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One Dress, Three Ways: 90’s Babydoll Dress Refashion Edition

An Anthropologie-Inspired Refashion: From White Dress to Clay Top
Welcome 2020: An '80s Dress-to-Cocktail Dress Refashion

I have mixed feelings about the 90’s “nostalgia” trends I see just about everywhere now (quotes because I can’t believe I’m old enough to see the clothes I wore back in high school be referred to as nostalgic or vintage. I mean, the 90’s were like…10 years ago, right?).

90sfashion
T’was a golden age…

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE seeing the styles I loved then returning to relevancy now. But I’m kind of kicking myself for not hoarding all those platform sneakies, chokers, and babydoll dresses. Oh yeah, and it makes me feel super old when I see college girls decked out for their 90’s theme parties.

Lots of brands have gotten on board with this trend, and I’m here for it. This is one of my favorite fashion decades (scoff all you like!). However, like all decades, 90’s fashion definitely made some missteps.

Refashionista Before
I present Exhibit A.

Today I’m going to show you not one, not two, but THREE ways you can upcycle these drab button down 90’s numbers. Two are totally no-sew and the final one is a super easy sew!

1. Floral Duster

refashionista floral duster
Bananas seem to be having a moment as of late…

As I said, this is a super-easy way to get an on-trend floral duster for very little coinage. Unless you prefer to pay $48, in which case, by all means click here.

2. Upcycled Strapless Dress

refashionista upcycled strapless dress
It. Has. Pocketsssssssssssss!

This is another easy one, folks, and I know you’ve seen me execute this maneuver many times in the past.

But for those who are new to my quickie-strapless-dress-from-a-button-down-dress ways, All it take is just a couple of simple steps.

refashionista
Step 1: Tuck the Collar in on the back and button it up as far as you can.
ReFashionista
Step 2: Tie it and go frolic freely amongst the things!
ReFashionista
Yes. It stays up. I promise!

I wore this cute frock to catch a screening of Little Women (which is great and you need to go see it!) at The Nickelodeon. I was comfy in our eerily mid-70’s temps (In January? Howww???), but still needed a light jacket.

refashionista denim jacket
Ah…my trusty denim jacket!

3. 90’s Babydoll Dress!

ReFashionista babydoll dress
Its final form!

And here we are! The final (and true, I think) form for this refashion!

ReFashionista
My Pragmatic Friend Erin: “Let me take a pic from the side so your readers can’t say it doesn’t fit.”

Luckily, this dress had all the right elements to convert it into babydoll awesomeness:

  1. It’s a size or two up from my regular size.
  2. It has an empire waist (hard to tell in the pics, but the seam falls mid-ribcage.
  3. It has a slightly gathered back (once again, tough to photograph).

All I had to do was make one big chop…

ReFashionista chop

Chop!

Followed by a quick pin job!

ReFashionista pinning
Pinning & Winning!

…Followed by a quick whirrrr!

ReFashionista
A hem is born!

My new dress enjoyed a delightful after-work glass of vino with friends!

One Dress, Three Ways: 90's Babydoll Dress Refashion Edition 2
The happiest of hours!
One Dress, Three Ways: 90's Babydoll Dress Refashion Edition 3
Join us!

So there you have it! THREE unique looks from ONE dress for ONE dollar! 😀

But which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

ReFashionista
Your vote matters!

Cheers!

An Anthropologie-Inspired Refashion: From White Dress to Clay Top
Welcome 2020: An '80s Dress-to-Cocktail Dress Refashion

192 thoughts on “One Dress, Three Ways: 90’s Babydoll Dress Refashion Edition”

  1. I’d have to say number 2, although number 1 is a close second.

    Also, I’m so happy you’ve returned to the site!!! (You’re actually the inspiration for my having bought a sewing machine.)

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  2. #1 is my favorite – hides a multitude of sins. I love #3, but baby doll styles just don’t work well for a curvy gal like me. So glad you’re back – love your sense of style and refashion ides!

