Rescuing clothing from the dustbin of trend history.

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  laurasaurus5 3 weeks, 2 days ago.

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    I was inspired by the post the other day about blazers, particularly one redditor’s comparison between blazers from ten years ago to now. Has anyone ever thrifted or been gifted/hand-me-downed a trendy garment, thought “ugh, so dated” and then looked closer at the bones of the garment and salvaged it? I realize things like colour are usually fixed (unless you are a whiz with at-home dyes), but often things like ruffles or fasteners can be removed or altered.


    My special piece that falls into this category is a grey wool skirt from the gap that I discovered at VV that had a ton of non-functional huge plastic buttons down the front. Think Elle Wood crossed with Clueless in a bad way. Given the price and construction, I took it home and after carefully removing all non-functional giant plastic discs was left with a pretty classic, well-made mini-skirt. I’ve done similar things with shoes (goodbye velcro strap mary-janes, hello leather skimmer flats), a leather jacket (who needs 4 inch long solid metal zipper pulls?!), and some shirts. So FFA, do you find that garment manufacturers mask classic cuts with trendy embellishments? Have you ever tried your hand at trend-removal?



    My grandma sent me a box of her old clothes, including a very 1990’s style Easter Sunday type floral dress. I altered the sleeve a tad, removed some of the froufrou, and tied up the bottom. I’m pretty sure I wore it EVERY WEEK this past summer. [Here’s the dress]( It still has some of it’s 90’s vibe, just without screaming it.



    I found a crazy parrot or owl (i’m still not fully sure which) sweater when thrift shopping. it had everything going on – patterns, colour blocking, embroidery, and the worst part was it was FULLY BEJEWELLED on top of the embroidery and patterns. like giant colourful plastic tear-drop shaped rhinestones. i was into the weirdness of it though, so i painstakingly removed each jewel, and [here’s my sweater now]( – probably still a bit ‘too much’ but i enjoy the quirkiness of it. and trust me it used to be so.much.worse lol



    About 10 years ago (when I was fresh out of college and completely broke) I went to Target with a friend. I was trying to put together an interview outfit and needed some professional shoes to go with my suit. I found a really ugly pair of peep toe faux- patent leather pumps adorned with enormous polka dot bows at the toe. They were on super clearance for $3.00. I half-jokingly tried them on and they were surprisingly comfortable. I realized if I could just get the bows off they might look decent. So I bought them. Ripped the bows off, sanded down the super glue that had been used to adhere the bows to the shoes and polished the area. I got so many compliments on those shoes. I didn’t get the job, but I did end up a really comfortable pair of pumps.



    Speaking of blazers, my mom gifted me her old longline wool blazer that looks like something an 80s professor would wear. Guess what, it is SO in style now.

    I think that commenter’s comment actually emphasized the fact that things you can’t change, like cuts, go out of style too, which is why “investment piece” and “classic piece” are kinda misnomers. I can see how you can achieve this with a very simple item like an a-line skirt, but with more structured pieces like jackets and shoes, I’m not sure. Like, the dated mary jane I’m imagining [wouldn’t look stylish even if you cut the strap off] (, whereas [a shoe that is shaped more “currently”] ( looks normal even with the strap.



    I do it all the time! Pointless embellishments were made to be snipped off! I also shorten dresses, move waistlines in on boxy coats, alter sleeves, etc. Even something as simple as switching buttons can work wonders – recently I thrifted a mint condition 1960s boiled wool cardigan that is adorable except for its shiny brass buttons. I’m thinking tortoiseshell will bring it back into 2018 🙂



    Ive definitely cut dated embellishments off of clothes before to salvage an item! Or changed “statement” buttons that were more “2010 twee” to neutral buttons. on sweaters and coats.



    I rip shoulder pads out of and replace buttons on thrifted stuff all the time. It makes a big difference.



    I alter quite a lot of my clothes to fit me, but I think my best example is probably a dark cobalt blue dress with pink flowers that I found in a charity shop. It had two huge ruffles bisecting the bodice that made it look as if it was stuck in the 2000s so I unpicked them, and redid the bust to make it snugger. When I’ve got the time I think I might use the ruffles to make cute little cap sleeves for it



    Love this! I have recently begun spending more time shopping at Value Village and I have found some great vintage items. On the last trip, I found a gem, a wool and leather Escada blazer in a small plaid pattern. It is perfect for the current trends with a vintage charm that makes it a unique piece. I felt like I won the lottery!



    I was given a floor-length Pendleton wool skirt from a relative of a friend, and man, did that thing scream 85 year old librarian. But I loved the color and the buttons, so I [gave it a good chop]( to make it cute and girly!



    I’m contemplating cutting my old riding boots down to ankle boots. I don’t wear them anymore and they aren’t fancy boots to begin with. I’ve had a lot of trouble finding flat ankle boots I like, and this will keep me from buying a pair I don’t love.

    [This tutorial]( is pretty much what I was thinking, except I plan to also stitch the new top to match the stitching on the rest of the boot.



    I have a lot of 80’s/90’s blazers that I love a lot. I cut the shoulder pads out and replaced the cheap gold buttons.

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