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No-Sew Hawaiian Shirt to Dress Refashion & Thrifting in Hawaii!

Sloane's Weddingtastic Reader ReFash!
When I Dip You Dip We Dip Dye Dress Refashion

I would apologize for being MIA this past week, except I’m kinda not sorry.  😉  You see, I’ve been here:


When my pal Ryan asked if I’d like to join him on a trip to Kailua, Hawaii for a friend’s wedding, I couldn’t say no!  

I’d never been to Hawaii, and I needed to get away for a bit.  🙂  

What am I saying? I always say “I need to get away for a bit.”  The truth is, I love to travel more than just about anything else in the world and will make up just about any excuse to do it!  🙂

Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t drag my pal to the nearest thrift shop right away!  😉

 I was surprised at how typical it was.  You can’t even tell this is in Hawaii:

Hawaii Salvation Army Store
Thrift Store Donation Sign in Hawaii
That’s better!
Hawaiian Thrift Store Interior
Looks pretty typical to me…
Muumuus in Thrift store in Hawaii
But look closer!

I found a few things to play with & Refashion.  🙂  One of these things was this Men’s 3x shirt!

3X Mens Hawaiian Shirt
It’s actually quite comfy!

Okay, I failed to take any “during” pics, so I’m just gonna have to explain this one.  

I made the neck hole the top of my new dress by tucking the collar in and buttoning up the shirt as far as I could under my arms.  

Next, I added a safety pin inside to make sure it was nice ‘n snug.

THEN, I tucked the sleeves in to make funky faux pockets.  🙂

And here it is!

Refashionista No Sew Hawaiian Shirt to Dress Refashion After

If this no-sew refashion is your thing, you’ll probably also like:

You can see how I’ve cinched the waist of my new frock with one of my favorite thrifted belts.  I even had a cute pineapple necklace I scored the week before at a local theatre’s costume sale!

refashionista wearing pineapple necklace closeup
It’s pretty great, isn’t it? 🙂

My new dress was comfortable as could be and got tons of compliments from people who had no idea that it was actually a shirt…until I told them of course!  I keep no refashion secrets!

No Sew Hawaiian Shirt to Dress Refashion After
Sort of has a 60’s feel to it, doesn’t it?

Ryan and I had an amazing time checking out Oahu!

Ryan and Jillian
Hello from Paradise!

We ate some amazing local grub!

Mmmmmn…Guava Pancakes and Mahi Eggs Benedict!
Mmmmmn…Guava Pancakes and Mahi Eggs Benedict!

We even made some new friends!

Fire Spinners
Fire Spinners!

And the view from our house just couldn’t be beat.

view of ocean from Hawaiian rental home

New-Sew refashions can be great for traveling.  

I didn’t even end up keeping this shirt, as I always pack extremely light and didn’t have any room in my luggage.  So, I just laundered it and re-donated it.  More money for charity AND I had a cute new dress for the day!  

What a win/win!


No Sew Hawaiian Shirt to Dress Refashion | Refashionista
Yield: 1 No-Sew Hawaiian Dress

No-Sew Hawaiian Shirt to Dress Refashion

No Sew Hawaiian Shirt to Dress Refashion | Refashionista

Refashion a Men's Button Up Shirt into a Cute Dress with the Refashionista! No Sewing or cutting required!

Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $1


  • 1 Oversized Men's Hawaiian Shirt
  • 1 Belt


  • 1 Safety Pin


  1. Make the neck hole of the shirt the top of your new dress by tucking the collar in, and buttoning the shirt up under your arms as tight as you can.
  2. Safety pin the top from the inside. Make sure it's nice and snug!
  3. Tuck the sleeves in.
  4. Add a belt to cinch the waist
Sloane's Weddingtastic Reader ReFash!
When I Dip You Dip We Dip Dye Dress Refashion

32 thoughts on “No-Sew Hawaiian Shirt to Dress Refashion & Thrifting in Hawaii!”

  1. Every time I’m feeling down I read your blog and it totally inspires me. I love Hawaii and I love Hawaiian shirts. Been taking a lot of men’s shirts lately and turning them into cute skirts. But I digress, thank you for being you and inspiring others and me to be better and do more!!!

  2. I was so happy to see the Salvation Army pics. I thought I was the only person who visits the local thrift stores while on vacation. My family thinks I am nuts, but I have a great time.

  3. What a great shirt/dress! I’m glad you had a good trip – I think you could find the fun anywhere, to tell you the truth 🙂 Great idea to re-donate. Very sensible 🙂

  4. Nice! Hawaii looks good on you, girl!! This refashion makes me excited, my dad (who has always been a big guy) just lost a LOT of weight and he’s giving me all his old 3X fancy shirts to start my own refash collection =D Whoop! I’ve been going thru the archives for ideas, there are SO MANY great ones!

  5. This is so cute and flattering! Ah – if only I could also wear strapless but grand boobage does not allow for it. LOVE this one on you though – super cute!

  6. Did you get those pancakes at Cinnamons? I LOVE that restaurant!!! Honestly, Kailua is the prettiest place on the island. We spent a year there and miss Hawaii every moment. I’m a forever fan of the refashionista!

    • I actually ended up getting an omelet and a cinnamon roll. Both were great and the iced coffee was delicious! I loved Hawaii so much. It was hard to leave. 🙂 Thank you so much!

  7. Very cool! Will the next owner know how to wear it? Are you still loving your travel sewing machine? I think I want a small one and can teach my 7 and 9 year old on it.

  8. OMG, I too went to Hawaii (Maui) and I demanded my husband take me to thrift shopping! Hilite of my trip!! Although I didn’t buy anything…just wanted to look 🙂 . Happy to see I’m not the only one who sees thrift shopping as a type of sight-seeing!

  9. Are you at the Hilton Village? I could recognize those path stones anywhere – best 7 days of my life. jealous you were just there. Great work on the shirt!

  10. Well well well, the Hawaii Air did you good~ This is probably one of the cutest refashions you have done in a while without a lot of sewing necessary. I am so jealous I will try to imitate you soon. This will be my first thrift store visit, wish me luck, what should I look for if you have any really good recommendations…. I need to refashion for sizes 12/14
    Love to hear back from you…
    Greetings from the Chicago Area


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