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  3. I love them all but #1 looks great and looking forward to Wednesday…50% off at Salvation Army and Community Aide (certain color tags excluded)! As always you inspire!

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  4. So glad you are back!! The duster was my fav but I love the babydoll! The original picture made it look like a thick heavy material but it looks super cute and comfy with your redos. Totally want to try this.

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  5. All three are adorable on you. My favorites are 1 and 3, with 3 probably being my fav. Love your posts! SO glad your back!

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  6. I like the duster WAY more than I expected to. It makes this a difficult choice. The babydoll is an adorable look for you. I’m tied between 1 and 3.

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  7. Oh my! So difficult to pick one best look, I love all 3! But, the babydoll dress/Doc Martens combo has my vote!

    I am so thrilled that you are back into action, I cannot wait to see what you do next!

    This year, I have decided to stay away from fast fashion crap and go vintage baby! I will be looking to you for inspiration so please keep your awesome refashions coming!

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  8. i love when you do the 2 in 1 or 3 in 1 for one piece. i have been following you for a while. i love seeing how you transform something. i notice that you make a lot of dresses of similar cut/design. Do you continue to wear these dresses long after you’ve made them? it would be great to see different things than dresses. maybe it would be more of a challenge? i know its your style to wear those cute dresses. but, it would be cool to see how different things can be. pants maybe?!?

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  9. I love the duster and the baby doll, but couldn’t pull off the baby doll at my age. They ALL are great on you. I am so glad you’re back. I love seeing what you do!

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  10. I like One and Two best but Two would def look a lot better on you than me. I like the long duster… Silky, flowy… So glad you are back….

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  11. You did great – as usual. I like 1, and 3 is the best, I fear strapless – it’s a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen. 😉

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  12. All super adorable. I like the duster because it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen and looks like so much fun to traipse around in. #2 is cute but on you, I like #3.

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  13. You make it all look so simple… I do all mine restyles by hand since a machine and I have never seen eye to eye… and I’ve run out of simple ideas… Thanks for this great tutorial… I have a couple of things in my recycle bin that I will not take out and try again… Love all 3 of the way this restyle could have gone…

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  14. So glad you’re back!! Of course, your creativity can get 3 new looks from one piece of clothing. It’s a close call but #3 is the winner in MHO.

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  15. Three is my fave! I dressed like that in University and would call them Holly Hobby dresses, with Doc Marten’s, sometimes leggings. It was my favorite style next to Mod. Wish my legs were still skinny enough to get away with it. So glad to see you back.

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  16. I feel you on all these things. I tell my 13 year old that we’ve already done this looks and then I feel like my mother because she told me the same about some styles! Double whammy! lol
    I like the first option because I’m a jeans and tee girl through and through! Love it!
    Happy to see you sharing again! 🙂

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  17. Not sure if I’m drawn to the banana shirt, but one is my fave-yourocked them all tho…so pleased you’re sharing your refashions again…Love them!

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  18. Lovely to have Refashionista posts showing up in my inbox! You obviously haven’t lost your touch in the slightest! I’d have to say #1 is my favorite of your three refashions.

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    • They’re ALL so great! I’d probably get more use out of #3, though, so I’m glad it’s the final look.
      I’m so happy to see you back, like back back! I’ve seen a few of these, and regret, now, that I passed them up! Maybe the goodwill angels we’ll smile upon me tomorrow!

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  19. I love #1, even they are all great. I am going to have check out my thrift shop for a dress like this so I can ware as a duster.

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  20. The last one is totally my jam. I like the second and third but I’d wear the third one (especially styled like you did).

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  21. I love all three! I think i’d probably wear the babydoll most often but LoVE the duster! thank you for continuing this post! It helps me think creatively when I thrift!

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  22. #2 is my favorite. I’m so glad you’re posting refashes again — i absolutely love them. They look simple enough maybe I could do it too. You’re teaching me to look first for the fabric and come up with the design second, which is the opposite of how I usually think. I did actually buy a frumpy dress in a fabric that i love…. I’m still trying to figure out how to refash it though. I’ll send pictures when i do.

