October 1, 2013

WEAR: DIY graphic t-shirts

We don't have to tell you that graphic t-shirts are trending right now, they are making their own STATEMENTS everywhere you turn. Everyone has something to say, or more specifically their shirts have something to say! Some of our favorites are the simple one worded ones like RESPECT and CELFIE  (so many plays on Celine) on plain tees designed and sold by Sincerely Jules.  In the past, graphic tees epitomized the casual and relaxed style.  However, gone are the days of graphic 'humor tees' from A&F.   In it's reincarnation, the 'humor' still exists but more so in minimalistic typography (what we tried to do here), photographs, animals (cue in the tiger face sweaters and shirts), and abstract designs.  It is also a bit more elevated with designer offerings from 3.1 Phillip Lim, YSL and Celine.   But true to it's nature, graphic t-shirt's presence is not just designer but it's existence is ubiquitous, from Brian Lichtenberg to Brandy Melville to ZARA! Whether high end or low end or DIY (like us!), right now it's a style staple to express oneself with funny sayings, funny play on famous designers, funky prints and artsy designs.

We live for casual cool wear so we took a stab at making our own shirts with the infamous phrase YOLO -lends itself to so many situations and jokes (thanks Drake and generation young bucks). And we also played around with a simple numbered design on a jersey-like crop tee with 99 in the front and XX in the back.  Please read on below to check how we made it and to see more pics of how we styled them! 

  •  Transfer paper: Michaels, $18 for 10-pack or Amazon, $13 for 12-pack  (there's different transfer paper for light and dark fabrics, so make sure you choose according to your fabric color)
  •  Plain cotton sweater or tshirt: we got both from H&M, for less than $20
  •  Ink jet printer: the transfer paper won't work on laser printers
  •  Graphic designs to print (see below for our free designs you can download and print yourself!)
  •  Iron and a sturdy surface (I covered a wooden cutting board with a pillowcase)
  • Scissors

  1. Print out the designs on the transfer paper using your ink jet printer (the YOLO will be a mirror image (standard transfer paper) and the 99/XX is non-mirror image (transfer paper for dark fabrics)).  Be sure to read directions on the transfer paper packaging (they are not all the same).
  2. Cut the designs out, trying to get as close to the edges as possible (but not on the lines).  This will minimize the clear shine you might see around the images after ironing.
  3. Follow the directions on the transfer paper packaging to iron the image on, making sure to press firmly along all the edges.
  4. After the image is cool, slowly peel off the paper backing.

We've posted before on how to do this in our baby onsie post and pineapple and watermelon cover-up post.  Please refer back to those posts if you need more inspiration or guide. :)

Mixing and matching graphic tees with flirty skirts (as we did here), cigarette pants, blazers,  high-end accessories and fabulous pair of shoes is really all it takes to transform a casual look into less casual.  What do you guys think of the resurgence of the graphic t-shirt?  Let us know in the comments below.

xoxo, NB

Michelle: YOLO shirt: DIY // skirt: H&M // shoes: Zara // clear clutch: Zara // wallet: Chanel // necklace: DIY // sunglasses:  Louis Vuitton // watch: Omega

Margaret: 99 XX shirt: DIY // skort: Zara // shoes: Zara // bag: Saint Laurent // necklace: H&M // sunglasses:  Carrera Racing // watch: Michael Kors


  1. ha, love the YOLO style. gonna make one myself. great tips! thanks for posting and keep it up. also, love it that you guys are on news.pickie.com. very cool

  2. Thanks Alana! Glad you like it - hope your YOLO shirt comes out awesome. =)

  3. Love the sandals! Need to get me a pair...
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