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What's a good way to make a shirt look used?

I'm putting together a Steampunk outfit, and I need a good way to make a shirt look used. My character is a mechanic, so I want it to look like it's been worn by someone who gets dirty and greasy fairly often, but I don't want it to look nasty and like I should get a new shirt ;)  The shirt would basically be a white/grey tank top undershirt.

Thank you!

orksecurity3 years ago
One of the things you want to think about is where the character is *now*. Is this a social event, in which case he would (hopefully) select a shirt in better condition (with perhaps a few incidental stains at the cuffs from tinkering right beforehand), or has he interrupted his work, in which case he may have thrown on a shirt specifically chosen because it's already damaged and isn't going to get much worse.

Or is he one of those dedicated/narrow-focused types who can't be bothered to worry about that distinction (and who doesn't have a spouse or servant to remind him)?

Work from the character. What's he working on, when was he working on it last, ...

Also, frankly, undershirt/t-shirt is going to be very much working man's garb.
Zem (author)  orksecurity3 years ago
Thanks a lot! That actually helped a bunch, and answered my question =P
Also, you made me think more about my character, so thank you!
jpoopdog3 years ago
if you want your shirt to appear "aged", i might sugest giving one or two very fine mists of 6% hydrogen preoxide to randomly bleach the shirt, to give an identical texture to that of old paper, but white instead of yellow, then get something that stains brown, like rust, and make a solution out of it ( just rub something rusty in a bucket of water), get it warm, and dunk your shirt in it, hopefully it will make it look slightly tatterd, perhaps the odd grease stain here and there. grease stains are easy peasy to remove, as they completely dissolve in gasoline, which i might add will make the atmosphere of your shirt more realistic, my dad used to be a mechanic, and his old blue tracksuit, wreaks of petroleum, even after 5 years (he stoped working as a mechanic 5 years ago).

for best effects, put a few black grease tains , in areas youd expet someone to wipe with their hands frequently, just see where your compelled to wipe your own hands, then do it, if its too much, give it a wash, and try again, its no problem really

otherwise, look at some inspirational pictures, if you want authentic images, get my inspiration, look up werner on google images, hes a mechanic (/loveable anarchist), and he frequently gets oil stains and stuff, plus is based upon the current look in each movie, of this guy the writter new, and each time he needed a new look, hed look at his friends cloths. having said that, his friends cloths never filled with oil or exploded.
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