How to Revive Old Dresses

I’ve been loathing dresses this summer. I didn’t know what it was at first. Perhaps gaining a bit of weight because of commuting to the bay area. Perhaps my style has changed a bit over the last 5+ years. I’m not as into kid like prints and circus colors (well for now). I have a whole stand up rack full of dresses that are color coded but no desire to even look at it when getting dressed. After about 3 months of touching it, I made myself a goal to wear dresses all week to work. Co-workers definitely were loving the dresses I’d pulled out from the mid 2000’s, approximately 10 years ago! Yup, it’s true a few of them are still in good shape and are stretchy material and still fit. Here are a few dresses I’ve found that were painful to make an effort to wear but worth it all the while. This is a good example of how to get out of a rut—just force yourself to do it! Sounds silly to make this life comparison about dresses but hey the method worked.

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Problem #1: I didn’t like this dress because it felt way TOO girlie. Every time I slipped it on, it looked like I was going to a tea party.

Why I kept the piece: The dress itself has great fabric, buttons and tonality.

Solution #1: Add a loud shoe and light weight jacket. I always think of dresses as having to be worn alone. But that’s not the case at all. Adding another garment can revive the piece and make it feel fresh again. I like the idea of a keeping the garments in the same color value. Sand and blush pink went well to make this ensemble feel like one unit.

Option I didn’t try: add some punk elements to this dress. Put on a leather jacket and some sneaker high tops or a studded pair of boots.

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Problem #2: I didn’t like this dress because the material felt baggy and stretched out to the max.

Why I kept the piece: I felt the dress color was still classic and wearable.

Solution #2: Add a modern heel and handbag. This dress is super old. I’m the fashion police would say the cut, color and buttons are just all wrong for this season but I don’t mind. I also added a sleeveless trench with a belted waistline. This piece is so powerful it really makes the dress a secondary element.

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Problem #3: the white dress has shrunk and is a wee bit short.

Why I kept the piece: this was the only mid thigh dress I own. Therefore it created a great stacked layered look with a longer piece on top.

3. Try adding a duster. I didn’t like this dress because it has become too short on me. If you have to stretch the life of a garment a bit longer this is a great way to do so.

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Would you give some of these tricks a try before tossing or donating your old dresses?

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