Geneva Vanderzeil


Boyfriends, fathers, brothers and random male strangers – from now on you’re going to have to keep a sharp eye on your suit jackets. After a little bit of experimenting, we finally figured out how to create a party dress from something you can easily find in a second hand store (or at home in the other side of the closet). Just in time for the holiday season! Read on to see how. Men, you have been warned.

The before on me…

The challenge with turning a men’s jacket into a dress is that the shoulders will usually be too wide – so we’ve come up with a way for you reduce the width and create a more feminine shape. When you choose your jacket, make sure it’s the right length so it actually can be worn as a dress!

How to:

1. The first thing you need to do is remove the sleeves from the body of the jacket.

The sleeves will be attached at the seam, and you actually want to cut that seam off completely so you can get in between the outer fabric and the lining and remove the shoulder pads.

3. If you can, cut the shoulder pads out of the jacket, making sure to leave the inner lining and outer side of the shoulder intact. If you can’t fully remove the padding, what you want to do it cut some of it out so it is only the width of your own shoulders.

4. Once the shoulder pads have been removed or fitted better, fold the outer fabric in.

5. Iron down the edge and then pin inside. You will have to do this all the way around the arm hole. We then hand sewed it down so that the stitching had a bit of give – arm holes are tricky beasts so it’s good to take it slowly when stitching.

6. When you’re finished it should look like this.

7. Finally, we sewed some seams into the back of the jacket so it hugged the body more. You can do this, or simply belt it (we did both!).


You can also use this tutorial to make a sleeveless trench or gillet style jacket, in case you want to cover your legs a bit more than this… It’s quite versatile like that

Think I’ve found my new Christmas party dress!

Photos by Nicola Lemmon

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