10 tips to starting your own fashion business

If you’ve searched for, and found, this article then it’s more than likely because you’re thinking about starting your own clothing line and you’re interested to know the tips about how to make it successful. Starting your own clothing line is a fantastic experience and it’ll be a tremendous learning curve for you and it will help you a lot with personal growth and, if successful, financial growth as well.

Many people believe that if they build it, people will naturally come and guess what? Nothing happens. No sales :(.

So, to help you get off in the right direction, here are 15 questions that you should be asking yourself when you’re trying to get your T-Shirt business off the ground.

Continue reading “10 tips to starting your own fashion business”

The 10 most expensive T-Shirts

So, you may have seen an article I wrote about the most expensive T-Shirt in the world. In this article, I spoke about a T-Shirt from Bungie game Destiny which originally appeared as though it would cost and eye-watering $777,772.77 for a T-Shirts.

As it transpired, this wasn’t the most expensive T-Shirt in the world as a massive discount was applied if you completed certain challenges within the game. But, this got me thinking about what the most expensive T-Shirt actually is. I mean, T-Shirts are cool and they can make a statement but surely, there’s a limit which people will pay for a T-Shirt right? apparently, wrong.

Here’s a list of the 10 most expensive T-Shirts that I found being sold on eBay. I should state that with these T-Shirts they are actually collectors items so it’s not just someone looking to make quick money by selling a grubby T-Shirt online.


Michael Jackson Thriller baseball shirt: $1,000

Michael Jackson – a hero to many, the Prince of pop, a tragic loss. All these things come to mind when talking about Michael Jackson (at least for his music abilities).

When it comes to memorabilia, there are many fans who would love to purchase a vintage Michael Jackson baseball shirt but the downside is that not everyone would be able to afford it – especially when the T-Shirt is priced at a whopping $1,000 (£770.24 by today’s exchange rate) on eBay.


Iron Maiden 1980 British tour shirt: $1,050

If you were an Iron Maiden fan and was a festival goer in the 80’s you may remember Iron Maiden’s British tour of 1980. Unfortunately, due to the small fact of not being born until 1985, I wasn’t able to attend.

However, if I wanted to get myself a memento from the tour I could splash our a pricey $1050 (£808.60) to remind me of what I missed out on.


David Bowie 1976 film shirt: $2,000

This year was tragic for the music industry as we’ve lost a number of legends. As a big Bowie fan, the T-Shirt above does have a certain appeal to me, although, I must admit it’s not the best Bowie T-Shirt that I’ve seen.

What’s more, I find the $2,000 (£1,540.85) a bit of a stumbling block as well – looks like I’m going to have to miss out on this particular design.


The Runaways 1977 tour shirt: $2,000

1977, the year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, the Ford Fiesta went on sale in the UK and it was cool to have fluorescent kisses dotted all around your favourite ‘The Runways’ T-Shirt.

2016, the year of BREXIT, England losing to Iceland in the Euro’s and the year it’ll cost you $2,000 (£1,540.85) to buy a ‘The Runways’ T-Shirt with pink fluorescent kisses dotted all over it.


New York Dolls album shirt (1973): $2,500

This T-Shirt was originally purchased back in 1973 so it does have the vintage and retro angle on its side. However, does this mean that a price tag of $2,500 (£1926.49) is justifiable? Unlikely.

That’s the price that an eBay user was selling this class New York Dolls T-Shirt for. The unique design of a woman bending over may be more questionable today that it was back then, however, even the most hardened of Dolls fan would struggle to afford this.


Pink Floyd 1971 Relics album shirt: $3,000

What do you get if you cross a yellow T-Shirt with a rather weird design on the front? $3,000 (£2,311.70) apparently. That’s what one eBayer was charging customers who were interested in Pink Floyd’s 1971 Relics album T-Shirt.


The Who 1973 staff shirt: $6,000

In 1973, The Who played a concert in Chicago where they gave their event staff the above T-Shirts which seemed like a nice gesture at the time.

I don’t think anyone expected that these T-Shirts would eventually go on sale for $6,000 (£4,625.23)! A nice bonus for the staff there!


Woodstock 1969 festival shirt: $10,000 (on 'sale' for $7K)

This Woodstock 1969 T-Shirt represents a fantastic bargain, OK, maybe not but a $3,000 discount isn’t to be sniffed at.

The only problem is that this T-Shirt had an original asking price of $10,000! That bargain doesn’t look quite so good now does it?


Led Zeppelin 1979 Knebworth concert shirt: $10,000

For this T-Shirt I have to give a tip of the hat to by dad as he is the reason why I listened to Led Zep when I was younger so for this reason, I’m pretty sure he’d appreciate this T-Shirt which was created back in 1979 when Led Zepplin played in Knebworth.

The only problem is that I don’t have a whole lotta cash to afford the $10,000 price.


The Beatles 1966 Butcher cover t-shirt: $20,000

OK, The Beatles are quite possibly my favourite all-time band. There’s not a song that they’ve done which I don’t like, but even I’d draw the line at paying $20,000 to buy a T-Shirt.

The seller on this item claimed that she got it from someone who claims to have received it from John Lennon himself. To pay that much money for a T-Shirt I hope she got proof of this! Especially as the advertising picture show’s a dirty T-Shirt which looks as though it’s been laid on a driveway – for $20,000 you’d think it would be kept in better condition!

How to create realistic T-Shirt Mockups on Photoshop

If you’ve ever used Photoshop before, you know how much fun you can have been creative. Whether you’re Photoshopping your friends head onto an animal’s body or if you’re using Photoshop for  more professional reasons, the ability to create something that looks real is brilliant.

