Make Your Shirt Look Like its Been Around Forever A

Make Your Shirt Look Like it’s Been Around Forever: A Guide to Vintage Style

There’s something about the look of a vintage shirt that just screams cool. Even if it’s been lying in a dusty attic for years, the shirt still manages to exude that effortless style that we all strive for. But, what if you don’t have a collection of vintage shirts lying around? Fear not, because with a little bit of time and effort, you can make your own shirt look like it’s been around for decades. Here’s how:

Select the right shirt

The first thing you need to do is choose the right shirt. When it comes to achieving a vintage look, go for natural fabrics like cotton or linen. Synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon didn’t exist in the same way in the past and don’t necessarily look vintage. Additionally, look for shirts that have a classic cut, with a simple collar and a straight hem.

When it comes to color, opt for shades that are muted or faded. Pastels, earthy tones, and washed-out hues tend to work best. Avoid bright colors as much as possible, as they can look too modern.

Wash and distress your shirt

Once you have your shirt, it’s time to make it look old. Start washing it in hot water with a small amount of detergent. This will help to fade the color and give the shirt a more ‘lived-in’ appearance.

To distress the shirt, you can use several methods, including sandpaper, bleach, or even a cheese grater. If you choose to use a cheese grater, lay the shirt flat on a hard surface and rub the grater over it in small circular motions. This will create small holes and tears in the fabric, giving it an edgier look.

Remember to approach this step with caution as it can be easy to go overboard and damage your shirt beyond repair. Start small and gradually increase the distressing until you achieve the desired level of wear and tear.

Accessorize to complete the look

To finish off your vintage look, select a few classic accessories. A wide-brimmed hat, retro sunglasses, or a vintage scarf can help to complete your outfit. Keep in mind that less is often more when it comes to accessories, so don’t overdo it.

Remember that dressing in a vintage style doesn’t mean you have to look like you’re stepping out of a time-traveling machine. Incorporating just a few elements of vintage style can give you that classic cool look without feeling like you’re wearing a costume.


There you have it, an easy guide to creating a vintage look for your shirt. Remember, the key is to not go overboard with any one aspect of this process. A well-placed hole or faded color can make all the difference in giving your shirt that vintage vibe. Once you’ve mastered this technique, there’s no limit to the number of shirts you can transform into vintage gems.

FAQs Section

Q: Can I use a new shirt instead of an old one for this process?

A: Absolutely! In fact, a new shirt often works better for this technique since it is easier to apply the distressing without worrying about causing damage to a delicate fabric.

Q: How long will the distressed effect last on the shirt?

A: The distressed effect can last for a long time, but it can also wear off over time. If you want to maintain the look, you can continue to treat the shirt with mild distressing or refrain from washing it too often.

Q: Are there any color combinations that work better than others?

A: As mentioned earlier, muted or faded colors tend to work best when trying to create a vintage look. Earthy tones like olive, mustard, and rust can work particularly well.

Q: Can I use a washing machine to distress my shirt?

A: Yes, you can use a washing machine to give your shirt a more worn-in look. However, be sure to check the care label on your shirt to ensure that it can withstand the process.

Q: Can I use a hairbrush to create small holes in the fabric?

A: Yes, a hairbrush can be a great tool for creating small holes in the fabric. Simply pull the fabric taut over the bristles and move it back and forth. This can give your shirt a slightly distressed look without causing too much damage.

Q: Can I achieve a vintage look on a sweater or a sweatshirt?

A: Yes, the same principles apply to these types of garments. However, keep in mind that the fabric may not react in the same way as cotton or linen, so start small and gradually work your way up.