I’ve collected quite a surplus of shirts over the years in an effort to find my personal style. My closet is busting at the seams with blouses, crop tops, button-downs, and tanks, but my all-time favorite is my Budweiser graphic tee that I copped from Urban Outfitters last year.
Time and time again, I reach for that tee more than anything else in my wardrobe. Backyard barbeque with friends (pre-social distancing)? Budweiser tee. Hitting up Old Town bars in Chicago on a Friday night? Budweiser tee. Casual trip to the grocery store? Budweiser tee. Bedtime? Bud-why-sir tee. I think 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 that they are so versatile. 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 (a self-proclaimed gift), and here are my favorite ways to wear them:
1. Faux-cropped with mom jeans
Now, I say *faux* crop because, in my experience, 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 this. Rock your newly-cropped top with a pair of high-waisted mom jeans, sneakers, and layered jewelry and voilà, you have a new favorite go-to look for spring and summer.
2. Structured with a 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 associate and copy editor, rocked this look in our office this winter, and truly, I’m still thinking about it. If you want a look that says “I get shit done but also know how to have a good time,” this outfit was made for you.
3. Tucked in with a flare pant
Tucking a graphic tee into denim pants or chino trousers is so fashion-forward and a look that I am currently drooling over. It’s not a uniform I have ever braved before but I think it just might be my new front-runner. Pair with your favorite bag and pointed-toe heels and *swoon.* It’s a bold and beautiful mix that I’ll definitely be rocking all spring long.
4. Tucked in or tied at the waist 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 jeans and pair it with your favorite graphic tee for a classically cool look you’ll rock again and again.
5. Under a power suit
Calling all boss babes! 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 to bring a playful vibe to a traditionally powerful look.
6. Paired with a delicate skirt
Tucking your 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 summer fashion game.
7. Kept casual with a denim jacket
This daytime-to-evening look is one of the easiest to pull off and is about to be the outfit pairing you wear again and again. Coupling a slouchy denim jacket with a loose-fitting graphic tee and fitted 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.” If you want to dress it up a bit, add gold hoops and your favorite heels and boom. Fashion.
8. Sized up with bike shorts
This is simply one of the comfiest outfit combinations and a look that I’m obsessed with. This combo screams “cool-girl vibes” to me and I am seeing it all over my IG feed as warmer weather approaches. It’s a perfect take on the usual “look trendy without trying” grocery store look and is perfect for a day of errands where you want to look cute 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 either 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.