When I am looking for pre-loved clothing to upcycle, I almost always turn to menswear. Not only are the lines simple and the cuts generous, I flat-out love working with the fabrics. Their classic patterns and textures and the inherent durability of the fibres make them perfectly suited (pun intended) to restyling. Other than maybe having a dated silhouette and a few worn spots, most pieces that I come across still have a lot of life left in them. With a little imagination and skill, jackets and trousers can be deconstructed and deftly transformed into all sorts of dapper garments and accessories, like the fabulous belt by God’swear, pictured above. Upcycled from a men’s suit jacket, the one-of-a-kind belt features a handy side welt pocket and can be custom-fitted to your measurements. This week, as a special bonus, Molly of God’swear is offering 15% off to Try Handmade readers. Be sure to mention “Going Green” in the message-to-seller at time of purchase.
Fall is unquestionably the season for accessorizing. As soon as the crisp bite of autumn suddenly appears in the air, my first impulse is to grab a warm scarf to ward-off the chill. This one by Scrap Sister Soul Sista (pictured above) combines cozy, dove grey fleece with upcycled 100% wool suiting in a variety of plaids and solids, perfect for a sista or a mista.
Fall is also sweater season and if you’re like me, your wardrobe is stocked with a few good, but basic (read: boring) turtlenecks. I am always looking to dress them up a bit, though, and I think these cuffs by Stacy Leigh Atelier (above) would do just the trick. Cleverly made from a carefully chosen collection of recycled wool and cotton materials, the cuffs can be worn with their ruffles either towards the hand or at the wrist, whichever suits you best.
It’s perhaps a little ironic that suits, which seem to be designed to make their wearers blend into the crowd, are so often used to create stand-out, unique accessories. The natty handbags from Australia’s greenolive design are made from the finest quality pure wool jackets and are designed with the original details and design elements in mind. Making use of the entire garment, designers Martine & Drew give as much thought to the inside of the bag as they do the outside; adjustable straps allow you to wear the bag over the shoulder or across the body.