Modifying Clothing

Sophia Lusala and Kate Wolfe

Fashion, at its root, is the most physical form of self expression. Everyday when we choose what to wear, we choose how and what we want to present to the world. When brands and store bought pieces just don’t do individuality justice, consumers take it upon themselves to add personalized touches to their wardrobe. Modifying clothing is one of the many ways people choose to express themselves. Cut and ripped clothing, wild patches, and using any medium to turn your clothing into a canvas have been outlets of self expression for generations.

Although teenage girls being infamous for cutting crop tops out of any and everything is nowhere near a recent development, the explosion of Tik Tok, a social media app used to post short videos, has led to the rise of many more specific trends. Teens globally are posting and getting inspiration from aesthetic videos of step by step personalizing Nike Air Force 1 shoes, album covers painted on back pockets, glitter everywhere, and more. Teens are desperate for new ways to set themselves apart. It can start with just a simple piece of clothing you can pick up from basically anywhere. This trend inspiring teen everywhere to pick up easily accessible, cheap, or outdated clothing, and even items our parents would once die for and modifying them to fit present day trends. 

As much as our generation would love to take credit for the birth of modified fashion it undeniably did not start with us. Many of our trends are simply callbacks to the artists that came before us. Fashion in general is constantly bouncing back to and updating styles from past decades, 80’s sweaters and colorful windbreakers are popping up in stores and magazines everywhere, and Tik Tok has reinvented skate fashion with the new label of “e-girls” and “e-boys” defined by their chains, vans, and beanies, e-style mirrors the classic skater look. Many new fashion styles have roots in hippy culture. Newly repopularized 70s style patches, pocket chains, painted bell bottoms and mom jeans mirror fashion trends throughout previous decades.