A Shirt Story: This Style Insider Tackles Upcycled Fashion Stitch By Stitch

After nearly 35 years as a fashion editor at Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Glamour, Sasha Iglehart is writing her next chapter stitch by stitch. With A Shirt Story, she hunts thrift shops for men’s tailored shirts (pinstriped, gingham, tuxedo, oxford) and upcycles them, complete with sparkly Swarovski buttons. Her slow fashion is going fast-but it’s timeless.

Alice Garbarini Hurley: What inspired you, after all those runway shows?
Sasha Iglehart: In January 2019, my mom was helping my dad clean out his drawers. She had a big bag of Brooks Brothers button-downs to donate. Some even had his name on labels inside. I said ‘I can’t let these go.’ It started my wheels turning. I redid them by hand, removing collars, changing buttons.

Alice: Did you sew as a girl?
Sasha: A little. In high school, I sewed some of my dad’s ties together into a long skirt, with the tips at the hemline.

Alice: How did you start selling?
Sasha: I gave shirts to family (my mother has a few), then people shopped my Instagram. My sister-in-law also bought 10 for gifts and a friend ordered 15 for presents, including one for her yoga teacher. A colleague asked for one for a fashion shoot. Now some stores sell them—for women and men.

Alice: Why sustainable clothing?
Sasha: It makes sense to slow down rapid fashion consumption. My dad had these classic shirts for at least 30 years. It’s a message we all know in our hearts is right.

Alice: What’s different now?
Sasha: All those men in suits going to the 21 Club for a black-tie dinner—people are more casual, and dressing their personality, even for work.

Alice: What about the hunt?
Sasha: I love Red, White & Blue, Goodwill and 2nd Ave stores. If it’s not pure cotton, I won’t buy it. I bid on eBay, too.

Alice: What else is recycled?
Sasha: I might ship your shirt in a Honey Nut Cheerios box. But it will arrive washed and ready to wear.

Click here to shop A Shirt Story.

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