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Celebrate America Recycles Day by discovering new treasures in your own closet

What are you doing to celebrate America Recycles Day this Sunday, November 15th? How about recycling all of the ill-fitting, damaged, and out-of-date clothes hiding in the murky recesses of your closet (um…or is that just my closet?) <!–more–> It’s easy to turn old clothes into new treasures. And no, I’m not suggesting any labor intensive DIY projects — it is the freakin’ weekend, after all.

America Recycles Day is November 15th

America Recycles Day is November 15th

Instead, visit the absolute best tailor in your town, and work with him/her to rehab your wardrobe. It may cost you $5-$20 per item, depending on the alteration, but that’s still way cheaper than shopping for new clothes, and you’ll be doing your part to help reduce textile waste. (Big-ups to Victor, my local needle-and-thread genius. He sculpts jeans to fit like a glove, and has breathed new life into clothes I thought unwearable. Hit him up if you’re in Santa Monica.)

In the past, I’ve rehabbed everything from formal gowns to bikinis. Here are a few of my fave recylceables, with images to inspire:

Short dresses: The hot little minis from your 20s can start feeling a little…well, short, once you hit your 30s. Have them reworked into cute tops like this one from Karina Grimaldi, perfect to wear with jeans.

Karina Grimaldi Tank

Karina Grimaldi Tank

Sweaters: Once a cashmere or wool sweater has a significant hole or stain, it’s hard to repair. If your sweater’s elbows have worn away, turn it into a chic vest or stylish waistcoat.

knit waistcoat via netaporter.com

knit waistcoat via netaporter.com

Pants: For pants that are scruffy or stained at the cuff, make them into a pair of sexy cutoffs or cool knee-lenth shorts like the ones below.

Long shorts by Ben Sherman

Long shorts by Ben Sherman

Formalwear: Transform the bodice of a formal dress into a sexy little top like this one from LaRok. Use the fabric from the skirt to create a scarf or wrap.

Corset by LaRok

Corset by LaRok

Finally, don’t give up on stained clothing — just dye it a darker color. You can do this yourself using non-toxic dyes like these, or ask if they provide this service at your local green dry cleaner.

Happy America Recycles Day! Inspire other RB readers to recycle their closets by sharing your best clothing rescue stories. E-mail me at Tracy <at> RecycledBride <dot> com.

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