Merrick's Art | 4 Tips to Styling a Shirt Around Your Waist
Merrick's Art | 4 Tips to Styling a Shirt Around Your Waist
Merrick's Art | 4 Tips to Styling a Shirt Around Your Waist
Merrick's Art | 4 Tips to Styling a Shirt Around Your Waist
Merrick's Art | 4 Tips to Styling a Shirt Around Your Waist

DETAILS: old refashioned dress (similar here and here) | panama hat | old chambray (similar here) | similar handbag | similar sandals

*photos by jana laurene
If you haven’t noticed, the 90’s are totally back right now. Grunge is showing up all over the place, crop tops are huge, and I’m even seeing tie dye everywhere. But my favorite, most wearable 90’s trend is tying a shirt around your waist. It’s a fun accessory to add to your outfit that gives your look a casual, laid back, thrown together feel. However, they can also be a little tricky to style without looking like you’re trying too hard, or looking bigger than you really are (and obviously, no one wants that). 
Try these 4 tips to wearing a shirt around your waist, in true 90’s fashion. 
1. Choose a lightweight shirt instead of a jacket. Some people think that they’re camouflaging their backside by tying a jacket or shirt around their waist. But if the jacket or top is at all bulky, it just makes you look bigger. So opt for a lightweight chambray, flannel, or sweatshirt instead of a denim or anorak jacket. 
2. Double knot your sleeves. The most annoying thing about getting dressed is styling your outfit exactly how you want it, and then having it move and slip and readjust throughout the day so you end up looking disheveled or disproportionate within a few hours. A shirt tied around your waist is sure to move, so double knot those sleeves to keep it in place. (also, it’s much easier to double knot the sleeves of a lightweight shirt than a jacket!)
3. Button or no button? Keeping your shirt either unbuttoned or buttoned up creates two entirely different feels for your outfit, so decide which one fits your outfit best. Keeping it buttoned up creates more a pulled together and clean look, which I think looks better when pairing it with a dress and heels. For a more casual, thrown together look, keep the shirt unbuttoned and wrap it around your waist more haphazardly when pairing it with distressed or black denim and an oversized tee. 

4. Tuck the collar. When we’re trying not to add extra bulk to our backside, keep the collar of the shirt in mind, because it can add bulk when it’s tucked back in the back. If your shirt is buttoned up, it will definitely add bulk, so fold it under and flatted it down as much as you can. Then position it right in the small of your back, at the smallest part of your waist. Having it sit against your hips will add more width to them, which you don’t want. 
Think you can style it? Tell me any other secrets you have for styling this trend!


  1. Natali says:

    Such a great example on how to wear a shirt around your waist! Very chic, stylish and comfy!

  2. Julie says:

    Any chance you could do a tutorial on how you altered that white dress from Old Navy? I bought the same exact one a couple months ago in a much larger size with the intent of taking it in, but I’m stumped on where to start because of the lining. Any help would be appreciated…

  3. Shae says:

    This is a very common look for my sisters and me, but I’ve never thought to button the shirt. Great tips!

    Shae @

  4. I totally love how you styled this!! Such a simple and easy look to pull off! Xo

    ig: @stylemelauren:disqus

  5. Paige Cassandra Flamm says:

    I love that striped dress! I need one like that in my life!


  6. I’m really glad that you did this post because I have been pretty confused and baffled on how to style a tied shirt. Great tips! I hope to use them soon! Have a great day!


  7. I actually wore a chambray just like over the weekend and got a surprising number of compliments. The 90s are back! I definitely agree about double knotting the sleeves, keeps everything in place.

    Kristina does the Internets

  8. Zehra says:

    When will you start selling clothes Merrick? I’m tired of coming to your blog and always thinking ‘I wish I had all of Merrick’s wardrobe’.

  9. Maybe it’s the 90s girl in me but I love wearing shirts and light jackets around my waist. Sometimes it’s just practical because it might get cooler later, but most often it’s just a nice finishing touch that brings the outfit up a notch!

    xo Mary-Katherine

  10. Jessica says:

    Love this look! Thanks for the tips on how to wear it. I’m a little iffy about trying it myself, but I may have to now! 🙂
    Unique Geek

  11. Gildan 92500 says:

    Gorgeous! You are looking stunning in this outfit. I am obsessed with these styles and want to try this. Thanks for sharing.

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