One of the advantages for me, as I work for a T-Shirt printing company, is the ability to create realistic T-Shirt mockups, showing how a design could look on a T-Shirt or creating my own designs. Photoshop is an incredibly useful tool for this task and I’m going to share with you how I create designs on Photoshop to look realistic.

So, in this post, I’m going to talk about how to use a Displacement Map to create the mockup. The Displacement Map is an excellent tool which maps and distort an image into another. This means that you can add your design over the top of the T-Shirt and it will blend the two together so the shadows and creases of the T-Shirt will show on the design helping to make it look more real than just overlaying two images.


If you’re going to create a T-Shirt mockup, the first thing you’ll need is a T-Shirt. There are a few different options available for doing this, you could take a picture of one of your T-Shirts or you can do a Google search to find an image.

Remember that you need to get a blank T-Shirt for this to work as it’s too much effort removing a pre-existing pattern for a T-Shirt.

Black T-Shirt

As you can see in the image above I found a great image of a grey T-Shirt which has plenty of creases and shadows on it.


Once you have the T-Shirt, open it in Photoshop and then you can start to define the Displacement Map. This is basically the image that will determine how your artwork will get distorted and blend around the creases of the T-Shirts.

To do this, click on the channels panel (on the panel to the right of the image). Once there, run through the different colour channels until you find one which brings out the shadows and the highlights best.

Selecting Channels in Photoshop

For my image, the green channel looked best, but make sure you select the channel which works best for you.

STEP 3: 

With the only the channel, you want visible, select the channel, right-click and then select ‘Duplicate Channel’. Under the ‘Destination’ heading select ‘New’ and then rename it. I prefer to call it ‘Displacement’ but you can call it whatever you like. Once renamed click ‘Save’ and then your Displacement Map will open in a completely new document.

Your Displacement Map isn’t finished yet if you used this version of the map your artwork will get distorted weirdly and you’ll also notice a subtle heather texture to your T-Shirt.


To avoid the heather texture and the incorrect distortion, firstly you want to bring out the shadows and the highlights, so on the menu click ‘Image’ – ‘Adjustments’ – ‘Brightness/Contrast’ and then move the toggles until you have an image which highlights the shadows and the highlights perfectly.

Adjusting the Brightness / Contrast in Photoshop

After you’ve done this, you then want to add a Gaussian Blur to remove the heather texture. To this, click Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and then adjust the radius to blur the image.

Applying Gaussian Blur In Photoshop

Photoshop Gaussian Blur


When you’re happy with the Displacement Map, save it and then close it and that’s it your Displacement Map is done.

Now you want to go back to your T-Shirt file and make the RGB channel visible and click back to the ‘Layers’ panel. Once done, you can then drop your artwork file onto the image.

Overlaying Artwork in Photoshop

For this example, I’ve used a Leather Face / Texas Chainsaw Massacre design that I’ve created but you can use any design with this to make it work. As you can see with the image, when you overlay the artwork, the creases and the texture of the T-Shirt aren’t visible on the artwork file.


Now, you want to blend your artwork file with the T-Shirt to make the artwork file bend around the creases which will make it look like it’s actually part of the T-Shirt. To do this, you’ll need to refer to the Displacement Map that, luckily, you’ve just created!

Applying Displacement Filter Photoshop

Click Filter>Distort>Displace and then load the Displacement Map that you’ve created. When you load it you’ll get a pop-up asking you to select the displacement level, for the majority of images, selected between 5 and 10 will be perfect, I’ve used 10 for my design.

Remember, the higher the number you select the more drastic the distortion will be so you could end up ruining your image if you go to high.


Once you’ve done this, you should notice that your artwork file is now looking more like its part of the T-Shirt. The image should bend where the T-Shirt does to make look like it’s actually printed onto the T-Shirt rather just overlayed in Photoshop.

To make it look more realistic, you now want to make the texture of the T-Shirt show through your artwork. To achieve this, double click on your artwork layer which will then bring up a ‘Layer Style’ window.

Adjusting the Layer Style Photoshop

At the bottom of this window, you’ll see a section which is called ‘Blend If’ and under this, there are two sliders. On the slider for the Underlying layer, hold down the ‘alt’ key and click on one-half of the adjustable pointer and then slowly split the slider and fine tune your design.

This process will take your artwork layer and blend it with the shadows and the highlights of the T-Shirt so you can see the texture of your T-Shirt begin to show through. If you go too far, you’ll notice that the artwork will begin to disappear, simply drag the slider back until it looks perfect.


You’re T-Shirt is now done, you should notice your artwork file bends with the creases of the T-Shirt and you should also notice that the shadows of the T-Shirt are showing through the artwork.

Photoshop T-Shirt Mockup

You can either save your customised T-Shirt now or you can go one step further to making it look awesome. This bit is easy, though.

On the right-hand panel, you’ll notice a drop-down selector which says ‘Normal’ if you click to drop down the other options you can then click on either ‘Overlay’ which will overlay your artwork further and increase the amount of texture which shows through the T-Shirt.

Using the Overlay Feature in Photoshop

The other alternative is to click on ‘Multiply’ and it’ll then almost imprint your artwork onto the T-Shirt.

Using the Multiply Feature in Photoshop

Depending on the colour of your artwork file, you may notice that your artwork changes colour, and in some cases, your artwork will turn invisible. Don’t worry this is just because the colour isn’t compatible with the selection so the steps above should be perfect.


So there you have it, you’ve now successfully created a T-Shirt mockup in Photoshop. Your design should look like it’s actually part of the T-Shirt rather than you’ve just put your artwork over the top of the image.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre T-Shirt

If you’ve found this article useful, or if you have any questions regarding how to do this, leave a comment below and I’ll help with any issues that you may have.