I've had to let go of a lot of 'things' over the last several years. One of the 'things' that I could never bring myself to get rid of are my old concert tee shirts. They actually sat in a box in my basement for many years because quite frankly, these tees are mostly from the 80s and 90s and I quit wearing them back in the early 2000s mainly because they were "out of style." But they represent a lot to me. Besides being memories of fun time with good friends, they symbolize my youth and a different time when, quite frankly, I had a lot less to worry about! Recently, I decided to pull these tees out and take a trip down memory lane. After one look, I knew that I could make some great use out of each and every one, especially considering the resurrection of 80s and 90s fashion! Read on for my ideas on how to use even your most tattered cherished pieces.
Knotted & Paired With Your Favorite Skirt
This popular styling choice is one of my absolute favorites and it works well if you have a band tee-shirt that is still in pretty decent condition. Don't worry if it is oversized like many of mine from the 90s! Grabbing a handful of fabric at the hem and knotting it and also rolling up the sleeves is a quick and easy way to give it a more structured look to pair with your favorite skirt of any length. My go-to footwear of choice for this look is fashion sneakers but you can also easily pair with a pair of punchy heels for a happy hour ensemble. Just remember if you choose to wear sneakers, make sure they are clean and don't look like you just ran a mud run in them! Here, I utilized an original Gene Loves Jezebel T-Shirt from 1987. I found a seller on Ebay who is selling reprints of this exact shirt for $35. The real deal could cost upwards of $200.
Turn Them Into Wall Art
This idea works really well for any kind of old sentimental tee collection that you've been keeping boxed up in your basement as I did. Everyone has that little space of wall that could use something personal to add to the vibe of your home or office. This one also uses very little materials and time! Simply buy a square canvas from a craft store such as Michael's. I used an 8" x 8" size. Simply stretch the tee across the front of the canvas, wrapping it around the sides. Make sure the design you'd like to show is centered how you'd like it to be. Then all you need is a staple gun and voila! You have yourself a piece of personal and historical art. I recommend doing a set of 3 or 4 to group together on a wall. Remember not to hang these too high, a common mistake made with smaller pieces of art on the wall.
Make a Throw Pillow Or A Quilted Blanket
This one is the advanced level of the wall art suggestion. I really love the idea but it does come with a bit more commitment in the time and energy department. One option is to ask your local seamstress to help you out with this one (which would be my preferred choice) but, if you are feeling up to it (and you are way handier with a sewing machine than me), here is a tutorial for the quilt from Wiki How.
Create A Workout Shirt
I really love how easy this one is! All you need is a pair of scissors and this tutorial from the Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth Blog. I love how she gives step-step-instructions along with a photo for each step. The end product is also super cute and I could see myself getting a lot of use out it. I'm thinking this will work well for my really oversized concert tee (I'm looking at you Cure Wish Tour 1992) that I can't quite get the knotting and sleeve roll to look right to pair with a skirt. Here is peek at hers turned out and I think it's super cute.
Turn The Tee Into A Skirt
Now this one is for that super oversized one, maybe your older brother handed it down to you or maybe your hubby has a favorite old concert tee that he's willing to give up. As long as it has a decent amount of length and is not cropped I think this is a really cute option. I just love when creatives upcycle something into a totally different piece. This idea requires a moderate skill level with a sewing machine but I'm thinking even I can manage this one. This tutorial by Saved By Love Creations gives you step by step instructions and even points out that someone who gets anxiety over threading the bobbin can handle it so I was quite encouraged by that! This image here shows a plain colored skirt but I think that it would look super chic with a 90s concert tee graphic on it, especially if oddly placed.
How do you Upcycle and Style Old Tees?
These are just a few ideas to freshen and re-use nostalgic tees. What are your favorite tee-shirt upcycling ideas? How do you incorporate old concert tees into your style? We'd love to hear your suggestions and see your Rockin' style!