How It-Girls Make T-Shirts Look Straight-Up Sophisticated
Whether you’re talking summer style staples or fall essentials, when it comes to closet basics, the t-shirt reigns supreme. Transitioning summer pieces for fall, dressing down your fanciest of duds and serving as the cornerstone for your fave off-the-clock getup: There’s nothing this trusty topper can’t do. And sure, it’s practically the poster child for laid-back, lazy girl style, but trust us — it has plenty to offer when you’re trying to pull off a perfectly polished #OOTD too. Case in point: These 15 street-style-approved looks that will inspire you to step up your new-season style game like whoa. So go ahead — forget the classic white shirt, and make this easy breezy basic your go-to this season.
1. Pinstripe Suit and White Tee: Striking the ultimate balance of off-duty cool and girlboss chic, Tine Andrea straight-up slays with an unstoppable pinstripe suit and silk scarf combo that isn’t messing around. The only thing missing? Slip-on loafers and an oversized watch for a hint of borrowed-from-the-boys appeal.
2. Bright Sweater Jacket and Statement Shades: Taking a tried-and-true t-shirt and jeans routine to the next level is as easy as adding a few statement accessories to the mix. Assert yourself as #OOTD queen for Sunday morning brunch by teaming a band tee and of-the-moment denim with bright outerwear and show-stopping sunnies. Bonus points for a sassy crossbody bag and a pair of embellished sneakers.
3. Pencil Skirt and Leather Jacket: For a look that screams rock goddess in the making, pull out all the stops with a sophisticated pencil skirt, strappy pumps and a don’t-mess leather jacket. Be it a battle of the bands or after-work drinks, this badass pairing will never let you down. Class things up with a silk scarf and box clutch, or play it cool with classic aviators and high top kicks.
4. White T-Shirt, Slip Dress and Ballet Flats: Summer’s slinky slip dresses and bare-it-all frocks have major new-season potential when paired with a simple throw-on-and-go tee. Take the ’90s-inspired styling that much further with a statement choker and luxe backpack for a weekend hang sesh or afternoon shopping excursion.
5. ’70s Striped Tee and Wide-Leg Trousers: You could surrender to the expected bodycon or LBD for GNO, or you could blaze new trails and step out like the sophisticated street style star you are in a rendition of this effortless ensemble. Stick to a palette of dark, moody hues, and glam up the frills-free look with sleek accessories, like asymmetric earrings and a statement minaudière. Don’t even think about leaving the house without a leather jacket in tow.
6. Metallic Skirt and Embellished Mules: Date night with bae is about to get REAL in the style department. Pop a black and white band tee on with a silvery pleated skirt and scene-stealing steppers for an after-hours outfit that’s guaranteed to turn heads. Dramatic pout and sweeping duster coat not included, but highly recommended.
7. Plunge-Neck Maxi Dress and Pointed Toe Heels: Ace desk-to-dinner dressing like the fashionable femme you are by taking a few style notes from Parisian blogger Marta Cygan. Take your most daring maxi dress or wide-leg jumpsuit and layer it over a plain white tee for an anywhere-appropriate look. After sundown, go there with a mesh tee, bomber jacket and lace-up steppers for an athleisure remix.
8. Wide Brim Hat, Silk Scarf and Distressed White Jeans: Lazy girls, rejoice! You don’t have to don fancy duds to achieve an effortlessly elegant outfit. Call upon your trusty silk scarf, wide-brim topper (choose a felt or wool style for fall in a dreamy forest or aubergine hue) and structured top handle bag to instantly elevate your look. Throw in a suede jacket for a refined finish.
9. Graphic Kimono and Dramatic Lipstick: If throw-on-and-go is your motto, this two-second ensemble is calling your name. Hit refresh on any old tee by tossing on a cozy knit kimono (the bolder the print, the better) for afternoon errand running or catching the big game at your local hangout spot. Since puttin’ on the glitz isn’t exactly yo thang, step things up with a simple swipe of rich berry lipstick or a perfectly applied cat eye.
10. Metallic T-Shirt and Culottes: Basic? Your style is anything but, which means average closet essentials are totally out of the question when you’re headed out on the town. Turn heads the second you set foot out on the streets with a getup that balances show-stopping aesthetics with casually cool style. A quicksilver tee and floaty culottes are just what the doctor — and the dance floor — ordered.
11. Cropped Trousers and Ankle Boots: A good pair of trousers has a way of transforming even the most informal threads into a show-stopping ensemble in two seconds flat. Do like Megan Ellaby and turn an everyday t-shirt into a sartorial statement by styling it alongside cropped kick flares and pointed-toe ankle boots for big-city shenanigans.
12. Tailored Jacket and Leather Pants: The dread you’re met with on mornings when you’ve hit snooze a few too many times melts away when you have an outfit formula like this in your back pocket. Throw on any ol’ t-shirt with leather trousers and a longline blazer for instant Insta gold. Fake it ’til you make it with a chainlink cross-body bag and luxe loafers for an early morning brainstorm sesh or gossip with the girls.
13. Side-Button Pants and Pumps: Before you say WTF and start to scroll on: No — these are not the same track pants you rocked back in the day (we wouldn’t do that to you). In true It-girl fashion, these side-button trousers call upon timeless style to set themselves apart. To keep your look from venturing on the side of too casual, add a pair of sleek sandals, geometric baubles and a streamlined blazer to the mix. Get it, girl.
14. Printed A-Line Skirt and Round Sunnies: Holla back to the ’70s to give that easy tee a 2016 kind of vibe. Enlist the services of a high-waisted A-line skirt to bring the wow factor in a big way, then go to town with the time-period extras, i.e. platform clogs, psychedelic round sunnies and a roomy saddlebag.
15. Zip-Front Midi Skirt, Bib Necklace and Loafers: Forget everything you know about working-girl wardrobes — t-shirts DO have a place among your on-the-job pieces. Skip the billowy blouses and structured button downs, tucking a striped or printed top into a classy lady midi skirt or high-waisted palazzo pants. Extra polish comes in the form of a glitzy bib necklace and refined block heels that are just as practical (you’ve got a commute to think about) as they are DDG.
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