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An Anthropologie-Inspired Refashion: From White Dress to Clay Top

DIY Little Free Library (from an Old Newspaper Box!)
One Dress, Three Ways: 90's Babydoll Dress Refashion Edition

As any salesperson at my local Anthropologie could probably tell you, I visit frequently, but never actually buy anything. Anthropologie stores are just so….freaking pretty.

Their clothes are what an aspirational version of me would wear every day. While there, I imagine myself as this fictitious wildly wealthy me who thinks nothing about dropping $60+ on a shirt. A single shirt.

Needless to say, that is not me. While Parallel Dimension Jillian enjoys her Anthro shopping sprees, I’m relegated to the unloved & unwanted castoffs at my decidedly less well-merchandised local thrift stores.

Before you start worrying that we’re trapped in some consumerist version of Jordan Peele’s US (wherein I am the sad jumpsuited doppelganger that’s about to knock off Rich Jillian with my sewing shears), relax. I love thrifting & upcycling, and hate spending $$$ on clothes that could go to better use (like wine!).

Which brings us to this $1 thrifted dress:

ReFashionista in frumpy white 80's dress
I love this. Really. I do.

This appears to be some sort of dowdy Easter dress, but it has a lot going for it (more on that in just a sec).

However, it has a few problems. Most of which are these awkwardly-placed flowers all over the top of the dress and at the bottom of the sleeves. But I’m also not a fan of the stark whiteness of it, as this lack of color doesn’t do much for its really nice embroidery and shoulder details or my pallid skin.

refashionista making fun of tacky detail

Grrrreat placement, huh?

Boob flowers and whiteness aside, there’s a lot to like. The fabric is light and comfy and that cool cut-out embroidery and shoulder netting are pretty awesome. Those blouson sleeves are on-trend right now as well!

refashionista shows closeup of netting detail
Halp! I’m trapped!

Time to get to work!

First, I went to town removing all of those flowers.

An Anthropologie-Inspired Refashion: From White Dress to Clay Top 1
They’re quite pretty close up. Do I really dare remove them???
I dare. Don’t worry! I saved them for a future project!

Now that the deflowering was complete (WHAT???!!!), I went to my refash stash and grabbed these:

refashionista with rit dye
Rit doesn’t sponsor this blog, but it would be cool if they did.

I decided to employ a little dye mixology here, as I knew I wanted a nice clay hue for my final product.

Now, since buying my now not-so-new house, I’ve had one major bane of contention. I DON’T HAVE A TOP LOADING WASHING MACHINE. Instead, the previous owner purchased a nice energy-efficient front loader which is great for such pedestrian things as say, laundry, but USELESS for dying clothes as it doesn’t fill with enough water and it doesn’t have an agitator. :'(


That means that until it breaks and I replace it with a top loader, I’m stuck dyeing everything in a big stockpot in my huge kitchen sink.

refashionista dyeing dress in pot
Which is exactly what I did.

After 30 minutes in its bath, I transferred the dress to my washing machine for a good rinse. I just let it run through the delicate cycle sans detergent.

After drying it, I saw there were a lot of uneven spots towards the bottom of the dress.

refashionista dye uneven

This was no big deal, as I was planning on turning this dress into a top anyways!

refashionista chop

You can see where I was able to make my cut riiiight above an uneven spot.

There it is!

I then pinned the bottom for a small hem.

refashionista pin cushion
Still Life with Pin Cushion
ReFashionista sewing machine closeup

After my new top was pressed, I was ready to head out with Mr. Refashionista for a tasty Restaurant Week dinner at Black Rooster!

refashionista in refashioned anthropologie inspired top
Fresh photo with the bomb lighting.

I styled my new top with dark high-waisted jeans, woven flat mules, a favorite vintage leather handbag, and this sweet necklace:

refashionista selfie
From Ischia, With Love

Necklace Story: Back in May, Brian and I traveled with friends to visit Ischia (an island off the coast of Naples, Italy). Yes, it was amazing. While walking along the beach, we discovered all of these tile shards that had washed up on the beach whose edges had been worn down over time. We brought some of them home with us (I put mine in my houseplant pots). Our friend Aaron turned his shards into charms and wove each one of us a necklace to commemorate our wonderful adventure. 🙂 Yes, I have amazing friends.

I think my top looks even nicer than this $68 Anthropologie one:

An Anthropologie-Inspired Refashion: From White Dress to Clay Top 2
$68. And it doesn’t even have any fancy shoulder details or anything.

We had a scrumptious meal consisting of lobster pot pie, pork schnitzel with duck egg (for him), rabbit cannelloni (for me), and an espresso martini for dessert.

Brians food insta post
Follow Brian’s Instagram if you want to see what we eat, as he is our official foodie photographer!
Refashionista Jillian and husband Brian
We cute.
ReFashionista drinks wine
The wine selection wasn’t too shabby either.
brian eating pork
Mr. Refashionista does enjoy a good meal.

Who says only Rich Parallel Dimension Jillian can have nice things?

Not me!


refashionista before and after 80s white dress to anthropologie inspired top
But what do you think?
DIY Little Free Library (from an Old Newspaper Box!)
One Dress, Three Ways: 90's Babydoll Dress Refashion Edition