Even with the best of care and attention, clothes will often shrink over time due to repeated washing, and exposure to heat during the drying process. If you have a dress that you would like to wear but you are self conscious about doing so since it shrunk in the wash, there is no need to toss it out or place it in the yard sale pile just yet. It is often still possible to reuse a dress that shrunk in the wash.
How to Reuse a Dress that Has Shrunk: Turn the Dress into a Tunic
Dresses that are made of cotton will visibly shrink if washed in hot water and tumble dried. This will make it harder to fit into the same dress with ease and comfort. However, some dresses become shorter when they shrink, which is an issue that can easily be remedied without having to walk around in a dress that was never intended to resemble a mini dress. If the knee length dress has shrunk to just above the knee, turn the dress into a tunic. Buy a pair of leggings in a solid colour that matches the dress and pair the two articles together to create a completely different casual look. Or if you prefer to wear jeans rather than leggings, you can still create a stylish look with your new “tunic” without having to spend a lot of money on a completely new outfit.
How to Reuse a Dress that Has Shrunk: Donate the Dress to Your Daughter
An easy way to fix the problem of a dress that has shrunk in the wash is to donate the dress to your daughter, niece, or other female family member. But, if you are considering donating your dress, make sure that it is age appropriate and that it fits. Even if the dress is a perfect fit for your 14-year-old daughter, you should still ask yourself if it is modest and age appropriate. Would the dress be appropriate school attire?
How to Reuse a Dress that Has Shrunk: Cut off Long Sleeves
A long-sleeved dress that has shrunk in the wash will feel uncomfortable and tight when you try to put it on, even if the rest of the dress is still the same size. One way to overcome the problem of tight sleeves is to cut them off and turn the dress into a short-sleeved dress. You can still get the appearance of a long-sleeved dress by wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt or shirt underneath the dress in matching or contrasting colours for a different look each time you wear the dress.
Unless a dress has shrunk several sizes to where it is impossible to get into it again, many women can still wear a dress that has shrunk by turning it into a tunic worn with leggings or jeans. Alternatively, donate the dress to your daughter if it is appropriate to do so or cut off long sleeves that have shrunk.