Changing the colour of your clothes

In last month’s blog, I spoke about my three D approach for when clothes aren’t quite the right colour for you. (Revisit it and read it here.)

Something as simple as changing the colour can be a really easy way to get it back into your wardrobe circulation. Moving it from something that you’re not wearing, to one that you are.

I often introduce the idea of dyeing clothes to clients and I love the look on people’s faces!

For those who feel a little frightened at the prospect, I wanted to share my latest colour experiment with you.

Whilst this is a task that’s easily done at home nowadays in the washing machine, there are a few things to be aware of.

Clothes which are made of synthetic fibres (such as polyester) can’t be as easily dyed at home. A blend or mix of fabrics will dye, but the final colour won’t have the depth. Natural fibres such as cotton and linen will take very well to home dyeing.

I came across this great article at Dylon which explains everything you need to know about fabrics and dye here.

For my experiment, I chose three garments; a t-shirt and two dresses and used Dylon dye pod which I bought through Amazon.*

Item 1. A T-shirt

This was a great little top I’d picked up a few years ago in Oasis. It was fun and different in white with pink flamingos🦩! Overall, it was the white base I wasn’t a fan of as I felt it was too white for me. A soft white is always more complimentary (for everyone in fact). The fact was, I just wasn’t wearing it enough.

The fabric is 50% cotton, 50% modal and you can see me wearing it at York Fashion week below.

Yfw flamingo tshirt

2. Cotton dress

Next, I identified a simple T-shirt dress bought from M&S. It was nice, casual and easy to wear and cool during the warmer months. It was ivory (more like an off white) with blue stripes and (the holy grail of dresses) it had pockets!!

This was made of 100% cotton. Perfect!

3. Final dress

In truth, this was the main reason I had the dye in mind. I’d bought this from Zara last year as it felt an ideal lockdown wear item. Casual and comfortable but not loungewear.

A neutral colour (similar to stone) was something I was missing in my wardrobe. The style was quite different too. Sweatshirt style from the front, buttoned sleeves, light shirt style at the back with a tie belt. But, I always felt a bit uninspired when I wore it as I felt it lacked colour for me even though the style and fit was nice.

The front and the back of the dress were different fabrics, so I knew I’d have a challenge on my hands. 50% viscose, 37% polyester and 12% polyamide was the blend of the main fabric and the secondary fabric was 1% elastase and polyester! Here’s a pic of the front and back of the dress – the belt is the same material as the back.


My chosen shade of colour was plum red from the Dylon machine dye pod range. From the name, I knew it would be a cooler and muted shade and berry like so seemed a perfect fit for me as a soft, cool, deep. I also wanted no fuss.

With the Dylon pods, the garments need to be damp and clean, so I ran them through a wash cycle. Once clean, I took off the labels on the pod and lid and stood it upright in the machine drum on top of the clothes. Next, I set it on a cycle as per the instructions.

It’s quite nerve wracking and exciting seeing the colour go round the machine! Once finished, you have to run another cycle with detergent. When this is finished, you’ll need to run an empty cycle with detergent to clean the washing machine of any dye residue.

The result

Here are the items following their colour transformation!

You’ll see the Flamingo t-shirt and the M&S t-shirt dress both dyed well. The stitching around the neck, base and sleeves are still white as most likely synthetic and the patterns have remained on both too.

As expected, the Zara dress was completely different. The back didn’t colour at all because it was polyester and it’s created a nice two tone effect and style. The front of the dress which had the blend of fabrics has coloured a much paler shade. It’s got a kind of mottled effect because of the fibre mix which I quite like.

Bizarrely, it’s like I’ve got some new clothes and I’ve worn all three items at least once!

If you do happen to have items which you’re willing to be brave with, it could be worth the experiment! Let me know how you get on or if you have any of your own stories to share as I’d love to know. Why not tag me in them on social media?


*The Dylon pod I used was deep plum bought through Amazon for £5.00 in August 2021. In March 2022 they were £6.00. If you have synthetic fabrics, Rit Synthetic dye is recommended and also available from Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from any qualifying purchases you make using the links above.

I’ve also seen them at Wilko’s and eBay as well.