Bringing Basic Back! Perfecting the Styling of a Basic T-Shirt

By Dana Straut,

Glamour. Glitz. Sparkles and bling. Patterns, colors, funky mood. Stop. It’s time to take up a style challenge: Styling basic T-shirts! Now before you go off and dismissively laugh ask yourself this: when was the last time you ever wore a basic tee somewhere? Anywhere? Sleep and moping around the house does not count.

Also, question excludes any style gimmick the tee may hold. That’s right, no glitter, no beads, no nothing. Well, okay maybe a teeny tiny text, or pattern. 

With trends like mismatched prints, bold colors and patters clearly it’s no wonder our eyes and finances are swung by the fashion extravaganza the moment we pop into a store. And really, who can blame us? It’s all a circus and mad glitzy world out there, but today I dare you to forget everything you ever knew about fashion. 

What if simple became the new fabulous? Wouldn’t that be amazing? On this note I dare you to style a plain tee and consider wearing one anywhere. Would you?

As a kid I used to hate simple tees. Give me pinks, sparkles and unicorns all over. Sometimes I was OK with a basic one but it had to be red or dark blue. And that was when I was fashion punished by my mom. Or when all my ditsy sartorial choices were dirty, so I had to settle for basic. Meh.

So how to style basic white t-shirt?

For sporty casual styles, basic tees are a uniform really. Sneakers, wedges or flat sandals on and you’ve got the weekend look going on. Cutoffs or mini skirts for summer. The moment you clash a basic tee with a smarter outfit – think pencil skirts, trousers, heels, blazers – you get a very chic understated sophisticated look. 

Tuck your tee, roll up the sleeves and don’t forget a statement necklace.

Also a great bag will always pop against a simple tee look. Think all black – skinny black jeans, slouchy black tee, flat pumps, heels, sneakers, sandals or even boots – and a colored bag. Red lips can be the best accessory ever when rocking a basic T-shirt.

Simplicity in style is quite chic and it sometimes does feel as if we need a dose of relaxed vibe in our lives. There’s a certain elegance, freshness and sexiness in wearing a pair of jeans and a simple T-shirt. Or a pencil skirt and a basic tee. Perhaps it has to do with confidence and inner style. 

At the Burberry Prorsum show, London Fashion Week AW14 on February 17, 2014 in London, England.  (Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)