Hot! The “Polyester Dream” Dress

JJ Dean of California Vintage Dress :: Refashioned

This dress is HOT!! Meaning that I must take care never to wear it on a heater or will COMBUST, lol

The Facts

Fabric: I bought this JJ Dean of California polyester dream from The Urban Jungle (a MEGA thrift store) in Bushwick, Brooklyn for about $10.
Pattern: n/a
Year: Not sure, the tag is totally faded. But definitely a polyester heavy era.
Notions: Thread
Accessories: Silk scarf from the Salvation Army ($1.99!!), Forever 21 belt, Nine West shoes, and a much needed slip from Target.
Time to complete: About 1 hour
First worn: For these pics
Wear again? Yes!! But with something between it and my skin. This is kind of yucky poly. Blech!

Here it is in its unaltered state.
Not bad, but a little frumpy (and kind of sheer…sheesh) in general. I took in the bodice and sleeve width. I also chopped them short to start. The sleeves at that length gave it an overall air of a frigid librarian or boarding school mistress. See here. It’s a simple, but effective, refashioning effort.

Here it is sans belt:
JJ Dean of California Vintage Dress :: Refashioned

Better with, don’t you think?

From the back:
JJ Dean of California Vintage Dress :: Refashioned

And with great looking shoes!
JJ Dean of California Vintage Dress :: Refashioned

PS- I cannot walk more than a few blocks (if that) in these heels. My husband bought them for me on our first anniversary weekend. That was seven years ago (on 3.25.12) and I’ve worn them exactly once. To my college graduation.



Wanett Clyde is a wife, mama of four and library school student that manages to cram a lot into her days. She loves books, writing, creating, the color purple, sarcasm, summertime, staying up late, anything British, BROOKLYN(!!!), and her family.


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  1. Nettie, I really love this! It reminds me of some old-Hollywood movies/stills from movies like Raisin in the Sun and Imitation of Life. It’s very chic.

  2. Very nice, I love the ruffles and it def looks better after.

  3. Yeow – those sleeves! Definitely the right idea to get rid of them. With the alterations to the bodice it is a much classier looking dress.

    • LOL, Jen! When I first bought this home, my husband looked at it askance and said ‘Isn’t it too big for you?” which is hubby speak for “Please tell me that’s not for you” lol.

  4. That’s a great refashion! It looks so cute on you, especially with the belt. Keep the shoes, if for nothing else, they really look adorable in pictures. I have several pair that I would never walk in, but for a photo shoot, they can really add to the look.

  5. Brilliant! (as always :) )

  6. Great reFashion, love the ruffles.

  7. I love simple refashions. It’s really quite different without the sleeves. You turned a frumpy dress into a fabulous dress. Very nice!

  8. We missed you. Love that your back with this great upcycle. With your hair styled like that (I am so copying it!) and the shoes, Tina’s right you are giving off a vintage Hollywood vibe…like you should be co-starring with Sidney Poitier.

  9. Thanks, Najah! I missed posting here ;o)
    You will ROCK this style. You have beautiful hair.
    TWO people think I look like an old Hollywood star! I’m marking this down, lol.

  10. Oh wow – that drawstring/elastic waist was definitely a no no. Looks so great after!

    • Lol, Marguerite! I totally agree with you about the elastic waist. I hate them, especially this one as it is too high. Thanks for your compliment!

  11. You look amazing in that new dress and I know exactly what you mean about hot poly dresses. I always see them at thrift stores and tend to pass them up because I run pretty hot on my own. You piqued my interest about the Urban Jungle. I live in Bushwick and have never heard of it! Gonna check it out.

  12. I like the dress and the ay you styled it. Make your husband take you out to eat some place where parking is easy-then you can wear the dress to an air conditioned place and not have to walk far in your shoes!

  13. Love it! Great job, lady!

  14. Super lovely!! Love it with the belt and ruffles :)

  15. Great restyle, that color looks really good on you! And your shoes are super cute!!!

  16. I totally love this refashion. And am jealous of this Mega Thrift, and your accessorizing. I’m so bad at belts. And thanks for making me feel okay re: high high heels. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only woman who can’t be bothered!