You'll Want To Learn These 10 Shirt Hacks

If your immediate response to any rule is "Says who?" — then welcome to the club. You're our kind of fashion person. When it comes to something as simple as how you wear the things you put on your body, we say the only rules you shouldn't break are ones that might end with you getting fined by the police. But even though people seem to know that black can mix with blue, sparkles can work for daytime, and some bra straps are meant to be exposed, the idea of wearing an article of clothing in drastically different contortions doesn't come easy for most. But work with us here — who says that you have to wear your top with both arms in the sleeves, and your neck in the neckline?

Well, we know someone who's definitely on Team Says Who?: Rajni Jacques is an NYC-based creative director and Racked's fashion editor-at-large whose ability to think outside of the two-arms-in-sleeves box has consistently blown us away on her Instagram (consider this one, or this one). Using button-downs, sweaters, and other tops you likely already own, too, Jacques creates new forms of clothing. Click through to see the transformations.

Photographed by Eric T. White at See Management.
You know how to tie a plaid shirt around your waist so you have another layer for later, but have you ever done it...just because? A contrasting pattern in a complimentary colorway can help break up the existing allover pattern on a dress or jumpsuit, and give your outfit a more defined shape. Just knot it at your natural waistline and pay special attention to creating an off-center, smooth knot. Says Rajni, "I usually have a flannel around my waist when I wear jeans — I know, I'm stuck in the '90s! — so I decided to do the same thing with a dress. Out of all my shirt remixes, this is the most basic one!"

Zara Printed Dress, $29.99, available at Zara; Equipment shirt; Model's own shoes.
Photographed by Eric T. White at See Management.
Hey, Rajni. What's that shirt you're wearing?

American Apparel top; Levi's jacket.
Photographed by Eric T. White at See Management.
Believe it or not, this is a button-up shirt. "The top, it's actually a sheer button-down. I hold the sleeves behind me and wrap the arms across my chest and then tie it behind my neck. The finishing touch is tying the bottom part to have it snug against my body."

As for styling the rest of the outfit, Rajni's got a trick, too: "When I wear something super body-con, I need to off-set it with something oversized, like these three-sizes-to-big jeans and the large denim trucker jacket. I like to call this one 'The Balancing Act.'"

Model's own jeans and shoes.
Photographed by Eric T. White at See Management.
That's her name, don't wear it out.
Photographed by Eric T. White at See Management.
In this trick, Rajni turns a patterned button-down into a halter top.

"I just wrapped the right sleeve around my neck and tied it to the left sleeve that was left hanging. I paired it with an A-line skirt to create a look that is very '70s."

Equipment Signature Leopard-Print Silk Shirt, $268 , available at Matches Fashion; Zara skirt.
Photographed by Eric T. White at See Management.
The problem with over-sized button-downs is that they can drown your figure. But, if they're oversized enough, you can pull off this shoulder-baring move that does exactly the opposite.

"Start by buttoning the buttons from the bottom. When you get close to the chest area, see how low the collar will go down by pulling it over your shoulders. You can adjust how much shoulder you want to show but buttoning or unbuttoning."

Levi’s Commuter Tunic Shirt, $88, available at Levi's; Issa Teressa Floral-Print Wool-Blend Midi Skirt, $253.75, The Outnet; Model's own shoes.
Photographed by Eric T. White at See Management.
"I wear my shirts like this a lot — dressed up (with a skirt or silk pants) or casual (with my normal uniform of jeans). The bigger the shirt, the better. The rule is to go two or three sizes up."

H&M earrings; Model's own necklace.
Photographed by Eric T. White at See Management.
But — the fun doesn't stop there! You can also also remix your sweaters. Says Rajni, "It's very simple. Grab an old sweater or just an oversized sweater with a larger neckline. Pull the neck around your bust. Then, take the sleeves and wrap them around you, however many times it can go. Then, lay the sleeves in front."

ASOS
Jumper in Patchwork, $85.54, available at ASOS; Model's own pants.
Photographed by Eric T. White at See Management.
Rajni advises trying out this tying technique with sweaters that have lots of patterns and colors.
Photographed by Eric T. White at See Management.
Sometimes, the thicker and more substantial the fabric on a button down, the more interesting it is to manipulate. "The leather button-up is just tied in a knot in the front," she says.

Vince top; ASOS bottoms; Model's own shirt; H&M earrings.
Photographed by Eric T. White at See Management.
"Signature Rajni. Flannel around the waist. And again, I chose a denim jacket on top for a totally layered look."

Levi’s Boyfriend Trucker Jacket, $60, available at Levi's.
Photographed by Eric T. White at See Management.
Not that into tying? No sweat — you can still have fun with your tops by getting creative with layering. "Here, I have a sheer top layered underneath a striped bustier, and then I wore a dress on top. Contrasting colors work best, because it really makes the whole thing pop."

Aritzia Clemence Blouse, $97.50, available at Aritzia; Rebecca Minkoff bustier; Aritzia Suzanne Dress, $112.50, available at Aritzia.
Photographed by Eric T. White at See Management.
"Two turtlenecks are better than one! I wore the gray one like a normal person would wear it [Ed. note: LOL], and I just wrapped the blue one around and tied so that this two-piece looks like one." Keep this trick pocketed away for the coldest days of the year — never thought you'd look forward to that, did you?

White + Warren Cashmere Skinny Rib Funnelneck, $219, available at White + Warren; White + Warren Cashmere Skinny Rib Funnelneck, $219, available at White + Warren; Model's own bottoms; Model's own necklace; Model's own bracelet.
Photographed by Eric T. White at See Management.
Let shirts with similar patterns guide your remix.

'This is an I'm-going-for-it shirt remix. I'm wearing a regular button-down and decided to mix it up with another shirt that had a like pattern, so that it all came together and didn't look messy."

Aritzia Jakob Blouse, $115, available at Aritzia; ASOS Farleigh Slim Mom Jeans In Ocean Mid Wash With Rip And Destroy Busts, $59.87, available at ASOS; Model's own shoes and flannel.
Photographed by Eric T. White at See Management.
"I guess this would be one of my casual looks."
Photographed by Eric T. White at See Management.
Last, but not least, is this wrapped-style shirt that skips the buttons altogether.

"Don't button up the shirt! Tuck one side in and then stretch the other side as far as it can go. Once that is done, pin it so that you don't lose the position. I took a denim strap and tied it around my waist." For step-by-step techniques, click here for the shirt wrap, and here for the belt tie.

Dope, right? Let these 10 techniques inspire you to get more mileage out your tops, and if anyone ever side-eyes your style, tell them to take it up with Rajni.

Boohoo top; Models' own bottoms; Tibi shoes.