Wednesday, June 6, 2012

DiY: Hero Shirt (aka What To Do with a Holey J.Crew Tee)

I loved J.Crew's Colorblocked Stripe Tee when I bought it, but after about 4 wears and 3 washings, a bunch of holes developed along the seams beneath the arms:

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

This really sucks. I had given this top up for a sleep or work shirt, but then I saw this post over on Lizzie Garrett's blog TOMBOY STYLE. Her stylist friend showed her how to make a Hero Shirt/Rocker Shirt/Shirt That My Brother Wears While Lifting Weights out of an old regular tee, and the end result looked pretty cool. I decided to follow the instructions in the blog post and see how my DiY Colorblock Hero Tee turned out, since I didn't have anything to lose if it ruined the shirt.

Not bad! I think I might even like it better than the original version with sleeves.

Side view. I tried to cut it so that my bra doesn't show. I think I'll ask the bf if he has any old tees that I can make a real Hero Shirt out of, since boys always seem to be able to wear shirts until they are perfectly faded and thin and soft.

I tried to stay as close to the seam as possible, but it's still a tiny bit uneven. The fabric curls under though, so it hides the cut.

Pretty good, actually! I think I'll wear it as much like this as I did when it had sleeves. I just hope that it doesn't disintegrate completely the next time I wash it :(


  1. Nice way to make the best of a bad situation. Around Calgary, people call that style of shirt "wife beater". Seriously. In polite conversation too.

    The tees at J.Crew are absolutely pathetic and such a waste of money. Mickey Drexler should be embarassed.

    1. Ugh, so charming. I'm not sure about GA, but in WV the rednecks refer to plain white tank tops as "wife beaters". I was wearing one once when someone said, "Nice wife beater", and I think my reply was, "It's only a wife beater if you're trash."

      Damn straight Mickey should be embarassed! I bought this tee to replace an old J.Crew striped l/s tee that I'd had for YEARS and it had been washed and loved so well that the armpits and elbows faded, but it never got a single hole. I have purchased maybe three J.Crew tees since 2010 and 2 of them developed holes right away. Ridiculous.

    2. Hmm, maybe it is only the white tanks that are given that name, I'm not so sure now... I'll have to ask my husband for the definitive Canadian vernacular. LOL

  2. WOW!!! That looks amazing! I definitely like the Hero shirt better than the original. That will be a great tank to layer under blazers and cardis! I can't believe it developed holes that soon. I don't even know how that's possible.

    1. Thanks! I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and you're absolutely right that it will be a much better layering piece as a tank than it was as a l/s tee.

      The holey tee issue at J.Crew is just stupid. Everybody and their brother makes tee shirts, so they should just stop making them if they're not going to do it right.

  3. Whitney, I can't believe you posted this, because I had the EXACT same issue with the EXACT same shirt, and this past week paid $15 to a reweaver to fix it. And I really like your hero shirt version better.

    The problem is unique to this particular shirt, at least in my collection. Weird. But listen to this, y'all -- recently I methodically inspected my JC tee shirt collection and was deeply dismayed to find 13 shirts (!!), all less than 2 years old, with tiny holes in the center of the bottom front. To put that into a frame of reference, I'm a ruthless closet-cleaner-outer and I don't have but about 25 tees altogether, some of which aren't JC tees. Good grief, J. Crew!

    Mystery solved, too, I think, re: why the holes in the same place on every shirt: They've developed in the spot where the front of the shirt has rubbed gently against the zipper of my pants (e.g., when I stand up/sit down/get in and out of the car, etc.) when I've tucked the shirt in.

    Like xoxo said, Mickey D should be ashamed.

    1. Aw, I'm sorry about your shirt! You can always hack the sleeves off later if more holes develop....

      I have become militant about zipping zippers before my clothes party in the dryer together after I realized that the flailing zipper on a pair of chino shorts was the reason for the tiny hole in the middle front of my favorite gray tee. That kind of crap is almost enough to make me wish we could go back to button-fly pants!