1 White T-Shirt, 3 Clever DIYs To Beat The Heat

If we were ever stranded on a desert island and had to choose one top to wear for the rest of our days, the answer would be easy — the ever-classic, plain, white T-shirt. While it may sometimes seem boring, it’s one piece with endless variations. Dressed up with a structured skirt? Down with a pair of cutoffs? And, heck — if we were able to bring along our craft kit onto the island, you know we’d take that white tee to its limits. 

And since it’s seriously (white) hot these days, we whipped up three variations using the same basic tee from Uniqlo that will keep you cool but still stylin’. Whether you like cutouts, peplums, or have something to say, click on through for the super-easy T-shirt DIYs!


Assistant managing editor Sharon Yi rocks a beach-ready look. We love the tee paired with her floral cutoffs!


What You’ll Need: 
– A plain, white T-shirt (we got ours from Uniqlo for $9.99!)
– Pencil 
– Scissors 


Step 1: Try your shirt on and make a mark in the center where the top of the pant hits. This look works great with high-waisted bottoms.


Step 2: Begin cutting from the bottom of the shirt up to the mark you’ve made. Be careful not to cut the back of the shirt!


Step 3: Cut a small slit in the center of the shirt right below the neckline.


Step 4: Next cut out a small rectangle. You can use the pencil to mark or just wing it.


Step 5: Cut two more rectangles on either side.


Step 6: Take the two ends where you cut at the bottom of the shirt and tie into a knot.


Adjust the tie once you try the shirt on.


So ridiculously easy, and now you have a loose-fit crop top for all your high-waisted shorts and maxi-skirts.


Photo assistant Amanda Saviñón pairs her R29 summer shirt with a soft, black skirt and silver heels.


What You’ll Need: 
– A plain white T-shirt
– Iron-on-transfer paper
– An iron
– Scissors


Step 1: For our letters, we scanned a floral fabric and created a letter template in Photoshop using the clipping mask feature. For details on creating the letters, see this guide
Print your letters on iron-on-transfer paper and be sure to invert the letters in Photoshop. Next, cut out your letters about a quarter of an inch from the letter’s edge.


Step 2: Lay out your letters in the order you want.


Step 3: Carefully move the iron over one letter at a time, pressing firmly and holding for about 10 seconds. Refer to the instructions for your specific transfer paper.


Step: 4: After letting the letters cool, carefully peel back from the corners. If the paper does not separate easily from the color, run the iron over it again.


Summer heat…bring it!


Associate sales development manager Alex McGinn pairs her peplum top with Kelly-green skinny jeans and a cream clutch.


What You’ll Need: 
– A plain white T-shirt
– Straight pins
– Scissors
– White thread and a needle
– Lace (We got ours from M&J Trimming)


Step 1: Try your shirt on and pin the bottom part up about half an inch below where your pant or skirt hits. Next, lay your shirt out and pin the bottom of the shirt all the way around.


Step 2: Begin sewing across the bottom of the shirt, going all the way around to secure.


Step 3: Turn your shirt inside out and cut off the extra fabric at the bottom.


Step 4: Lay out your lace letting it fall slightly below the end of the shirt. Begin pinning the piece, taking a slight gather in at the top of the lace every inch and half (depending on how intense you want your peplum!).


Step 5: Keep pinning slight folds all the way around the front and back of the shirt.


Step 6: Begin sewing the lace to the shirt at the top of each fold. Secure the lace in several places.


Flounce the lace a bit and then pair with cute denim cutoffs or jeans for date night!

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