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The Great White Shirt

Bring your A-Game to the table with some great summer tee ideas!!

We are full swing into the heat of the summer season when the temps are seriously rising and one of the most classic, easy, comfy, least expensive and most versatile piece of clothing anyone could hope to be wearing is probably a t-shirt. The t-shirt is so under-rated. It really can do multi duty. Paired with cut-offs for a summer casual weekend look, maybe with jeans or a fancy skirt and heels to transition it into an edgy and street stylish ensemble, or just over a swimsuit for the simplest of beach cover-ups. There is no place you can't wear your tee if you have it styled just right. 

With all of the t-shirts out in the market, you could certainly just settle and buy something off the shelf, but summer is no time to be boring. And tees are meant to express your individuality and style so why not go the DIY way where the options are truly endless. For about $25 you can pick up a 5-pack of basic white t-shirts, a dye kit, and some fabric markers -- then it's up to you to channel your inner artist, maybe you're feeling in a Picasso mood or maybe it's more of a George Lee Quiñones vibe (yes--legendary American street artist from Manhattan, graffiti pioneer and originator of the New York City Subway graffiti movement). Find your unique style and create some pieces of clothing that will make everyone wonder where you got that amazing tee!! This is also a great project for kids, a birthday, bachelorette or engagement party or just a going stir crazy rainy day. And to tell the truth, even your cat can join in the fun!

We've gathered our supplies--fabric dyestuff, markers, plain tees--Basil is super excited to choose his colors and get started---

Here we go!!!!

Love this street chic tee and jeans. It's a white hot summer look

I've always been inspired by bold street graffiti and it seems like a perfect combination when paired with a white t-shirt, so edgy and so retro chic. My first creation was to crop a men's large t-shirt, slit the sleeves and tie the cuffs for an on trend cold shoulder look--and then the real fun begins--the artwork! It's so easy to find "graffiti" fonts just by doing a little on-line research. The shapes are relatively simple and they just need your creative coloring and fun touch. Don't be worried you're not doing it right or messing it up--it's supposed to be messy. It's personal, unique and individual. What better way to start my first project than by making my very own "Chronicles of Tina" tee. I took this to a whole new level by taking some old jeans and bleaching them, painting them, cropping them, and fringing them until they became exactly what I envisioned. Yes--I got a little carried away with the painting and distressing, but with a cool pair of camouflage heels. it all works!

Can you feel the summer vibes

So now--I wouldn't even dream of getting rid of the excess part of the long t-shirt that I cut to make my "Chronicles of Tina" crop top. I still have a nice wide band of fabric that is perfect for a bandeau. And I'm going to stay in a graffiti mode. This time, I chose a traditional old school font and a little new wave verbiage. And this sassy little style could easily be worn with jeans or shorts---but when you own a ballerina inspired piece like this glamarama black tulle and net skirt--I think the final look speaks for itself. And again--shoes will always pull it together. These multi-colored graffiti looking heels are perfect!

Summer loving...

And for the last creation of the day, everyone needs a beach cover up. This one was a 2 step project. This first got a dip dye bath and was left overnight to dry and set color. Then I did a quick wash and light tumble dry to get some of the excess color out. Now we have our clean canvas to start on--love, sun, waves--can you feel the beach calling your name! And truly this t-shirt is long enough to wear with some summer sandals and call it an apres beach outfit. I paired this with a simple straw hat wrapped in the season's trendiest multi-color pom pom trim for a bright festive fun look.

So if you've been doing the math, you can see that I've only used 2 of my 5 pack of tees. This leaves me with at least 3 more summer worthy outfits to create (I may have to give one to Basil to paw print his own "Basil the Cat" Instagram tag). And the rest of you--go get your supplies and find your summer style! 

Make-up: courtesy of Mariel Descarfino Lipstick and Magic Tricks 

Photography: Courtesy of Marianne Bator

Marianne B Photography 

Trimmings: Courtesy of Burt Trimmings 

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