If you spend countless hours on your t-shirt designs, you probably have a mental picture of what your team, employees, or community will look like when they wear your threads.
But the truth is that there are dozens of ways to style t-shirts. Have you ever thought about how your shirt might be tucked, tied, or repurposed entirely?
With fashion trends taking over, it’s important to think about how people will wear your shirts so you can come up with a design that will age well.
If you want to create a timeless shirt that people will love—even as trends come and go—you should consider all the different ways people might style your shirt.
So, how do you come up with a “timeless” t-shirt design anyway? Today, we’re going to share a few tips to help you. We also have tons of examples of ways people style t-shirts nowadays so you can see the big picture.
How Can You Make T-Shirts People Will Actually Wear?
It’s time to switch on your creativity and think outside the box. People love experimenting with their outfits—including how they wear their t-shirts.
As an apparel manufacturer, you have the opportunity to be a trendsetter. You can lead the way and influence the fashion industry by designing shirts that can be worn in more than one way.
Of course, it all starts with the garment and the artwork. If you want to make a shirt that will stand the test of time, you should focus on a few key things:
The Fit Matters
We live in a world where people experiment with their fashion choices, so it’s important to design shirts that are versatile.
The best way to do this is to design shirts that have a relaxed fit. This type of fit looks good on everyone, and it’s also comfortable to wear.
When you’re designing shirts, think about the different ways people might want to wear them. For example, someone might want to tuck their shirt into their jeans or wear it over a dress. Consider all the different ways people might style your shirt and design accordingly.
Stray Away from Stereotypes
This is a big one. You want to design shirts that people will want to wear, not feel like they have to wear.
For example, if you’re designing a shirt for a women’s empowerment event, you might want to think twice about designing a shirt that says “girl boss” or has a bright pink color scheme. Not all women identify as “girl bosses,” and there are many women who do not like pink.
Stay true to your brand, of course. But instead of sticking to surface level stereotypes, try to dig a little deeper. It’s important to think about the people who will be wearing your apparel.
What do they like?
What are their interests?
What is their style?
When you design with your audience in mind, you’re more likely to come up with a design they’ll love.
Create Designs That Will Last Longer than One Season
The key is to think about how your design will age. If you want people to wear your shirts for years to come, you should create a design that looks just as good a few years down the line.
This doesn’t mean your design has to be boring. You can still be creative with your artwork. For example, you can use classic fonts that won’t go out of style and minimalistic graphics that won’t look dated a few years from now.
Basics Are Back…
People are big fans of buying good quality basics… with an emphasis on quality.
You don’t need an extravagant design to create a shirt that will sell, but you do need to make sure your garment is going to impress your customers with its comfort and durability.
…But Graphic Tees Are Still In, Too
We don’t want to confuse you, but minimalistic tees are in for capsule wardrobes, while graphic tees are in for fashion statements.
If you’re trying to make a design that will stand out, don’t be afraid to get creative with colors and patterns. Just be sure that the overall design is something people will want to wear beyond this season.
Let’s See Some Examples!
If you’re a visual learner, don’t worry—here are some examples so you can see what we’re talking about.
This TikTok video by Tim Dessaint shows how oversized t-shirts are IN right now.
This creator also shows multiple ways of wearing the shirt.
As we mentioned before, both men and women are into the oversized t-shirt trend.
In this video, fashion creator Chloe shows different outfits that can be achieved with the same oversized t-shirt.
Here, we have a creator named Wes giving us a demonstration of a hip cropped t-shirt.
When we said cropped, we didn’t mean completely. But shirts that end around the waistline of the pants are pretty trendy right now.
Versatility is huge right now (and let’s be real, it’s always in).
People want to be able to style basic t-shirts multiple ways. Here, lifestyle creator Olivia shows us nine different outfits she created from the same t-shirt.
In this video, creator Umayma shows off the minimalist “capsule wardrobe” concept of keeping a few versatile pieces that can be worn year-round.
Many capsule wardrobes feature solid garments, but the same concept would work with screen-printed tees as long as the designs are minimalistic.
Gymgoers from all walks of life are into the pump cover trend. Fitness creator Skye shows us how it’s done.
A pump cover is exactly what it sounds like—an oversized shirt or sweatshirt that you wear while you exercise. This trend is all about being comfortable while you work out and not having to worry about your clothes.
Let’s Get Your Creativity Flowing!
Now that we’ve given you some examples, it’s time to start thinking about your own designs. Will you create a minimalistic t-shirt or will you opt for louder, more pronounced artwork?
BTW, you also want to think about which manufacturer you’re going to work with. We have you covered there.
At Scrappy Apparel, we work with all types of customers, from fashion brands to enterprise-level businesses.
Here’s what we can offer you:
- A 100% online solution for your custom apparel needs
- Handpicked fabrics and garment patterns that never skimp on quality
- Retail-soft inks that are vibrant and durable
- A variety of services (screen printing, sublimation, cut and sew, custom hats, and more)
- A team of experts that will guide you through the ordering process
- Free shipping to your doorstep
- Free folding and polybagging with every order
- The option to private label your garments