A comfortable T-shirt is one of those versatile wardrobe staples that every closet needs. But if you’ve got some that are oversized or starting to look a little blah, it may be time for a makeover. With a few careful rips, you can turn a boring T-shirt into a cool, new custom top that bares a little skin. Best of all, you don’t need any sewing skills to customize your tees. You do need a sharp pair of scissors, though — even if you plan to rip your T-shirt by hand, starter cuts make the fabric easier to tear.
Cool Tank Top
One of the easiest ways to give a basic T-shirt a cool makeover is to turn it into a tank top or sleeveless shirt, making your shirt more stylish and comfortable in warmer weather. The quickest way to get rid of the sleeves on your T-shirt is to rip them right at the seams. Depending on how sturdy the fabric is, you may need to use a scissor or seam ripper to open up the seams so the sleeves are easier to tear off. If you want more of a tank top look, you need to rip the shirt on the other side of the sleeve seam, closer to the neckline. Because you aren’t tearing along a seam, you may need to cut the shirt as much as halfway in so you can rip it.
To turn your T-shirt into a standout piece, rip it along the bottom hem to create some eye-catching fringe. You definitely need a scissor to cut through the hem and get you started, but then you can tear the shirt upward to create a series of strips that are all the same length around the entire bottom of the shirt. You can create small, subtle fringe by making small rips or go for a bolder look with longer rips that create a midriff-bearing fringe. Take the look a step further by adding beads to the bottom of the fringe pieces.
Sultry Shoulder-Baring Top
For a flirty look, rip your T-shirt to turn it into a sexy off-the-shoulder top. Use scissors to start cuts on either side of the shirt’s neckline, then rip the area so it’s wide enough to stretch across your shoulders. You may need to refine your rip by cutting the neckline so it fits properly. Depending on the look you want, you can leave the sleeves on the T-shirt for a more modest feel or tear them off before cutting the neckline for a bolder look.
Creating a sexy look for your T-shirt is easy — just add some skin-baring slashes in a few strategic places. Use scissors to create cuts in the fabric, then widen them by ripping them open with your hands. You can add slashes to the back of your T-shirt as well as down the sides or across the midriff. You can even add them just below the shirt’s neckline to give a sexy glimpse of cleavage.
References and ResourcesTease: 50 Inspired T-shirt Transformations by Superstars of Art, Craft & Design; Sarah Sockit
Rip It!: How to Deconstruct and Reconstruct the Clothes of Your Dreams; Elissa Meyrich
The Civilian Press: T-Shirt Cutting Made Simple