How to Wear a Graphic Tee? 15 Different Outfit Ideas

HOW TO WEAR A GRAPHIC TE| 15 DIFFERENT OUTFIT IDEAS | Pigments by Liv

I love a printed t-shirt as much as the next person. However, sometimes I’ll plan my outfit, step in front of the mirror and worry it looks like I haven’t made an effort. How do I wear a graphic tee without looking like Dora the Explorer?

I have accumulated quite a few graphic tees and am quite attached, so the last thing I want is for them to be gathering dust in my wardrobe! Over time, I have created set outfits to wear my printed tees with, but now I want to get more mileage out of each t-shirt.

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These are all questions I’ve asked myself and have combed Pinterest, YouTube and Google for the answers. So far, I have found more than 15 different outfit ideas to try, I hope, like me you can find some outfit inspiration for the next time you put on your favourite printed t-shirt.

How do you wear a graphic tee with jeans?

Both the printed t-shirt and jeans are such a wardrobe staple for most of us, so why can’t they be our go-to outfits. Just because it seems a simple outfit idea, it doesn’t mean it has to be a basic idea. There are many ways to lift this classic combo.

1. Styling a Graphic Tee with Mom, Baggy or Straight Leg Jeans

Let’s start by looking at the fit of your jeans. Right now, mom jeans, baggy jeans and straight leg jeans are very on-trend along with all sorts of 90’s fashion making a comeback.

Aside from choosing a few accessories to dress up this outfit, how do you avoid looking like you’re drowning in fabric, as I so often do? One way is to highlight your waist, there are several options you can try!

a. The Half-Tuck

This tuck really does remind me of being back at school! There was something so rebellious about not tucking your shirt all the way around, don’t ask me why.

The half-tuck, or the French tuck, as Tan refers to it in Queer Eye is a super quick and easy way to alleviate your figure without stuffing too much bulky fabric into your jeans. Instead, you simply tuck in the front of your shirt.

B. Tied up or Knotted

One of my favourite ways to doll up an outfit. Just knot the front of your t-shirt above the waist of your trousers, or if you’re feeling particularly edgy, knot the side of your tee!
Knotted or Tied Graphic Tee | How to Wear a Graphic Tee

C. The Faux Tuck or Fake Crop Top

A.k.a. the tuck your tee into your bra to create a crop top look. I have seen this style crop up more and more, a bit more of a daring look. Merely tuck the bottom of your tee into a ridged bra or sports bra then tug the shirt out slightly so it folds naturally at your waist. Now you have a crop top, no scary scissors required!
Faux Tuck or Crop Top | How to Wear a Graphic Tee

D. Classic Full tuck

My go-to way of redefining your lovely waist is the classic full tuck. Tuck your t-shirt all the way into your jeans, make sure the fabric is smoothed out to avoid making your jeans look lumpy. Add a dark belt to really draw the eye in.

Full Tuck | How to Wear a Graphic Tee

2. Wearing an Over-sized Graphic Tee with Skinny Jeans

I can’t see skinny jeans going out of style any time soon, especially when it’s so tempting to just throw a t-shirt over your favourite pair. I love a juxtaposition, and the contrast between a baggy tee and tight-fitting jeans is very flattering on the legs yet super casual!
How to wear skinny jeans with an oversized graphic tee | | How to Wear a Graphic Tee

The most comfortable graphic tee outfits

Let’s face it, sometimes comfort comes above all else but you can still make comfort stylish.

3. The Graphic Tee and Cycling Shorts Trend

This trend is still evolving, but bike shorts are here to stay this summer. So comfortable and perfect for keeping cool, they are so easy to pair with a printed tee. Add a pair of crew socks for an extra edge.

Cycling shorts and a graphic tee | | How to Wear a Graphic Tee
Cycling shorts, denim jacket and graphic tee | How to Wear a Graphic Tee

BONUS TIP! If this style is a bit too much of the activewear Instagram aesthetic for you, throw on a denim jacket to give this outfit a new dimension.

4. Sweatpants and a Graphic Tee: The Perfect Travel Outfit

An outfit that simply screams comfort is the sweatpants styled with a printed tee. Ideal for traveling in, lazing around the house, or popping to the shop on a Sunday.

If like me, you’re worried about drowning in fabric again, then have a go at trying out the old reliable tucks and knots we used to wear a graphic tee with mom, baggy and straight-leg jeans.

How do you style a more feminine look with a graphic tee?

Sometimes a printed t-shirt can feel quite masculine, if you want a more feminine feel, adding a simple skirt is an easy way to achieve that look.

5. Wearing an Over-sized Graphic Tee as a Dress

How do you make a shirt look dressy? Wear it as a dress, of course!

Depending on the size of your t-shirt, you might be showing off quite a lot of leg. If this makes you feel uncomfortable try adding a pair of chunky or thigh-high boots to cover-up a bit more skin and whilst nailing a more of a rebellious look.

