TREND TO TRY: The Shirt Around The Waist

shirt around waist

By Andrea Michelle

It was 1995. Hole was blaring from the tape-deck in my first-ever car, and I was belting out the words to ‘Miss World’ with my Poppy-Lipstick coated lips. Doc Martens were jammed on my feet and I’d tied a flannie around my waist.

Back then, tying a shirt around your waist was a handy, hands-free way to carry it for long days at uni, or to keep hold of your top in the mosh pit when you sweated your way through The Offspring at The Big Day Out. And it was also an easy way to make a quasi-fashion statement.

Nearly 20 years on, and tying a shirt around your waist adds a devil-may-give-a-toss nonchalance to the most grown up of get-ups.

In 2011 the trend resurfaced with the likes of Kanye and Rhianna wrapping a plaid shirt around their hips, but it was at New York Fashion Week this year that the look became the bona-fide fashionistas new go-to silhouette.

The best thing about this trend? You don’t have to buy anything new!


Here’s how to to try the 2017 version of this trend:


Balance the grunge vibe by teaming your tied-up shirt with an outfit that has at least one super-feminine element like a soft touchable knit, or a delicate lace blouse.

Team with a delicate lace top



Keep key elements of your outfit crisp and sharp. When combined with the flowing fabric of your wrapped shirt, you’ll create that modern silhouette we’re aiming for.


Taylor Tomasi

Break up an otherwise monochromatic outfit with a shirt that’s got a pop of colour.


Margaret Zhang who I hung with when we interviewed Roberto Cavalli brightens up her outfit in a NYC blizzard with a green shirt wrapped around her waist.



Team with quality fabrics like leather, silk and cashmere – the kind of thing you could never afford in the 90s on a student’s dime.


Sara Donaldson


Get more mileage out of items in your wardrobe that you might ordinarily save for night-time occasions, by dressing them down with something casually knotted around your waist.


Me, taken by my son before school drop-off

I tried this trend myself the other day, by teaming a black leather skirt with a soft grey knitted cardigan wrapped around my waist, for a day filled with kid-centric activities and mundane chores. The cruisy vibe of the knotted knit somehow counterbalanced the toughness of the leather, and it didn’t feel at all out of place in the playground or at the fruit & veggie market.


How ’bout you: Love or hate this trend? 

And did you ever, like me, jump into a mosh pit in the 90s?  Or were you a more a hang-at-the-back-of -the-crowd-I-don’t-like-being-covered-in-sweat-and-beer kinda gal ? 

baby hanger1 The 1 minute hairdo for thick, fine AND out of control hair

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  • Teegstar

    You look HOTT in that pic, Andrea! I was a huge tie-a-flanno-around-the-waist-er back in the day, although it was never anywhere near as stylish as this. And a big yes to the mosh pits as well! Ah, memories.

    • FoxInFlats

      Lol I laughed when I put my photo up next to the other bloggers! Too funny! They’re in NYC I’m in suburbia 😉
      Need more mosh memories? Highlight mosh? Mine was The Offspring followed by The Cult….

  • Rose

    I’m glad this trend is fashionable again, just so it’s acceptable for me to be lazy and just tie my cardi around my waist! I think it looks strange when they’re wearing a jacket as well though…

    • FoxInFlats

      Yeah me too! And agree about the jacket. Totally

  • Love it! Bring it back I say. I love that Docs are back in too. I could never afford a pair back at high school but now yay!

    • FoxInFlats

      Great point! Despite the hassles of being a grown up at least we have a bit more cash to buy what we’d like!

  • Let the Wildflowers Grow

    Who knew I have been fashionable all this time?!I love this trend,especially teamed with skintight bottoms and boots or the 3/4 skirt and flats!Trend setter!x

    • FoxInFlats

      High five!

  • Flickster

    Can you remember when it was “fashionable” to wear a jumper around your neck/over your shoulders? We used to tease / be envious of those girls who were able to buy a jumper to match the outfit specifically for that purpose…..
    I used to like the shirt tied around waist idea to cover up my (imaginary) large bottom…not sure it actually helped or enhanced my rear….

    • FoxInFlats

      Yes – totally preppy. I visualise in pastel pink or lbuttercup yellow? Lol

  • Catherine

    How nostalgic! I can almost smell the patchouli thrift store sweaty boy smell of the mosh pit.

    • FoxInFlats

      Lol yes!!!

  • mary_j_j

    Ha! I used to love the moshpit! Just love love love it!! Yes to the Docs, I had two pairs of black brogues that got such a high use, then there were the cherry boots – why am I saying were, I still have them and laugh as I decide on occasion to wear them again and bounce around the place!! I wasn’t ever a big fan of tying a shirt around my waist, though I did do it sometimes! I think it was after school and everyone wearing their jumpers tied in a similar method that I decided not to carry on with it!! Ah, Selinas and the mosh, I used to have to run straight in!

    • FoxInFlats

      Run straight in – yes!!!

  • FoxInFlats

    I reckon we’re all cooler than we think! X

  • Teegstar

    Trend confirmed: one of the apprentices at my fancy hairdressers was rocking this look yesterday. The girls in that place are totally my litmus test for what’s in fashion.

    • FoxInFlats

      Lol there you have it! But you read it here first 😉