How to Style Your Graphic Tees

Over the years, I’ve managed to collect A LOT of graphic t-shirts. Between my extensive collection of concert tees and funny shirts a friend may have picked out for my birthday, I have almost three (yes the number 3) drawers devoted to these gems in my dresser.

You may be asking yourself, why does she keep all of these crazy graphic t-shirts?!? She couldn’t possibly wear them all!

Well, yes and no. Some are kept for memory sake (though they are worn more often than you would think) while others I pull out more often for everyday wear.


The Art of Wearing a Graphic Tee…

The best way to look at your Graphic t-shirts is to not look at them as a novelty item in your wardrobe. There’s a reason why you bought them and it’s not just to collect dust. It’s an extension of your personality!

The issue everyone ends up running into is that they don’t feel they are appropriate for many social activities. Then there’s getting caught up in believing that graphic tees are only meant to wear with jeans. NOT. THE. CASE.

As I tell my readers and clients on a regular basis – throw out that damn fashion handbook you have stashed in the dark recesses of your mind (leave that spot for serial killer documentaries and memories of using an Ouija Board in middle school). There is no place for judgement in this style world we live in (at least in MY style world!).

The classic jeans and graphic tees….

Yes, it’s a classic for a reason. Because jeans look good with just about everything (except maybe your wedding gown…) and fit that laid-back vibe that everyone wants to relax into at the end of the day.

So, let’s start off with the denim side of this story.

You can wear those tees with literally any style of denim – skinnies, boyfriends, high rise, bootcut, shorts, overalls and so on and so on. But don’t just stop at the jeans – accessorize! Throw a blazer over your tee and go grab some drinks at the bar. It really doesn’t matter what shirt you have on under that (unless you think it’s too raunchy to wear in public – then that’s simply a taste preference). Or a great boyfriend sweater that hangs down below the t-shirt.

Tees and Leggings…

Yes, if your t-shirt is long enough to cover your girl parts, then by all means wear them with some leggings. BUT they don’t have to be the same boring leggings you wear day in and day out. There’s more than just cotton or spandex out there in the wide world of fashion leggings. And some are really fun! Like LEATHER (or “vegan-leather” is the most common form. Vegan means synthetic and not real leather from a cow).

I love my vegan leather leggings. I get a lot of wear out of them because, believe it or not, they are versatile! The give an extra kick to your outfit and they make people double take. They’re interesting without being over the top and hey, we deserve to feel sexy at any time of the day.

This is where the concert tees come in very naturally. You’re going into rocker chic territory so there’s really no holds barred. This is when you add on that cool necklace you bought when you were feeling funky but now you’re afraid it’s too bold. Or that leather bracelet you found for a bargain and thought “Why not?” If it’s a daytime look – throw on a pair of boots, doesn’t have to have a heel, just a funky boot to go with your rocker look. Going out with the gals – throw on a pump that you haven’t thought to wear in forever.

And if the shirt is a bit big and not giving you a waist – make a knot on the side. That’s right, tie the shirt tightly to show off that sexy waistline of yours. Instantly makes the outfit look so much better.

Under Wear?

Graphic tees can go UNDER clothing too, and I’m not talking about jackets and sweaters. Sure you can wear it with a great maxi skirt, but if you have a low cut maxi dress, a centered graphic tee would nestle so easily into and feature prominently in your outfit. Or maybe a strapless jumper that allows a logo to fit just above it peeking out? There are so many pieces in your wardrobe that can easily allow a graphic tee to be front and center. Try it out – it’s a game changer!

Wait, what now?

Here’s where I tend to get blank stares.

We’ve been conditioned to believe there are certain “uniforms” to wear during important career moments, such as an interview or initial conference with a new client. Back in my day (yes, it is pretty far back) the uniform was a basic suit. Not much other than a jacket, pair of trousers or skirt, a button-down shirt or camisole and some basic flats or heels. Pretty bland stuff and doesn’t show much more than you being a cog in a wheel.

But then something brilliant happened – Silicon Valley! Suddenly your value wasn’t based on your “uniform” – you can be brilliant and NOT wear a suit.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t wear suits anymore. Not in the least! What I am saying is that style has evolved from the Mad Men days – you can wear a suit and STILL be your own true self.

And how can you do that? One way is through your Graphic Tees. Maybe you’re into that same rocker chick style I tend towards and have a few Fender tees – or that vintage concert tee that’s just the right shade of cream with the faded image and typeface – you know the look I’m talking about! And if you don’t there’s a few examples in my LIKEtoKNOW.it boutique below.

Now that I’ve blown your mind, I hope you can come away from this teaching moment with a few ideas of how you are going to style your graphic tees. Don’t be shy – bust open that drawer (or 3) and start reintroducing yourself to them so that they can open up a whole new style world for you.

Defining the Style

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