Re-purposing Old Clothes

We are in the dreaded in-between rut of late February.  We’re in between seasons.  Between sizes. Between sleep cycles.  And, man, are we feeling the rut.  This week I went to Target by myself for a whole hour and I didn’t buy anything.  I went to Target by myself for a whole hour and didn’t buy anything.  That’s pretty serious.

My actual conversation with Erinn when this ridiculous, unprecedented moment occurred.

With my drive to buy new things clearly evaporating, and since it is too depressing to buy spring clothes when we just received ten inches of snow, we really need to dig into the depths of our closets to shake things up on the winter wardrobe front.  So this week, Erinn and I set about the task of re-purposing clothing we haven’t worn in a really long time to feel like we had something new and fun to put on.

Erinn’s Re-Purposed Outfits:

This is one of those dresses that when you pick it up in the store you think, “oh I will totally wear this all the time” and then sadly you get it home and have a hard time making it work. I actually wore this dress exactly once and it was when I was pregnant and it was actually cute to show off my little belly [very early on in pregnancy…not so cute towards the end] and since then had relegated it to the back of the closet. Somehow it escaped the maternity-wear purge I did immediately following giving birth this time around and I’m so glad it did. Instead of popping a sweater over it, I layered it over a patterned blouse and gave it new life! It sounds strange, but I actually got a several compliments on this dress- from students! So needless to say, it may find it’s way to the front of the closet a bit more often.

Outfit Details: Dress-old, similar here and here//Blouse-Loft//Boots-Frye//Wrap bracelet and initial charm bracelet-SUPER old, similar here and here

Dresses I’d be buying if I wasn’t in such a rut:

While I was at it, I realized that sometimes just by adding a few statement pieces of jewelry, I can breathe new life into outfits that might otherwise be boring. I dug these chunky pieces out and layered them to give some visual interest. If you’re a jewelry hoarder like me, it might be time to recycle some of those pieces from 10 years ago!

Jewelry I’d be buying if I wasn’t in such a rut:

I’ve always loved a nice pop of animal print to knock away the winter doldrums that we quite literally are drowning in right now. This one in particular was a favorite of mine years ago and so I was never able to part with it, even though it hasn’t seen the light of day in waaaaay too long. I’ve never been one of those people to follow the “if you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it mantra” and to tell the truth, I’m glad I’m not. Since you never know when fashion trends will cycle back, a nice animal print should be a wardrobe staple in my opinion! I layered it under a drapey blazer and peg-leg pants to make it school appropriate, but this could easily work for date-night [what’s that??] or on the weekends running around under a cardigan and it beats the old gray t-shirt that has become my uniform these days.

Outfit details: Open Front Blazer-Forever 21//Pants w/Ruffle Detail- Zara, similar here//Blouse-old, similar here and here//Necklace-old, similar here

Animal Print Pieces I would buy right now if I wasn’t in such a rut:


MB’s Re-Purposed Outfits:

This pinstriped button-up shirt has been with me probably since Obama was initially elected into office.  It’s one of those things that I bought back in the day from NY & Company when I was trying desperately to build up my professional teacher’s wardrobe and ended up with a lot of “slacks” and “blouses.”  But this oldie has retained its white crispness mostly due to its limited rotation in the wardrobe of this 13-year vet teacher who no longer cares whether colleagues and students see me as the no-nonsense, buttoned-up schoolmarm of yore.  I decided to bust this puppy out of 2008, pop that collar, and layer up with ripped jeans, a graphic sweater, and a messy bun for a look that is both casual and preppy.

Fun fact: I’m so “in-between” sleep cycles on this morning that I literally forgot to do my hair before I left the house. Not joking. I threw my hair up to shower and then got halfway to work before realizing I never actually did it. Button-up-old, similar here // sweater-old, similar here and here // jeans-Target // boots-old, similar here // watch-Michael Kors // bracelet-old, similar here

Pin-stripe button-ups I would buy now if I wasn’t in such a rut:

Cardigan-old, similar here // belt-old, similar here // tee-Target // jeans-Old Navy // necklace-Nordstrom, similar here
Now this may look like any old striped cardigan, but it’s actually a nursing wrap from way back when I was breastfeeding my now 4 year old.  But who doesn’t love stripes?  So I ditched the modesty button, opened the neck, and belted this sucker for a casual layered option
Stripes I would buy now if I wasn’t in such a rut:

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