If there’s one capsule wardrobe essential we can’t enough of, it’s a versatile, wear-with-everything t-shirt. Between summer camp tees from way back when, graphic t-shirts and everyday layering basics, odds are you already have a closet full of these workhorses on standby. Contrary to popular belief, t-shirts need not be restricted to the weekend or outdoor concerts — live a little, why don’t ya! Inject some lazy girl-approved styling into your daily routine by pairing a fancy shirt-hem tee with relaxed trousers for the office or classic stripes with some high-waisted shorts for a look that reads old-school T-Swift all the way. As you gear up for summer, check out these 12 foolproof ways to wear (and re-wear) ALL your beloved t-shirts this summer.
1. Scotch & Soda Love T-Shirt ($45) + Mara Hoffman Basketweave Bikini Bottom in Landscape ($122): When in paradise, sporting “real” clothes isn’t even an option. Ain’t nobody got time for that! In fact, your off-duty uniform will more than likely consist of retro surf tees, string bikinis and sunnies for days. Enter the ‘70s-esque beach t-shirt and vibrant sunset-inspired bikini bottoms you’ll be living in this summer.
2. Zara Stripe and Flower Printed T-Shirt ($16) + J.Crew Board Short in Classic Stripe ($72): Keep a case of the Sunday scaries at bay with this Hawaiian-bound getup that will give you some serious peace of mind. Between chilling poolside and catching waves in paradise, it’s safe to say you’ll be equipped for it all — especially with some metallic Birks in tow. Skip the bikini cover-up for this oversized floral print tee and some Where’s Waldo-esque red striped board shorts for endless beach vibes.
3. The Atelier Bonjour Tee ($50) + Madewell Denim Tie-Waist Skirt ($88): Casual t-shirts aren’t typically your jam, and that’s okay! Be it a Sunday brunch with your closest gal pals or sophisticated travels abroad, it doesn’t get more timeless than this classy pairing. Style this “bonjour” tee (printed on the back) with an effortless denim tie-waist skirt and throwback mules (or tennies for the weekend) for a tomboy-chic look that doesn’t mess around.
4. Pam & Gela Pineapple Frankie Tee ($135) + Zara Denim Shorts ($40): Usher in beach week with this playful combo that will have you sipping fruity cocktails at the tiki hut in no time. We can’t decide what we love more — the rhinestone embellished sleeveless tee or the cheeky pineapple embroidered denim shorts. Either way, we’re so down for a tropical adventure.
5. R13 Clash Distressed Printed Cotton and Cashmere-Blend Jersey T-Shirt ($195) + Rag & Bone The Capri Cropped Striped Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans ($185): Don’t you dare throw out your collection of vintage band tees — they’re totally game for festival season (and beyond). Show off your edgy side with this punk-inspired look that will take you from crowd surfing at a rock concert to grabbing coffee downtown. Pair this distressed sleeveless tee commemorating The Clash with black-striped skinny jeans for a look that’s downright fierce. TBH, you’re this close to reaching groupie status.
6. The Great The Ruffle Jersey T-Shirt ($135) + Farrow Echo Striped Shorts ($68): This girly take on a basic layering essential has got us swooning hard. Who would have thought that a plain ol’ gray tee could have this much panache?! Pair this luxuriously soft ruffled top with a pair of tailored blue-and-white striped shorts for a preppy look that’s a shoo-in for Memorial Day weekend. Just add espadrilles and a floppy hat, and it’s a done deal.
7. Mango Decorative Patches T-Shirt ($20) + Topshop MOTO Stripe A-Line Skirt ($55): From AM to PM, you’re all about easygoing separates that read daytime casual — without blending in. Allow this anything-but-snoozy white tee (check out those rad patches!) to add an element of coolness to your prized denim moto skirt. Can you say cool girl in training?
8. Shirt Hem Tee by Boutique ($60) + TNA Rideau Pant ($80): A t-shirt for the corporate world? We’ll believe it when we see it. But actually. Swap out your traditional office shirt for this striped-hem tee that’s not only HR-approved but all sorts of laid-back chic. In lieu of black trousers, complete your look with these flowy drawstring pants that might as well be pajama pants in disguise. They’re that comfortable.
9. Topshop Oversized Tee ($46) + Zara Metallic Skort ($36): If you ask us, summer whites are overrated. Usher in a new era of understated metallics with cool-girl swagger courtesy of Beyoncé. Just how ah-mazing is this next-level holographic tee and these pleated metallic culottes that are practically made for a disco-glam wedding? Take it there with some gold Mary Jane block heels for a Met Gala-worthy look.
10. TNA Porter T-Shirt ($35) + Mango Relaxed Crop Nancy Jeans ($60): Fact: There are a million and one ways to do festival style right. When crop tops and fringe have run their course, channel your inner flower child with this boxy tie-dye t-shirt that strikes the perfect balance between boho babe and hippie. Style it with distressed white jeans and your trusty Birks for a carefree look that’s Bonnaroo-ready.
11. Chinti and Parker Hello Sailor T ($135) + Zara Printed Skort ($26): Let the countdown until your beach-cation, honeymoon or tropical getaway begin! In addition to the usual suspects — a beach cover-up, swimwear and flip-flops — you can’t leave home without a practical t-shirt that requires zero effort (and that can be packed in your suitcase with ease). Slip this nautical tee over a botanical island girl-inspired skort for endless beach frolicking before proceeding to re-style it with high-waisted bikini bottoms and free-wheelin’ palazzo pants.
12. Comme des Garçons Striped Heart T-Shirt ($128) + Zara High-Waisted Shorts ($20): Athleisure is the name of the sartorial game, as far as these classic blue stripes are concerned. If you only invest in one striped tee this season, make it this one by Comme des Garçons that’s guaranteed to look just as polished with a blazer and red high-waisted shorts as a pair of mom jeans. Style this wardrobe workhorse for anything from a weekend in the Hamptons to an afternoon at the tennis courts.
What’s your favorite way to style your t-shirts? Follow us on Pinterest for more colorful style inspo!
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