5 Ways To Reinvent Your Existing Summer Dresses This Season

Lockdown won’t come between us and our fashion here at Indulge, and with temperatures teetering into the mid-twenties this month, it’s about time we packed our wooly knits away and made way for our summer capsule collections.

Whilst we may not be able to go out like we used to just now, there’s nothing to stop you looking great in your own home or garden to make you look and feel your best until we can safely strut out in style again.

The summer dress, in all its forms, is arguably the most feminine (and convenient!) garment there is. This year, with physical clothes shops closed and some of us looking to cut down on our consumer habits, it’s always a good idea to work with and make the most out of what you’ve already got hanging on your rails.

Here are just a handful of tips and ideas to reinvent the summer dresses you already have, and rehash your wardrobe without reaching for your bank card.

Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise

That yellow summer dress? A pair of chunky red earrings and a turban. That loose-fitting floral number? An oversized hat and a vintage belt to nip in the waist. See where we’re going with this? You can totally jazz up an existing dress you’ve pushed to the back of your wardrobe with a few well-thought out adornments here and there, and fall in love with your favourites over and over again.

Occasionwear for daywear

There’s absolutely no rule to say you can’t wear a sequin dress over your bikini. That glorious beaded maxi dress you save for beach weddings? That’s now your everyday “reading a romance novel on the terrace dress”. Make like a glamorous Sixties film star and wear flamboyant daywear whenever you feel like it, especially for Quarantinis on a Friday.

Replicate your favourites

Every girl has that one dress that fits and flatters just right, and now that we’re spending a lot more time at home, it’s the perfect excuse to make good use of your sewing machine. Choose simpler styles if you’re a little out of practice—shift dresses and kaftans are the perfect starting point—then get to work on tracing your pattern from the trusty original. You’ll soon have one in every colour!

Embellish and customise

Before you put that uninspiring garment aside for the charity shop bag, ask yourself if you’d wear it if it were one-sleeved, or if some rainbow bright pompoms might entice you to throw it on for the beach at a later date. Feather trim (à la Sophie Ellis Bextor’s home-disco dresses) is so on-trend right now. A floaty maxi dress could easily take on a new lease of life as a flippy thigh-skimming staple. Voilà! Use the offcuts to make a fetching matching face-mask…

Transform into separates

If you love the print but have outgrown the fit, why not use the fabric to whip up a layered ra-ra skirt? Or a mini version if you have a little one in your life. An out-of-favour dress with a great neckline might look better cropped into a top to pair with palazzo pants. If you’re left with some pieces that are just not bringing you joy anymore, it’s time to let go of them and donate to your favourite charity or pass on to a friend. You could even organise a swap! By post of course…

Do you have any style tips for reinventing your summer wardrobe on a budget? Let us know in the comments on Facebook!

Nicole Parnis

Nicole is a culture writer and lifestyle journalist with a passion for fashion, food, music and anything retro. She indulges by thrifting her Sundays away at flea markets, followed by a cappuccino or two in a pretty village square.

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