How to Make a Sweatshirt Look Vintage?

Everyone just dreams of having their wardrobe filled with vintage clothes, but end up following the present fashion trends. Many people also find it difficult or sometimes expensive to buy vintage clothes. So, they look for easy ways or DIY options for creating vintage clothes out of their regular clothes. But what is the reason that makes people crazy about vintage?  It is because vintage clothes offer a different sense of feel and vibe. They look classic and enhance your statement look. Nevertheless, the vintage garments are soft, flexible, and proffer an outstanding fabric quality. 


As you all know, a sweatshirt is the most loved comfortable garment of people, whether women or men. It is a fashion staple, and you can create millions of different looks with it. But now, as you are looking for the idea of creating vintage clothes, why not do it with a sweatshirt? Yes, there are indeed a couple of ways to make your sweatshirt look vintage, or you can say creating a fake vintage sweatshirt by properly distressing it.


Transforming a new sweatshirt into a sweatshirt of yesteryear is not a big deal. Read on to find the simple and effective ways that are tried and tested to modify your sweatshirt into a rocking vintage style in no time. 

What makes a sweatshirt look vintage? 

vintage sweatshirt

Are you all familiar with the personality traits or attributes of vintage clothes? If not, read this section carefully because this will surely help you in this transforming process. Even though vintage clothes are pieces of history, you can get the idea that they would be well-worn or faded. They are comfortable to wear and have a soft touch in the fabric. So, the concept behind altering or making your sweatshirt look vintage is to mimic a specific decade or make it look dated for a steam-punk aesthetic.  


There is no doubt that there is no competition for real vintage clothes. But anyway, if you want to achieve the look and feel of vintage from your regular sweatshirt, then there is no better idea than altering it. However, if you have enough pockets to buy genuine vintage garments from a previous decade, make it your first choice.  

Three easy tricks to transform your sweatshirt into vintage


Now that you have come a long way, it’s time to learn the easy ways or simple DIY techniques to create your vintage sweatshirt. One thing to keep in mind is that this process requires patience and some handy household products. Get ready to send your sweatshirt back through time by following these methods.

1. Sandpaper is the best source: 

Sandpaper works like a wonder in this process. As you all know, sandpaper is the ultimate magical tool that helps to create a distressed look. You must be wondering how sandpaper can do this? You have to select the sandpaper if your sweatshirt is of light or midweight fabrics. Just in case the material of your sweatshirt is heavy or denim, you can rely on Dremel. 


Simply put any cardboard inside your sweatshirt before making use of the sandpaper. The cardboard will protect the other side of your sweatshirt and the table or support you are working on. Make your sandpaper or Dremel rub on the most worn areas like hems, cuffs, or elbows. Rub until you get a fizzy effect or a hole on the sweatshirt. The amount of rubbing and creating the result is totally up to your choice or look that you want to achieve.


Washing is generally recommended to enhance the whole effect. So, give your sweatshirt a nice wash using a normal wash cycle and detergent and allow it to remove any leftover debris from the sandpaper. Moreover, washing will make the whole effect look natural. 

2. Bleaching or fading will never betray you:   

What better you can think of than bleaching to get a wholesome vintage look. Bleaching is well-known for its color fading formula. Other than your skin, bleaching works fabulously on your sweatshirt fabric. You can do the bleaching process of your sweatshirt either in the washing machine or use the bucket. Specifically, adapt to lukewarm water for the complete procedure.


 Now, fill your washing machine with enough lukewarm water and add bleach. Stir the mixture using a wooden tong. Wear the rubber gloves and dip the sweatshirt into the solution. Allow your sweatshirt to undergo a short wash cycle and then soak it for approximately 1 hour. After this, rinse and simply give a regular wash using normal detergent to your sweatshirt. And guess what, your brand-new vintage sweatshirt is ready to wear! 

3. Easy wash with tea and coffee: 

Household products never leave a chance to show their benefits in any situation. How many of you used tea and coffee to make a paper look vintage? Absolutely most of you because school projects were fun. You all must be curious to know how to relate this thing with clothes. Like your school projects, tea and coffee work similarly to make your sweatshirt look vintage. Also mentioned, this is the easiest and quickest way out of the whole list. 


Make a brew of tea or coffee and allow it to cool. If you want a darker vintage tone, go for the more robust mix and vice versa if you want a cool lighter shade. Now fill your bucket with the brew and soak your sweatshirt in it. Leave your garment in the place for 1-2 days. It will give a chance for tea or coffee to attach to the fibers of your sweatshirt and give it a friendly vintage vibe. After this process, leave your sweatshirt to dry and wash it out according to the regular ones.  


How to make your sweatshirt look vintage by just proper styling?


Many of you would not take a chance to damage or ruin your brand new sweatshirt with the ways mentioned above. Also, the DIY techniques are time-consuming. In these cases, there is no better idea than following a vintage styling in these cases. So, what you can do is style your sweatshirt in such a way that it offers a vintage look. One of the simplest and fastest ways to achieve a vintage look with your sweatshirt outfit is by adding on some accessories from the vintage era. 


You can also put your hands on beads, brooches, and hats to get that vintage aesthetic vibe. Also, the color, prints, and patterns play a significant role in this. For instance, bold, bright, and sometimes clashes of color were extremely popular in the 1970s. On the whole, go for the looks that you feel comfortable in.  Try any of the trick or styling methods; the results will always be unique and on-trend. 



Making your sweatshirt look vintage is as easy and exciting as it sounds. It requires time, patience, and some household products that almost everyone has. You can also try the above methods on other garments like t-shirts, shirts, and even your bottom wear. Get ready to flaunt in the vintage sweatshirt that you will transform. Hope you find this piece of information helpful. 


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