TikTok Trends: Here’s how to DIY a crop top out of a pair of tights


WORDS By Ruby Staley

Transforming tights.

Tights, stockings, hosiery, pantyhose, nylons – whatever you call them, there’s a fairly low effort way to extend the life of your well-loved leg hugging undergarments.

After being fed video after video of people upcycling their hosiery via my TikTok For You Page, I started considering chopping up my own old tights for the greater fashion good.

For more on slow fashion, head to our Fashion vertical.

For anyone who is still not convinced about the impact of Gen Z TikTokers on fashion, this latest online upcycling trend on Tights Tok (that’s what I’m calling it) just proves how forward-thinking these young fashion folk are.

In what seems to be the latest iteration of the deconstructed trend (it sits within the avant-apocalypse and thneed territories) I’ve recently seen TikTokers transforming stockings into cropped shirts, boleros, socks that look like boots, long line gloves and even skirts.

Who knew your unloved old school tights could be so versatile? Not only is this particular upcycling trend an easy way to be creative, but it’s also a way to re-use a piece you already own that may be getting close to its expiry date.

Maybe your tights have runs, holes or are just a little too short for you now – never fear, the stretchy material can be transformed into a whole host of other garments. Thinking of your pre-worn tights as stretchy fabric with limitless potential is the mindset to get into before participating in the trend.

@yourfavouritevirgo20 Ahh I love it #outfitideas #diy #cutouttop #upcycle #tighttop #fashion #pinterestoutfit #upcycledfashion ♬ اووللهه – Dabby | دابي

Looking to my own growing collection of tights, I uncovered a few neglected pairs that I felt deserved another life. Testing out the Tights Tok trend for myself, first up I opted for an opaque pair that looked fairly new (besides the worn soles of the feet) to turn into a long sleeve crop.

Taking inspiration from futuristic fashion designers like Ottolinger and Dion Lee, I first cut a small hole for my head in the crotch area of the tights. Cutting off both of the feet, I quickly and easily created sleeves for my arms to fit through.

Once I had pulled it over my head and assessed the shape, I sliced the stretchy fabric with scissors to create tiny holes for my thumbs to poke through, creating a faux glove vibe. Adding the finishing touches to my creation, I carved large holes at the shoulders to create a multi-strap effect.

@k.liyha I will be turning every pair of tights I own into a top #upcycling #pintrestinspired #diy #tutorials #style ♬ SugarCrash! – ElyOtto

I loved the way it looked, and as someone with next to no patience, I was taken aback by how quick and easy the process was. With almost a drawer full of unused tights at my disposal, I attempted another Tight Tok look – this time, chopping up two pairs of my old tights to create one layered-looking crop top.

Because these pairs were extra sheer, layering two on top of one another meant I could wear the stretchy creation as a top. And wear it I did. Styled with low rise wide-leg pants and accessorising with a neon printed scarf, the look felt both nostalgically punk and futuristic in a deconstructed way.

@mayahavana Another one, inspo from @nikellle #fashion #style #ootd #subversivebasics #upcycle#diy #tightstop ♬ original sound – Alex Consani

The tights already had a few holes in them, but as the day went on, a few more appeared, only adding to the vibe of the look. As we’re all painfully aware, fast fashion, rapid trend cycles and the immense waste produced by the fashion industry is only getting worse. But at the same time, no one wants to feel out of the loop or behind the times.

@fashionjournalmagazine FJ contributor @Ruby Staley ♬ original sound – Molly

So, any way we can minimise this waste in our own lives while looking on-trend – as well as exercising our individual creativity – is a positive in my book. Now, with two successful fashion DIYs now under my belt, I’m far more convinced of the potential our pre-loved clothes have to look and feel brand new again.

Although there are plenty of TikToks and how-tos to guide you through this upcycling trend, participating presents an opportunity to tap into your inner designer. With both of my pieces, I ignored the step-by-step guides and instead created intuitively, letting my scissors guide me rather than the other way around.

Because of this, my new pieces feel much more like me than they would have if I had copied someone else’s design. I should mention that you can’t expect perfection – especially on your first try – but you should give it a go anyway. Your old tights will thank you for it.

For more on creating tops out of tights, try this.

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