Snippets Issue 23 : The New York Issue

Anatomy of a Refashion

The art of refashioning.

Anatomy of a Refashion

For me, New York City is synonymous with fashion. At the mere mention of the name my mind is filled with images of runway shows, gritty street fashion, sample sales, designer stores and beautiful women taking taxis so as not to ruin their shoes. Then there are the lights, the nightlife, the constant steady activity of the streets and the excitement of being a part of something. Of course some of the hottest looks to be seen in New York come at very steep price points. So what is a girl (or guy) to do? Sometimes it is simply not enough to purchase a cheaper alternative at the bargain shop. Sometimes you just want something that nobody else has. All you need is ingenuity, creativity and imagination.

Often times when people see me in one of my creations they will simply complement the style and move on. The more brazen (usually fellow fashion addicts) will ask where I purchased it and when told that I either made the piece from scratch or refashioned another item into the piece they will remark about how talented I am or how they could never do something like that. People where is your self confidence? The secret is out – refashion is Easy, Fun, Affordable and most of all it can be Extremely Stylish. Remember ingenuity, creativity and imagination? Now is their time to shine.

"People where is your self confidence? The secret is out – refashion is easy, fun, affordable and most of all it can be extremely stylish"

The beginning of a refashion for me is usually an existing garment - be that one I found for a song at the thrift store, an old piece in my wardrobe or something I see and want. If it was found at the thrift store something (colour, fabric, pattern, sleeve, etc) will draw me in and I will immediately begin to envision what it could become. This part can be tricky for some people as they don’t look past how hideous the garment is now and see what it can become. It is kind of like the ugly duckling that turns into a swan except that the garment won’t magically recreate itself for you (unfortunately). A lot of my refashions start with me seeing something in a magazine, wanting it, checking the price and deciding I can do it better for less.

Don’t forget – if your first try fails start again. The failure isn’t really a bad thing but a lesson in what not to do the next go around and how to do it better. I guarantee that my first few attempts didn’t turn out quite the way I had envisioned.

I recommend that you always try on whatever it is that you want to refashion prior to doing so. This helps you inspect it closer and allows you to get a feel for your finished product. Always wash the items from a thrift store prior to beginning. I like to do a quick sketch of what it is that I am making beforehand to work out any possible problem areas and solidify my vision before I dive in all willy-nilly.

Now begins the work. Sometimes this can be frustrating as you may hit a glitch or get interrupted. Whatever you do – don’t give up. It can always become a learning experience if it doesn’t become a useable outfit. If you get exasperated –take a break and come back the next day. It is never as bad as you think it is. You are always your toughest critic.

For Inspiration check out the following Refashions that I have done:


Don’t forget to take photos to share with all of your friends here on Cut Out + Keep!

Check out more projects from Lydia on her CO+K account and on her blog Hawadare.


About Snippets

Snippets is the free online magazine from Cut Out + Keep featuring the best in indie & DIY.

Exploring the worlds of music, fashion, art & craft, our writers cover the things they love and we're always on the hunt for new contributors.

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