Extend the life of outgrown dresses as tops and tunics

B said this about her thrifty, wardrobe-extending hack: "I thought this one was fairly obvious but I’ve gotten stopped by other mothers in stores recently so maybe I’m onto something…"

I re-use my daughter’s dresses as shirts or tunics or jumpers as she outgrows them, either through length or season. For instance, right now, she’s wearing her summer dresses as jumpers with long sleeved shirts under them. Pair a too-short dress with jeans and you have a cute tunic.

On a typical day around here, my otherwise 24M sized daughter can sometimes be found in a 12M dress-as-shirt, with 18M pants as leggings…

It gives child’s your wardrobe a little extra mileage. And it’s darn cute, too.

Peruse the Fashion/General cuteness archive for more smart clothing hacks.


  1. says

    My 3y.o. has been refusing to wear anything but dresses for the past 2 months — perfect time of year for it! With the colder weather, every dress is paired with some “stretchy pants,” and I decided to leave some of her summer dresses out to layer with long-sleeve shirts (it’s the only way those shirts are getting worn these days!!)

  2. reen says

    I do this with my 3 year old too (she’s the youngest, so there’s no one left in our family to pass down the outgrown stuff to…gotta get some mileage out of everything!).

    I also read recently about a good idea for too-short girls’ pants: Sew wide funky grosgrain ribbon around the bottom hem to lengthen them.