I have been so inspired by denim in fashion lately, most specifically fairy-kei fashion and other corners of Japanese street fashion. I bought an 80s cropped vintage jacket on Etsy a few weeks ago and dyed it from barely-there-pink to a rosy tone that exactly matches the lining of my Angelic Pretty hoodie (which I know as I wore them together for that 80s’ mall rat look, with a pop palette.) Although I’m not finished decorating mine yet, I couldn’t help but turn my favorite ideas into a DIY-inspiration collage of the other things I want to try with denim.
Pale-wash denim skirts or jackets are ideal for dying pastels. Any of these projects above could easily start by dying some out-of-date light wash denim with the same tye-dye you kits you can get at a craft store. I used a kit in pink, and then diluted the heck out of it to get the shade I wanted. By testing drops of it on an unseen inside of a lapel, I could gauge the darkness of the dye. When I finally washed the whole thing in a basin of water-diluted dye, I made sure to try the sleeves first – if it came out the wrong color, you can easily cut off the sleeves and boom, you still have a vest to play with. And make sure you follow the package instructions to set the color – you don’t want it rubbing off or bleeding onto your other clothes!
After you dye your denim item, you can have fun decorating it however you want with any kind of kitsch. Mine is still plain, but I am thinking about pink pyramid studs for some texture on the shoulders, with possibly lace on the pockets and replacing the brown buttons with something star-shaped or sparkly. (The big surprise of the jacket I’m still working on, but I think it’ll be a hit!) In the meantime, I’m wearing my jacket with cute pins I’ve collected like in the photo on the lower right. I have a few Angelic Pretty pins, and today my first vintage pin came in the mail!
(Yes, I’m lazy lately and I’m using Instagram to edit and post my photos…)
This is a vintage My Little Pony pin featuring the ‘queen of Dream Castle’, Majesty. I actually only paid $4 for it!
I’m looking all over for cute badges and pins, whether they be 80s and vintage or even just kitschy things like ‘FRODO LIVES’ to decorate my jacket. (Try searching on eBay, you can find a lot of strange one-offs from promotions or made by people with button machines.) A lolita kilt pin would also be a cute edition, or maybe to sew on some lengths of pink chain in loops. I’m even considering fake zippers at an angle for a motorcycle jacket look like the one in the upper left corner. Now there’s a jacket that went crazy with decorating! (…I even have that unicorn patch, so…)
Nile Perch and Swimmer both make cute buttons that would be sweet on a jacket.
The skirts in the lower left look like fabric paint, so you could paint on any kind of designs and then accent it with studs, glitter, or even embroidery stitches. The shooting star rainbows remind me of a cutie mark from my favorite My Little Pony Streaky, so I think it could be a cute idea to copy your favorite pony’s cutie mark onto a skirt as a homage!
If you wanted something simpler, I also really like the pink silky bow on the back of the denim vest. It feels like hime-lolita or himegyaru teamed up with punk for a collaboration. I think it would look great as an accent to a spring or summer Jesus Diamante or delicate floral or solid-colored Angelic Pretty dress. Studs are also very easy to place – you don’t usually need a tool to apply them.
I think any of these items would be a cool weekend or afternoon project, and it could add some originality to any cute-themed outfit, like lolita, hime, fairy-kei, or even just pastel day-to-day wear. I tried my jacket on with my summer ‘beach’ dress – a long strapless one made with vintage 1970s rose-patterned sheets – and it’ll be perfect for an easy day in the summer or spring as a light layer.