A 1980s fashion statement most commonly purchased ready-made by tourists ("Life's a Beach!") and the clueless ("Chicago, The Inspiration Tour"), though fully DIY-capable by the calm and coolheaded. Unlike the unforgiving croptop bellyshirts favored by Madonna in her youth, the beaded carwash belly shirt is more flattering for those with abs that are a little more hot lava than hard rock.

If you're planning on going to a rural county fair, demolition derby, motorcycle show, or Creedence Clearwater Revival cover band concert, you need one of these.

Come to think of it, the beaded carwash belly shirt is just about due for a renaissance.

Drive Britney crazy and beat her to the punch by making yours now!

  1. First, you'll need one t-shirt (not too large, one that fits) which reflects the ethos you're aiming for. Retro mavens may want to hit the thrift shop or go online to find one that says "Where's the Beef?" "Frankie Say Relax", or "LEAVE ME ALONE.". (That was my favorite).

    Those planning on attending relaxed functions pertaining to tractor pulls, monster truck rallies, or motorcycle shows will want to look for t-shirts printed with NASCAR images, Budweiser advertising graphics, the Harley Davidson logo, or DALE EARNHARDT FOREVER simply airbrushed on black cotton, preferably with embellishments and the dates of birth and death.

    Got your t-shirt?

  2. Put on the shirt and mark the point at which you'd like the carwash fringe to hang with a piece of chalk. The most common mistake, and one which seems to be made most often by wizened motorcycle wenches with wrinkled dugs that are already swinging around the low-water mark, is to cut too high.

    Be modest, ladies.

    Now take a nice sharp pair of scissors, and cut the t-shirt into fringe strips about an inch wide. Optional, but Highly Recommended: do the sleeves the same way, sliced into fringe from the sleeve's end to the seam joining it to the shirt.

  3. Now the very, very best part. When all your fringe is cut, slide some beads (preferably neon colored) onto the ends and tie the bottom in a knot to keep them from slipping off. You can alternate colors! Or do a rainbow! Or just be classy, and go with a single color, like royal blue. If your t-shirt says "MAGISTER LUDI ROCKS!", consider using glass beads. If you did the sleeves, be sure to bead them too.

  4. Now spin around in front of the mirror, baby, and make those beads FLY! You're in your SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! best!

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