How To: Make a Tuxedo T-shirt
From day to night, from football games to cocktail parties--tuxedo T-shirts work for any occasion.

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If you love James Bond’s debonair style but hate wearing tuxedos, then you’ve come to the right place. Tuxedo shirts are a fun way to upgrade your wardrobe without giving up the comfort of your usual clothes. And if you don’t know where to start, I’m here to help. Here is a brief guide to make your own tuxedo tee.

I will be using Illustrator, but you can use any other program you are comfortable with. Create a new document sized 11” x 17.” Since I want the artwork to cover a good portion of the T-shirt’s surface, I’m using these standard dimensions. However, you can make it a little smaller if you want. Since the artwork is for printing, set the resolution to 300 pixels per inch and choose the CMYK color mode.

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Once you create the document, start tracing the tuxedo artwork. You can use a variety of tools, like pen and shapes, or combine them. Keep the design simple and clean for better results.

Depending on the tint of the fabric you plan to use, you can vary the color of the design or you can simply pick the classic black. But this isn’t necessary, especially if you are using Illustrator or an equivalent because you can easily change the color.


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After your artwork is ready, you can save it as a PDF file. PDF is a printer-friendly format, but the best part is it can still be edited, which is very useful if you want to make changes to your design later. Make sure the “Preserve editing capabilities” option is checked.

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The easiest and most convenient way to transfer your design to a T-shirt is to print on Inkjet iron-on transfer paper, which can be found in most office supplies stores.
This type of paper comes in packs containing multiple sheets and is available in different sizes. Check that the paper is compatible with your printer before purchasing.

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Place your T-shirt on an ironing board or another flat surface and smooth out the wrinkles. Carefully place the sheet of transfer paper face down, with the artwork adhering to the fabric. This might be tricky, so take your time to make sure the transfer paper is positioned correctly to prevent your design from becoming crooked.

Pass the iron on the paper applying even pressure. When you are done, let it cool off before peeling the paper off. Follow the directions that come with the paper for ironing temperatures and other details, such as washing instructions to make the design last longer.

If you’d like a T-shirt with a more professional look to it, consider using a professional printing service.

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That was pretty easy, wasn’t it? And now you look as dashing as James Bond–well, almost. Don’t forget you can add your own touch and give your T-shirt a special flair.

Edited in Illustrator CS5.

About the Author
Kenny Austin is an expert of print quality and accuracy, product analysis, and print production processes.
Kenny and the team order print jobs from every major printer to test quality, value, customer service, and more. See their reviews here:


  1. Is it better to use a professional service?

    • Kenny Austin
      Kevin Austin (

      Great question, Travis. It might be better depending on your experience with design programs such as Illustrator (what I used). Many online printers offer great on-site design tools that are perfect for anyone to create an awesome t-shirt, including a sweet tux-shirt.

      Check out our ratings at to find the best printer for you.

      Good luck!

  2. you created that graphic yourself?

  3. Hey, I need a tuxedo t-shirt out of papers so I can tell everybody to the movie theatre.