Trashion fashion is a part of the “green” movement where old items that are considered trash by many are reconstructed and used in art, jewelry, fashion, or home decor. Many thrift stores are packed to the brims with t-shirts so this tutorial is going to show you how to do your own trashion project by wearing and tearing down old t-shirts to make them look fashionable like the trashion trend and more specifically a ridiculously priced Balmain t-shirt.
To pay $1,625 for a distressed t-shirt that looks like it has a creepy face carved into the front of it like a jack-o-lantern sounds truly outrageous to me. That’s paying more for one t-shirt than I pay for my entire wardrobe every year. My local thrift store has a bag sale the first weekend of every month where you can fill up a brown paper bag with clothes for $3 which I do regularly in case there are any crazy crafty projects I would like to try. When I heard the uproar about this Balmain slashed Army t-shirt, I decided to try the trashion fashion project out on an old t-shirt (not even olive green) to see if I could do $1,625 worth of beautiful damage to my $3 used t-shirt.
-T Shirt that you are willing to completely destroy, if it’s already kind of soft it will turn out better; 100% cotton and olive green in color if you are specifically looking to replicate the Balmain slashed Army shirt
-Sandpaper or foot file
-Beer bottle lid
Step 1: Use scissors to stab some holes in the t-shirt. If you are specifically going for the $1,625 Balmain slashed Army t-shirt look, use this Net-A-Porter.com page for your reference throughout this tutorial. Notice how there appears to be eyes, a nose, and a mouth stabbed into the shirt as well as a couple of well defined mini-holes near the shoulders, and a large hole at the bottom of the left rib cage on the back. The face on the Balmain t-shirt freaks me out a little bit so I chose not to follow that pattern and just tried to stab in a random fashion.
Step 2: Use sandpaper and/or your foot file to wear down the threads near the shoulders, at the bottom of the sleeves, around the neck, at the bottom of the shirt, and pick a few other random places. Try not to make too many holes with the sandpaper/foot file, you are just trying to distress the threads for now and they will slowly start to fray on their own in the wash and after you have worn it – authentic wear and tear always looks better than doing all the damage by hand. I spent a good 20 minutes on this step and could have easily done more, but I didn’t want my trashion fashion shirt to be too distressed. I ended up finding a beer bottle lid on the table I was working at so I turned the shirt inside out and used it to try to wear down the fibers of the shirt some more.
Step 3: Throw your shirt in the washer. I clumped up my shirt and put large safety pins through chunks of the fabric to help encourage tearing in the wash. When it comes out, remove the safety pins, stretch around the neck, sleeves, and top to bottom, wring it out, throw it around a little then take it outside to line dry. Once it has dried outside, bring it back inside and put it in the drier to make it softer and to tear the threads up.
Step 4: Try it on and see if it is beat up enough for your liking. You may want to take your shirt outside, drive over it a few times for a little less obviously deliberate beating, then go back and repeat steps 2 and 3 until you get the desired result.
Other Tips and Advice
– Keep your little hands safe! You’re using sharp objects and you are going to be tearing that shirt up with metal so keep your hands out of the way or you will tear them up too. I put a magazine under each area as I worked on it, without the fear of hurting myself I felt like I could easily do more damage.
-If you are a smoker, you can burn some more holes into the shirt with a lit cigarette. Non-smokers who want to distress your trashion project more can use tweezers to poke small holes or pull at exposed threads where you have already done a bit of destruction.
-You could make the back of your shirt look like a rib cage and spinal cord like on the YouBettaWork blog or use this photo on Pony Tail on Tumblr as inspiration to make the back of your shirt look like a skull.