From 90’s flashbacks to practical projects to get more wear out of your underused wardrobe, here are three easy DIY summer trends to try at home. These are are inspired by luxury it-items that can be easily achieved with a little bit of patience and some needle and thread. If you haven’t been tempted to buy at least one tie-dye item this year, I don’t even know how you found this article. For those of us that are fully on the psychedelic fashion bandwagon, we’ve definitely seen our fair share of very expensive pieces. Who remembers Saint Laurent’s oversized tees from last summer or the famous rainbow hued Ralph Lauren shirt? The thing is, you already know how to tie-dye. You just don’t know it yet. Then there’s everyone’s staple item, denim. It’s one of the most water-intensive garments to produce and therefore, one of the items to get as much love and wear from as possible. One of the ways to do this is a chic upcycling project, take a look at how to create a co-ord set and peekaboo jeans below.
Time: 24 hours, including prep time.
The rules are simple, choose a piece that’s made of predominantly of natural material. The best results will be on 100% cotton, silk or linen. Remember that colour mixing rules apply, so bear in mind the tone of the garment you’re dyeing. If it’s your first time, I’d suggest a light colour or just plain white. When you tie up bits of your fabric with rubber bands, make sure they’re really tight to get a prominent design. Ideally leave the fabric in a waterproof container like a reusable plastic bag or tub overnight to let the dye set. When you rinse it out after at least eight hours (I left mine for a whole day), you can remove the rubber bands. Next is a wash with the item by itself in the machine. I found that once dried after this step, the colour doesn’t budge. But to be safe, wash it with similar colours the next time round.
What I love most about this (aside from the aesthetic of a 90’s kid that refuses to grow up) is that it gives new life to t-shirts. You know, the ones that look like they’ve seen better days from years of washes and rough wear. And of course, the ones that bear the injuries of war, also known as stubborn makeup stains. Tie dye isn’t perfect, it’s fun. A tiny smudge of pre-existing paint or an odd patch of nondescript colour makes the magic.
What you’ll need
Time: 1 hour
In collaboration with Farfetch, I was gifted a pair of 7 for All Mankind jeans in the high rise, skinny cropped style to show them how I’d customise it.
First, I used parts of a scarf that’s been sitting at the back of my accessories drawer to add statement elements to my denim. But if you don’t have anything like that at home, all you’ll need is scraps of material. Etsy (linked below) have lovely off-cut options that’ll save you a bit of money and a more sustainable option than buying a metre of fabric.
Next I tackled the peekaboo pocket. I’d seen this trend pop up here and there on Instagram but just like the butt-slashed jeans (cute but risky) it’s one of those best done at home. Why? Because where the ‘peek’ part of the trousers sit on your body is the line between a return and a keep. I really love this DIY summer trend worn with a printed shirt or coloured top tucked in. It looks subtle yet expensive. I like to dress up the look with bold and minimal gold accessories for that vintage vibe.
What you’ll need
If you have a jumpsuit lying around with a crotch that’s not quite where it should be… this is your prime target to convert into a cute co-ord set that’s been on trend, season after season. You’ll get far more wear out of your clothes and the sewing job ranges from minimal to reasonably time consuming, depending on the thickness of the material.
I upcycled a Boyish black garment, that already had buttons to secure the trouser portion, which made the project significantly easier. The next step was to tailor the waist to fit, which is simply measuring the width of front and back and pinning it to your size. I’d recommend drawing ‘darts’, which create a lovely slim, tapered effect (see image for what it looks like). This can be hand sewn or ideally, done with a machine.
The best part is that a distressed denim jacket is oh so Balenciaga, so there’s really no need to do anything with the top half.
What you’ll need