We all like a bit of retail therapy now and then – and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) is on a mission to help us be more creative with our garment purchases! This year saw the launch of the charity’s latest campaign, The Big Stitch, which ran throughout July and encouraged to visit their local BHF outlet and buy some of the new or second-hand garments on offer – then customise them to create a unique, personalised look.
Although The Big Stitch campaign for this year is almost over, the BHF is already planning an even bigger and better campaign for 2018. In the meantime, you can still continue to search BHF shops for items to modify into your own fashion statements. Jax Black, Senior Costume Technician at London College of Fashion and campaign supporter, shares her tips on how best to approach upcycling.
Consider your style
Whether you’re adding a lace collar to a top, or giving a denim jacket an edge with graffiti or badges, think of the trend you want to add to your wardrobe so you have a clear vision before you start purchasing. By being open minded, it’s possible to incorporate your desired trend to alternative items such as a pair of jeans instead of a denim jacket – achieving a similar and wearable style.
Be open to sizing
With the selection of designer and high street brands on offer, alternate sizing can help create a variation of styles. Larger tops can be cut to create a cropped or fringed effect, while smaller sizes could have extra fabric added to the bottom to create a peplum style. A size 12 from one brand may be a different fit for another, so it’s worth trying on a variety and thinking about how they can be incorporated into your wardrobe by making simple additions and personalisation.
Pop in frequently
With daily donations, new styles and sizing are available everyday at BHF shops. There are always different collections which can be customised for your wardrobe season after season without the hefty price tag. Visiting your local store frequently will allow you to take advantage of the latest stock first.
Think about the area
Each area, city and region of the country will offer different collections depending on the demographic of the donators. Think about what you are looking for and whether that area includes your desired demographic. This will ensure that your chosen shop includes styles you are seeking and items you are likely to wear time and time again.
With low price tags, BHF shops offer the perfect opportunity to get adventurous and experiment with customisation without breaking the bank. Step out of your comfort zone and try your hand at something new. Whether it’s using a sponge to bleach denim shorts and create an ombre effect, adding a flower crown to a wide brimmed hat for festival style, or creating a cold shoulder by cutting out panels on a dress, the customisation options are vast and enable shoppers to try new styles without the guilt.
Look online for fashion
If you’re looking for something really special, BHF has an eBay shop selling donated high-end designer items at competitive prices. Perhaps you’re looking for a Vivienne Westwood dress where you can add your own sparkle for a special occasion or a Burberry scarf you can customise as a gift. The BHF eBay shop provides shoppers with discerning taste to divulge their designer addiction online, while supporting the BHF’s life-saving heart research at the same time. Visit the BHF eBay shop at www.bhf.org.uk/ebay
For further details on The Big Stitch, visit www.bhf.org.uk/thebigstitch
See Jax Black’s blog at www.mrsbeevintagedressmaker.co.uk
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