Men's Dress Shirt to Girls' Vintage Style Dress


Ever since THESE dresses, I just can't seem to get over that whole retro, vintage style. I love the 1940s/1950s era of fashion! I wanted to do a "shirt dress" style, but decided to upcycle/refashion one out of a men's dress shirt. (There are also a few aqua polka dot details just for fun!) It even has a built in pettiskirt to make the full skirt pouf out.

back of girls shirt dress

inside shirt dress collar

shirt dress puffy sleeve

grace ribbon twirl wm

I don't have a full tutorial for you, but I did take some pictures to show how I used the shirt as an effective fabric source. First, I used a seam ripper to remove the pocket and cut off the collar and sleeves.

seam rip pocket

This dress was made differently from other tutorials I have seen. I didn't like the way the men's shirt collar fit on her neckline- it was made to fit a large man, after all! So, I constructed a new collar out of fabric from one of the sleeves.


I cut the back bodice I drafted from the center back of the shirt so that I could maintain the little loop and pleats from the original shirt.

cut back from mens shirt

Being mindful of the buttonholes, I cut one front bodice piece out of one half of the shirt front...

cut bodice from mens shirt

...and, lining the buttonholes up, cut the other half from the other side of the shirt front. Now, I ended up messing something up and having to make new buttonholes, but this would work if you don't make my airhead mistakes.

line up button holes

From the remaining sleeve, I cut both sleeves for the dress. I wanted to make longer sleeves, but she wanted shorter puffy ones. She was VERY specific about the sleeve length.

cut sleeves from mens shirt

Finally, the skirt came from the bottom of the shirt. I also had small scraps to make the belt loops at the waist.

mens shirt to girls dress

back of upcycled shirt dressbuilt in pettiskirt

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