If you're planning to splurge on namebrand products like Burberry and Prada, don't let the dust bags go to waste sitting in the back of your closet. Flexing her creativity, TikToker @shaleseatlanta, aka Shalese, made a habit of repurposing luxury bags from Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, and more into DIY corset tops that are so chic we may never throw another bag away again. "A lot of the dust bags that I've used are from pieces that I've had for a while and I just thought to repurpose them," Shalese tells POPSUGAR. "I think the process of altering takes a little bit longer than actually making the piece."
Shalese picked up the basics of sewing at an after-school club in elementary school, but she recently took up the hobby again as a way to keep herself busy during the pandemic. Excited to let out her inner fashion designer, Shalese decided to transform a Louis Vuitton dust bag — aka those soft bags that often come with designer purses, shoes, or other accessories — into a button-up T-shirt, sparking a creative match that has since resulted in three designer corsets. "It was a pretty big dust bag from a backpack and I actually used two dust bags for [the shirt]," she says, adding that she took inspiration from designers like Alexander Wang and Miaou, keeping the lines simple and clean.
"I try to find ways to switch it up each time so they're not the same exact pieces."
On Customizing Her DIY Corsets
Shalese created the corsets, which only take her a few hours to complete, using a free downloadable pattern she found on YouTube and added her own customizations to each piece, including the square neckline on her Louis Vuitton corset, the pearl straps on the Chanel piece, and the navy-blue ties hidden behind her Gucci top. "I try to find ways to switch it up each time so they're not the same exact pieces," she says. "I'm learning along the way, so I want to try out different things."
On Her Future in Fashion
For her followers, Shalese's sewing videos are more than just a hobby — they're major style inspiration. "It was really cool to get appreciated by other people," Shalese says, adding that followers often try to commission pieces from her. "Because I have a full-time job, I definitely don't have the time in the day to make a whole bunch of pieces — I wish," she says. But if you're looking to add a new corset piece to your wardrobe, Shalese recommends checking out a few YouTube tutorials for some useful sewing technique to help get you started — and yes, any tote bag or dust bag will do.
While she isn't sure what's next for her in the fashion sphere, Shalese's plans to repurpose existing pieces into innovative wardrobe items won't be stopped anytime soon. "For my mom's birthday, I got her a pair of Bottega heels and I asked her to send me the dust bag," she says. "If it's big enough, I kind of want to make a pair of shorts." Fingers crossed she posts the full tutorial! In the meantime, check out how to create your own custom corsets and button-ups ahead.