Getting Graphic: How to Style a Graphic Tee


polka dot shorts, graphic tee, yellow purse, jean jacket

I’ve never really been one for the graphic tee trend resurfacing over the past few years… I’ve always found tees with images so much harder to style than ones with patterns, and they often have a grunge feel that’s a little too reminiscent of my goth days (you know, the band tee look that you only wear to concerts). But when I received this graphic (excuse me) tank for my birthday, I fell in love! Unlike a lot of graphic tees, this one has bright colors and a floral pattern. Not to mention, how CUTE is that elephant?! Needless to say, I immediately started brainstorming a fun outfit to go with it.

graphic tee, polka dot shorts, yellow purse, jean jacket

And voila! I ended with this colorful, spring look reminiscent of an artsy Parisian watercolor. This outfit has a lot going on, but all the pieces and colors come together for something unique and, per usual of my style, a little sassy. So how can you create a similar outfit with a tee in your closet? Well, I’m glad you asked. You came to the right place (wink wink).

floral graphic tee, polka dot shorts, orange flatsjean jacket, polka dot shorts, yellow purse, orange flats, spring outfitfloral graphic tee, polka dot shorts, yellow purse, jean jacket

As I kind of hinted at before, having the right graphic tee is half the battle when it comes to creating a look to fit your everyday style. I recommend finding one with lots of colors that you can play up in the rest of your outfit. The image on the tee itself doesn’t have to be girly or floral, but bright colors make it a lot easier to pair it with other, more feminine pieces from your closet.

orange flats, polka dot shorts, turquoise necklacejean jacket, yellow purse, floral graphic tee, polka dot shorts

For an easy layer, throw on a denim jacket to go with everything and to keep you warm during those breezy spring mornings. While a white jean jacket wouldn’t match this particular outfit, it’s another cute option, along with a military jacket for a slightly edgier look. My favorite tip is to add a little pin or brooch to the pocket of your jacket—the bee pins below are seriously the cutest!

bumble bee pins, pink nail polish, turquoise necklacespring outfit, polka dot shorts, colorful spring outfitdenim jacket, navy polka dot shorts, bumble bee pins

To achieve *sassy status* try pairing your graphic tee with another print! Since the tank already has florals, I opted for polka dots instead. I recommend choosing a bold, geometric pattern like dots or stripes to provide a solid looking foundation as a sort of “frame” for your t-shirt. The juxtaposition of an image on your tee next to a bold pattern makes for a super interesting outfit.

floral graphic tee, yellow purse, orange flats, polka dot shorts

And now time for my favorite part—accessorizing! To finish off your fun and funky graphic tee look, add allll the colorful pieces, like a yellow banana-like purse, a turquoise necklace, and poppy orange shoes. That may seem like color overload, but they all mesh well because the tank ties them together, thanks to the graphic! I also styled my hair in double French braids for the perfect funky hairstyle to tie the whole outfit together.

graphic tee, spring outfit, spring look, turquoise necklace, double French braidsjean jacket, floral graphic tee, polka dot shorts, yellow purse, orange shoes

Other ways to style this top (and any graphic tee) include…

  • Half-tucked into jean shorts with a belt, hair down, and sparkly sandals
  • Knotted with black shorts, a choker, a messy bun, and neutral strappy sandals
  • Tucked into skinny jeans with a statement necklace, heels, clutch, and curled hair
  • Knotted with a skirt, flats, jean jacket, and headband

floral graphic tank top, yellow clutch, polka dot shorts, French braids

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I’m so sorry I’ve been absent from the blog lately…I hate missing posts, but sometimes I just can’t get to them! Thankfully I’m feeling much better this week (I was very sick last week) and there’s an exciting guest post coming at ya’ on Thursday. In addition, it was my blogger friend Ada’s birthday this past weekend and she’s sharing a bunch of fun bloggers and outfits on her blog as a sort of “blog birthday party”—you can check out all the looks by adding to the link-up above! Have a great Monday.

Miles of smiles,


White Elephant Blouse: unknown, $25 // Jean Jacket: JCPenney, $19 // Polka Dot Bow Shorts: LC Lauren Conrad via Kohl’s, $36 // Orange Flats: DSW, $7 // Yellow Purse: Charming Charlie, $15

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