This week we’re focusing on three key principles from our Vintage Manifesto – Customise, Re-style and Inspire Yourself.
Click here to download the Vintage Manifesto – 10 commandments that not only encapsulate our principles and values as a brand, but that also show you how shopping with Rokit and wearing vintage can help you reduce your fashion footprint.
It’s no secret anymore that the fashion industry is one of the major polluting industries in the world. The world’s ever-increasing demand for fast fashion has devastating consequences for our environment, with toxic chemicals polluting our water, air and soil and discarded surplus textile piling up in landfill.
Thankfully with increasing awareness, more and more people are looking to actively make a change to their shopping habits. Buying vintage or second-hand and opting for ethically-made or recycled fashion brands are of course great ways to do your bit, but reducing your fashion footprint may be even easier than that. Some of the most sustainable shopping you could possibly do doesn’t even require leaving your bedroom. That’s right, we’re about to teach you how to shop your own wardrobe!
How often do you find yourself frantically searching through your wardrobe thinking, “I have all these clothes but absolutely nothing to wear”?! Never again! When your closet is bursting full of clothes that you’re either sick of wearing or never wear for whatever reason, it’s so easy to be completely blind to all the endless outfit possibilities that are staring you in the face.
Sure, it’s a messy task that will take its sweet time, but we promise it’ll be more than worth it. Free-up and set aside a day off work for your wardrobe overhaul, and prepare to see everything with a fresh pair of eyes and an open mind. It could be your most successful shopping trip yet, where you’ll end up with tons of stylish new looks that won’t cost the earth, in more ways than one.
Tidying and organising is the first step and an absolute must if you want to be able to see your stuff in a new light. A messy wardrobe can be as daunting as a jumble sale – you wouldn’t look twice at a rail in a store that was all over the place so you should treat your own collection the same. Start by going through everything you own, from your clothes to accessories to shoes, and try to sort things into four piles – keep, fix, sell, donate.
Try everything on, and everything that you love or that has some potential, throw into the ‘keep’ pile. Even if it’s something that you once loved but is totally not your style anymore, give it a chance.
That jacket you love that’s been sitting at the back of your wardrobe for years because it’s just too big? Buttons missing? Too long? Needs more belt holes? Throw that stuff into the ‘fix’ pile, anything that doesn’t fit can be worked on.
Anything really nice, branded or unworn that you’re certain you’ve had enough of but you can still see its appeal, throw those onto your ‘sell’ pile.
As for anything that’s a bit tired and undesirable but decent condition, this stuff can go into your ‘donate’ pile. Even garments that are damaged or broken can be recycled, but we’ll elaborate more on this later.
WAYS TO WEAR
Now that you’ve got your keep pile, it’s time to get creative! Believe it or not there are so many different ways to wear one type of garment and to incorporate it into so many different styles!
Challenge yourself to create some new looks with your own stuff – pretend you’re a professional stylist and this is the rail you’ve got to work with.
Try on every top with every bottom – even combinations that you never thought would work deserve a chance, you never know! Why not get a friend involved to make things fun, maybe a second opinion could really help inspire you and also support ideas you’re not too sure about!
Wear a shirt or blouse unbuttoned like a light jacket. Tie a shirt or t-shirt up at the waist for some added definition and a new style. Pop a t-shirt over a dress to make it look like a shirt-skirt combo. Roll up sleeves or legs – there’s some great tutorials on YouTube. Add a belt to something baggy for a cinched-in transformation. Layer up – wear a collared shirt or roll neck under a t-shirt, wear a patterned long-sleeve under a short sleeve, wear a crop top with an open blouse or shirt. Experiment with contrasting colours and patterns. A little imagination can help you rediscover your wardrobe all over again.
A really useful tool when experimenting with different outfit combinations is a colour wheel! Mixing the clothes you already have in unexpected and daring colour combinations is an easy way to make your old clothes feel fresh!
