Repair to Rewear

Back in March, I opened the conversation on the 5 R's of Responsible Style which features steps on pursuing a responsible closet-- reduce, repair, recycle, repurpose, and reinvent. These words and their purposes have helped me create a starting point towards pursuing ethical fashion + responsible wardrobes. I've found that the best way (so far) is to continue to learn how to rewear the clothing we already own. But items rip, buttons fall off, shoes get scuffed and we don't know what to do next. My first thought has always been to throw them away and deem them unwearable. But really, this is not true and should not be our go-to answer! We can start creating habits that help us recreate the items that are worn-out or broken, so we can continue to reinvent them in our wardrobes for years to come. Because who doesn't like the idea of being able to hand down a loved item to the next generation...

The Good Wear has helped me explore ways I can fix items by paying attention to the little details. It may not be my first inclination but sewing up a small hole in a garment can be so easy and make a huge difference (plus, it saves you some $$$). Getting creative, and taking a little risk, by cutting a shirt's sleeves into a tank top or a maxi dress into a shorter dress can add a new item to your wardrobe without having to step into a store. It may be convenient to online shop for a new item, but recreating and repairing items can be just as fun, effective and attractive. 


- Use a large safety pin to take in a dress in the inside lining
- Create an extra hole in a belt with a safety pin to wear over a dress or shirt at the natural waste
- Cut a maxi dress that you no longer wear into a shorter style for a new look. Use scissors to cut above the knee or at mid-thigh
- Take a pair of old denim and cut into shorts. Don't like an un-finished pant line? Just fold up to make a clean crease! 
- Have an outdated shirt or long tunic? Use scissors to a cut a 3inch line from the bottom to create a perfect split to create a tie


- Use a coat of clear nail-polish on rings that leave residue on your fingers
- Use baking soda or lemon juice to remove sweat stains on items
- Remove make up stains on areas of clothing with shaving creme
- Reduce water stains on leather using distilled vinegar with a clothe or toothbrush
- Prevent more runs in tights by using a small bit of clear nail polish (seriously it works)
- Use a "starter" sewing kit to replace a missing button on your shirt (trust me, this can be easy! Watch a video here)
- A quick fix for shoes : use a hot glue gun or crazy glue to fix ripping soles (I swear by this method to keep those old or vintage shoes in place!)


- Starter sewing kit... everyone should own one!
- Clear nail polish
- Hairspray
- Safety Pins
- Hot Glue Gun


- Local friend or maker who works in repairs : I like to take my items to friends first and ask if there is anything they can do. This helps support friends, local and provides a source you can trust!
- Dry cleaner : help for advice on taking out stains or advice on shrinkage. Bonus: always ask about ways they are working towards their environmental + sustainable impacts and chemicals they use.
- Seamstress : want jeans tailored, rip sewn, or a garment alterations? Find a local seamstress, through Yelp or Google, to get quotes.Richmond

Need more help repairing items in Richmond?
Contact The Good Wear or Michelle Selwyn for more information!

Have any more tips + tricks to repair or get creative? Comment below!

photography by Lexi from Alexa Photography
repair work by Michelle Selwyn