Over-sized Graphic Tee Dress | How to Wear a Graphic Tee | Pigments by Liv

6. Styling a Graphic Tee with a Mini Skirt

First, decide whether you want to give off Bohemian or Preppy vibes. For boho feels, grab a floaty skirt, and knot your tee at the front. Alternatively, for more of a preppy look, simply tuck your t-shirt into a denim skirt and style with some classic trainers. Viola!
Graphic tee and boho skirt | How to Wear a Graphic Tee
Denim skirt | How to style a graphic tee | Pigments by Liv

7. A Midi Skirt and a T-Shirt?

Now, this is a trend I admire: graphic tees tied or tucked into a stunning, flowing midi skirt. The contrast between the feminine skirt and a more masculine top works so well! 

Take it one step further by throwing on a pair of chunky boots to make this powerful juxtaposition even more prominent.

8. Styling a Graphic Tee with Shorts THIS SUMMER

Since it’s Summer in the UK and we are having the occasional bursts of really intense sun, shorts are a must! Whether their classic denim shorts or more of a bohemian vibe, shorts are be easily styled with a printed tee.

If your t-shirt is a bit over-sized, experiment with different tucks or knots, this way you’ll still be able to see your favourite shorts too!

Denim shorts | How to style a graphic tee | Pigments by Liv

3 Ways to dress or smarten up a Graphic Tee

Depending on where you work, you may get away with wearing a graphic tee as part of your ‘smart-casual’ office attire, here are three ways to smarten up your favourite t-shirt.

9. Pair a printed Tee with Plaid Trousers

Last year plaid trousers made a comeback and made for some stylish office attire. When added to a smart pair of flats or heels or even your cleanest pair of white trainers, this comfortable outfit is only made better by tucking in your favourite graphic tee.
Plaid trousers | How to style a graphic tee | Pigments by Liv

10. Tuck your Graphic Tee into Peg Leg Trousers and Add Heels

Raise your printed tee by literally adding a pair of heels and peg leg trousers to your office attire. These trousers will naturally flare out at your hips and narrow towards your ankles, so this outfit can be styled with just a t-shirt without losing your waist.

Blue peg | How to style a graphic tee | Pigments by Liv

11. Wearing a Blazer over a Graphic Tee

There is no outfit that a blazer cannot smarten up. Match colours and style a smart jacket over the top of your graphic t-shirt for sophisticated, Dr. Who, vintage vibes.
Blazer dress | How to style a graphic tee | Pigments by Liv

12. Dare to dream, Styling Flares or Wide Leg Trousers with a T-Shirt

I have a pair of flares, they’re bright green with zebra stripes on them, and I love them. However, I don’t often feel brave enough to wear them. By wearing a printed tee tied into a knot I can make a statement that I feel a lot more comfortable making.

As wide leg, culottes or flares widen at the bottom of the trouser leg, knotting your graphic tee will help them to accentuate your waist and make you appear taller.

Flares and graphic tee | How to Wear a Graphic Tee | Pigments by Liv

How to Layer a Graphic Tee like a Pro

Although printed tees tend to stand out because of their pattern, there is no harm in adding a few original layers to style a more complex look.

13. Styling a Graphic Tee Under a Dress

This style appeared last summer. By placing a t-shirt underneath a strappy dress, you can make a dress that you might normally save for the evening more casual, ideal for everyday use. 

Try layering a simple black dress on top of your favourite graphic tee for the full 90s look!

14. Embrace your inner Dora the Explorer by Wearing a printed Tee under Dungarees

Earlier, I said I had trouble not looking like Dora the Explorer when I wear my favourite Rhino T-Shirt. Now, having combed the internet for outfit inspiration, I think we should learn to embrace our inner Dora.

Whether it’s a pair of dungarees, overalls, or even a pinafore, go all out on this baby doll look by even styling your hair in a scrunchie. Go explore, Dora!!

Dungarees and graphic tee | How to Wear a Graphic Tee | Pigments by Liv

15. How to Wear a Graphic Tee Over a Turtleneck

Another trend that stuck with us for over year now is layering a printed t-shirt over a turtleneck. Try to match or contrast colours and patterns to layer like a pro. Be brave and be bold with this outfit.

Turtle neck | How to style a graphic tee | Pigments by Liv

Viola! Who knew that a graphic tee could be so versatile, I certainly didn’t! I hope this blog gives you the kind of outfit inspo that makes you want to turn your wardrobe inside out with trying on loads of new outfits! Make your printed tee go further than you’ve ever gone before.

A special thanks as well to my two models Daisy and Mai, who despite the rain, looked amazing! Big love xx

shop nature-inspired tees

Don’t forget to check out our own selection of original, nature-inspired graphic tees. All our tees are made from 100% combed cotton so they are unbelievable soft whilst being climate-neutral!

Make sure to tag @pigmentsbyliv in your photos on Instagram, because I’d love to see how you would wear a graphic tee!!

‘Til next time!

Liv

xxx

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