Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Turn Something Old into Something New: 6 Ways to Accessorize

Look familiar? I must have about ten of these in varying dull colours sitting in my wardrobe just prime for customisation.

If you’re anything like me, you get bored, you get bored real easy, and clothes that have been in your possession longer than five minutes seem to lose their… cachet. So, how to spice up a boring wardrobe? Why, accessories of course! Not only are accessories cheap to buy, they can be easy to make, and the combinations of how to utilise them in shaking up our style can be endless.

Here are five of the easiest, cheapest, most on trend ways to spruce up your old apparel this season.

1. Corsages

SATC made them mainstream and we’ve been hooked ever since. With a mantra of ‘bigger is better’ a corsage is a failsafe way to make even the plainest of outfits worthy of stand-out status. Be different and give off a gothic vibe with this black corsage from Modcloth, or keep to the girly route with this pink offering from Dorothy Perkins. For the quirky and offbeat amongst you, this polka dot corsage from Monsoon is a must.

♥ Customising Hint: Try attaching a roughly cut piece of lace behind your corsage to give your chosen outfit a romantic, shabby chic feel. Smaller corsages can also be attached to your favourite string of faux-pearls for a budget way to imitate a hot trend.

2. Scarves

Great for those supposedly warm evenings of summer that have actually turned out to be undeniably chilly (welcome to the English climate kids!) A scarf is a practical way to turn a plain t-shirt into something far sassier. Lace and ‘bobble’ scarves like these from Miss Selfridge and ethnic prints like this one from Modcloth are some of the season’s top trends.

♥ Customising Hint: How about attaching a line or two of gold chain (available at jewellery making shops) in varying thicknesses to a bright silk neck scarf for an original, urban flair?

3. Brooches

A brooch or a collection of brooches anywhere from your coat collar to your handbag to the back pocket of your jeans is a great way to show of a little of that cheeky personality without being too ‘out there’ with it. I love this button brooch from Fancy Pocket, Charm Pin from American Eagle and Princess brooch from Oli – so cute!

♥ Customising Hint: With some cheaply bought pins and a hot glue gun – any little charm can become a brooch! Experiment with everything from Lego pieces to dice to Scrabble letters spelling out the word of your choice.

4. Bows

Though they may be a little girly for some tastes, there is no denying the simple elegance of times past that can be evoked with this most modest of accessories. This pink bow from Tallulah Tu and this zany example from Topshop will give a bright burst of life to a plain top, and this Marie Antoinette-esq black lace number from Dorothy Perkins is all glamour.

♥ Customising Hint: Try adding your own individual embellishment to a bow by gluing a cameo, button, bead, defunct earring or gem to the centre. Try to wear your bow in various ways: as a cheeky bowtie, on knee high socks, on the waistline of a plain skirt or fastened to the toe of some ballerina flats.

5. Belts

The flattering fame of the waist belt doesn’t yet show any hint of decline in the mass market, and we can see why. Added to a fitted or loose item, a waist-clincher is just what the doctor ordered for a new, sexy silhouette. How about this cute and bright option from Modcloth, this statement belt from Topshop or this elegant option from Yumi at Oli?

♥ Customising Hint: If you’ve got a real sense of adventure when it comes to customisation, cut each end off of an old leather belt and attach to either end of a rolled up silk scarf to make a stylish accessory that’ll beg the question ‘where did you get that?

6. Patches

Once the property of avid band fans, patches have gone mainstream with the help of re-emerged style staple, the blazer, upon which to adorn them (think preppy not punk). Be nicely nautical to raving-retro to game-gambler with one of these appliqué designs from Laughing Lizards.

♥ Customising Hint: Appliqué may be a little tricky for the layman craftswoman, but anyone with a little creative flair can put together a simple patch. Head to your local craft store and see what you can source; cut cute material into the shape of a star, bow, heart, leaf or flower and apply a few simple stitches or pick up some iron-on material to fix it to your chosen item.

The key when it comes to accessorising is to mix things up. Try adding a bow to your belt, or a corsage to your scarf, experiment every which way to make something old into something new!

Do you have any ideas to share? How do you mix things up accessories-wise to add budget pizzazz to your wardrobe?


Dubai Stylista said...

What a fabulous post! Love the customizing hints. Definitely going to try out as many as I can.

Ally said...


I ADORE this post!

Voila Megan said...

Dubai Stylista - I'd love to see what kind of things you do! Best of luck!

Ally - Thanks so much! This post took me aaaages so it really makes me grin to hear positive feedback like that. I'll cook up some more similar articles soon!

Rosie Unknown said...

I now majorly want a corsage and a bow. I will have to make some!

rock2fastforx3 said...

this post was fantastic!
keep it up (:

Eternal*Voyageur @ Venusian*Glow said...

I really truly love the customising tips !

Christina Crowe said...

I personally think some scarves look gorgeous. Great article. I'll try some of the other accessories for my wardrobe.

Maria Confer said...

What an excellent post and perfect for the current economic state! It's amazing how when I get in a fashion rut I forget to accessorize.

Thanks so much for all the wonderful ideas and tips!

Stéphanie said...

Great post !

Post a Comment