Makeover Old, Dingy Whites With Dye | Thriftanista in the City


Makeover Old, Dingy Whites With Dye

I found two pairs of white shorts during my last thrift haul. I only needed one pair so I decided to give the other pair a makeover. Dying clothes is one of the easiest refashions to do. It's the perfect way to extend the life of dingy whites.

makeover old white shorts with dye

Whites don't stay white very long so I felt pretty blessed by the thrift gods to have found two pairs during one thrift trip. Obviously, I kept them both. The other pair matched my vision for white shorts so they will remain as is for now.

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The old school high waisted mom shorts are really comfortable and cover everything I want covered - navel and butt cheeks. I updated the look of them with  a burst of color using old dye I found in my craft stash.

refashion old shorts

Dying clothes is really easy to do. The hardest part is getting even distribution of color. You must stir it often.


  • old or thrift store shorts
  • water
  • dye
  • 1 cup salt
  • old stainless steel pot
  • gloves
  • tongs
  • rubber gloves

dye white shorts
Instructions: Step 1: Stir dye into pot of boiling water. Mix until fully dissolved. Add cup of salt. Stir to dissolve. Step 2: Wet shorts.  Step 3: Place shorts in water. Stir. Lower fire to a simmer for 30 minutes. Stir frequently so dye is distributed evenly. Step 4: Remove from heat. Wash in warm water with a mild detergent. Dry.

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Now I have chartreuse shorts that aren't as easy to pair up as white shorts but I should be fine on random dirt spots and smudges.

I wanted to wear the shorts with a cobalt blue top but I don't own one anymore. I donated my single cobalt shirt. Don't you hate when that happens? This magenta top works well though. I feel very technicolor safari chic.

Do you refresh whites with dye?

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The Details
Mar Y Sol straw fedora hat - Orvis (gift)
vintage earrings - thrift store
vintage sunglasses - thrift store
magenta top - swap (free)
Ralph Lauren Sport shorts - thrift store
Kenzie wedge sandals - thrift store

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