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 thrift your own, 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. Paired with a delicate skirt
Tucking my graphic tee into a flowy, long-lined skirt makes me feel like I’m living out all of my beachy California dreams and is a fun way to bring a more feminine vibe to a grungy T-shirt. If you haven’t yet considered this beautiful mix of girly meets edgy, it’s a sure and effortless way to up your warm-weather fashion game.
7. Rocked with an oversized denim jacket
Coupling a slouchy denim jacket with a loose-fitting graphic tee and wide-leg jeans says, “I’m on a coffee run but I’m also ready to run into Harry Styles on the street and make a move.” Pair with a denim-on-denim Canadian jumpsuit for an extra vintage look that will earn you some well-deserved extra credit.
8. Sized up with bike shorts
An oversized graphic tee with a pair of bike shorts is simply one of the comfiest outfit combinations and a look that I hold dear to my heart. This combo screams “effortless cool-girl vibes” and is super simple to recreate. It’s a perfect take on the “look trendy without trying” grocery store fit and is perfect for a day of errands when you want to look cute but with minimal effort.
9. Glammed up with a tailored pant
Are you kidding me with this absolutely unexpected, glamorous outfit combination? Tuck a graphic tee into a pair of tailored power pants for the chic surprise you didn’t think to rock before. Paired with pointed-toe heels, a belt, chic jewelry, and a red lip? Sign me up for this fabulousness.
10. Dressed up with leather
If I’m hitting a night on the town with my girls, you already know I’m pairing my graphic tee with a leather jacket or a leather skirt. Having this outfit formula on hand takes the guesswork out of the all-dreaded “WTF am I going to wear tonight” dilemma. It’s the perfect way to dress up an otherwise casual tee and looks so damn cool.