This post was written by Faithe Desinor with additonal information from Gabriela Rangel, Anjali Chatterjee and Beth Anderson.
Whether you’re beginning to grasp the capsule wardrobe concept, or you’re already well on your way to having a dream wardrobe, a white tee is a must in every closet. Everyone owns one in some shape or form, but do you know how easy it is to style a basic white tee? The possibilities are endless! Seriously. You could wear it every day and I guarantee not one a single person would notice. Not only are they cute, but they are SO comfortable! It’s so difficult for me to feel confident when I walk out of the house in the morning when I look good but am so uncomfortable. When wearing something as comfy as my white tee, I can kiss those days goodbye!
Whether it’s paired with short shorts, jeans, pencil skirts or full skirts, a simple and fresh plain white tee is the most classic of all classics. Not only is it interchangeable with a formal skirt or your favorite pair of ripped jeans, it gives you so much room to tone up or tone down your outfit. A white tee and some light wash jeans is a perfect outfit for a relaxed day, or you can pair your tee with dark jeans and some wedges for a more polished look. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking it just because it’s simple, a white tee. A white t-shirt is an absolute necessity in any closet because of its ability to make every outfit look so easy, effortless and stylish.
So let’s start with my base year-round capsule collection and think about super simple styling. Start the timer on your phone and let’s see how quickly you can get dressed in the morning.
Weekend or casual event: A white tee, a pair of jeans, white sneakers and a ball cap. I love to wear white tees with dark jean shorts and sneakers too. The contrast between a white shirt and darker color pant creates a clean look.
Work: A white tee, navy dress pants, a cardigan (because the air conditioning is awful), and heels. I always carry a pair of flats in my bag or keep them under my desk at work. Comfort and style should always go hand in hand!
Summer evening concert: A white tee, dressy shorts, sunnies, and slides. So cute! You can always choose to accessorize with some color if you prefer to wear solid color shorts.
Lunch out with friends: A white tee, white cropped pants, and a cargo vest or short-sleeved fringe cardigan. You can also pair it with a leather jacket if you want to dress your outfit up.
See how easy that was?
You can wear a white t-shirt in your everyday outfit no matter the occasion, time, or season. The most basic way to style a white t-shirt is with jeans, a cool pair of sneakers, and a jacket. Wearing a white t-shirt with dark wash jeans will create a more formal look, but light jeans are always a good choice for a relaxed day. You can also dress up or dress down your outfit with the type of jacket you choose. Wearing a jean jacket will give it a more casual feel while a leather or suede jacket dresses it up. You can wear this outfit when meeting friends for lunch or running errands day to day. The white tee gives your closet such a large variety, you can even wear one for a night out or a long day at the office!
My base year-round capsule collection includes a white tank, long-sleeved, and short-sleeved tee. However, many of you may not like pure white so I suggest opting for ecru, eggshell, ivory or off-white. It’s certainly ok to own them all. I don’t have rules, just boundaries when it comes to my collections.
If you’re rolling on a budget, a white tee is a perfect option for you! They range from $2 to even $200 if you fall in love with a designer brand. Although some t-shirts are on the pricier end of the spectrum, they’re known for better fabric quality or having designer tags. The key to finding the perfect white t-shirt is a balance of price and quality. Luckily, there are tons of brands that supply great quality tees at affordable prices that feel just as luxurious as their expensive counterparts. Many of my go-to tees are from Christopher & Banks and Uniqlo. I love the quality of the fabric and they aren’t see-through.
Warning! Do not forget to refresh your favorite tees year-round. They don’t keep their whiteness after multiple washings. Plus, you always want to have a backup on those days where your favorite one is in the laundry. Every spring and summer, new cuts and styles of white tees usually emerge. This calls for a mini shopping trip to hunt for a good variety of white tees for your closet. That way you have enough to match so with so many different outfits, from statements skirts to high waisted jeans.
Styling a Basic White Tee
With summer heat waves quickly approaching the last thing anyone wants to do is wear more clothes, while the easy alternative is throwing on a white T-shirt with some denim jeans and being on your way! Here are some quick and easy ways to update the classic look without being boring or giving yourself a heat stroke.
