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How to Style a White T-Shirt: Tons of looks and tips on how to get the most out of this basic - Love her easy style!

How to Style a White Tee

Have you guys ever seen those “Closet Must Haves” or “10 Pieces Every Woman Must Own” lists in style magazines?  Usually, a white tee would make it onto those lists, but I never understood why.  I bought a white tee, only to have it sit in my closet because I never knew how to wear it.  It was always just a plain white tee to me, which then translated to me as a plain outfit.


But after about a year of experimenting and growing my style, I finally figured out what the heck you are supposed to do with white tees: accessorize!


This might seem like a no-brainer to some of you, but like I wrote in Part 5 of the Building a Remixable Wardrobe Series, I had no idea how to accessorize beyond earrings, so of course plain white tees never amounted to anything more than that for me.


If you have a plain white tee lying around that you only wear with jeans, here are some tips for getting more usage out of it!


(White Tee: H&M – shop similar)


There’s not really a step-by-step guide here.  It’s mostly a jumble of tips to think about to give you some ideas for how to make more outfits with your own white tee.


Basically, get some color and/or pattern in there!  Whether it’s by pairing your tee with colored or patterned bottoms, layering on a colored cardigan or blazer, or simply adding a colorful necklace or patterned scarf, you can maximize that plain white tee to no end.


Here’s a breakdown of each outfit.  There is no rhyme or reason to this collection of outfits; they are just whatever I could think of from my closet.  And warning–it’s kind of repetitive information, but my hope is that the more the tips get broken down and demonstrated, more of your creative juices will flow to help you think of ideas from your own closet.



This outfit is the only way I would have worn a white tee, sans scarf.  Snoozer.  It was made special with a simple addition of a patterned scarf.  Easy peasy!



Even though the shorts are a neutral grey, the red blazer gives the outfit some character.  I added the necklace down the middle because a completely white center column seemed like it needed to be filled in with an extra touch.  This will be true or many of the outfits to follow.



Though you can recreate many of these outfits for fall by adding a a few more layers and some boots, here is one outfit that is an ode to fall.  I LOVE this outfit and cannot wait to wear it in the fall!  I added color with the cardigan, but the pattern in the scarf is what really makes the outfit work.


(shop green skirt: option #1, option #2, option #3)


No pattern here.  Instead, we have a bright green skirt and a necklace to fill the otherwise plain white space.  Again, the secret sauce is in the accessories.



Grab a patterned skirt and fill in that white space with a necklace.  The necklace doesn’t have to be as substantial as this one.  It could be a simple colored pendant, too!  Also, easily copy this for fall with a cardigan and boots.


(shop polka dot pencil skirt: option #1option #2option #3)


Another example of pattern and color, but this time without a necklace or scarf.


(shop: black blazer)


I love how a white tee can be dressed up with a blazer and pumps!  Again, I filled the white space with a simple yellow pendant.



Grab your favorite colored pencil skirt, add a statement necklace, and you’re done.  Am I sounding like a broken record yet?  This is the same formula as outfit #4, but the silhouette of the skirt changes it up.  Exchange the wedges for pumps and add a blazer, and I think it’d be pretty work appropriate.



This is the exact same formula as the first outfit–white tee, jeans, and a patterned scarf.  However, it is made completely different just because the jeans are a different color and it’s a different scarf.  Wear it with boots and a cardigan in the fall, and you’ll have the formula for outfit #3 in a new way!


And there you have it.  Hopefully this helps give you some ideas for utilizing your white tee instead of letting it collect dust like mine did for so long.  Dust is not a good accessory.  :)  Now, get to working those white tees!



Thanks so much to Audrey for once again stopping by to share a little of her styling know-how!  For more great stuff from Audrey, see How to Build a Re-mixable Wardrobe and Bringing Your Summer Wardrobe into Fall.  For a list of where you can buy similar items to some seen here, check Where to Buy My Closet Staples.



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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen September 13, 2012 at 8:23 am

Audrey – can you tell us how you “tie” your scarf?


Audrey @ Putting Me Together September 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Hi Jen! I’ve had quite a few people ask me that, but I actually don’t do anything special. It’s just looped around my neck once, with the sides even. The only “special” things I can think of are that I just loosen the loop a bit so that it’s not strangling me, I puff up the material a little, and I might move the hanging pieces more towards the center so that they’re not dangling by my shoulders. I don’t know if that makes sense, so let me know if you have more questions!


Kirsten @ BarkingDogShoes September 13, 2012 at 11:33 pm

New fan to you site! I love the boyfriend cut blazer from Tilly’s you feature here. I think that’s the missing puzzle piece from my wardrobe. Thank you! I recently lost 25 lbs and think that blazer would look great with white tee and my new skinnier jeans–not truly skinny, but fitted for sure.


Audrey @ Putting Me Together September 20, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Congrats on the weight loss, Kirsten! I love the boyfriend cut blazer. It’s so much more comfortable because it’s a little slouchier, and the Tilly’s one is a great price!


bree September 20, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Love the boots! Where did you get those?


Audrey @ Putting Me Together September 20, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Hi Bree! The boots are Dolce Vita from Macy’s. You can find links here: http://www.puttingmetogether.com/p/where-to-buy-my-closet-staples.html


kellie September 20, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Where’s your bag from? I love these outfits!


Jessica October 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Oh my gosh, the v-neck white tee is my staple and I am totally guilty of wearing it with nothing but jeans and a pair of earrings! You’re totally inspiring me :)


Cadence November 15, 2013 at 3:54 am

Great outfits with the white tee! Love how versatile it can be :) It can look classy or casual depending on how you match it. I’ve recently posted on different ways to mix and match white T-shirts, http://dressi.ly/mix-n-match-outfit-ideas-white-tee/ would love to hear comments about it :)


Mrs. Pancakes April 18, 2014 at 7:06 pm

saw this on pinterest and loved the different styles!


Lia Kampman September 22, 2014 at 2:43 pm

I love all your white t -shirt styles! I regularly wear solid colored skirts, but I’ve ventured into patterns as well. And my go-to style is a white top! http://theprettyprofessional.com/2014/09/19/white-ruffled-shirt-polka-dot-skirt-orange-flats/


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