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FASHION FORWARD: Wardrobe Update

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We love the catwalk, the high street and new designers, but there’s another corner of men’s fashion that’s crazy exciting and almost a taboo. If you haven’t delved into DIY before, don’t let those three letters put you off. It’s Buck, of course, and we wouldn’t want you to break into a sweat to look good. Think of it as ‘wardrobe remix’, as the insanely popular DIY Flickr group calls it. That group has 15,000 members but most of them are female. We need to get more men tweaking their wardrobes, when it’s so easy to do.

Whilst I wouldn’t suggest touching expensive designer pieces, working on thrift, unworn or unwanted clothing really extends the life, helps the planet, and will help your bank balance.

Here are some 5-minute tips for updating a whole outfit, using things we all have lying around. Call it adding the personal touch to your clothes.

Home-personalised shirts

Why pay good money to have your initials monogrammed onto shirts, when it’s far more interesting to hand-sew them in our ‘handwriting’? This blogger hand-sewed hearts and love notes into her husband’s shirts for Valentine’s Day (nice shirt collection btw).

Finish it off by changing the buttons. White buttons are a perennial classic, but try small gold ones, tortoiseshell effect and even wooden.


Customised Valentine’s shirt from My Favourite Colour is Shiny


Patterned jeans

Jeans are one of the easiest things to customise. The brilliant Outsapop blog suggests scribbling over jeans with a permanent marker or textile pen. Dashes, zigzags, or even traced patterns might seem juvenile, but can look great. Obviously, you can cut them into shorts, rip the knees, tear, dye and tie-dye (why anyone would want to buy pre tie-dyed jeans is a total mystery).



A shredded cardigan

Bloggers have been going crazy for Rodarte’s first foray into menswear: frayed, laddered knits for Opening Ceremony. Ludicrously expensive though, so try fray, sandpaper and unpick sections out of plain cardigans. Again, Outsapop has a superb tutorial that can be adapted for shredding a knit, too.


Rodarte at Opening Ceremony

Update your coat

Take inspiration from Damir Doma A/W 10 and wind a too-long vintage belt round your coat or cardigan for a Cossack look. Zana Bayne, designer, blogger and belt maker, picks up on these here.

Damir Doma A/W 10

The finishing touch

Accessories are the easiest place to start, but also easy to get wrong and go overboard on. Here’s a few instant thoughts:

Knot or sew similarly-coloured scarves together to make one long, patchworked mega-scarf;

Use cropped, ripped old t-shirts as jersey snoods; update the zips on your jacket for keyrings for a Jil Sander SS09 look;

Change the laces in your shoes (Mr. Lacy are good);

Use bleach to dip-dye a scarf or tote bag.

This week I have been mostly…

Obsessing over:

This DIY ’shattered’ Marimekko shirt by Outsapop, via Silver blog.


A pair of Palladium boots. After wanting these from Oak in New York for ages, at last they’re getting recognition and availability over here.


Listening to:

Charlotte Gainsbourg’s new Beck-produced album IRM

Amazing 80s compilation, Methods of Dance

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