- Throw on a cute camisole, vest, or your favorite lightweight jacket.
- Have fun with your bottoms and try newer trends. There’s no shame in venturing out from your normal wardrobe!
- Throw on a cute cover-up to go over it to add some fun to a casual tee. You can always pair a white tee with a patterned kimono, a textured cardigan or even a stylish jacket.
- Adorn yourself in some jewelry. Add a statement necklace, your favorite choker or even some bracelet sets paired with a few rings. If you like to keep your wear your favorite jewelry every day, add a cute bandana or mini scarf. Something free-flowing and made from an airy material. It will give you a chic look with minimum effort!
I gathered some friends and asked them their favorite way to style a white tee. I love all the different options they came up with!
This look is probably the best representation of me in the summer. Start off with a cute white tee with a twist. I pair it with a chic leather cami, a casual–but classic–faded knee-length denim skirt and a cute pair of soft pink heels with rose-gold leather toe caps and a nude leather tote to match. For accessories, this look is topped with a denim and crystal statement necklace with a rose gold watch along with a pair of simple pearl studs and nude cat eye sunglasses. This look is easy and casual yet also super chic. You’ll feel not only comfortable, but also confident in this outfit.
On days where the weather isn’t quite giving off that summer heat, trade some skin for a cozy but light cardigan or sweater.You can dodge those chilly breezes while still having the option to opt out of the coverup in favor of just the white tee. Changing an outfit from casual to just the right amount of dressy, this outfit shows the right way to rock a sweater.
Sporting a pocket white tee paired with simple straight legged denim jeans, this look is covered with a beige Off Shoulder V-neck Long Sleeve Knit Sweater and a classic pair of white pointed toe pumps. A woven circular tote, golden bangles, and cute beaded flower earrings add some fun to the overall look. With the changing weather in the summer, if you get too hot you can slip off the sweater and still have a stylish outfit on underneath.
Channeling those inner boho chic vibes? This look combines a wrapped white tee with a pair of flared jeans that have a fun bee and butterfly embroidery and exaggerated bell bottoms. A cropped brown suede motorcycle jacket is matched with it along with a fun flowy fringe bucket bag and pointy stiletto heels. To top it off, some simple hoop earrings, a white and gold watch and a pair gold-toned sunnies complete the look.
Going for some nautical vibes? Matching a white tee with some white jeans and sneakers, gives you a simple but classic look that can be dressed up with any color cardigan like navy and some simple jewelry to spice it up. This tunes into gold and red accessories as it includes a silky champagne neck scarf, gold bangles, watch, and set of rings. It completes the look with red hued earrings and rings to compliment the navy cardigan. Navy and white is one of my favorite color combinations and always works to create a polished summertime look.
Looking for more outfit ideas? In my Resource Library, you can get a free download that includes style cards. I want you to print these on light cardstock. Cut them out, punch a hole in the corner, grab a ring and hang these cards on a hook in your closet. I do this myself. It’s always helpful on those days that I start to tell myself I’ve got nothing to wear. Man…that’s the furthest thing from the truth. I’ve got a basic white tee.
There’s always going to be a new trend on the scene but a white t-shirt will always remain the most classic and essential part of any closet. Let’s be honest, you can’t go wrong with a plain white tee. It’s extremely versatile and is perfect for any outfit- casual or dressy. It’s the ability to range from a wide variety of so many different cuts, styles, and materials make it an easy alternative and impossible to beat. So the next time you’re in rush to leave the house but it’s one of those days where absolutely no outfit is working, throw on some cute jeans, heeled sandals, and of course, a white tee. Turn that t-shirt from simple to couture and you just might be surprised at how easy it was to create your perfect outfit.
Check out my ebook “How to Curate and Cultivate Your Dream Wardrobe” to learn more about building your perfect closet. My 168 YEAR-ROUND OUTFITS EBOOK will show you how to start a basic wardrobe with essential classic pieces to make year-round outfits.
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Already an email subscriber? Grab my white tee styling cards in the Resource Library.