Good news, dear gentlemen readers: we’ll be featuring a weekly column by GoodwillNyNj Style Icon David Morgan all about secondhand fashion and DIY style. This week: grunging up those Goodwill finds to bring out your inner hipster. Enjoy!
I never would have thought this would happen, but it is undeniably true: Grunge is Back.
Plaid shirts, cut off jeans and tangled hair are virtually the daily uniform for any Brooklyn hipster or “Twilight” fan (are you a ‘Twi-hard?’). Messy is trendy at the moment, and I am completely ok with that. I’ve never been a fan of ultra-chic or high-glam. A little wrinkle here or there, a slight discoloration or a minor tear is not really a wardrobe disaster for me. These imperfections add a bit of character and personality, which is truly what makes great fashion stand above the rest.
Unlike your standard retail clothing store, Goodwill offers both the new and the used – and it’s not impossible to find pieces that look lightly worn. While many items can be easily altered or repaired, other pieces may look good just the way they are. It’s really important to try everything on that you like at Goodwill. That tear may be in just the right place, or you may feel inspired to do something extra-creative to the garment in order to make it your own.
I found a great tank top a few months ago that I just loved. It is this old, 80s baby-blue exercise tee that has the phrase “Work Your Gluteus to the Maximus” on the back. Hilarious! Unfortunately, I spilled something on the front that wouldn’t come out (tea? juice? I don’t remember). Yesterday, I had the sudden urge to do a bit of de-repairing to it, grunging it up with a few holes and tears. There isn’t really a science to this, and you could you use items around the house to make your own tattered tee. Here’s what I used:
- An awl: I dabble in a bit of bookbinding, and an awl is used to poke holes in stacks of paper. I used this for my shirt because it’s super-sharp and makes clean holes.
- Knife: Instead of scissors, I decided to take a knife to my shirt in order to make it look a bit more shredded.
- Cutting Board: You don’t want to damage your table with this project. Make sure you have a cutting board underneath when you are cutting or poking.
I started by make some holes with my awl. I love clusters, like those of pearls or grapes, so I tried to do groups of those all over. Then I cut a few slashes across the tee, and also ripped off about 4 inches of the bottom (it was really long on me). A 15-minute DIY project that turns an old tank from frumpy to rocker-chic!
I paired it with an old white tank, a handmade necklace, some Diesel jeans (I’m definitely an advocate of wearing high and low pieces, even as a Goodwill fan), and vintage shoes. I’ve never looked more hipster in my life, but it’s still a pretty cool outfit. What do you think?
Next time you’re in Goodwill, be sure to grab an old tank and try your hand at distressing it. You’ll be looking like a Nirvana groupie in no time.