I bought that Zara dress back in April time. I was out shopping with my mumma for a wedding guest outfit when I spotted it. It was clearly very popular because it went out of stock the week after I got it, but Zara restocked it and it’s become so popular now though, that I can’t step outside my London front door without seeing at least one other millennial in it. It seems we’re not only spending our house deposits on Avocados, but also spotty maxi dresses. And I don’t blame us. It’s a great dress, and I’ve been throwing it on most weeks since I bought it. I’m not the only one who’s noticed that everyone’s wearing it, either – it’s even got it’s own Instagram page, and has been all over the press, with the Daily Mail and the Telegraph questioning just why does everyone have this dress?

So for me, enough is enough.  And as I’ve had a fair amount of wear out of it, I’ve decided the time has come to … duh duh duh… reinvent it. Goodbye, my monochrome friend. You’ve served me well.


'That' dress, before - goodbye, friend

So what have I done? Firstly, a button fell off (Zara clothes are rumoured to be designed for 10 wears but we’ll talk about that another time); so I had to replace all the buttons on the dress with new ones. I bought these gorgeous heart buttons from John Lewis (you can get similar in most haberdasheries, and here from Hobbycraft).  I nabbed some red thread from my mum’s sewing drawer (sorry, mum) and I replaced all three buttons on the dress (both sleeves and the neck fastening). 

This is a really easy thing to do to make a garment more individual – and cheap, too. The buttons cost me 70p each and it took me, who is by no means a decent sewer, half an hour to sew three on. You could even go for some jewelled ones like these if you were feeling ~extra~ bougie.  It’s worth noting that the type of buttons the dress comes with, and the ones I replaced with, can be quite fiddly to sew. If you wanted something easier, you could go for these basic ones

The dress looked great with the buttons changed, but I wanted to go further...

I decided to dye it! 

I ummed and ahhed over what colour to go (baby blue was a close contender), but decided pale pink was the way forward and the clash with the red buttons is right up my street (but not my boyfriend’s!).  I bought a Dylon washing machine pod dye in ‘Peony Pink’. I also bought this from John Lewis, but I’ve previously bought from Wilko and Hobbycraft too, and they’re available on Amazon here.


Straight after washing the dress in a normal white load, I put it into my empty washing machine whilst it was still damp. I simply removed the packaging from the Dylon pod, put it in the drum of my machine on top of the dress, and then set it to a normal 30 degree cycle (without any detergent or other products). Once that cycle’s done, I put it on another 30 degree cycle but this time with detergent – I use Ariel colour gel – and a tiny bit of fabric softener. And tah-dah! All done! To make sure the washing machine was clean and dye-free afterwards, I then ran it on an empty 60 degree cycle and wiped down the seal with a flash wipe. 

What do you think? Do you like the pink with red buttons? Let me know int the comments below!

 As a side note – I am quite obsessed with the Dylon washing machine pods, I’ve dyed many a clothing item in my washing machine and it’s always been perfectly consistent and never left a residue in my machine. To be extra safe, I do run my machine on an empty 60 degree wash after dying, and wipe down the seal. I’ve never had a problem but other people have messaged me to say they have had dye go on other clothes afterwards so I’d recommend being careful. *I don’t take any responsibility for clothing dye cock ups!*

Liv xx

12 Replies to “Turning a dress my boyfriend hates into one he hates even more

  1. Aloha Olivia:

    That’s right…. all the way from Hawai’i….!

    Saw and read your story and I think your sense of fashion is delightfully wonderful. Awesome and fashionable change from the usual norm we see respective of today where “skin-tight or less clothing is-in”, I think NOT…. Love your sense of conservativeness and those lil personal add-on’s are a super great touch and taste…. You look fabulous in all your glory without the need to be “skin-tight”…. I commend your taste and fashion in clothes, especially with your personalized accents….

    What a shame your BF doesn’t appreciate you more for you and thinks “clothes or perhaps less of it or more fitted” may be what he desires…. I happen to think your beautiful and your radiance or perhaps that perfect smile is what makes the clothes YOU… Personally, I would be elated and proud to show off a talented gurlfriend like you… How does “he” dress….? monkey-suit or grunge…? Is he ashamed your style clashes and is out shined by you…? Perhaps a more appreciative BF might be in order, eh…?

    Absolutely chic, fabulous, comfortable, with stylish and elegant personal touches…. wowzah… Let the “haters” hate… theirs more than one of US that like what we see…. GO GURL….! Soooo encouraging….

    If your ever in my neck of the woods…. would love to show you and your fashion sense off for all too see…. YOU’D FIT RIGHT IN, HERE IN HAWAI’I….!!!

    Mahalo .

  2. A year late but I have the inverted dress the black with white spots – do u think dying this khaki green would work?? I’ve never dyed anything this way around! By the way pink looks awesome!

    1. hey! Yes, I do think khaki would work as long as it wasn’t too dark – someone did this last year and it looked great! Good luck & let me know how you get on! Liv xx

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