Can You Tie a Shirt Into a DIY Skirt?
Can You Tie a Shirt Into a DIY Skirt?

Taking a men’s button down and tying it around your waist as a DIY skirt seemed like the easiest DIY ever and I wanted to try it out.

The whole “DIY something into another thing” has been around for a while, and it genuinely took me this long to actually try it out.

I’m not talking about the DIYs you did in middle school to your favorite band t-shirts, and I’m definitely not talking about whatever that weird Pinterest fad of wearing basketball shorts as a dress was. Taking a men’s button-down and tying it around your waist as a DIY skirt seemed like the easiest DIY ever, and I wanted to try it out mainly because I’ve seen this whole faux-tie style on everything from skirts to dresses to blouses.

I was convinced that my body type (petite with big hips/butt) would be disastrous in it, as it is with most Pinterest clothing DIYs. But I knew I needed to try it. There was this weird cool-girl factor that I couldn’t put my finger on that I just loved about it. Maybe it was because it mimicked the days of the grunge-ridden ’90s, tying flannels around our waists. I mean, hell, half of rag & bone’s F/W collection did it.

Tie waist runway

Well, I tried it. And documented it. Here’s my step-by-step process:

The first step is to button your shirt up halfway (or until you feel it snug on your waist). I didn’t document it mainly because if you don’t know how to button a button-down, you have more problems than figuring out this DIY.

Next, hold you grab the shirt sleeves at the armpits, and pull them taut.

How To Tie A Shirt Into A Skirt

Then, tie those suckers like your favorite hoodie from middle school gym glass.

shirt as skirt

The last thing to do is to zhush (joosh?) the extra fabric a bit so there are no gaps and so the arms lay flat.

How do you tie a shirt into a skirt?

And there you go!

how to turn a shirt into a skirt no sew

If you’re not into the whole loose arm things like I am, or you don’t want to wear a plaid skirt, opt for a patterned chambray shirt and just tuck in the arms at your sides.

button up shirt and skirt set

I will say that even though it was tied in the front, with the arms hanging down, it did feel a little bit loose as I moved, so if I were to wear this out in public, I’d either double knot it or safety pin it (even though the top button the shirt was well-secured and the “skirt” itself wasn’t going anywhere, just the knot).

So, it’s not terrible, but it’s not great either. Looking at the Pinterest tutorials and Cosmo articles I found, I have no clue where the extra fabric (from, you know, the whole fact that it was made to have people’s arms inside of it, not legs) actually goes. There was some odd bunching around the armpit area, and maybe if I fussed around a bit with the folding (or got a bigger shirt that I don’t need to give back to my boyfriend), it would go away. The other thing they don’t mention is where to put the collar area. My first instinct, which turned out to be the correct move, was to fold it under like you would a hood on a sweatshirt if you were tying it around your waist.

There are also a few advantages of using a men’s shirt. One is there is room for your hips that’s created by the bigger shirt. If you use one of your own button-downs that’s cut for a woman’s shape, and you have any sort of hip action, you’re screwed. Another advantage is the sleeve length. Even if you use a tunic-style of women’s shirt, you’re still left with a shorter sleeve (since men are very often taller than women and therefore have longer arms). So, longer sleeves mean a better knot in the front that will lay flatter. And another kind of small advantage is that most men’s shirts have tiny little buttons that keep their collar in place. Most women’s shirts don’t have that because most women aren’t wearing ties with their button-downs. It helps keep the butt area from bunching up when you fold the top of the shirt down around your waist.


I’ll give this a pass. It’s not terrible, actually, and I’m kind of into the tie waist style, but it does really look like you took a shirt and tied it around your waist (it’s a Pinterest DIY skirt, so what did I really expect?). If that’s the look you’re going for, then you’re in luck. It definitely works, but it may take some time/thought to figure out how to tie the shirt best for your body type and how big of a shirt you may need. This isn’t something you can do spur of the moment if you somehow misplace your pants and need to go out in public. No judgment if that’s a real concern of yours.

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