Warning: This Post Contains Graphic Content


Image courtesy of Oracle Fox
Written by Peyton Haahr

Graphic tees tick all the boxes. They’re comfortable, versatile, expressive, and pretty much fit everyone’s unique style. And no, this isn’t a new trend. It’s frankly, not even a trend. It’s a style staple. It’s up there with a good pair of jeans or a pair of comfy sneakers. Essential. We’re here to examine the contenders for our favorites, and show you how to level up on your styling game with some unique ways to wear it.

First, we examine the runway contenders. While not all of these are from the most recent of runways, they are styles we’re sure you’ll recognize and may reignite your desire to find one again. Dior led the charge with a female empowerment statement, as white tees came down the catwalk bearing the phrase, “we should all be feminists”. It’s a shirt that has been seen on a variety of celebrities, including blogger Chiara Ferragni. Gucci’s cut tee with artist Coco Capitan’s (find them @cococapitan on Instagram) scrawled writing has been a favorite of Rihanna’s. Even more graphically oriented is Louis Vuitton’s Stranger Things tee, layered over a floral blouse for the ultimate pop-culture juxtaposition.

We think of wearing our graphic tees by themselves, or with a simple jacket thrown over them. Think more like the shirt at Louis Vuitton, and that an interesting hoodie or even a crisp button down can be an unexpected twist on a predictable outfit. If that sounds too out of the box for you – no worries. Find a killer pair of high-waisted jeans that works well with the fit of the shirt, and then throw on a studded leather jacket or a cropped bomber. Finish it with your favorite sneakers. All set.

Dior spring 2017 - Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv
Gucci Fall 2017 Ready-to-wear - Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv
Louis Vuitton spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear Photos Courtesy of Kim Weston Arnold / Indigital.tv

Celeb-watch time. Vintage band t-shirts have been the rage for a while now. While it’s died a little bit, Kendall Jenner seems determined to keep it around (after all, if anyone can, she can). Pairing her vintage graphic tee with eye-catching, leopard print pants, she pulled off a great mix of casual glamour. Yes, maybe these pants may be too daring for the average consumer, but printed pants are a great combo with a graphic tee. They’re definitely a twist on the regular jean or yoga pant addition. Victoria Beckham stepped out in a tongue-in-cheek shirt that said, “fashion stole my smile”, and wore it with slouchy menswear-inspired trousers and dark glasses. The ultimate cool-girl vibes were shown here. Gigi Hadid brought us back to our childhood with a Nickelodeon sweatshirt, in a cropped style with washed jeans and white booties. Cropped graphic pieces are great, and can be worn wonderfully with any style that is high or mid-waisted.

Photos courtesy of Popsugar.com & WhoWhatWear.com

The last step is where to look for the best styles. They may be everywhere, from Forever21 to Dior and Gucci, but finding the right style for you is a little harder. Most of us don’t want another shirt to sit in our closet and get forgotten about for most the year, and this tenant should apply to all of your shopping needs. Our favorite brands at the moment are that of MadeWorn (visit their website madeworn.com) and Re/Done. If you’re looking for high-quality vintage band tees, MadeWorn is your way to go. Just make sure you’re okay with paying upwards of $160 for a basic white tee. Alexa Chung (@alexachungstagram) started her own clothing line recently, and her tailored yet sophisticated styles – including her graphic tees - have won favor among the fashion crowd. Each are quality picks – you can’t go wrong with any of these choices.

Photos Courtesy of @madeworn, @shopredone, @alexachungstagram on Instagram

Graphic tees are a much-needed staple in anyone’s closet – regardless of whether you’re a fashion-follower or not. You can wear them with your favorite jeans or shorts, even a long flowy skirt in a fashionable print. Thrown them on with a more tailored pant a-la-Victoria Beckham, or go full-comfort mode with a tee knotted over yoga pants. Find a shirt that is expressive in a way that fits your style, that shares your opinion, or just plain makes you smile. It’s a win either way.