What’s easier than wearing a t-shirt? Few things. But styling graphic t-shirts in a chic way takes a little more effort for your adult life. Between our collection of vintage rock tees, designer logos, artsy prints, and pop culture slogans, we thought our days of sporting graphic tees outside our apartment was over. Fear not—you can rock your fave band tee for an edgy night out or even to the office (yes, the office!) with a few fashionable updates. It’s time to dig that old shirt out of your bottom drawer because we’re showing you a few of our favorite ways to make graphic t-shirts chic again.
1. Laid-Back Luxe
The easiest way to give your treasured concert crew-neck sophisticated flair is by using the hi-lo principal: pairing street labels with more high-end pieces. In this case, wearing a vintage rocker tee with a long luxe skirt and a classic pair of kitten heels. Don’t be afraid of color play here. Matching your skirt to one of the spring or summer-esque colors in your vintage find can really make your outfit pop. Grab your nearest ladylike box bag to give this outfit the final luxe touch it deserves.
2. Retro Moment
This one’s for that retro logo tee you impulse bought because it “spoke to you.” Get ready to incorporate this throwback back into your grown-up wardrobe with a few key styling tricks. Vintage-looking graphic t-shirts work well with equally distressed jeans—think classic blue denim or the mom jeans look. Dress up this casual jeans and t-shirt outfit with modern heels and dainty jewelry. Our current obsession is this pair of modern slingbacks that is perfect for walking around all day. A patterned bag brings this look up to date while keeping it playful.
Levi’s The Perfect Tee, $30, Nordstrom
GRLFRND Helena High-Rise Straight Jean, $210, Revolve
Phoebe Block Heel Slingback, $70, Sole Society
San Diego Hat Company Wheatstraw Clutch, $30, Shoes
Fult Tilt Chained Moon Necklace, $7, Tilly’s
3. Subtle Print
Save your busy graphic t-shirts for after-work hours. A simple printed graphic tee or embroidered style is your in for wearing comfy jersey to the office without receiving disapproving looks. (Okay, you still might get a few from the lifers, but at least it’s in good fashion.) Make your fave slogan shirt work-appropriate with a pair of tailored trousers and smart leather loafers. Classic ’90s hoops with minimal other jewelry bring this casual tee further into chic territory. If you opt for a brighter t-shirt, tone it down with a sleeveless, longline blazer for your 9-to-5 gig.
Les Girls, Les Boys Graphic T-Shirt, $55, Shopbop
High Waisted Striped Belted Ankle Dress Pant, $80, Express
College Dropout Vegan Leather Loafer, $24, Nasty Gal
Vince Camuto Medium Tapered Hoop Earrings, $24, Nordstrom
4. Edgy Night Out
Our favorite of the bunch: the going-out outfit. If there’s a way to wear a comfy tee to the bars, we are so in. It’s surprisingly easy to turn a printed tee into a total “lewk” if you’re willing to add a little edge to your nighttime outfit. We’re a huge fan of this tiger graphic t-shirt that’s giving off total Gucci vibes, sans the outrageous price tag. Opt for a shirt that will let a lacy bralette peek through when the light hits just right, bringing something a little sexy to table. Keep the comfy train rolling with a perfect-fitting pair of cropped wide leg jeans. Or swap the cropped fit for a sweet denim mini skirt to show off a little more leg. Add bright heeled sandals and colorful statement earrings to finish off this chic laid-back look with eye-catching style. After a night in this relaxed outfit, you’ll have a hard time going back to tight dresses and sticky boobs.
Hudson Jeans Graphic Tee, $75, Nordstrom
Longline Bralette, $10, Abercrombie & Fitch
Topshop Crop Wide Leg Jeans, $75, Nordstrom
Baublebar Gabriela Fringe Earrings, $48, Nordstrom
Rainford Caged Sandals, $80, Nine West