me between 16 states and countless moves, from South Africa to the UK to Colombia to the US. I’m not inclined to throw out these sentimental items, but you know me - I'm also loathe to just let them sit in the back of my closet.

How To Turn Casual Clothes Into Stylish Outfits


So I went in search of some fresh ideas for turning casual, too-large, outdated clothes into fun, wearble outfits, and these are some idea that I can’t wait to try!



Hand-painting your jeans

The ever-changing world of streetwear has brought back a fashion trend that has people turning old clothes into pieces of art. I’m always enamored by the sight of hand-painted jeans or canvas shoes, usually adorned with a floral design. The amount of love that goes into each garment is obvious, and custom clothes are statement pieces worn with pride. Picking up an old pair of jeans and sitting down to paint doodles and designs on them is a chic way to connect with your creativity again. Get your kids involved too!

Restyling your dresses

If you have a habit of falling in love with dresses at thrift stores, start taking the ones that are too big for you seriously. The amount of extra fabric on a too-large dress opens up a lot of possibilities, from re-styling it into a new dress, to sewing it into a skirt, or even creating a shirt! An easy way to transform a simple summer dress that has ran its course is to trim away or undo the stitching of the bodice, fold over the edges, and re-hem the top for a quick summer skirt! Pair with boots, a tee, and a light jacket, and your casual dress has changed into a cool afternoon outfit.



Repurposing old tanks and tees

My biggest closet clutter problem? Old tanks and t-shirts from events, companies or causes I care about. Turns out there are SO MANY things you can do with them, from restyling them into interesting outfits to turning them into a small rug or super-absorbent bath mat


Layering your look

Of course, not every casual-to-stylish outfit needs to be a project. Sometimes the right combination or a bit of layering can bring a relaxed look into something more. I wouldn’t even shy away from turning relaxed attire like joggers into an any-time outfit! Showcase your upcycled tees, handmade scarves, and scavenged accessories over a casual, toned down or plain athletic wear look to bring a quiet grocery trip look to life!

Pulling my clothes out of hiding and giving them a new life is a green way to change up my look. I’m going to keep thinking up new ways on how to turn casual clothes into stylish looks to make the most of my unused wardrobe this summer.



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