10 Ways to Style Your Favorite Graphic Tee

by Caleb Windley on September 10, 2023

I’ve collected quite a surplus of shirts over the years in an effort to find my personal style. My closet is bursting at the seams with blouses, crop tops, button-downs, and tanks, but my all-time favorite is my Budweiser graphic T-shirt that I copped from Urban Outfitters two years back. 

Time and time again, I reach for that tee more than anything else in my wardrobe. Backyard barbecue with friends? Budweiser tee. Hitting up bars in Chicago’s Old Town on a Friday night? Budweiser tee. Casual trip to the grocery store? Budweiser tee. Bedtime? Budweiser tee. You get the point. My friends laugh at me for how much I wear it, but my love for this particular piece is so strong that I simply don’t care. “There’s the shirt again,” they snicker. Whatever, y’all. I’m a one-hit-wonder and I’m proud.

I’ve never met a graphic tee I didn’t like, and I particularly love how versatile they can be. Whether you want to dig up your mother’s vintage band tee, or buy it fresh, there’s a graphic tee out there for you. Styling graphic tees to achieve a cool-girl vibe is my true dream job. Here are my favorite ways to wear them:

1. Faux-cropped with straight-leg jeans

Now, I say *faux* crop because I have to be in a particular mood to wear a crop top. Unless you buy a graphic tee with a cropped fit, the best way to achieve the look without pulling out shears and risking an asymmetrical, crooked hem and a permanent change is to either tie it up or tuck the hem into your bra like so. Rock your newly cropped top with a pair of high-waisted, straight-leg jeans and layered jewelry, and voilà, you have a new favorite go-to look for spring and summer. 

2. Paired with a structured blazer

Wearing a fitted or oversized blazer over a graphic tee is my version of business-meets-pleasure and is a great way to give a slouchy tee some structure. Maddie, our fashion editor and certified cool girl, rocked this look in our office pre-pandemic, and truly, I’m still thinking about it. If you want a look that says, “I get sh*t done but also know how to have a good time,” this outfit was made for you. 

3. Tucked in with a pair of wide-leg jeans

Tucking a graphic tee into denim pants or chino trousers is so fashion-forward and a look that I’m currently drooling over. Pair with your favorite shoulder bag and pointed-toe loafers and *swoon.* It’s a bold and beautiful mix that I’ll definitely be rocking all year long.

4. Coupled with distressed shorts

This look is so easy to put together and is one of my favorite outfit recipes for warmer temps. Grab your go-to pair of distressed denim shorts and pair it with your favorite graphic tee for an edgy, cool look you’ll rock again and again.

5. Under a power suit

Calling all boss ladies! This graphic tee + power suit pairing has your name written all over it. Graphic tees pair really well with an oversized, monochrome suit and help bring a playful vibe to a traditionally powerful look.

6. How to Dress Up Your Graphic Tee for a Night Out

Looking to elevate your casual graphic tee for a night out? Pair it with a chic blazer and a pair of high-waisted trousers. The blazer adds a touch of sophistication, while the trousers create a polished look. Complete the outfit with some statement accessories, like a chunky necklace or a bold clutch. This combination of casual and dressy elements will make your graphic tee suitable for any evening event.

7. Creating a Casual and Cool Look

If you prefer a laid-back and effortless style, there are plenty of ways to rock your graphic tee. Pair it with your favorite denim jeans and a pair of sneakers for a classic and comfortable look. You can also add a denim jacket or a flannel shirt tied around your waist for an extra layer of style. This outfit is perfect for running errands or meeting up with friends for a casual hangout.

8. Dressing Up Your Tee for the Office

Yes, you can even wear your graphic tee to the office! To make it work-appropriate, tuck your tee into a high-waisted pencil skirt and add a tailored blazer on top. Opt for a monochromatic color scheme to keep the look polished and professional. Finish off the ensemble with a pair of heels or loafers. This outfit allows you to express your personal style while still looking office-ready.

9. Layering Your Tee for a Trendy Look

Layering is a great way to add dimension and style to your graphic tee. Try wearing a plaid shirt or a button-down blouse underneath your tee for a trendy and fashionable look. You can also layer a cardigan or a leather jacket over your tee for added warmth and style. Experiment with different textures and patterns to create a unique and eye-catching outfit.

10. Accessorizing Your Tee for a Statement Look

Accessories can take your graphic tee from basic to bold. Pair it with a statement belt to cinch in your waist and add some visual interest. You can also layer necklaces of different lengths and styles to create a stylish and personalized look. Don't forget to choose the right footwear to complete your outfit. Whether it's a pair of ankle boots or colorful sneakers, the right shoes can make a big impact.

With these ten styling tips, you can transform your favorite graphic tee into a versatile and fashionable piece. Whether you're going for a casual or dressy look, there are endless possibilities to express your personal style while rocking your favorite tee.

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