Here it comes! The days are getting longer and brighter, the leaves on the trees are finally turning bottle green, spring is here, but even better is that her bigger and better sister – summertime is almost upon us! So now comes that tricky moment of wardrobe organisation, cutting the clutter and wondering how on earth you were ever seen strutting about in those scraggy, sun lotion-drenched, dis-coloured and wildly customised t-shirts of last year.
Summer T-shirt Design Inspiration: All You Need to Know
Time to go shopping? We’ve compiled a nice little list of tips and tricks on how to stock up on the best in t-shirt design to rock on the beach this summer, whatever your style.
It won’t be a complete shock to you that black t-shirts aren’t highly recommended through the summer months unless you live somewhere a bit chilly (like the UK potentially). So what colours do we recommend? Trawling advice from all over the net, there is heaps of advice on ways to combine white t-shirts with various clothing items, shoes and accessories – so much so, that it leads you to wonder whether you actually need to wear anything else. We’ve taken note of some of the helpful articles we’ve found on our travels.
- Stylecaster: How to wear a plain white t-shirt in summer
- Popsugar: Outfit ideas using white t-shirts
- Shape: New ways to wear a white tee
- Elle: More on white t-shirts
Candy Pastel Palettes
Apart from the white classic (which is a bit of a pain in the arse for the beach, since they always turn orange and make you look dirty), a pastel palette is a great alternative that will go with pretty much anything, as will neutral tones. If you haven’t been hiding in a hole for the last year or so, you may well have also noticed the gradual appearance of minimal pastel pics all over your Instagram, which has been incrementally extended from photography through to stop-motion, 3D art and has even made it to Airfrance adverts. According to blog servemesprinkles this pastel craze was started by photographer Matt Crump and has since taken the world by storm, we’d be willing to bet a few pennies that it will launch into the fashion world with t-shirts this summer too. Amongst young Japanese fashionistas, pastel colours have been top fashion many years. We’ve put together a little mood board so you can see what we’re on about.
Gotta work through summer? No sweat. The t-shirt will save you once again – don’t suffer in hot and stuffy polyester when you can float about the office in cotton cools. There are loads of ways that you can combine tees with other garments to be smart and fresh all at once. Try pairing white t-shirts with smart black cotton trousers, maxi skirts and pencil skirts to look professional without getting heat rash.
Not into pastel shades? We haven’t forgotten you. Summer outfits aren’t just for girly girls. In fact, masculinity in summer fashion has a long history, check out this amazing slideshow from Vogue if you’re not convinced. Try wearing grey t-shirts and light-weight tees with steampunk colour palettes to maintain your winter style without passing out in the sun. Why not also try the t-shirt dress? If you pair it up with some Dr.Martens, you’ll never go far wrong and you’ll have a nice breeze between your legs. Check out these cool combos posted by jessieupfield on Polyvore. Oversized stripey t-shirts can also work a treat with baggy trousers of your choosing, leggings or solo and give you a whole load of possible summery wardrobe combos for every occasion.
Summer and shapes are synonymous. Now is the time to test out all the t-shirt shapes you can imagine, and there are flattering styles for everyone. Crop it, slouch it, v-it, round-neck it, tassel it – whatever the hell takes your fancy, and if it’s printed, even better. Check out these cool festival tees below from Ultra Music Festival.
There’s also a huge array of pins on Pinterest of how to upcycle old t-shirt favourites, alternatively, you could check out our article on buying second-hand t-shirts and get experimenting.
T-shirt design tips for summer go further than just the print, the fabric you wear will also either make or break your summer holidays. We love this quick rundown of t-shirt fabrics by Realsimple.com but basically, when shopping, you should always look out for linen, cotton (preferably organic cotton) and rayon. All of these fabrics (and mixed versions of them) are made from a very breathable material, which will ensure that you don’t go home at the end of the day looking like this.
However, if you want to avoid the t-shirt tan line altogether then you shouldn’t rule out printing on vests. These sleeveless tees absolutely reek of summer fun and will mostly be seen at music festivals (weather depending) and at the beach.
Summer is all about being footloose and fancy-free, so if you are designing or choosing apparel for the hottest months of the year, your fonts should be the same. This includes handwritten fonts, scripts, graffiti styles and other similar display types. In case you’re not quite sure what this means, we’ve included some license free fonts as an example – fonts that are free for commercial use, and that you don’t have to pay the license for. Check for each individual font to be sure, as licences may vary. All of the examples we have used are available for free download at fontsquirrel.
If you are simply a beach bum, and like typographic tees and cute quotes, check out Powder&Sea on Etsy for inspiration. But surfer tees don’t have to be white (we all know that black makes your tan look waaaaay better), you can achieve the bohemian look below more with the hair-t-shirt combo than anything else, and you would never have thought that tee looked surfer chic on its own.
Rock the tropical look
With a splash of colour and some hot floral prints, you’ll always feel like you’re on holiday, without even leaving the comfort of your own home. The great thing is that these jungle vibes are unisex clothing trends, with everything from simple pocket details to all-over rainforest bonanzas. Be aware that in terms of printing these kinds of garments, an all-over print is far more complicated and costly than using other printing methods, such as DTG (direct to garment printing) or screen printing.
Don’t like to wear plain clothes? Check out some of these cool illustrated print designs, like these fun fruit and veg tees from the Etsy shop &Morgan, design some of your own! These t-shirts can be done using a screen printing technique which will give you high quality, bright results and express the best of your illustrations.
Put a filter on it
If you like your Instagram pictures to look like they were taken in the 70’s then you might like some t-shirt design tips that create the same look for your tees. No filters or hashtags needed here, just innovative t-shirt printing. There are two ways of achieving this look, which one is best for you, depends on the artwork you want to print. The first technique you can use is screen printing, but this will only work onto colour t-shirts with a one colour design without a base layer. The other way is to manipulate your design to look vintage and then print that onto whatever colour t-shirts take your fancy using direct to garment printing.
If you need any help in deciding which printing technique to use, or have any other top tips on how to rock the beach this summer, drop us a line at Printsome.
Printsome is a T-shirt printing agency in the UK based in London that delivers all across the UK, from printing T-shirts in Brighton to York and anywhere in between. So, if you’re after a T-shirt or custom clothing, get in touch for a quote and indulge yourself in some awesome customer service.