Graphic tees are fun. They show off your personality and allow you to reveal the casual side of your style. You may worry that they’re not age-appropriate or that people will give you side-eye if you’re an adult in a graphic shirt but that’s silly. There are all sorts of ways to style graphic t-shirts that give them an edgy appeal and an appropriate amount of polish.

Pair It with a Pant Suit

Graphic t-shirts can seem young, even childish, to some people (they’re not, of course!) If you’re worried about striking a balance between polished and edgy, pick out your favorite femme cut suit and pull your favorite graphic top out of the closet. In general, solid colors and subtle prints are the best bets for your suits. From fun, plaid prints to classic neutrals like black, charcoal, navy, or even beige, pairing your suit with your tee will serve you well.

Or Just Wear It with a Blazer

What’s your favorite blazer? Whether it’s a fun pink plaid or a plain black jacket, try it on over your graphic tee. It lends a put-together vibe to an otherwise whimsical, lighthearted article of clothing. This combo is versatile, giving you the range to wear it with any style of bottoms, including pencil skirts, paper bag waist shorts, and jeans.

your graphic tee

The Denim Connection

Speaking of jeans, you can’t go wrong when you wear your graphic tees with denim—and that goes for every type of denim you can imagine! Styling your graphic t-shirt with a pair of jeans is a great, budget-friendly way to get the most out of your cute top. Shimmy into a pair of long jeans that flatters your body type as well as your t-shirt. Whether it’s boot cut, flared hems, or cuffed boyfriend crops, you’re spoiled for choice. You can always go a little shorter, too, and tuck your top into denim shorts or a jean skirt. Add sneakers or stilettos, depending on your personal taste, then thread a statement-making belt through your belt loops for a boho-chic style that can’t be ignored.

Step Out in Skinnies

Skinny jeans deserve their own special mention. There’s something undeniably charming and retro-inspired about a graphic tee, skinnies, and a killer pair of kicks. This is your opportunity to style an outfit with punk rock aspirations. Layer your arms with bangles and studded wristbands, and to dress up your ensemble, swap the sneakers for heels or embellished sandals. Graphic tops beg for black jeans, while others look best with traditional blues or colorful patchwork denim.

Skirts and Tees

Graphic tees and skirts seem to be unlikely companions, but they go together surprisingly well. Play around with different skirt styles to change the entire vibe of your look. A fitted midi skirt creates a polished appearance when paired with a graphic tee, while a full, ’60s-style midi gives off a retro feeling with a modern twist. Try a pencil skirt to exude casual off-duty elegance or a maxi skirt to infuse your outfit with Boho chic flair!

Go Over the Top

T-shirts are casual enough that they can easily handle a little ostentation. That gives you the chance to play dress up and have some fun with it. Wear your favorite band t-shirt with a glittering gold mini skirt. Throw on a faux fur jacket that highlights your vintage Chanel tee. Put on suspenders when you wear one of your ironic, sarcastic shirts. Go a little crazy with your footwear and jewelry, too!

play dress up

Let the Shirt Shine

You may want to let your tee speak for you. Don’t feel like you have to camouflage it with other pieces of clothing. Whether you decide to wear your shirt with dark wash jeans, a long skirt, or a pair of crops, let it be the star of the show. If the graphic on the tee is somehow important to you because it depicts a band you love, a meaningful lyric, or a funny quote that describes your personality, then put it all out front so that everyone can see it. Just pick out complementary items and accessories that highlight it without overpowering it.

Slip into High Waist Bottoms

High waist bottoms can turn graphic t-shirts into showstopping pieces. Play around to see how your t-shirt looks when you tuck it in versus letting it hang. The high waist design will polish your ensemble a bit without making it too stuffy.

Layer Slayer

Obviously, you can layer cardigans, coats, and vests over your t-shirts. The combo is a can’t miss. Reverse layering looks phenomenal with t-shirts, too, however. For instance, take a button-up, be it plain white, brightly colored, or printed with checks or stripes. Put it on and button it almost up to the collar, then pull on a t-shirt. Pair with skinny jeans or a long skirt for a look that’s straight off the runway!

Make the most of your graphic t-shirts by indulging in a bit of experimentation. A funny saying or a band logo can become the signature detail of your entire outfit as long as you know how to style it properly. How do you wear your graphic tees?