disclosure: thank you, thredup for providing shop credit used to purchase items featured in today’s post! as per usual, all opinions are my own.
the graphic t-shirt—a casual basic? a piece reserved for sweatpants and/or loungewear? an elevated closet staple? or perhaps, all of the above? you’ve had them in your wardrobe for years! (in fact, the older, the better.) a graphic t-shirt is the season-less staple you can wear with virtually any outfit—yes, even at the office.
many of you know this, but my day job is in the financial services industry. the majority of the men in my office wear suits. my female counterparts wear a variety of business-casual fashions, including dresses, skirts, and slacks. while i don’t mind dressing professionally, i hate the thought of giving up my sense of style, as it’s something i have worked hard to refine. additionally, it’s silly for me to have two distinct wardrobes—one reserved for work, and another for weekends (and well, fun). instead, i like to mix and match pieces from the work and non-work sections of my closet!
i realize a graphic t-shirt may not be acceptable in all work environments. (i, too get the occasional eyebrow raise at my office.) seattleites are creatures of comfort. with the prominent tech industry, seattle, as a whole, is an incredibly casual city. in fact, this article argues seattle is the most dressed-down city in the nation. whether you attend a wedding, auction, or formal dinner, you are likely to see at least one individual wearing denim. therefore, my office environment may be more tolerant of t-shirts worn on-the-daily than other businesses.
while a graphic t-shirt is traditionally deemed “casual attire,” i compiled four ways to elevate your tee:
one (1): tuck it in
tuck your band t-shirt into your pencil skirt or slacks. (on casual friday, instead tuck your t-shirt into your jeans.) add a blazer or cardigan to instantly enhance your look.
two (2): layer underneath
you may or may not find it shocking—fashion repeats itself. the late 90s (and early 2000s) are back. remember when wearing a white t-shirt under a dress was all the rage? or a white t-shirt under your tank top? well, it’s in (again). i especially like the look of a printed t-shirt under a jumpsuit, jumper, or floral slip dress!
three (3): over a button-down shirt
wear your button down under your t-shirt (with the blouse peeking out underneath). add a statement necklace for an extra “pop.” while i haven’t yet tried this style, i think it would be darling paired with black ankle pants or faux-leather leggings.
four (4): break up a two-piece suit
suits were seemingly everywhere at fall 2018 fashion week. a two-piece set (in red or a floral print) is currently on my wish list. a suit is edgy, feminine, and chic. is there anything better? pairing a graphic t-shirt under a suit jacket can help break up the print while providing a chic, neutral element. #powersuit
photos by karya schanilec photography
t-shirt: madewell, skirt and blazer: j.crew (via thredup), mules: dolce vita for target, purse: c/o coach
other quick tips? jewels, skirts, scarves, blazers—these are your best friends when trying to dress up a tee. despite the fashion myth, you can wear a t-shirt to the office and still look polished. fellow business professionals, let’s revive (and dress up) the graphic t-shirt!
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