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How to Dress Up Graphic T-Shirts

How to Dress Up Graphic T-Shirts

5 ways to wear graphic tees from basic outfits to dressy casual for men and women.

Are graphic tees in style? Um ... have they ever not been in style? Exactly. Graphic T-shirts were first popular in the 1950s with college tees and then used as political tools in the 1960s. In the 1970s, many fashion designers began using them as a fashion statement, and the rest is history. 

Today, we are seeing them pop up on our TV screens more, with main characters wearing graphic tees that range from cryptic messaging to mainstream pop icons. While women definitely enjoy a good graphic tee, they have become staple in young men's wardrobes too. The graphic T-shirt is one of the most underrated fashion pieces that can be worn in a variety of ways. Make a statement with your favorite graphic tee. We've got graphic tee outfit ideas for guys and girls.

What is Considered a Graphic Tee?

A graphic T-shirt is much different from a run-of-the-mill T-shirt with a saying. A graphic tee hosts rock or hip-hop artist logos, album covers, hypebeast logos, and more. Think of them as wearable art, ranging from basic graphic tees to dressy graphic tees, with band shirts falling somewhere in the middle. There are many types of graphic tees, including designer logos, concert tees, abstract art, travel/location tees, sports teams -- you get the idea.

When you're evaluating graphic tees versus regular tees, ask: “Could this hang in an art gallery?” If the answer is yes, then it’s worthy of styling a graphic tee outfit. Ultimately, the more minimal the graphics are, the more sophisticated it will look. 

The Proper Fit of a Graphic Tee

When you want to create styled graphic tee looks, first you consider the fit. Choose the best-fitted shirt to help you look your best (and this applies to any shirt, graphic tee or otherwise).

A shirt that is oversized, too long or baggy looks casual but isn't what we'd recommend for work or a night out. TBH, few people can rock the baggy, oversized shirt look. 

The best fit for trendy graphic shirts is one to two inches of fabric on either side that you can pinch. For length, select a shirt that ends around the hip. Anything covering your butt is too long, and anything above your top pants pocket is much too short. 

How to Dress Up Graphic Tees

There are countless ways to dress up graphic T-shirts. The way you style them will depend on your overall aesthetic and where you’re going. 

Men's graphic tee outfit ideas

  1. Casual business: Pair the beige Aziel graphic tee from Rockstar Original with a blazer or sport coat. Finish the look with chinos or cargo pants and boots or loafers. 
  2. Style mix: It’s okay to mix different style aesthetics in one outfit. Why not, right? Wear a streetwear graphic tee under a casual blazer for a graphic tee outfit that’s perfect for any occasion. Pair it with minimalist sneakers and swap out a blazer or suit coat for a lightweight denim jacket for a daytime look. 
  3. Comfort first: Nothing says sophistication more than a monochromatic outfit that makes you look put together without much effort. The Neenjuh graphic tee paired with the Zed track pant in white or a simple pair of white denim jeans from Rockstar Original says I’m dope and I know it. 
  4. Summer: Graphic tees were made for summertime sunshine. Pair a graphic tee with board shorts or swim trunks for a casual but stylish poolside look. 
  5. Flannel time: Add your favorite flannel over your tee for a classic grunge or indie aesthetic look. Pair it with your favorite pair of jeans and sneakers, and it’s a fire fit. 

Graphic tee outfits for women

  1. Structure time: Wear a structured blazer over your favorite tee. This is a way to combine business with pleasure in a put-together, yet fun way. Pair it with your favorite denim jeans or skater skirt and some of booties. 
  2. Tuck and go: Tuck your favorite graphic tee like the Trust Nobody tee into denim or cargo pants. Pair it with your favorite designer bag and pointed-toe shoes or boots. It’s a bold yet mature look, which makes you seem effortless and dressed up all in one. 
  3. Leather up: Want a way to dress up your graphic tee in a rocker way? Add a leather jacket with your favorite pair of denim jeans. 
  4. Speaking of rocker looks: A cute denim jacket (cropped or oversized) over a fitted graphic tee is a perfect look for the hip-hop-rocker aesthetic.
  5. Boss lady: Combine a power suit with a graphic tee to bring a playful look to your most boss babe vibe all day long. 

Ultimately, finding ways to dress up graphic t shirts is easy when you choose the best-fitting pieces in your wardrobe. Channel your personal style and get creative. That’s how the best graphic tee outfits are discovered! Remember that style is perpetuated by originality and individuality. Let your true self shine through!