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From oversized T-shirt to crop top – five easy ways to knot and tuck your clothes

how to tie white tee
5 chic ways to tuck and knot your oversized teeGetty

If you ask us, a simple T-shirt is a wardrobe essential. Worn under a blazer or on its own with jeans, we'd recommend investing in multiple colours and different silhouettes, from cropped to fitted. But, if you only choose one, make it an oversized tee.

Why? Because of the multiple styling options an oversized shirt offers. A good knot, tie, and/or tuck can completely transform it, and in turn, your entire outfit. Yep, a baggy T-shirt – whether plain white or printed with a graphic design – can create a minimum of five different looks, and it all comes down to the simple ways you knot and tuck it.

Don't worry, we promise it's not complicated and you don't need to be a Girl Scout or sailor to master these knots. But if we could give you one piece of advice before we get into the step-by-step guides: the stretchier your T-shirt, the easier this will be.


Feel free to play around with the placement of these styles too, moving the knot from the centre to the side, for example, or tying it loose, tight, or somewhere in between. Really, this whole knotting, tying, and tucking thing is all based on your preferences, so you can keep fiddling around until your shirt fits exactly how you want it.

Below, find five different ways to tie a shirt with easy-to-follow steps to achieve each look. And, trust us, if we did it, so can you!

how to tie a t shirt
Start with a plain oversized tee.Hearst Owned

Basic Front Knot

This is most likely the knot that first comes to mind. It’ll transform your oversized tees into cute long-line crop tops, ideal for wearing with your high-waisted wide-leg trousers if you don't want to ruin any smooth lines by tucking in lots of material.

  1. Fold up your T-shirt in the back, pulling the material tight around to the front of your body to keep it in place.

  2. Twist the leftover fabric in one direction until it forms a spiral.

  3. Wrap it around into a ball and pull the end piece through, tying a knot.

Hate that little end piece that pokes through? There’s an optional step that sorts it out in the next video below.

Smooth Front Knot

Follow all of the same steps above to create the previous style. Then, when you get to the end, take the fabric at the end and fold it over the entire knot. You may need to pull the knot a little tighter to get enough fabric to wrap over.

A simple fix!

Simple Front Tuck with a Knot

A hybrid between a tuck and a knot and a step up from Tan France's fave French Tuck, this is an easy move to shorten T-shirts and give them that ~effortless~ look since it allows your top to still hang pretty loose.

  1. Gather the fabric of your tee at either the front or one side of your body. If you want it to lie smoothly and sit a little shorter at the back, do the same as we did in step one of the basic front knot.

  2. Loosely twist the fabric in one direction to create a small spiral.

  3. Tuck the end into your bottoms and adjust by tucking and pulling the remaining fabric along the hem of your T-shirt until you get your preferred look.

Back Knot

If you don’t like the extra knotted fabric in the front, just switch it around to the back! This trick makes a roomy shirt more form-fitting and lets you shorten it to the length you want. If you layer a jacket over the top, no one will ever know you DIY-ed this look yourself, too.

  1. Fold up the shirt in the front to your desired length.

  2. Gather the extra material in the back, pulling it tight to hold the fold in place.

  3. Start twisting that section until a spiral is created.

  4. Wrap the fabric around the ball and pull the end piece through the middle.

  5. As an optional step, if the end piece is long enough, you can fold it under the knot so it doesn’t show.

Super-Cropped Front Knot

Want to turn your tee into a crop top? This styling hack definitely shows more skin, but you can also wear a longline bralette and have it peek out from underneath if you want to add a subtle but revealing detail.

  1. Fold up the shirt in the back. You may need to fold it twice to get it to sit at the right height, or try tucking it under your bra strap to keep it in place.

  2. Gather the fabric in the front and fold up the sides of the shirt higher to sit in line with the back fold.

  3. Twist the section until it forms a spiral.

  4. Continue wrapping around the ball and pull the end piece through. The knot should be on the upper part of your torso.

  5. An optional step is to fold the entire knot under the hem of your shirt if you want to hide it.

Open-Back Tuck

Back sweat is real, folks, especially in those hot summer temps. Fold up your tee like this to get some air on your skin – and it’ll also give your plain ol’ shirt an unexpected twist.

  1. Use your fingers to tuck the fabric right under your back bra strap. They'll be no front-knot to help keep this style up, so getting some assistance from your bra is crucial!

  2. Continue tucking and folding the fabric up and under the elastic until you get your desired look. It’s tricky and it might take a couple of tries to look smooth and even.

  3. Take the leftover fabric in the front and loosely knot and tuck in, as we did in the simple front tuck with a knot.

And voilà! There you have it – easy styling tricks complete with step-by-step guides to create five totally different looks from one T-shirt.

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