It’s all too easy to buy something new, isn’t it? Especially these days. 

If we rip our top or a few buttons come off our dress, chances are we won’t try and repair or redeem it. Make do and mend no longer applies to our generation. At least not in the way it used to. Few of us will whip out a needle and thread or seek out patches to mend the hole in our jeans.

We have, unwittingly perhaps, become a nation of throwaway fashion. Of buying new, new, new rather than reinventing the old or investing in our existing wardrobes.

The beauty of clothes though, is the fact they can be reimagined. Their design is not made of stone. It can be changed and altered. They are, after all, just made from fabric. It’s what they remain, even after the stitches and seams are added. If you remove these, the fabric still stays, and so too do the endless opportunities. Sleeves can be added – or removed, hems can be shortened, lace, buttons or ribbon can be attached, and necklines can be changed. You could reinvent a blouse to one that is sleeveless or make a long dress that little bit shorter. 

I’m not saying every item in your wardrobe has this potential, but those items you may not have worn in a while, or the more special occasion pieces, could become something more wearable for every day.

It seems a shame to buy something new for one occasion and never wear it again. We don’t want to throw it anyway for the memories it holds, but know there won’t be another reason to wear it. It’s not just the expense of it, but the thought of wasting it too.

Let’s bring back make do and mend then. Let’s try to reinvent our favourite pieces so that they’ll be worn again. If you’re a little stuck for inspiration, here at Maggie Semple, we offer an alteration service too, with advice on how to rework the piece you may have bought for a special occasion into something that you could wear for another – or even into something you could wear every day.

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