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Shopping in Your Own Closet: A How-To Guide

Shopping during the pandemic can be stressful and inaccessible. The desire still exists to revamp your wardrobe, even if these outfits will only be showcased over Zoom calls. A safe, environmentally friendly, and at-home solution is to rediscover your own clothes and add some flare. Shopping in your own closet goes hand-in-hand with the principles of reusing, reducng and recycling that help to lessen your own impact on the planet. Through the process of reviewing your own clothes, not only are you reusing pieces you already own, but you are reducing the number of new clothes you buy and you will discover clothes that you can donate or recycle. Going through wardrobes during quarantine is a fun task that you easily accomplish with a sense of pride.

While someone goes through their closet, they will undoubtedly find clothes that they had forgotten they owned and have been meaning to wear. These clothes should be kept close, so they are worn soon. They will also likely find clothes that don’t fit or are not in their taste anymore. We recommend that those clothes are put aside to donate or consider a thrift store that will pay for donations. However, before rejecting an old and unwanted shirt, consider cropping it; this simple trick can bring life into a previously unsought item. If the idea of cutting clothes with scissors is scary, do not be afraid of the big chop since these clothes were on the outs before giving them a second chance.

Have a pair of jeans that have never been worn and are pretty similar to another pair? Consider the current trend for jeans that involves bleach in all different shapes: splatter, smiley faces, or flowers. Materials needed for this project: bleach, rubber gloves, inexpensive paint brush, duct tape, plastic bags, and a container for the bleach. Wear the rubber gloves for protection, use the bleach in a well-ventilated area and work on a surface that can withstand some accidental bleach splatter. Depending on the quality of the jean, a different mixture of bleach and water can be required. However, if this is a pair of jeans that never got worn anyway, then it’s okay to go a little wild and use a high concentration of bleach for visible results (Use a mixture that is mostly bleach with a little water for safety). After preparing the work area and the bleach,get creative! Use the plastic bags to line the inside of the jeans to prevent the bleach from leaking to the other side and the duct tape to keep them in place if necessary. The paintbrush can be used to create designs of swirls, waves or polka dots. For a clean and neat look, secure one pant leg in a plastic bag with duct tape around the edge and pour bleach down one pant leg for a sleek half-and-half look. After applying bleach, let the pants dry before washing out the bleach. The pants will need to go in the washer before being premiered as a new statement piece. Do not be discouraged by any mistakes, keep an open mind, and think of creative solutions.

Rediscovering closets is a great alternative to overspending and over stuffing drawers. To reduce clothing shopping try to remember the pieces already owned at home and do not buy anything similar. When someone goes out intending to shop, they should set a specific shopping goal, such as finding a certain jacket or colour, to avoid getting side-tracked in the future.

Lauren Kay

McMaster '23

Second-year Justice, Political Philosophy and Law student at McMaster University.
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