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  • Writer's pictureHeather Rafool

How to Make Your Old Band Shirt Stylish Again

Is your old band shirt faded, worn out and stretched? There are ways to make your beloved band tee stylish again. Here are some tips.

Keyword(s): old band shirt #BandShirt #Howto #ClassicShirt #Oldtonew

T-shirts have been around since the 1800s, but they didn't become popular until 1904.

And while your old band shirt isn't that old, it sometimes feels like it.

You love your band shirt and everything it represents, but again, it's old. It's old, worn out, and doesn't quite fit your style these days.

Before you start considering throwing out your old t-shirt, here are some ways you can make it stylish and new again.

Classic Old Band Shirt

Before we get into all the ways you can re-imagine your t-shirt, know that just wearing your shirt as is works just as well.

Go with the tried-and-true style of your old band shirt and a comfortable pair of jeans.

This is the classic style that you can never go wrong with, and if anyone asks about your band shirt, you can always regale them on the band your shirt is proudly displaying.

A New Image

Now, you love your old band shirt, but you want to change up the style or wish you had it in a different shape.

Update your band shirt's image, and you'll solve both problems.

Make It Grunge

Band shirts are reasonably simple to make grunge.

Some, like a Nirvana shirt, already represent music from the grunge genre.

If this genre appeals to you, then you can take a pair of scissors and carefully add holes and tears into your shirt. This will make your shirt seem worn out if it isn't at the point already.

You don't even have to add too many holes to get the effect either. Drag a pair of scissors here or there, and suddenly you're in love with your shirt all over again.

Cut It Up

Not too excited about holes and tears? That's okay because you can always just cut off chunks of your shirt instead.

Cutting off the sleeves and collar not only alters the shape but can make the shirt more comfortable.

Some t-shirts have collars that ride up and feel restrictive around the neck. Cutting off the collar makes them much more comfortable and gives your boring, old band shirt a new personality.

For a little more fun, you can cut circles into the top of the shirt's sleeves and turn it into a bare-shoulder style. Or cut several inches off the collar to make an off-shoulder shirt.

Cut More

Did the scissors give you the itch to cut more and do more?


With a simple pair of scissors, you can turn tour band shirt into a muscle shirt.

If you don't want to wear your old band shirt as a regular t-shirt anymore and think it's too worn out but don't want to throw it out, then turning it into a muscle shirt is a perfect way to save it.

Once transformed, it will probably be your most comfortable workout shirt.

As a bonus, cutting up old shirts can make them fit better if they've gotten small on you.

But don't just stop with a muscle shirt. Add a fringe to the bottom hemline!

Cutting equal strips of your desired length along the bottom hem and stretching those strips so the fabric curls will give your shirt a stylish fringe.

Add Designs

You can do even more with your scissors and old band shirt.

By cutting out holes in specific shapes and sizes, you can make any design on your t-shirt.

Adding horizontal cuts along the sides of your shirt can give you a little more wiggle room if the shirts too tight, as mentioned earlier.

Get a fantastic style with an open-back shirt using horizontal cuts all the way down your shirt.

Keep Adding

However, if scissors are something you would never consider taking to your band shirt, then try adding to your shirt instead of cutting away.

If you've always thought that you wanted a shirt with an embroidered design but never saw a design that spoke to you, you can add the embroidery yourself.

It's a bit of a time-consuming task with some skill required, but the result would be well worth the effort.

You can also make your own iron-on prints and add your favorite memes or images to your old band shirt.

Other options that are available to you are painting on additional designs, using bleach to make patterns, and putting on jewels to give your shirt sparkle.


If none of the options above sound appealing to you, but you feel that your shirt is missing something then try using sandpaper.

Sandpaper is possibly the simplest method as it involves running a piece of sandpaper over areas of your shirt.

The sandpaper will give your band shirt a worn and vintage feel. However, this method works best on newer shirts rather than older ones.

Make It New Again

If you love your band shirt just fine as it is now but think it's too dingy or dirty-looking to wear in public, then you may want to try using trisodium phosphate (or TSP).

Trisodium phosphate is a chemical cleaner that used to widely used in laundry detergents up until the mid-1900s.

Using TSP can give your worn-out band shirt new life again, but it does have its drawbacks.

Since it is such a potent chemical cleaning agent, you'll need to be careful when using it. TSP can also tarnish the metal in your washing machine, so it isn't recommended for constant use.

Also, TSP is known to have harmful effects on the environment. So, if you love your band shirt but not enough to add to environmental damage, you'll want to stay away from TSP and look for an alternative cleaner.

Simple Shirt, Awesome Style

Want to leave your old band shirt alone but still need it to fit your style?

Try experimenting with how you wear your shirt. Yes, how. Band shirts are typically worn as is, but it'll help to think more about the overall outfit than just the shirt.

Consider tucking your shirt entirely into your pants or skirt. Tucking your shirt in can show off your figure while still showing off the band's logo.

Or, do a half-tuck for a little more artistic flare in your outfit.

Whether you want your band shirt to be the eye catcher of your outfit or an accent will be entirely up to how you dress it up or dress it down.

Still Not Sure?

Does this all sound wonderful to you but you're still not sure about what you want to do?

Google it.

Googling DIY ideas for your favorite band shirt can show you what the result may look like. You'll also know which style you'll want to try.

Websites such as Pinterest are perfect for getting ideas on how to re-invent your shirt.

Shirt Too Old?

What do you do when your band shirt is too old to re-invent?

Don't throw it away, that's for sure.

When you can't bring yourself to get rid of your old band shirt, you don't have to. You can always buy a new band shirt and use your old one for a different kind of DIY project.

By a different kind of DIY project, we mean turning it into something else.

Your band shirt can be an attention-grabbing pillow, a handbag, or a hair accessory.

And if you are in the market for a new shirt to replace your old one, then feel free to contact us for more options!

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