Shopping Your Closet: Graphic Tees

graphic tees

Graphic tees are a fun, comfortable way to express your individuality and style (sorry, your “I LOVE BEER” shirt doesn’t count…), without breaking the bank. Every one of us has at least one that we enjoy wearing on a regular basis, but most likely we are wearing it simply with a pair of jeans or some sweatpants for the sake of comfort. While Jon Gosselin ruined graphic tees for the world, if done right (Read: not over-the-top and obnoxious), they are a simple and fun way to add some serious cool to any outfit.

Here are some ideas to re-work the graphic tee with some other items you’ve already got lying around.

1. Wear it under a jacket.

under a blazer

We all have at least one type of jacket in our closet, whether it be a a basic suit jacket, denim jacket, or cropped. The structure of the jacket adds a bit of class and makes the outfit look a bit more put-together, while the graphic tee adds an edge to an otherwise simple (or stuffy) outfit. An easy accessory to dress up the outfit even more is a long necklace, preferably one that is not too over-the-top. You don’t want to overdo it, after all.

Oh and, for the love of Anna Wintour, PLEASE, don’t pair a denim jacket with jeans. No one wants to end up on a Glamour “Don’t” page along with the old picture of Justin and Britney in their matching head-to-toe denim tuxedos. Eek.

2. Wear it with a vest.

under a vest

The graphic tee looks great with a longer sweater vest or  a shorter suit-inspired vest for an added layer of style. This look is perfect for a polished casual look with jeans, or even a night out with some hot dark denim or black pants with some sexy pumps. Adding a long necklace or scarf will complete the look and take you from “jeans and a tee” to “totally chic and put together.”

3.  Wear it with a long-sleeved shirt.


I know, I know; picturing this style may remind you of your high school days or fall American Eagle or Gap catalogs, but you can make this outfit look stylish so that you can show off creative graphic tees even in cooler weather. Try to coordinate a different-colored long-sleeved tee under. For example, a more neutral graphic tee could use a fun, bright long-sleeved tee underneath. Conversely, wearing a more neutral tone under a colorful graphic tee will ensure that the tee is the focal point. Make sure to pull down the long-sleeve tee so that the bottom pops out from under the graphic tee near your hips. This look also looks great with a thinner scarf!

While these may be simple adjustments, when grabbing a graphic tee out of your closet, many times the temptation is to wear it alone as part of a casual outfit. This way, you can get an extra bang for your buck by being able to wear your graphic tees for all sorts of occasions- regardless of whether they are casual (pong tournament!) or on a hot date!

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