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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Scranton chapter.


            Have you ever bought something to just never wear it? Maybe it doesn’t fit, or you realize after-the-fact that it isn’t your style. I’ve definitely been guilty of that. And the clothes that I don’t wear sit in my closet until I eventually donate or toss them. It wasn’t until quarantine that I started looking into different ways to combat this money-burning habit. So here are five simple things you can do to help transform clothing you won’t wear to something you will! And the best part is that they don’t even require a sewing machine!

Bleach Pen

There are so many articles of clothing I own that I refuse to wear because they don’t match my style. Whether they’re too plain or have a stain –the list goes on. What’s really cool about using a bleach pen is that you can create your own style! I personally like to look up different designs off of Pinterest and copy the designs onto a plain shirt. If I have a stain, I like to draw over the stain and continue with the pattern and—voilà! Good as new!

Creating Ripped Jeans

If you’re anything like me and own a ton of non-ripped jeans, this tip is for you. All you have to do is trace where you want the rip to be, cut it, and put it through a wash cycle in the washer. Make sure to let the jeans air dry. This is super helpful in creating trendy jeans, and you get to control where the rips are.


This hack takes a little more effort than the last two, but it definitely pays off. All you need is an embroidering needle and some Rayon thread. If you’re willing to spend the extra couple bucks, it may help to purchase an embroidering loop; however, it’s not necessary. There are plenty of embroidering tutorials you can find on YouTube if this is a new concept! But don’t get discouraged; it’s super fun and easy once you get the hang of it. I like to embroider little designs on plain sweatshirts that I would otherwise never wear. Plus, it’s a super relaxing way to pass time!


Creating Crop Tops

The amount of oversized T-shirts I own is amazing. And while I do enjoy wearing oversized T-shirts, I definitely don’t wear all of them. Creating crop tops is a super easy way to resolve this issue –and it’s definitely addicting. For some shirts, I just mark where I want the shirt to end and cut. It gives off a cute, messy vibe when the shirt is unhemmed that I love. Sometimes, I’ll cut a little more than I wish to have off, and I’ll hem the bottom. This is super easy, and again, there are many tutorials you can find on YouTube if you choose to do that. All you really need are some threads and a sewing needle relative to the material that you are hemming. This gives off a cleaner look and is mostly used if you wish to just shorten the shirt, yet have it look the same as before. You do not need a sewing machine to hem anything (though it may be a little helpful!), but you could buy hemming tape, which helps a hem stay in place while you sew it. 


While this tip may add to the problem (I’m sorry, I know I said I’d help fix the problem!), it’s definitely a great money-saving way to introduce new clothing to your wardrobe that you can upcycle! In fact, a majority of my current wardrobe is thrifted! When “thrown away” or not sold, these unloved pieces of fabric are thrown into landfills or burned off daily, which obviously, is contributing to the issue of pollution.

            If you could find any way to use the clothing you already own, that would be one less article of clothing that could potentially pollute the environment. Even if there is no hope for some articles of clothing to upcycle (and I’m sure there are some of those), they can always be donated to shelters or thrift stores. Remember that one person’s least favorite shirt, may become another person’s favorite! 


Taylor is a junior forensic chemistry major at the University of Scranton. When she's given up on studying, you can find her sewing or reading. She also enjoys hiking and exploring the outdoors.
Carly Long

Scranton '22

Carly is a senior studying Strategic Communications with a concentration in Legal Studies at The University of Scranton. This is her third year as CC at HC Scranton, which she hopes to continue to elevate. In her free time Carly can be found writing, working out, or buying new products to feed her skincare addiction.