How to Dress Up Jeans & a T-Shirt or Keep It Cool & Casual

In this style guide, I’m going to show you how to dress down an outfit for a casual day and how to dress it up for a night out. I’m going with a classic jeans and t-shirt outfit combo, so keep reading to see how to dress up jeans and a t-shirt as well as how to keep it casual, yet still stylish.

Basic jeans and t-shirt outfit

I’m wearing a loose black scoop-neck tee, distressed black jeans, and a basic black belt, but these combos would look good with whatever style and color of jeans and t-shirt you have in your wardrobe.

You don’t have to wear a belt, but I feel like it does bring in some je ne sais quoi that makes both the dressed-up and the dressed-down outfits more interesting.

How to dress up jeans and a t-shirt

How to dress up jeans and a t-shirt

To dress this look up, I’ve added some strappy black lace-up chunky heels. Heels are a great way to dress up any outfit but don’t feel like you have to go sky-high as I did. You can get away with a low heel or even a pair of flats in a similar lace-up sandal style.

I like the black heels with my all-black combo, but a pop of color such as red or bright pink could be fun as well.

To dress this look up further, I added a black and white grid-patterned tweed blazer over the top. The blazer is one of the most dressed-up members of the outerwear family and will always elevate a look no matter what it is. The fact that it’s tweed gives it even more class.

The last way to dress up this jeans and tee combo is to accessorize. I’ve gone for some layered pearl statement earrings, a blingy bracelet, and a burgundy red crossbody bag with chain strap detailing. The bag is a great way to add color to this all-neutral look.

How to dress down jeans and a t-shirt

Casual jeans t-shirt outfit

To dress the look down, I swapped the heels for white sneakers and the blazer for an oversized distressed denim jacket. Sneakers are my go-to shoe for a more relaxed look; they are perfect for running around in all day.

Crisp and white is my favorite style as they go with everything; they are sporty but give a more casual vibe rather than a gymwear, athleisure aesthetic. But if athleisure is the vibe you’re going for, feel free to throw on those brightly colored gym shoes and rock them.

My casual look is completed with a pink suede cap to cover my I-couldn’t-be-bothered-to-do-my-hair-today hair. I also have a big white grid-patterned handbag to fit in everything I need and a white and pink chunky watch to make sure I’m on time for my errands. 

Casual vs dressed up jeans and t-shirt outfits

I hope you enjoyed seeing how you can dress up and dress down a simple jeans and t-shirt outfit to make this simple combo work for you, whatever the occasion.

By switching up your footwear, outerwear, and accessories, you can create completely different looks while keeping the base of your outfit the same.

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