Don't get me wrong. Fashion is still my first and greatest love but I've come to realise that I can appreciate things, recommend them to you, enjoy them, without owning them myself. Eventually, I'd like to curate a key wardrobe which I switch things in and out of seasonally and if there's a particular trend I like. Until I get to that point though, I've been trying to be better about buying, reusing and waste.
When The Zipyard approached me, asking me to a press day and to bring along an item in my wardrobe that could do with being revitalised, I was intrigued. It was only when I went and saw their showcase that I realised that this collab was exactly what I'd been craving and where my interests had been diverting lately.
The chain of alterations stores has 26 branches around Ireland and offer basic tailoring and alterations, dress-making and, best of all, upcycling of existing garments. They showed us how they bought pieces in the likes of Primark and made them look more expensive and unique, how they duplicated favourite items from customers who wished they had bought multiples as they loved and wore things so much and how they made old, tried pieces into something fresh and new.
Sometimes these alterations were simple; adding length to a dress that someone no longer felt comfortable wearing, turning a coat into an on-trend sleeveless jacket or embellishing an old top to make it more interesting or formal. Other times, this meant making entirely new garments like a coord from a shift dress.
I was fascinated by it all - and so impressed! This is what more of us need to do instead of being wasteful and buying more and more stuff to weigh us down. Or instead of merely throwing perfectly good garments away!
For my item, I brought in an Avoca jacket that I bought with a skirt as a suit in a charity shop for five quid. The fabric was good, and the construction fantastic but it was tired and old-fashioned. I liked the idea of the jacket and wore it a few times but it needed careful styling to work. I wanted something I didn't have to put so much thought into.
So, they patched up the worn areas so neatly you wouldn't notice it. Added length to turn it into a coat instead of an awkward, in-between length jacket. Used the same leather from the hem to trim the sleeves and pockets - to tie it all together. And then changed the buttons into something cleaner to make it look more contemporary.
The result is a McQueen style coat that is utterly unique, infinitely more wearable and very special to me.
I urge anyone looking a piece that they love, no longer wear but cannot part with to pop into one of The Zipyard's branches and see what they can do for you! Their teams are not only tailors but also have been trained in styling and will be able to make sure all garments fit to perfection and look awesome. They'll even be able to give you great ideas on how to change up a piece!
(Thanks to The Zipyard for this experience - it was amazing!)
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