Person with the color of their shirt changed in Photoshop, with one half of the shirt orange and the other half white.

PHOTOGRAPHY

How to change shirt color in Photoshop.

Boring outfit? Fashion budget tapped out? Read on to learn how you can change the color of a shirt — or anything else — in Adobe Photoshop.

Make your outfit match your photo.

Learn how to change the color of a shirt, or most any garment, in just three simple steps with Photoshop. It’s so easy to switch things up, you can design an entire virtual wardrobe for your favorite photos.

Change your clothes — literally.

Maybe you’ve worn that same shirt in one too many Instagram photos. Maybe it clashes with what everyone else is wearing. Maybe you just don’t like the outfit you picked out that day. For whatever reason, a time may come when you wish you could change the color of your shirt, or some other item of clothing, before sharing that picture out to the world.

 

Whether you need to fix a fashion faux-pas or just want to have some fun with photo editing, this tutorial will show you how to change the color of your clothes in Photoshop. It’s such a simple process, it only takes three steps.

 

We aren’t going to use the Color Replacement tool, even though that might seem like just the thing to change shirt colors or swap out some other garment. The Color Replacement tool does work in certain cases, but the method outlined below works in more applications and generally produces better results.

 

Here's a quick look at how to change a shirt color in Photoshop.

Original photo of the person with a white shirt, before editing with Photoshop.
Preview of the Photoshop Layers Panel with two layers: the original photo and a copy.

1. Duplicate the image in a new layer.

Open the image in Photoshop, saving the original. (It’s always a best practice to keep a copy of your original photo somewhere, in case you need to redo any steps later or want the picture for another purpose. In this case, it’s essential to keep the non-edited parts of the photo intact.) Duplicate the image in a new layer.

Preview of the Photoshop Layers Panel with the layer thumbnail and layer mask thumbnail linked together in the layer.

2. Create a mask of the clothing item.

Next, you’ll create a mask of the garment you want to change. There are many ways to isolate (cut out) just a piece of an image in Photoshop. If you already have your own preferred method, skip ahead to Step 3.

Standard method: Start by using your favorite selection tool to select your shirt or other piece of clothing. Then click the mask icon in the Layers panel. (Click the eyeball beside your background layer, and you should notice that the only thing you can see now is the shirt. That means you’ve successfully created a mask.) This mask is shown in the Layers panel as a black and white square to the right of the layer. Anything you draw on it in black will disappear, and anything you draw on it in white will be visible. To edit the mask more closely, go in with a small, medium-soft brush and draw black on the parts you don’t want until the only thing you can still see in Photoshop is the soon-to-be-recolored shirt.

Alternate method: (This works best for unique colors.) If your shirt is a vibrant color that isn’t found anywhere else in the image, you might want to use the Color Range selector instead. Go to Select > Color Range and use the Eyedropper tool to select the shirt color. Then use the slider to intensify or soften the specificity of the Color Range selector until only your shirt is visible. Then, just click the mask icon to prepare for Step 3.

Final edited photo with the white shirt colorized to orange.

3. Click Colorize in the Hue/Saturation window.

Once your mask is prepared, click on the image of that layer. Open the Hue/Saturation window under Image > Adjustments. In this window, click the Colorize button on the bottom of the pop-up and drag the Hue, Saturation, and Lightness sliders until you find your desired color. (If you want to make a shirt brighter or darker instead of changing the color, you don’t have to click Colorize. You can just manipulate the Lightness slider in this window instead.)

 

That’s it. Now you can turn the background layer back on and view your finished image.

 

Since this process has only required one extra layer, you’ve got lots of room to create duplicate layers of the edited shirt in a few different colors, just to give yourself some additional options.

 

After all of that, if you still don’t like the color of the shirt — well, you can always give yourself a new one with some of the other handy tools in Photoshop.

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