Fashion DIY: From Smart to Casual

 Skirt: Oxfam, T-Shirt: Topshop (Similar-ish)

I worked in finance in my pervious life (in 2012). It was a fairly smart office I worked in so I would always attempt to look like I’d made some kind of effort at dressing up as someone who belongs in the Risk Analyst department. This involved wearing smart shirts, a lot of pinstripe and the odd bow tie (but I got a few stares when I wore the latter).

A few months ago I was having a clear out of my dressing up days and thought it would be nice to incorporate something smart into my now incredibly casual everyday wardrobe.

Even in my past life I was buying my clothes in charity shops (some things never change, ey) and I remember picking this one up in Oxfam many years ago.

I saw a smart skirt with eyelets on ye ol’ faithful Instagram and thought it would be a great way to make some of my old smart clothes, well, not so smart anymore. Here’s how I did it:


– A Second-Hand Skirt (The skirt needs to be a few inches too big from the waist to the hem)

– Thread

– Scissors

– Eyelets

Eyelet Pliers

Fabric Hole Punch

– Silver Mini Rings (I used these in 8mm but they sell varying sizes if you’d like a smaller or bigger more of a statement ring)


1. I began by removing the small waistband on my skirt. If your skirt doesn’t have a waistband then ignore this step.

The zip on my skirt ended just below the waistband so I was able to remove the waistband without having to adapt the zip.

2. Mark (and then cut) two lines segmenting the front panel of the skirt into three sections.

Your skirt with now be in two sections. The two front sides attached to the back of the skirt being one section. The second section is the middle third of the front panel.

3. Stitch back together one of the lines cut in Step 2. This is done to create a seam at the front of the skirt.

I used a 1cm seam from the hem and tapered it in to a 1.5cm seam allowance at the top. The seam allowance required depends on how big the skirt is for you.

4. Stitch the other side of the front centre panel to the other side of the skirt (the second line cut). Stitch only halfway from the top, or to where you would like the eyelets to start.

Again, I used a 1.5cm seam allowance at the waist and going into a 1cm seam allowance further down.

5. Fold the raw edges of the split left at the hem of the skirt back. Stitch the raw edges down.

6. Using the fabric holepunch (on the correct setting for the size of your eyelets), punch holes either side of the split where you want your eyelets to be.

7. Insert the eyelets using the eyelets pliers.

8. Insert the silver rings between the eyelets either side of the split.

And that’s it. One way to adapt a smart skirt into something a little more casual so you don’t have to be a Risk Analyst to get away with it.

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