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Before & After: Vintage Overalls

DIY Fashion Aug 13, 2013

You’ll no doubt have noticed that overalls (or dungarees) have been popping up everywhere recently, I’ve had my eye on these for some time. But being a trend that was super popular in the early nineties (and therefore a dime a dozen in thrift stores), I knew that the humble overalls were perfect fodder for my before and after obsessed, scissors wielding hands, and all I have to do was get my mitts on an old pair. I looked high and low for just the right candidate, most I found were of the super tight variety and therefore not alluding to the relaxed, grunge vibe I was going for. I finally found a pair in a secondhand store, and if I had to imagine the person who owned them before me it would go something like nursery school teacher that moonlights as a janitor or factory worker with a penchant for weekend diamond mining. Anyhoo, what I was looking for was denim, and a slouchy waist and I got both so I can’t complain.

Wearing: DIY Overalls, Lillibon swimsuit (as a bodysuit), a pair & a spare for Tony Bianco heels, Brahmin Bag, $5 aviators from Glastonbury, Coach Watch.

You can see the offending overalls above, not something you would wear out on date night right? For this project practically all I used was a pair of scissors which made it a pretty straightforward cut and wear project. The black denim was perfect for cutting and then not hemming – the lazy of you can rejoice!


How I did it:

1. To start with I looked at the length of the legs, a fail safe way to modernise any crappy piece of clothing is to change the length (amirite?).

2. I cut the legs in what I think is the most flattering hem hem shape around – with a slight rise to the outside.

3. I then used a seam ripper to remove the pocket on the front, ridding the overalls of the sesame street vibe they were giving out.

4. I decided to modernise it a bit by taking off the buckles. They didn’t look that good and whoever owned it before me had made a mess of threading them anyway so best removed I think.

5. To replace the buckles I cut two small slits in the straps to create button holes for the buttons at the front. To finish I gave the overalls a good wash in the machine so the hem frayed for a more rough and casual look. You could of course hem the edges if you wanted to.


Outfit photos by Lauren Engel


Shop Collective Gen Overalls


Tags DIY Instructionals Overalls sewing Tutorials vintage

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