T-shirts can be colorful, funky opportunities to display your personality, but a basic T doesn’t show much in the way of style. To customize a shirt and make it funky, sexy and cute all at once, cut the sides and sleeves open and then tie them closed. Repurpose the material that you cut out of the shirt for the ties, or use ribbons or laces in complementary colors. As an added benefit, tying your shirt like this tailors it to fit you perfectly.

Things You'll Need

Lay a T-shirt flat on a table, making sure that the side seams are straight and the front and back are evenly aligned.

Cut a side seam off, beginning at the bottom of the shirt. Cut close to the seam to show relatively little skin, or start an inch or two from the seam for a more revealing style. Cut through both layers of the shirt at once, on a diagonal toward the seam so that the gap is wider at the bottom than at the top. Repeat on the other side of the shirt.

Align the front and back of the shirt again. Cut slits through both layers of the right side of the shirt to make holes for the ties. Fold the shirt in half lengthwise, matching the right side and left side of the shirt. Use the right side to determine where to cut matching slits on the left side.

Remove the seams from the top and bottom of the sleeves, separating the front of the shirt from the back. Cut along the seams to show little skin or remove more fabric for a racier style. Add slits to the sleeves the same way that you cut them on the sides.

Trim the excess fabric into ties. Thread them through the slits and tie them in knots or bows. Alternatively, use ribbons or laces that suit the style and color of the shirt. Thread the ties straight across, weave them in a cross-hatch pattern or devise your own creative system.


  • For more precise alignment, measure the distance between tie slits with a measuring tape.