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  23. I super duper like #2. I think I was too old for the 90s babydoll trend. I’ve already been through the nostalgia where college students and HS students get excited about their 80s themed parties. I may still have an item or two of clothing I owned and wore in the 80s.

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  24. I like all 3, but the strapless no-sew is perfect – you have the figure to wear it. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to more Refashionista! Now I have a question. I have a pile of Small size T-shirts each a different color. I want to do something with them, but I’m not sure what. Maybe patchwork? If you ever decide to do a refash with T-shirts, I’ll be all eyes! Thank you!

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  25. Uh my gosh i have to vote for your hair !! So flipping cute ! I love the duster. I am 5’4” and feel too short for dusters ! Thoughts ?

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  26. This is soooooo awesome! I love how you think outside of the box. I’m going to keep following you until I too can think OUTSIDE OF THE BOX! Thank you!

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    • I would go with the duster…but all three are so cute on you, ma’am!
      And I agree with all the folks…I am so happy that you’re back! Tonna Chavez Ott

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  27. Loved the look!! I’m a little seasoned but I think I will try the 1st look- duster and the last look would still work on me with tights.

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  28. So happy to see you back!! The duster is gorgeous in that put-together but effortless casual style, which I love and strive for as my everyday style. I’m a bigger girl but sometimes these come in bigger sizes at thrift stores so I’ll be searching! Cheers!

    Reply
    • I totally agree with the others, your blog was seriously missed! Ever so happy to see you are back. Just checked out your adorable little free library, love that idea also. As for this blog I think all 3 are great but for myself I would wear the baby doll with leggings or pants. On YOU, all 3 look equally darling. Can’t wait to see your next one!

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  29. So torn. The duster idea is great and I will be looking for one of these dresses now. But I have to pick #3 for sheer cuteness.

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  30. Sooooo glad you are back! Just had to say that again….
    # 1 is my pick. I had to click on the $48. one just to compare. Would never have thought to go with it but it is great for a nite out with a chill.

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  31. All three of these little “miracles” are fabulous! The 2nd one looks amazing on you and I’m fascinated by how you did this!! Whoever (besides you, LOL) would’ve guessed? And I have to agree with you — this frumpy-then-frumpy-now original is at it’s best as a baby-doll top. This looks like it would be so flattering to a wide range of sizes. So great to have you back. And…we’re off!

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  32. Love all three!! Tying the sleeves to create a strapless dress is genius. And how fun that you are wearing my company’s Velvet Underground T-shirt (www.impactmerch.com). Sadly that women’s style is now discontinued, but there are other unisex styles available.

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  33. I love the idea that you could switch back and forth between one and two as the situation calls. The third is very cute too – I guess you could wear it as a jacket or do the strapless trick and it be a short dress. I’d love to see how that looks.

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  34. OMG! I love the duster idea. That is super hot fashion with cowboy boots here in Texas. The tuck and roll looked great on you….but not my personal style. Babydoll was cute quick change up. Love all three ideas from one frumpy frock.

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  35. I love all 3 looks, don’t have a favorite one. I am really glad that you are back in my mailbox! I really enjoy watching your talent! You go girl!

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  36. Awesome! Hard to choose. All three are so cute! I wonder if you could put in a zipper on the hem on the babydoll so you could zip it back on for full-length. Just kidding….sort of.. It probably wouldn’t fall right.

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  37. Numero Three is the best refashion. Love both the duster and the strapless and good to see options for the same frock. Well done girl!

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    • I love the duster but they all suit you I think!

      I missed your blog so much. It was my go-to reading when my older son was a baby and wouldn’t let me put him down.

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  38. Thank you for sharing your precious life.
    I enjoy your blog! Joyful & you show us to be resourceful. Thank you from my heart ♥️
    Be Blessed you & your husband.
    I like option B ….

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    • They are all great and Jillian you could make a Hefty bag fashionable. But I have to choose #1 as my style. Only because I dont wear dresses often and a duster hides a multitude of sins.

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