Style Refresh 2021: Making old garments work

Style Refresh 2021: Making old garments work

Happy Sunday, everyone!  I am still having so much fun with my style refresh and discussing more how I am making old garments work.

In my last post about dye,  Diane asked what happens with a blend of fabrics in one garment.

I actually tried that and I am amazed at the results.  

Style Refresh Making old garments work

This is a Chico’s jacket I have owned for years, but like it.  It was white/white.

The jacket is 55% linen and 45% cotton with 100% polyester on the trim.

I tossed it in my front loading washer with the Dylon Machine Dye Olive Green.

Style Refresh Making Old Garments work

You can see what happened to the front trim and around the zippers.  Personally, I think it is kind of cool and yes, I wear it.

The top was also white/white but I had tossed it in when I did Dylon Sandy Beige.  Though it is polyester, it took the white down a bit closer to a cream color…you can see it doesn’t quite match the white of the jacket trim.

If you are new here and wondering why I am dying clothing…you will want to go to the top of the page and click on STYLE REFRESH to read about my journey…scroll to the bottom for the first posts which explain from the beginning.

I have changed my style completely from a Winter Professional …to a Vibrant Autumn Bohemian/Romantic.

I did remove many items for resale or donations, but kept a few I like and was willing to change with the dye.

I have had a great experience with the dyes and love the pieces I have changed.  Making some of my old wardrobe work was essential for such a big change in my clothing.

It was my online stylist from London, Annie Castano, who told me about the Dylon Dyes and how easy they are. 

I am wearing the jacket with a new lovely beaded necklace from Pam Neri; BZEES sandals, bronze bracelets from Goodwill San Antonio, and my old now dyed top from Macy’s INC


Style Refresh 2021: Making old garments work

As I go through my old wardrobe, I have been so excited to find pieces like this burnt orange poncho from Talbot’s that I purchased last fall.

I love this piece and am so happy that it needs no dye…it is the perfect color for my new palette!

July is going to be colorful fun

These colors now go everywhere with me…in the closet…in the store…and it makes building this new wardrobe so much easier.

Please let me know if you have questions about anything…I think the week ahead is going to be exciting especially Wednesday…make sure you join in the fun!  And………………………………………………………


By Pamela Lutrell

Photography by Leigh Ann Cecil

Discover your style at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

TODAY’S SALES.……………………………………………


Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (IF you are a card holder!)




JC Penney

Land’s End




  1. Thank you for this posting – I had been wondering about polyester because I have seen frequent warnings about the polyester thread frequently used to make garments remaining white. If I do try dying I will make sure no stitching shows though since no-one ever has classed me as anything other than an Autumn most of my clothing is already in Autumn colours. Another thing I have wondered about is when you actually post your articles – it is 0949 Sunday 18 July here so 0349 where you are so do you post very late the previous day?

    1. Hi Audrey, I am in the Central Standard Time Zone in the USA and My posts are usually set to go live at 4:55 am each day. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  2. It’s really amazing how the dye works…the white trim actually stayed white through the process?? The dye colors are also so pretty….so much better than the old RIT basics! You look so pretty in that outfit, very summery! The poncho is also a beauty. Such a gorgeous, rich color. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m looking forward to fall clothing! Summer seems to be going by at warp speed which usually bothers me, but I’m truly looking forward to fall!

  3. Hi Pamela,
    I am smiling because I loved that Talbot piece and was waiting to see what dye you used. Then you said it was burnt orange from last year. I just can’t wait to see Talbot’s fall offerings for us autumns. I keep looking for their fall lookbook but it isn’t available yet. By the way Coldwater Creek has some interesting fall colors coming n now.
    Cheers! Looking great.

    1. Hi Deborah! They have more pieces ahead in a beautiful color called orange zinnia! I am very excited for the August and September collections!

  4. Pam, thank you for walking us through your process. It is helpful to those of us needing a refresh. The new palette looks wonderful on you! I just wanted to say I love your hair in the pic with the poncho! The straighter style just frames your face and looks very pretty.

    1. Hi Kathy, thank you for the kind comment. For now I am enjoying my waves and how easy they are. I am not going to say I will never straighten it because I also like that look but the waves will be around for awhile.

  5. Thank you so much for trying and showing the various dye outcomes. That jacket is now truely a one of a kind just for you and looks fantastic. Did you dye the jeans as well? They are a perfect match. The two together makes you look long and lean and the wave down the front is the soft feminine touch. You look great and it shows in your face. Now comes the time of year where I have to be selective in my colour search for muted cool colours. have a great day.

