Look amazing in a t-shirt!by Kristin Golden on 06/25/12
Look amazing in a t-shirt!
Our favorite simple staple can go from basic to front and center with a few little tweaks:
Make a cute (basic) t-shirt or tank into one of your favorite summer outfits!
A lot of people ask me how they can get the latest looks without spending a ton of money. I am a huge advocate for QUALITY, not QUANTITY, so if you give me the option of spending money on trendy items or classics, I will say classics every time. Basic t-shirts and tanks are a great compromise as they can double as both. Quality basics are a great way to turn a good classic into a fun trend.
Before you start experimenting with the different ways to dress up a tee (or tank), you have to start with good quality. There are a number of brands that I recommend (sorry to say that Hanes is not one of them). James Perse makes great basics - they are a bit pricier than you are probably used to spending on a basic but they last longer, hold their shape nicely and really look good on. Majestic is another brand that makes nice basics (again, a bit pricey but worth it in the long run). I also recommend Theory, Vince, and Splendid. Michael Stars also makes excellent basics (that is what they are known for). You can find these brands at Nordstrom stores, as well as various boutiques and online.
Once you have a quality top that fits you (no baggy tees!), you can play with it in a number of ways to take it from a classic layering piece to a fun outfit.
One way to dress up a tee is with a statement necklace. I love bib necklaces, long, multi-chain necklaces, anything with color (especially coral or turquoise), and anything with a big pendant. A statement necklace almost always HAS to be worn with a subtle top so tees are a perfect complement to this fun accessory. Wear them with jeans, skirts, trousers (this look can even be good for work), or shorts this summer.
In the same manner, add a summer scarf to a simple top for a fresh, trendy look that is elegant, yet playful.
Another way to wear a good tee/tank is to pair it with a fun bottom - this summer, I love the way a simple top looks with a flirty, patterned maxi skirt. Tuck it in or leave it out - it will add a classic twist to an other-wise trendy piece. Add some earrings and fun bracelets and you have the bohemian vibe that looks like you just naturally look put-together (you do, don't you?).
As obvious as it sounds, tees (or tanks) with jeans - especially distressed jeans or boyfriend jeans are a great summer look - especially perfect for weekends. Layer on some bangles and put on some wedges or gladiator sandals and you have a relaxed, yet chic look that will have people thinking "I love her outfit but I just can't figure out what makes it look so good" (hint: it's the quality top).
Another option: layer it. On the cooler days (or evenings) throw a flirty summer cardigan or blazer over it. Quality tees are great foundation pieces. Blazers are a big trend this summer and a good tee will keep the blazer looking fresh, while a worn out or cheap top could ruin the look. If you are going for a more relaxed look, try a summer cardigan or sweater. I especially love the lightweight colorful ones that are a bit more flowy than structured. In this case, long is good!
If you are someone bold enough to try the colored pants trend or the patterned pants trend, then a good, basic top is the perfect addition. With solid-colored pants, add a printed shoe or jewelry in a complimentary color to add a bit more interest without going overboard (the pants are the main focal piece). With printed bottoms, add some accessories that subtly accentuate a color in the pattern. With either pant, always try and wear a wedge or heel - by adding attention to your lower half, you run the risk of looking shorter on bottom - in that case, you will want to add height with your shoes!
Wear a plain tee/tank with some summer jean shorts (I especially like the look of jean shorts that have a bit of distressing - even cutoffs, as long as they aren't too short!) As long as it has a good fit, a t-shirt and jean shorts will help you achieve a classic look. Throw on some Toms or gladiator sandals for an effortless look. Add a summer hat for an even trendier look.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to turn a quality (but otherwise simple) top into a trendy item - play around with it a bit and see what look you like. Just remember that accessories and fun shoes are what make this item go from a basic to an outfit.
Happy Tuesday and happy styling!
Kristin @ Kristin Golden Image Consulting