One of my New Year’s resolutions is to refashion more work-friendly duds for my day job.
While I work in a pretty casual office environment, I still want to look nice and put-together. 🙂
I thought this dress I thrifted for $1 would make a great work look!
It’s kind of hard to see in the picture, but the white part of this dress is sort of gross and yellowed, even after laundering.
I decided to totally ignore the “Dry Clean Only” tag and tossed it in a hot dye bath in my washing machine, following the instructions on the bottle.
It only cost me $1…so even if it got totally messed up, it wouldn’t be a massive tragedy. I mean…it’s not like it was very wearable as-is.
The color I chose was a nice, dark Wine.
Now, this dress made of synthetic fibers, which mean it isn’t going to take in much of the dye at all.
Here’s why some fabrics absorb dye better than others if you’re curious!
No worries! as long as that grody yellowed white was covered up, everything would be good!
After my dress was dyed, rinsed, and dried, I used my seam ripper to remove those shoulder pads.
I thought about shortening the hem of my new dress, but I actually like the longer length just fine! 🙂
What do you think?
I love that subtle mauve hue! I added on a slim obi belt, tights, and a pair of thrifted brogues to complete the look!
My new dress also worked rather well for an after-work drinky drink!
45 thoughts on “Dye It: Mauve Maven Dress”
Mauve is a universally flattering color. Looks good on anyone! Love it on Jillian.
So cute! I love the new things you have added to your blog. Can’t wait to see more!
This one is particularly cute. A VERY nice color/style. GJ!
Very chic indeed – wow, how many comments have you got here!
I swear, I love you more with every post! Fortune favors the bold, indeed! 🙂 I love how the dress came out, and I love it with those adorable shoes! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!
I have a question and I hope it is not hopelessly silly. Did you remove the shirt from the skirt portion of the dress and did you remove the trim from the shirt before dyeing? Thanks!
There’s no such thing as a silly question. Nope. I didn’t remove it, as it’s already black. There’s no way it’s going to take on any other color. Sort of like how people with dark hair can’t dye it pink without first bleaching it out. 🙂
Thanks for the prompt reply. Obviously I am new to DIY dyeing but, just in case I wanted to give it a try I need all the info I can get. I thought your dress and dyeing were both beautiful!
Hi Jillian! Found your blog and spent the next several days going through each and every post whenever I had spare time. Fascinating! Inspiring! I have a question for you: I used to dye stuff all the tim, but then washing it becomes a problem because hand-dyed fabrics tend to bleed. What do you do about that? It’s impractical to wash each dyed item separately.
Thank you! 🙂 I really haven’t had any issues with dyed stuff bleeding. I make sure to rinse everything realllllly thoroughly. Also, I only wash my clothes in cold water on permanent press and keep my lights away from my darks. 🙂
Wow! Thanks for the speedy reply! Maybe I wasn’t rinsing things well enough. I’ll have to give it another try. Thanks again.
Love the new features on the blog!
One of your best yet. I agree, the obi belt seals the look. Freaking love this blog. xoxo
So here is the question for Monday.
Specifically machine dye job. I have one of those low water level machines that do not submerge clothes in water all the way. The machine does not have the aggregator but it is not a front loader. Do any of your friends have those and if they do would they let you try to dye something and then give us the scoop?
Obviously lots of us wanting to know different ways and technics.
Love this dress! The obi belt works really well with it- stamp of approval from me here in London, UK- X
I don’t even know how to sew. Nor do I do much thrifting. But I just started following you because your handiness is fascinating. Great job, girlie!
It turned out beautiful! Very classy but simple. I’m so happy that I’ve found your blog. Saw it on Rachel Ray last week here in Sweden!
Love how this turned out! I’m going to second what someone else asked above: have you ever written about the dyeing process here? I’m a fairly new reader, so I wasn’t sure. And it doesn’t seem like a terribly complicated process for the most part, but I did wonder about things like whether you’ve had issues with excess dye remaining in the washer and ruining subsequent loads or whether there’s a cleaning process post-dyeing for that, that sort of thing.
Thanks! I haven’t written about it in loads of detail, but methinks I should soon. 🙂 Thanks for the idea!
Just a random thought……You are a winter. Meaning you look fabulous in black white and jewel tones. Pink doesn’t quite work with your skin tone. Just for fun redye this one purple and refashione it again…..2 for the money!!!!!!
I agree with what others have said — the colour totally modernizes it (especially with the tights – I love coloured tights!) and the length is perfect for work. Charming redo!
Really cute – love the mauve color! And I agree – I’d love a dye tutorial!
I like the length esp for work. It’s so amazing how a little dye can change the whole vibe of the dress. Your shoes set it off perfectly. I’m looking forward to more!
I really, really like this one, Jillian!!! It looks so pretty and I agree about the longer hem. It just looks so classy and feminine! Well done!
Great idea to do some looks for work. Can’t wait to see more along these lines…
I love your blog
The shoes are awesome! I also love to wear bright or out of the ordinary colored tights. Totally brings everything together.
Love it, it has a sexy secretary vintage vibe!
Yes, a dye tutorial!! Cute refashion and so easy!
You always worry me with how short you make your dresses 🙂 It’s more jealousy on my part me thinks, as I just don’t have the legs for it!
Great find! I also always ignore the dry clean only tag!!
fabulous – looks awesome!
1st time posting for me. I have been doing the same thing for about 30+ years. It got to the point where any thrift store garment that was not beyond a loving nurturing remake unless the fabric itself was unredeemable. Doesn’t fit? Alter. Don’t like color? Dye it. on and on. I purposely stalked plus size baggy silk and fine fabrics even though I was a size 4 just for the yardage. Nicely done. Although I would not roll the sleeves. Thread color not accepting dye same as fabric can sabatoge our efforts to be refashionista empresses. More More! I look forward to each post.
I love it!
awesome! thanks for the inspirations!
I love the longer length! It looks beautiful! Dye-ing is fun!
It’s much better mauve color!
I love it! I am also a bit nervous about the whole dye in the washing machine thing – and have only ever tried in a bucket which wasn’t that successful!! Have gone through each post (from day 1) and haven’t seen much on the process… so if you have time, you could give us a couple of pointers!! Thanks!
What a fab transformation! The polka dot detail and brogues combination makes this look so polished. I also agree with Amy G – would love some info on dyeing. Maybe a how to / what hasn’t worked for you in the past? Thanks for sharing all your info.
Fabulous, as always!
I love the shoes! They complete the look.
Love your transformations but I am a little intimidated about the dying process, particularly in the washer. Have you ever written about it before?
VERY nice!! Good job!!
The dress is super chic and the color is perfect!! Pairing with a darker tight keeps it so modern. And I adore the shoes!! Keep on snipping!