If you’re someone who usually likes to keep things simple, the idea of wearing two vastly different colours can be scary, but it’s fun to take risks!
Complementary colours are opposites on the colour wheel but they can often look amazing when paired together! Analogous colours that are next to each other also work well combined, or why not transform a neutral, minimalistic outfit with a bright pop of colour?
In the wise words of the fictional fashionista Cher Horowitz, “you can’t trust mirrors”. Thankfully technology has come a long way since the Polaroid days when Clueless was set – with a smartphone at your fingertips it has never been easier to quickly snap away at each outfit combination you try. This is even easier if you’ve got a friend around to help you as you can mess around with different poses and angles so you can really see how your new ensembles will look. When you manage to create a new outfit you love, make sure you save the photo! Keep a folder on your phone or computer of all your new favourite looks so you’ve always got a library of inspiration to refer back to on those lazy, uninspired days. Who needs Instagram or Pinterest when you can be your own style icon?!
If you’re feeling extra creative then why not try your hand at some customisation?! Simple changes can give tired or even broken and damaged items a new lease of life!
Crop baggy t-shirts or cut the sleeves off – you could turn a comfy throw-on band t-shirt into a cute summer crop top! Use scissors to rip and distress some old jeans. Use any fabric you have lying around or even an old shirt to add a collar onto another shirt.
Make an old jacket or pair of jeans feel like a brand new garment by sewing on patches to the pockets or sleeves. You could even place them over holes or stains – no one will ever know! Throwing on a patched-up denim jacket adds instant cool to an otherwise basic outfit. For a more temporary addition, add a vintage badge or pin!
If you’ve got a little more time on your hands you could even experiment with bleach or tie-dye – this kind of effect can transform tired old denim or t-shirts and give them a completely different vibe. Youtube is full of handy how-to videos and tutorials if you’re not sure how to DIY.
Check out this website for some inspiration and ideas!
TAILOR AND FIX
We’re all guilty of having pieces hiding at the back of our closets that don’t fit right but we love them too much to let go. Now is the time to finally do something about it!
If something is a bit bulky or too long, whatever it is, take it to a tailor and let them work their magic to make those pieces work for you. Spending £10 or £20 here and there is more than worth it for the amount of wear you could be getting out of your old ill-fitting clothes! Just imagine all the new outfits you could put together.
You’ve probably been putting it off for a while, but start shopping around for spare buttons and take some time to replace those that are missing from your favourite garments. You could even completely change a shirt’s buttons to give it a new look. Also consider investing in a leather hole puncher – for less than a tenner you could easily make any old belt in the world fit you just right.
When you’ve finally got your ‘keep’ pile sorted, your new outfits decided and photographed and your old clothes put aside ready to say goodbye to, it’s time to efficiently start putting things back in your wardrobe.
To start with, put anything that’s definitely not practical or wearable this season to one side and focus on what you’ll realistically wear this time of year. Then, a really handy method of organisation that works for many people is sorting clothes into garment type, and then within that, sleeve length. The easier it is to see exactly what you’re looking for when you open your wardrobe, the easier it will be to create the perfect outfit.
As mentioned before, there may be a few amazing pieces in your wardrobe that you know would look great on someone else but you’ve personally grown tired of. Selling these on is not only handy for making some extra cash, but also because the second-hand fashion market is a great way to encourage sustainable shopping and combat fast fashion. Ebay, Depop, Vinted, Poshmark and thredUP are just some of the many easily accessible smartphone apps available for selling clothes and accessories.
Anything you don’t think is worth much money could actually be very valuable to a charity shop. It’s likely there’s several in your area, so take some time to haul a big bag of your unwanted stuff there for donation. If you don’t have time, many charities such as the British Heart Foundation will collect your clothes for free. You’ll feel so much better not only for helping a good cause but also finally clearing some much-needed space in your wardrobe!
Even damaged, stained and broken items can be recycled at textile banks that are often located in supermarket and local car parks. There are handy search tools online such as this one that can show you where you can find your nearest one!