Give out-of-style clothing a chance

JaLynn Hardy

Gina Ivanov, owner of Hippnotik located in Stow, took a purple sweater and black shirt and combined them into one. The process took only a couple days and cost about $40. Below: These are the clothes before she revamped them.

Credit: Andrew popik

Credit: Andrew popik

Spring cleaning means going through your closet looking for your old spring and summer clothes.

As you’re looking through some of your old clothes from previous years, you might realize that these styles are just not going to cut it for, yet again, another season. In fact, your favorite pair of shorts has a small stain on the pocket, and your blue shirt is just a tad out dated. It’s time to get rid of them.

So, you pack up all of the stuff you don’t want and try to get money for it at a second-hand clothing store. But wait — there is something else you can do with your old clothes.

You can have them revamped to get a new look that’s totally original and fits your personal style. I’d heard that Hippnotik, a clothing store in Stow, was taking your old clothes and creating something new.

As I had just cleaned out my wardrobe, I decided to give them a try.

I had a bag full of unwanted clothes and I brought them into the shop. I was greeted by the owner, Gina Ivanov, who has been redesigning clothes for years.

While talking to her, I could see patterns hanging together on the wall with a sewing machine next to them. Behind me is the rest of the store with clothing for sale.

She found a dark purple sweater, a black sheer blouse and a pair of dressy khakis to work with from the clothes I brought. Actually, I loved those khakis — they’d just shrunk too much in the length. Because there is no flood in sight, I figured I couldn’t wear them.

I told her what I didn’t like about the pieces, and then she shared her visions. She wanted to shorten the khakis into shorts, but take the snap detailing at the bottom of the leg and move it up to where the end of the shorts would be.

She also wanted to combine the sweater with the sheer black blouse for a texturized look.

And in less than a week, they were finished.

It was fun. Everything had a new twist to it. I won’t find someone else wearing the exact same shirt, because it’s one of a kind.

I had to know where Ivanov gets her inspiration.

“I’m just crazy,” she said. “I just let it happen.”

I really liked how she took the turtle neck sweater and cut it out into a boat neck shape. Then she cut the sweater at the chest level and added the ribbing from its bottom. It looks great over a tank top, and it’s comfy, too.

The ribbing was cut out of a black blouse, which made it uncomfortable to wear. So, it was replaced with the purple sweater in the middle. It’s so cute. You could dress it up with black pants or go for a more casual look with jeans.

The khakis are adorable. She put the snapping on the legs and also used it as decoration where pant pockets usually are. The black tie at the waist was changed to pink, giving the pants a more modern feel.

But is clothing re-design cheaper than buying new clothes? It is if you shop at any mall. The pants were $16, the sweater was $9.75 and the blouse was $14. It’s like haute couture on a budget.

Ivanov’s been doing it for years for her friends and bands.

Bands often wanted a new look, but they didn’t have a lot of money. The band members would bring Ivanov their old clothes or go to the thrift store, and then she would revamp their clothes for them.

She decided to get her own store about three years ago and has been re-designing ever since.

Her design philosophy is that women often look uncomfortable in their clothes.

“I think girls should dress more comfortable. You’ve got to make it your own,” she said.

Ivanov’s reinvention isn’t limited to just clothing, either.

“People bring in purses for us to fix and jewelry for us to design,” she said.

The store has always carried clothing off the rack that you can buy, but now she has created her own line with about 125 pieces in it.

Next time you’re thinking about parting with a blouse that you used to love, why not take it to Hippnotik and get a new look for less.

JaLynn Hardy is a senior broadcast journalism major and a fashion columnist. Contact her at [email protected].