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Washington Post
Jazz up the collars of old button-down shirts to bring them new life.

Jazz up collars of old shirts

Sorry boys, but it’s about time girls had the spotlight shone on their neckwear. And though we won’t be donning ties fit for a fraternity reunion anytime soon, we’re excited to doll up our collars.

These easy, do-it-yourself tweaks take less than 30 minutes each – and some don’t even require sewing. All breathe life into otherwise dull workwear you already own.

“If you get bored with something, don’t throw it out. Just add a little something to it,” says Ginger Root Designs co-founder Kristen Swenson, whose Washington shop stocks femme bowties.

Haute hardware

What looks like a relic you picked up as a horse-handler at a Texas dude ranch is really a basic denim snap-down with two decorative brass corners hammered onto the tips. Check your local hardware store.

All the trimmings

Not all button-up updates need be drastic. A thin trim of monochrome beads ($12 a yard, loop-stitched to the edge of a pink blouse curbs the garment’s boldness. The resulting top looks demure paired with a pencil skirt.

Studs, not duds

A simple silk shirt gets ready to party when you stitch or glue a gold-colored plastic pyramid trim ($10 a yard, around the entire collar. We imagine your hip fifth-grade teacher wore something similar after hours.

Just bead it

Not for the faint of art, this style requires some dexterity. Choose beads in the same color (we love red against preppy black gingham) and thread them randomly one by one. Buy at local beads stores, Michaels or other crafts outlets or online at Oriental Trading.

Clip-on class

Love the look of old clip-on earrings but worried they’ll slip off your lobes? Dab glue on the earring-side and tack them to the tips of a fave vintage shirt.