How to Update an Old Dress

How to Update an Old Dress

If you have day dresses or evening dresses hanging in your closet that seem a little dated or just boring, there are a few options to consider before you toss them in the give-away pile. One simple change can make all the difference.

Things You'll Need:

Sewing supplies or a good tailor

New belt

Fabric dye

New accessories


Change the length. Obviously it's easier to move a hemline up than down. Fortunately short is in. That old mid-calf dress or skirt could have a new perkier, sexier look shorted to mini or mini-mini length.


Add an edgy belt. Try studded leather, one that wraps around twice, an artistic non-standard chain or a wide burst of color with a jewel-encrusted buckle. This can change a look completely.


Change the neckline, if you have decent sewing skills or friends or professionals who will help. Going from a demure collarbone hugger to a deep or wide V can create new drama.


Change the color. If you have a solid, light-colored frock like beige or white, buy some fabric dye and go wild. Bright is in. You won't recognize your old dress in orange, hot pink or lime green. If the dress is dark, try adding bright trim near the hemline or neckline.


Turn it into a blouse, especially if it's shimmery, shiny, floaty, corset-like or bejeweled. A quick snip and hem can metamorphose it into an awesome top to pair with jeans. So why waste money and the potential treasures your closet holds? Recycle. And check out your friends' unused gems as well.

Tips & Warnings

Remember that fresh accessories make an old look new again.

If something you loved doesn't fit anymore, consider making a one-of-a-kind bag or scarf out of the fabric.