10 Ways to Style Your Favorite Graphic Tee

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Source: Janelle Marie Lloyd | @waityouneedthis

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. 

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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

Source: @liztong_

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

Source: @lifew.erin

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

Source: @waityouneedthis

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

Source: @twentysomethingplus

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

Source: @theyusufs

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

Source: @raeannlangas

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

Source: @chrissyford

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

Source: @christineandrew

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

Source: @pamarias

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

Source: @gabrielegz

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.


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