A Simple Refashion


I bought this dress 5 years ago, just after Chris & I were married. I was feeling particularly broke (we were finishing college at the time), but I was in need of some retail therapy. I went to DI & found this lovely gem in the little girl’s section marked for $4. Bargain! I was especially excited about my find since there was a group of 3 hipster girls tearing through the women’s dress section in search for (my guess) something equally awesome. My best guess is that this ┬áis some sort of service uniform. It was an ugly tan – perhaps the worst shade of tan for my pasty white skin.

I’ve worn this dress a few times, but only ever with tights or in the summer when my legs reach their darkest hue: fair (as opposed to glow-in-the-dark). It’s a very utilitarian dress with pockets an elastic waist & button up top. I llike the mixture of masculine meets feminine & what drew me in to this dress in the first place were the red details. I can’t seem to find a before photo of this dress, so I’ve used my photoshop magic to illustrate what the heinous tan did to my skin. Yikes to the Yikes power.

I just dyed it with some liquid Rit – I mixed scarlet & brown together & got a beautiful light maroon. I’m really happy with the results & that you still get to see the original pops of red. What do you think?

Also, I just got my boots back from the cobbler today. I had them shined & resoled. It’s amazing the difference that that makes. I’ll actually be able to wear these gorgeous babies during the winter & not slip all over myself. So worth the $30, especially considering they cost a whopping $8 to begin with.

Dye provided by Rit Dye.

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    1. Allison says:

      what a great idea!! it looks awesome… and I think fair skin is far more beautiful than sun laden tans… just for the record ;)

    2. Monica says:

      That is really nice, thanks for sharing! What a way to spice up something “old” or just the wrong bland color.

    3. aubry. says:

      you inspired me! i have a similar dress, haven’t worn for years and years. my problem is exactly opposite yours. i’m the exact color of the dress. i’m lost in a sea of camouflaged fabric. after the convo at the calligraphy class the other day, i went to hobby lobby and bought a sweet shade of purple. dye job starts tonight. i’m hoping for something muted – like yours – after combining it with the neutral color of the dress.

      crossing my fingers.

    4. Merrick says:

      Love the light maroon color. And especially love that the red still comes through as brilliantly as ever! GREAT job!

    5. erin says:

      The before reminds me slightly of Shelley Long in Camp Beverly Hills which is kind of awesome because that was one of my favorite movies growing up but the dress looks so much cuter now that it is dyed. I adore your $8 boots, I wish I could find some like that!

    6. Katie says:

      I need to get my boots resoled. But I’m still trying to figure out when fall comes to Cali.

    7. Candice says:

      I love the new colour! It’s amazing what a simple little colouring can do to an outfit =) And the boots are so cute!

    8. 1. Your paleness is natural and beautiful. :) 2. The dress looks great! LOVE. I dyed a dress scarlet recently but it didnt turn out as deep red as I wanted so I may try it again and leave it in longer. way longer. 3. You remind me of something Ive been meaning to do for a long time -take a BAG of shoes to the cobbler. haha

    9. moxiemandie says:

      ohmygoodness! I SO love it! You are SUCH a smarty.

    10. Jess says:

      I think my mom had a dress almost identical to that in the 1980s! I love the way you wear yours, and the new color!


    11. ira lee henson says:

      i like the dress, its a really pretty color against your skin tone. i also had a pair of boots taken to be repaired. i got my at charlotte russe for $30 and it cost $12 to repair. very much worth it!!

    12. bmerry says:

      I like it! The original tan and red reminds of a LaCoste skirt I got a few months ago.

    13. great find!! great outfit … what a fabulous idea to dye it and it totally turned out. i’m surprised that the red parts turned out as fabulous as they did, but it makes sense. love it with the boots (totally worth taking to the cobbler). you amaze me every time you show one of these awesome refashioned outfits!

    14. Alysa says:

      Love the photoshop magic! I kept switching between the two images thinking, “These look identical! How in the world did she replicate the pose?!!”

    15. Alysa says:


    16. Alysa says:

      Oh no- looks like my comment above goofed up! :( Sorry!

    17. Ana says:

      Oh this is incredible! It’s amazing how a simple change of colour can make such a big difference. I think that the lovely pops of red stand out even more now – and it’s a great colour for fall too!

    18. Ana says:

      Oh this is incredible! It’s amazing how a simple change of colour can make such a big difference. I think that the lovely pops of red stand out even more now; and it’s a great colour for fall too!

    19. Sarah Jane says:

      Insane. You are insane. The refashion is perfect. Can I get the name of your cobbler? My fav boots from DI are falling apart and I would totally be willing to spend the money to fix them!

    20. […] Color Story – This could be the easiest dress refashion ever – no sewing required! […]

    21. Dyeing it was a great idea! Totally changed the feel of the dress! I had some boots that I wore the sole off…your cobbler is really good…!

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