Is your wardrobe getting a bit dull? Do you want to spice up your outfit, but do not have the funds to go on a shopping spree? You can recreate your style without breaking the bank. In fact, all you need are a few plain white t-shirts!

Now you might be thinking of the girl-next-door look with a typical t-shirt and jeans.Thanks to the power of Pinterest, there are several ways you can wear a tee. Say good bye to the boring bedtime version of a t-shirt, and say hello to a fresh, modern look. You can transform your t-shirt into skirts, dresses, tank tops, and better versions of a t-shirt. Some styles require a little bit of sewing, but others are a tie-up-and-go style!

Before you go out and buy a whole new wardrobe, rummage through your closet and drawers for t-shirts. If you find a handful, do not sell them in a yard sale — you will regret it. Instead, you can upcycle the fabric to make these hot trends.


1. The T-Shirt Dress

You need three t-shirts, scissors, and a sewing machine (or needle and thread) for this project. It is a cute, playful dress, great for all ages. You can wear it on a sunny day or to a pool party over your swimsuit. This style may be a little harder to master, compared to the others in the list, so do not get frustrated if it does not come out perfectly the first time around.

  • Cut off the neckline and sides of one t-shirt
  • Cut off the bottom of the other two t-shirts
  • Cut the triangle arc off of one set of sleeves
  • Re-attach it to the cut shirt as sleeves
  • Sew two shirt bottoms together
  • Gather the top edge
  • Re-attach it to the bottom of the shirt (to make the skirt part)

2. The Mini Skirt

To create a one-of-a-kind mini skirt, you will
need one t-shirt, some type of alternate knit fabric, a two inch elastic band, and a sewing machine (or needle and thread). You can make a fun and flirty look by using a different color for the alternate knit fabric. Different prints, patterns, and textures will also vamp up this look!

  • Cut off the bottom of the t-shirt
  • Cut one side open
  • Sew in a strip of alternate knit fabric
  • Add the elastic waistband

3. The T-Shirt with Button Sleeves

You will need one t-shirt, two buttons, a sewing machine (or needle and thread), and a charm square. The charm square is a piece of fabric. You can use a different color or pattern, like polka dots, to add a little flair. This is a simple yet adorable way to make your t-shirt pop! If you are unsure of what type of charm square to use, imagine what skirt or pant you would wear with the t-shirt and add a complementary color.

  • Place one end of the charm square on the inside of the sleeve and the other end on the outside of the sleeve for a wrap-around look
  • Sew the button through both ends of the charm square

4. The Wrap-Around T-Shirt Skirt

Do you have a long-sleeve t-shirt that is too big for you? Maybe it is a maternity shirt or you simply lost weight. You do not want to part with it because you never know if you will get pregnant again, or gain weight. Whatever the case may be, you can wear it as a skirt. The best part: you do not need any scissors or sewing machine. All you have to do is follow these simple steps to transform the long-sleeve t-shirt into a skirt.

  • Step into the t-shirt (put your legs through the head/neck part of the t-shirt)
  • Pull the shirt over your bottom area and smooth it out
  • Tie the long sleeves in the front (you can do a knot or a bow)
  • Tuck the edges (the shoulder parts) underneath the sleeves to make it look more like a belt or a sash
  • Look in the mirror and move the fabric around a little more to your liking

5. The Watercolor T-Shirt

You do not have to be an artist to make a cool t-shirt, thanks to this
basic technique. You need a t-shirt, fabric paint, a paintbrush, and a
little water. Paint whatever picture you like on your t-shirt. You can paint faces, words, or an abstract shape. Then add water to it for an added effect. Do not worry about “messing up,” because the water will allow the paint to bleed through the fabric. Everything will look like it was done on purpose.

This can be a fun afternoon project for you and the kids. Make sure you wear an old outfit, just in case things get a little crazy while painting. If it is warm outside, take the project outdoors. Otherwise, be sure to cover the table with some newspaper.

6. The Off-the-Shoulder Dolman

For those of you that don’t know, a dolman is a fashionable shirt that has a cape-like effect instead of traditional sleeves. You can create your own dolman out of a plain t-shirt. All you need is a t-shirt and a pair of scissors. If you are
an aspiring fashion designer, you can really impress your friends and family by explaining to them your creation.

  • Look in the mirror and move the fabric around a little more to your liking
  • Remove the neckline

7. The Raglan Sleeve T-Shirt

A raglan sleeve is when a sleeve extends to the collar, which leaves a diagonal seam from the armpit to the collarbone. This undefined look is common in sportswear uniforms and other exercise wear. You learn something new every day! In order to create this unique look, you need one t-shirt, scissors, sewing machine (or needle and thread), and an alternate fabric. You can use a colored pattern, print, or texture for the alternate fabric to make a bold statement.