    1. Thanks Diane! I already owned the pants I did not dye them. I have seen some beautiful cool colors in sweaters now on sale. You might shop around the sales.

    2. I love the old “new” jacket. I think the white remaining gives it uniqueness and style! I would have bought it just for that look. The color is lovely on you. I am enjoying your journey , you are glowing. It has made me start thinking about my own style and colors. I have recently let my hair go natural which is now white and I wonder if that would change my color palette? I suspect it might. Long ago I was considered a cool winter. I have been teleworking since the pandemic and will soon be retiring so I also am rethinking my wardrobe needs. You have really started me thinking! Thank you.

  6. I have looked through the previous posts but cannot locate the first color one which shows the colors for each season. Can you show the link for that again?
    You look wonderful in your autumn colors. You look totally reenergized.

  7. So interesting….i have to admire your work in salvaging pieces ( and very nice ones) to fit your new Autumn palette . That burnt orange capelet is gorgeous and your hair looks lovely in this photo. Did you smooth your hair when drying it? With our summer humidity I’m looking for ideas……

    1. Hi Paulette, my hair in the last photo was shorter and styled with a flat iron. I haven’t straightened it all summer. Letting the waves go is super easy!

  8. I grew up dye -ing clothes and it’s a terrific thing to do. I don’t have a front loader so l will have to look at options. Love these fall colors on you Pam happy Sunday !

  9. Your jacket turned out well! As to the polyester not taking the dye it doesn’t surprise me as silks and wools also require specialty formulas as was a lesson learned when my son often would dye fabrics for his collections when he was getting his degrees in both Fashion Design and Haute Couture.
    Also regarding your poncho this is one of my favourite design choices as IMHO can be worn several ways for fabrics that are light to medium weight, with a similar neckline are plain or have a random pattern and can be a ‘fun exercise’ in styling/draping. i.e.: a) Take the tip of the front triangle and on the inside draw it up through the open neckline, adjust to what I’ll describe as an over -flap to create an asymmetrical design. If necessary secure into place. *See footnote in lieu of using a brooch, safety pin or knotting b) Reposition the entire poncho so that its arms are at the front which should create a cropped version with a different neckline and longer sleeves. c) If a light weight fabric, fold to form a triangle and drape and wear as you would a shawl. d) Add a belt. Wishing you a wonderful Sunday and am loving the burnt orange colour on you.
    Footnote: For securing fabric into place you may be interested in what is called Maggie’s Magnetic Snaps. FYI Amazon carries them — Search: Maggie’s Revolutionary Magnetic Fabric Snaps.

    1. You always add so much to the conversation! Thanks Brenda! Cool to have an expert like your son in the family.

  10. You look terrific in the olive shades, and so beautiful in the burnt orange color. I chose a cardigan in “Heather Bonfire” color from the Nordie’s sale yesterday (through your link) which looks a bit like the same tones, just maybe a shade lighter. I also nabbed two other cardigans! 😊 They are due to arrive next week when I get back from vacation.

    1. Let me know what you think about the heather bonfire color! And thank you, thank you, thank you for shopping with my links!!

  11. What happens with the dye if you have a slight stain that you didn’t notice?

    Also curious to know about overdyeing pieces that are not white. And knits.

    1. I have only dyed five pieces so far. I do not believe any had stains, so I do not know how that would work. The pieces I have done were either linen, viscose, and cotton. Two were blends with fun outcomes like I am showing today. I will report what I learn and will let you know if I have an EPIC FAIL!

  12. Love how the jacket turned out …maybe even better with the contrasting trim! I’ve done a deep dive into color now, and see many/most consultants recommending black or off black for a blue autumn, and I’m finding I like it on me so long as it’s not a huge, saturated block on my upper half, or a high contrast black and white print (which looks particularly awful and needs to be culled or dyed). To make some of my old pieces work, I was considering some plain colored scarves in more of a true autumn palette that I could throw over prints and solids and get the color up to my face. What do you think of this idea (I have a huge collection of scarves, all prints and nearly all winter palette :/). Do you have any suggestions for brands? They are surprisingly hard to find. Nordstrom’s cashmere ones were quite pricy and the ones I found on Amazon looked really cheaply made/bad fabrics.

    1. Hi Linda, I love this idea and will be practicing the same thing as the cooler weather begins to arrive. I have found great scarves everywhere….ebay, consignment, and sales!
      Dillard’s has some lovely ones in their sale right now:
      I recently purchased a couple of Patricia Nash and a sweater material by Calvin Klein in a beautiful burnt orange.
      I personally on the hunt for silk scarves in vibrant autumn colors. Of course, I will report back when I find good deals!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.