Heartbreaking as it is, it’s that time of the year again! The official end of the party and wedding season. No more wishes of Happy New Year; just dreams of spring to prod you ahead. But don’t closet your high spirits, yet. At the end of every party season, clothes are bundled up, stuffed into cupboards, never to be seen again. It’s either too all over social media to be reworn, too out of style (by the end of the year), or too jubilant to wear on an everyday basis. But those party dresses and wedding ensembles can still get you your money’s worth, if your mantra is ‘repurpose’.
Here’s our quick guide to get the most out of your blingy, slinky, teeny outfits. All hail the year of reuse!
The Garment: Itsy Bitsy Teeny Wini Micro Mini
The Reuse: It’s too sequinned to wear for a regular night out with your friends and too short to qualify for even date night? Well, wear it with trousers. Diane Kruger and Emma Watson have both, endorsed this unlikely combination several times with panache. It is unexpected, interesting, and always a talking point. Do remember to keep the pants streamlined and well-fitted, though.
The Garment: The Blouse with a Thousand Sequins
The Reuse: That super blingy blouse which was the perfect accompaniment to the equally blingy saree during wedding season, can be a bit of eyesore the rest of the year. Tone it down with a jute silk, handloom or chiffon saree for a more elegant affair. If your blouse was designed as a crop top, wear it with a solid-coloured maxi tulle skirt or a pencil skirt for a night out on town.
The Garment: Kate Moss-Inspired Slip Dress
The Reuse: We first saw the slip dress leaving the boudoir for the red carpet in 1993 when Kate Moss wore a completely sheer version to a party in London. The last couple of years revived interest in the slip dress, and while its shiny, sheer-ish cousin many not seem appropriate for everyday wear, layered with a white tee or shirt, worn with a kaftan jacket, or teamed with a boyfriend blazer, it makes quite a strong case.
The Garment: The Wedding Lehenga
The Reuse: The heavily embellished or embroidered, super-expensive wedding lehenga often only makes a one-time appearance, after which it is swathed in tissue paper and locked in trunks, never to be taken out again. Wear it with a crisp white shirt to make a bold statement at an evening do. Keep the accessories Indian. Or keep your look ethnic with a long-slit jacket in a solid colour. Stitch additional matching fabric to the heavy dupatta and get a new saree in the bargain.
Endless garments only equal endless ideas. “If we all extended the use of a garment by nine months-which according to studies would mean making it last three years-we could save $8 billion a year on the cost of resources used to manufacture, launder and dispose of clothing. The carbon, water and waste footprints of our clothes would be reduced by 20-30%. Surely nine months isn’t too much to ask?” Frances Corner, the head of London College of Fashion, asks this question in her book, Why Fashion Matters. And it’s an important question to ask. Where producing one cotton t-shirt, from the fields to your favourite high street store aisle, takes 2,700 litres of water, reusing and repurposing clothes should not just be a lightbulb moment, it should a be a way of life.
So, are you getting on board?