Not A Basic Bitch: White Tees to Get Dressed with Ease

feature image from Garance Dore

Since stumbling upon greasers and teddy girls sporting white tees and cuffed jeans, I’ve held a special lil’ spot in my sartorial heart for the classic white t-shirt. Quite universal in it’s delivery, there is something so delightfully simple about it — straight forward and easy, I enjoy the possibilities that only a white tee can give ya!

In lieu of waxing poetic about plain white tees being a blank canvas (to be paired with virtually anything), I’d like to give a shout out to its best bud: the white “graphic” tee. I typically have a rotation of vintage and new ones to roll out of bed and into my day with. In light of warmer weather and longer days, here’s a couple of current favourites!

Although I often pair my t-shirts with easygoing denim, the styling potential is endless. Tucked into trousers, breezy with shorts or high-low with a skirt, this shirt is sort of like the fun-loving, goes-with-anything hero of your wardrobe. Take some cues from these street style babes!

How do you do you, in a tee?

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Lydia O

Lydia Okello is a feminist, body positive, queer personal style blogger. On her website Style is Style, she showcases her panache for bright colors and power clashing. When she isn't pawing over Samantha Pleet collections on Tumblr, she's dreaming about havin' a kitten of her own one day. You can find her on Twitter, Tumblr and on her personal blog.

Lydia has written 64 articles for us.


  1. The white tee is my new favourite look. It’s just so easy and attractive. With a blazer? Skirt? Jeans? Done.

  2. i just bought a white drapey tee the other day! it’s my favorite because it goes with everything

  3. I do all of the outfits in a tee, even fancy grown up lady outfits in a tee. Sexy dirty lady outfits in a tee too.
    Some of it is texture reasons. Some of it is blouses don’t go with sports bras and current manufacturing trends make finding a non-sports bra that fits and doesn’t hurt is a challenge and usually something that needs hand washing. I’m so bad at keeping up with laundry I should list it as a character flaw. So sports bras are my most commonly worn boobie warmer.

    Sexy dirty lady is white tee + black bra and something that is tight or says booty and when I add my black leather vest can become a Pink Lady Outfit
    Grown up lady is an office appropriate dress that would otherwise be unappropriate if I didn’t wear a tee to hide the sports bra or it’s a vest and office appropriate pants.

    Even my Might Be A Vampire Lord outfit also uses a a white tee shirt, well the summer variation does

    I might actually be composed of tee shirts.
    I know my bureau is.

  4. The white Ryan tees (and tanks, for that matter) from Everlane are pretty boss, but I also scooped a more traditional t-shirt version from them – cropped, boxy – that oozes cool.

    Their U- and V-necks are great, too. Can’t beat $15 a pop for cost! Only drawback is limited sizing (and I realize that’s a BIG drawback).

  5. Love that photo of Chloe Sevigny with the trench coat!

    My favorite graphic tee that I’ve ever owned was a super-comfy one with the periodic table of elements on it which I wore until it became ragged, which was a sad day. It may not have been as sexy as some of these tees, but I loved it.

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