Repurposing Designing Women: The Two-Piece Outfit

I’ve recently made a discovery that I’m very giddy about. I almost feel like I should not share this new knowledge, though part of me thinks that most thrifters out there already know this little secret. It is the secret of the dress and jacket two-piece.

For years, I bypassed this section of thrift and consignment stores. Why do I need shoulder pads and matching pieces in my life? I really don’t. Then everything changed a few weeks ago.

I was in a thrift store in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The color and pattern of this dress caught me eye:

At first glance, this dress is pretty hideous – that jacket, the shoulder pads – everything about it was pretty garish.

And yes, this confirms that the combo is awful – very Designing Women.

But I was really drawn to the color – you don’t really see this shade of periwinkle purple all that often. So I decided to just try the dress.

And I’m in love!


It’s the perfect dress for warm summer evenings – it’s a great color and it fits well. But I never would have found it if I had let the jacket deter me. So with this new positive attitude towards the two-piece, I then discovered this floral monstrosity:

If possible, this jacket/dress combo is even worse than the purple outfit. I think it’s the scalloped piping on the border that really bothers me.

And there it is. But what would would happen if I lose the jacket? (Sorry for the quality of some of these photos; it was turning dusk when we shot them):

Without the jacket, you have a really cute summer dress that is perfect for July and August. I should also add that I did wear this dress with the jacket to 80s night at Bubba’s Sulky Lounge – so make sure you keep the jacket for special occasions.

What fashion finds have you made lately? Do you have a certain item you look for to repurpose for a more contemporary look?

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2 Responses to Repurposing Designing Women: The Two-Piece Outfit

  1. i’m always way too scared to buy anything and repurpose it as contemporary…but you’ve totally inspired me! because i definitely find things that have potential!

  2. mainebelle says:

    Thanks, Eva! I think this makes thrift store shopping much more exciting, because you can look at almost anything in a new light and make it work!

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