The basic t-shirt is an essential part of anyone’s wardrobe — man or woman. Everyone from James Dean to Kendall Jenner has made a serious fashion statement out of the humble white tee, and it has remained an It girl (and guy) staple for decades.
Street style stars and celebrities are a great source of inspiration when it comes to dreaming up new ways to wear this closet icon. Sure, you can always throw one on with your skinny jeans or your leggings, but that’s not very exciting is it? If you do it right, the t-shirt can be worn for dressier occasions and moments when you want to make a serious sartorial statement.
Tuck It Into High-Waisted Jeans
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” as they say, right? Fashion pros love to wear their favorite t-shirts the way we’ve all been wearing them for dozens of years — with their favorite pair of jeans. Simple, effective, sexy, and cool. What more could you want?
Currently, the most stylish way to rock your t-shirt and jeans combo is to tuck it into a pair of high-waisted jeans, like a pair of reworked or vintage Levi’s. The key is the high-waisted silhouette — you could go skinny, wide-leg or even flared and still nail the look.
Layer It Under a Lace Tank Top
While most of us don’t have the same model-off-duty mystique of Kendall Jenner, we can certainly steal a few of her go-to styling tricks for ourselves. One of our favorites is her deft ability to layer and make it look like the easiest thing in the world. Here, she’s wearing a very delicate bralette over a simple cotton crewneck t-shirt and ripped jeans.
To make this look work in real life (her lingerie is from Anine Bing and costs $100), we’d substitute the expensive bralette (tough to execute in real life) for a camisole with delicate spaghetti straps. From there you can get creative — lace, velvet, silk, and satin will all add an element of boudoir-chic to your casual t-shirt. Just don’t forget the casual finishing touch to give your ensemble that unstudied cool: The vintage-y ripped jeans.
Pair It With a Suit
We know, we know: You probably aren’t exactly wearing a “suit” all that often. But hear us out! We consider a matching top and pants or a leather skirt and jacket to be sort of the same thing. Coordinating separates are all you need to pull off this kind of outfit.
And what goes best with matchy-matchy? An irreverent t-shirt of course. The key is to take the suit or separates out of their stuffy office roots and infuse them with a sense of whimsy and edge. Break up a pajama set or a blazer and trousers with a graphic tee that shouts out your proud feminism or favorite travel destination. (No judgments either way!) The t-shirt will be both a conversation piece and a fashion statement — what more could you want?
Rock a Cropped Tee With a Ladylike Skirt
We’d love to steal this exact look from Kristen Stewart — which she wore while promoting Cafe Society in Cannes. Take a cue from K. Stew and work some cropped cotton into your off-duty wardrobe. The genius is in the simplicity, just a cropped white T-shirt with a pencil skirt, pumps and a few delicate necklaces. Her cropped blond hair also adds to the glamor and streamlined feel of her ensemble.
You can wear yours with jeans or a full skirt, and layer a sweater or jacket on top for a bit more coverage. The cropped shirt trend doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it sounds, trust us. You can pair something short with something high-waisted and barely show any of your mid section at all, or just a slice. Like we said, adding a layer over (or under!) the cropped t-shirt can give anyone the confidence to give this trend a try.
Wear It Under a Slip Dress
The 90s are alive and well in 2017. While older women may be weary of revisiting this look (we don’t blame you, go ahead and skip to #6), we do think this look is really fun and versatile for the under-35 set. You can dress it up for day or night — a white t-shirt and sneakers will take you to brunch, while a black t-shirt and ankle boots under your slip dress will work for a mid-week date night.
If you’re worried about bulk and wrinkles, we hear you! One trick is to skip the traditional t-shirt in lieu of a bodysuit. Or, suss out a t-shirt with a ton of stretch and fit that hugs the body. You can also tuck the hem into a shapewear mini skirt for a streamlined and smooth layer under your slip.
Have Fun With Color
More often than not, a classic white crewneck t-shirt will be your go-to piece for that “elevated casual” look. We love that. There’s nothing wrong with that! However, one glance at this Fashion Week ensemble from Giovanna Battaglia proves that color can really get you anywhere.
Here she tucks a bright pink t-shirt into a pink-and-red pleated midi skirt with a red beaded necklace. The combination is quirky and streamlined at the same time, the ideal balance of fashion, function and comfort. We love it!