How to Update an Outfit with Recycled Accessories

Fashion trends can change like the wind and keeping up with them can be difficult for even the most fashion-forward among us. Plus, if you’re a proponent of sustainable shopping like us here at Junkohol, the last thing you want to do is buy a wardrobe full of new clothes every season.

So, what’s the alternative? Well, we’re great believers in the power of accessories, and more so in the power of recycled accessories. They can be used to dress up or pare down an outfit. From bags to shoes, those all-important finishing touches can really change up your look.

Here’s our guide on how to transform your outfit with recycled accessories, featuring some of our favourite picks from fellow sellers on Etsy.

1.  Swap Out Your Bag

One way to revamp any outfit is to change your bag. While they may seem like a small detail, bags actually play a big role in your outfit looks and feels.

Here are just a couple of examples:             

  • A structured bag is sturdy and professional, perfect for the workday.
  • An oversized canvas tote bag is the ultimate casual carry, best for more informal settings.
  • A stylish, dainty clutch works formal engagement but can be used to give a casual outfit added flair for brunch or a party.

Simply changing the bag you carry you can give your outfit an instant update or change the style completely.

Our Top Pick for Bags

Vintage Clutch Purse from Junkohol

If you want to give a simple outfit a unique twist – consider a handmade recycled bag.

When it comes to a timeless classic bag that’s made from sustainable materials – making it good for your wallet and the environment – we highly recommend Junkohol’s collection of handmade clutch purses.

Made from the pages of vintage magazines and newspapers, a clutch from Junkohol adds a vintage edge to any outfit. The gorgeous range of bags adds flair to any ensemble, from a little black evening dress to a casual t-shirt and jeans combo.

Every clutch bag is handmade using unique, authentic magazines from eras gone by, meaning you’re guaranteed to have a one of a kind accessory to update your outfit.

2.      Spend on a Pair of Sunglasses

Sunglasses are another great way to change the mood of any outfit.

Sunglasses now come in so many different shapes and styles, from super cool aviators to oversized butterfly glasses, and throwback cat-eye styles. No matter what your person tastes, the perfect pair of sunglasses is out there waiting just for you.

Our Top Pick for Sunglasses

Vintage Glasses from BertyandGertyVintage

Recycled doesn’t just mean things created using recycled materials, it can also include buying vintage and second-hand accessories. If you want to update your outfits with a pair of sunglasses, we highly recommend BertyandGertyVintage on Etsy.

Whether you want to get on board with the 90s mini-sunglasses trend, or prefer something a little more classic in style, you’re bound to find something you love.

3.      Accessorize with Handmade Jewelry

No outfit is complete without that perfect piece of jewelry to tie it all together. No matter your style, preference for silver or gold, bold or dainty, jewelry adds that special finishing touch.  

Earrings can make an outfit pop, a statement necklace can draw the eye, a fabulous set of bracelets can create texture and interest, or you can really dress things up and go for all three! Jewelry can really make or break an outfit, so make sure you choose wisely.

Our Top Pick for Handmade Jewelry

Dictionary Earrings from Junkohol

Here at Junkohol, we like our jewelry to send a message, and what better way to do it than with earrings made out of upcycled dictionaries?

Whether you want to spread a message of happiness or true love, our earrings can help you do just that.

Each pair is dainty and sweet, so they’ll never overpower your outfit, just add that extra touch that really finishes off the look. As they’re made from the pages of an English dictionary, the color scheme is neutral, meaning that you can use them to accessorize outfits of any color or style.

4.      Add a Belt

Often overlooked, a belt is a way to pull together any outfit. Whether you’re using it to add that extra something to your old faithful pair of jeans, or cinching your waist over a dress, a belt acts to break up your look or define your figure.

A simple, classic black belt can add interest to a pair of plain trousers. If you’re feeling more daring, try a chunky statement belt with an oversized buckle.

Our Top Pick for Belts

Upcycled Tyre Belt by Laurazabo

If you’re into alternative styles, why not try an upcycled belt made from old tyres. Give your favourite pair of jeans an extra edge or rock the biker chick look by accessorizing a black dress. Whatever way you choose to wear it, we guarantee that this belt will make a statement.

5.      Invest in a Pair of Statement Shoes

Shoes really define an outfit, so there’s no better way to switch up an outfit than by changing your footwear. After all, you can never have too many pairs of shoes.

 You’ll have seen the trend over the last couple of years for chunky sneakers with cut-off trousers, or biker boots paired with midi dresses. Trying some out of the box styles is a great way to find what works for you.

A ‘statement shoe’ is something out of the ordinary – think boots with a bold pattern or delicately hand stitched flats that bring a pop of color and intricacy to your ensemble.

By doing something as simple as changing your shoes, you can transform your whole look and give it a new lease of life.

Our Top Pick for Shoes

Handstitched Sneakers by StitchWhat

All-Star sneakers never go out of style, but if you feel their simplicity needs an upgrade to take your outfit to the next level then a handstitched upcycled pair could be just what you’re looking for. The delicate embroidery on this particular pair was inspired by floral designs of the 1970s.

However, if you don’t manage to catch this pair before they sell, there are plenty of other sellers on Etsy working hard to create beautiful, upcycled shoes to give your outfits a cool-girl update.

A Treasure Trove of Handmade Gifts

Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift for a loved one or just want to treat yourself to an extra special handmade accessory to update your favourite old outfit, check out the full Junkohol collection.