before & after · Style · Thrifts

Before & After: Denim Dress Makeover


denim dress makeover

Back when I started this blog, I spent a lot of time doing clothing makeovers. I took pieces I had in my closet or found thrifting and changed them to make them better. (I even did an entire month of projects like this (for 31 Days), modifying thrift store finds every day for a month.)

I haven’t done many projects like this lately, focusing more on home projects and things going on in our day-to-day lives. But I have a closet full of “to-do” projects to complete, so this weekend, I decided to dive in.

denim dress makeover

First up, this dress. I bought it years ago, and I’ve worn it a bunch, but it hasn’t gotten much wear lately. I think it’s because of the puffed sleeves (there’s elastic in them) and the ruffles. I’m getting a little older (ahem), and the style of the dress seems a little too “cute” for me.

denim dress makeover

If I take away both of these elements, I think I’ll wear this dress much more.

denim dress makeover

denim dress makeover

I used my trusty seam ripper to remove the elastic from both sleeves and the front ruffles. This gave the dress the less “sweet”, more minimalist look I was hoping for.

denim dress makeover


Here’s the dress after the ruffles were removed – complete with loose threads and tiny holes left from the threads used to attach the ruffles. The easy solution for getting rid of these? Toss the garment in the washer and then the dryer. The holes will magically disappear.

denim dress makeover

The front of the dress is left with small, distressed lines from where the ruffles were. I like how this tiny detail looks. The sleeves look better with the elastic removed, too.

denim dress + striped turtleneck + ankle boots

It’s the perfect dress for layering – here with a striped turtleneck. I paired it with leather ankle boots – and super pale winter legs!

denim dress + striped turtleneck + ankle boots

denim dress + striped turtleneck + ankle boots

I’m so happy to put this dress back into rotation. It’s an easy basic that works year-round.



3 thoughts on “Before & After: Denim Dress Makeover


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