Make Your Shirt Look Like its Been Around for Decades

Make Your Shirt Look Like it’s Been Around for Decades

There’s nothing quite like the charm of a vintage shirt. Whether it’s the softness of the fabric, the faded colors, or the worn-in feeling, a vintage shirt adds character and personality to any outfit.

But what if you don’t have the time or money to scour thrift stores and vintage shops for the perfect shirt? What if you want to create that “lived-in” look yourself?

Luckily, it’s easier than you might think to make your shirt look like it’s been around for decades. With a few simple techniques, you can transform a new shirt into a vintage treasure.

Wash and Dry

The first step in creating a vintage look is to wash and dry your shirt. This will help to soften the fabric and create a slightly faded appearance.

For the best results, wash your shirt in cold water and then tumble dry on a low setting. If you want to add even more of a vintage feel, try washing your shirt with a small amount of white vinegar. This will help to remove any stiffness and give the shirt a slightly worn-in look.

Distress the Fabric

One of the key elements of a vintage shirt is the distressed fabric. To achieve this look, you can create small tears and holes in the shirt using a pair of scissors or a razor blade.

Start placing a piece of cardboard or a cutting board inside the shirt to prevent making any cuts through both layers of fabric. Then, use your scissors or razor blade to create small slits and tears in the fabric. Be sure to focus on areas that would naturally wear over time, such as the collar, cuffs, and pockets.

If you want to create a more dramatic distressed look, you can also use sandpaper or a wire brush to rough up the fabric.

Bleach and Dye

If you want to create a more unique and customized vintage look, you can try bleaching or dyeing your shirt.

To bleach a shirt, mix equal parts water and bleach in a spray bottle and lightly spritz the shirt. For a more dramatic effect, you can soak the shirt in a solution of bleach and water for several hours. Be sure to wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area, as bleach can be harsh on your skin and lungs.

To dye a shirt, choose a dye that is appropriate for the fabric of your shirt and follow the instructions on the package. You can also experiment with different dyeing techniques, such as tie-dye or dip-dye, to create a more unique look.


To complete your vintage look, be sure to accessorize appropriately. Try a pair of worn-in jeans, a vintage belt, and a pair of classic sneakers or boots. You can also add a few vintage-inspired accessories, such as a leather jacket or a bandana, to complete your look.

Remember, the key to creating a vintage look is to embrace imperfection and wear your shirt with confidence. Even if you don’t achieve the exact look you were going for, you’ll still have a one-of-a-kind shirt that adds personality and charm to your wardrobe.


How can I make my shirt look older?

To make your shirt look older, you can try washing and drying it to create a slightly faded appearance. You can also distress the fabric creating small tears and holes, or use bleach or dye to create a more dramatic effect.

How can I make my shirt look vintage without damaging it?

If you’re concerned about damaging your shirt, start with small changes and work your way up. Try washing and drying your shirt first to see if that gives you the look you’re going for. If you want to distress the fabric, start with small cuts and tears and see how it looks before going further.

What materials work best for creating a vintage shirt?

Cotton and denim are two materials that work well for creating a vintage look. These fabrics soften and fade over time, which can give your shirt a more natural, lived-in appearance.

How can I maintain the vintage look of my shirt?

To maintain the vintage look of your shirt, be sure to wash it in cold water and avoid using harsh detergents or bleaches. You can also hand wash your shirt and lay it flat to dry to prevent any further wear and tear.


Creating a vintage shirt is a fun and creative way to add character and personality to your wardrobe. Whether you’re looking to create a subtle, worn-in look or a more dramatic distressed effect, there are plenty of techniques you can try. Just remember to start small, experiment, and have fun!