  • Cut off the neck, sleeves, and sides of the t-shirt in a raglan fashion
  • Using the cut t-shirt sleeve, cut a new sleeve from the alternate fabric
  • Sew new sleeves to the t-shirt using the alternate fabric
  • Sew the other sides back together
  • Attach a neckline using the alternate fabric

8. The Wrap-Around T-Shirt Dress

Much like the wrap-around t-shirt skirt, the dress requires no scissors or sewing machine. Instead of cutting and sewing, you simply
have to tie the shirt on in a specific manner. Make sure you use an oversized t-shirt, so there is enough material to cover your whole body the way a dress would. (It needs to be long enough!) If you ever are in an emergency situation where you need a dress, this is perfect! Maybe the airline lost your luggage or you simply forgot to pack your dress. Here
is the ideal answer to your mistake (and you will still get compliments on your look).

  • Step into the dress so your legs go through the head/neck hole
  • Pull the t-shirt up past your breasts like a tube top
  • Fan out the right sleeve and pull it over to your left shoulder
  • Tuck it snuggly into the top of the t-shirt
  • Do the same thing to the left sleeve and right shoulder
  • Look in the mirror to play around with the material a little more until it looks pleasing

You can also tie on the t-shirt dress in the same manner in which you tied the wrap-around skirt. Now you know two different ways to tie on a t-shirt as a dress. Both versions are strapless and perfect for the summertime. If you are in need of a clothing change, these t-shirt dresses are fast, easy, and fashionable!

9. The T-Shirt Tank Top and Belt

If you are sweating the day away and a t-shirt just will not do, opt for a tank top. You can easily create a tank top out of a t-shirt with a
pair of scissors. Now, you may think any regular Joe Schmo can make a tank top. If you are going for a more sophisticated style that requires a little fashion sense, you can add accessories. Since the tank top will be a little baggy, you can add a fabric belt to create a unique style.

  • Cut off the neckline and sleeves
  • Add a ribbon belt/li>

10. The Modern Tie-Dye T-Shirt (Sleeveless)

Every 90s kid had a radical tie-dyed t-shirt full
of bright colors. That style may be not so fashionable anymore, but the concept is still fun and quirky. You can make a cute, sleeveless
t-shirt with a pair of scissors, sewing machine (or needle and thread), and RIT tie-dye color. The tie-dye will not be all in your face the way
the old-fashioned styles were; it will be subtle, yet eye-catching!

  • Cut off the sides of the t-shirt to make it a tank top
  • Sew back up the sides of the t-shirt (you can sew as high or as low as you want for more or less coverage)
  • Knot the bottom of the shirt
  • Dip the bottom half of the t-shirt in RIT color tie-dye

Try and Try Again

You can also tie on the t-shirt dress in the same manner in which you tied the wrap-around skirt. Now you know two different ways to tie on a t-shirt as a dress. Both versions are strapless and perfect for the summertime. If you are in need of a clothing change, these t-shirt dress-
es are fast, easy, and fashionable!

For the pieces with alternate fabric, you will figure out what type of cloth works best. The styles that involve cutting and sewing, you will learn where and how to cut each part just right. For some styles, you may need to experiment with different sizes. The wrap-around dress, dolman, or raglan sleeve t-shirt requires a much larger t-shirt than, say, the button sleeve or the tie-dye t-shirt.

When in doubt, play with color, prints, textures, and patterns. If you want to recreate a look,
go bold! After all, your canvas is a white t-shirt, so you cannot get more basic than that. You certainly do not want to add more boring white or a subdued tan.

Where to Get Your T-Shirts

If you are planning on playing around with these different styles, you may need to purchase more t-shirts. Also, as mentioned before, you might need a shirt that is not originally your size. Since this is a fun project, you do not want to invest too much money. Instead of purchasing expensive t-shirts, you should buy them wholesale.

Maybe you will get really good at it and can start your own fashion line! Okay, that may be farfetched, but a couple of your girlfriends might request a t-shirt from you after they see how great yours turned out. You certainly do not want to spend hundreds of dollars on t-shirts for this hobby.

The Adair Group is a great outlet for t-shirts. Instead of spending a bunch of money on fabrics, you can buy t-shirts wholesale from this online provider. You can shop by department; it has t-shirts for adults, men, women, kids, toddlers, and babies. The site also features different styles, including long-sleeve, short-sleeve, pocket, V-neck, tank top, and sleeveless.There is a rainbow of colors available, along with shades of black, white, and brown.

You can also find specials like $1 t-shirts and closeout sales. The Adair Group also receives irregular t-shirts. These are t-shirts that have minor manufacturing defects, so they are on sale for next to nothing.

Besides t-shirts, the company features polos, sweatshirts, underwear, hats, and tie-dye clothing. You can shop online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. The company has a “best price” guarantee and ships out of Atlanta, Georgia via UPS.

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