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Stop Before You Toss! A Quick Fix for Sprucing Up That Drabby Old Blazer in Your Closet (and Other Drabby Old Items, Too)

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By: Sonia Evers

With spring cleaning comes great determination. First, we have to actually take on the task, which is daunting and as easy to put aside as a dentist appointment. Then, once we’ve actually begun, we have to make one of life’s most taxing decisions: toss or keep?

We can come up with a reason to keep just about anything. A shirt with unintentional holes in the armpits? It keeps my pits cool in warmer months! A hot pink, ruffled prom dress that you bought for an 80s costume party? What if I’m invited to another 80s costume party? A black and white loafer whose other half went missing months ago? There is a 73% chance I left it in a cab, which means there’s a 27% chance it’s somewhere in this apartment…or somewhere else. I’m not saying the above three examples are actual scenarios I’ve taken part in, but I’m also not not saying that.


Anyhow, we hold onto things we don’t even like because we hope that one day we might wear them again. I get it. My closet is full of dated clothes that I’m banking on coming back into the trend-o-sphere. There are other pieces clothing I’m holding on to simply because of sentimental reasons; like this weird sequin beret that my mom’s friend bought me that I’ve never even considered wearing but it reminds me of her and I like that. But what about pieces that feel kind of, for lack of a better word, meh. You know the one’s I’m referring to — jeans you’ve worn almost to the death; oxfords with decaying laces but still enough sole in them (see what I did there?) to last another season or two; a blazer so bland it could moonlight as a stale sandwich from La Guardia.


I suppose you could throw these pieces out (and you should if you no longer like them), but sometimes all an old favorite needs is a little sprucing. Kind of like a sagging couch whose cushions need some poofing.


Take the aforementioned blazer for example. Let’s say it’s all black, with black buttons, and black lining, and reeks of stale cubicle. Here’s how you give it a new life:

1. Take it to the cleaner to get rid of said stale cubicle smell.


2. Remove all of the boring black buttons and replace them with electric blue ones. * Extra points if they’re velvet.


3. Go to the garment district and pick out a fun silk print. Maybe one with electric blue, white, and orange stripes. Bring the fabric and your blazer to a tailor and ask them to replace the lining with the fabric you picked out.


4. Don’t even bother hanging that blazer back up because something tells me this is all you’re going to want to wear for the rest of the season.


*If you’re not needle-and-thread savvy, you can also take the buttons to your tailor and have them replace them there.


You can essentially do this kind of “update” with any of the pieces in your closet. Add new laces to those oxfords. Iron on a couple of cool patches onto your jeans. Add new cuffs to a decaying button-down.


Sometimes spring cleaning isn’t about throwing away, but reinventing.


  Sonia Evers is a writer who has been profiled by and written for Glamour, Refinery29, Style Stories, and other prominent publications. She studied studio art and art history, and has a Master’s of Fine Art in creative non-fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. Sonia has been covering fashion related topics for over 5 years.


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