Let’s start by getting one thing straight: I’m usually not one to follow trends. But this summer, the T-shirt dress has been an exception. Like pimples appearing on a pubescent middle school boy’s face (or like Instagram photos of coffee and sushi, if you’d like a less graphic comparison), these dresses are literally everywhere. Urban Outfitters, American Eagle and H&M are just a few of the stores that sell these bad boys.
T-shirt dresses are the epitome of simple and versatile—a blank canvas of sorts. Just like the name implies, they’re basically oversized T-shirts. You might be thinking to yourself, Why the eff would I pay, like, $25 for an oversized Hanes T-shirt?? Trust me, those were my exact thoughts at first because I’m on that college student budget, yo.
But then I realized that the options are endless when it comes to crafting an outfit around a T-shirt dress, making it a worthy investment. Whether you’re hustlin’ your way through the streets of NYC or longboarding down a beachy boardwalk in Florida, you seriously need one of these in your closet.
Looking for some ~inspiration~ to help you decide how to wear yours? Don’t fret, fellow 20something—I’ve got your back.
1. Layer on a flannel
Flannels during the summer? Yes, it’s a thing… in my world, at least. Wear a flannel with skateboarding sneakers like Vans or Nike SBs (or white Converse if you’re feeling #basic), and you’ve got yourself an edgy tomboy look. Throw on a snapback to top it off if you’re feelin’ extra rad when you wake up.
Wear this look for: rainy days spent studying in a coffee shop or long days of exploring a new city
2. Wear another shirt on top
If you really want to get creative and think outside the box, try throwing a contrasting T-shirt over your dress for double the T-shirt action. The best part about this look? It’s the perfect way to wear the same dress two (or three… or four) times in the same week and get away with it. Yassss.
Wear this look for: a day of shopping (a.k.a. making your bank account cry)
3. Keep it simple
Sometimes keeping an outfit simple and low-key is the name of the game. This look is personally hard for me to master because I’m always tempted to throw on another layer or statement necklace, but more power to you if you can rock this look.
Wear this look for: a day at your summer internship, but only if your office is hip and doesn’t require that whole business casual thing
4. Add some denim
Never underestimate the power of a little denim. Whether it’s an oversized button-down shirt or a distressed vest, you can never go wrong when you add denim touches to an outfit. Rock a boho embellished bag with this look, and you’re golden.
Wear this look for: a lunch date with a gal pal or a casual dinner date with a new summer fling
5. Get fancy shmancy
While T-shirt dresses fall on the more casual side, they can be dressed up for a night out with the proper accessories and lots of confidence. If you look and act as if you’re wearing a $100 dress (when really it could pass for an oversized T-shirt from the men’s section of Target), you’re good to go. #werk
Wear this look for: mimosa-filled mornings spent at brunch or vodka-filled nights spent on a rooftop bar
6. Add a floppy hat
Floppy hats are an awesome way to protect yourself from the sun while staying chic and fashionable. Don’t go cray cray and get one of those huge floppy hats you wear at the beach. Keep the size within reason, and pair it with a fringe backpack and ankle-strap flats for a super cute daytime look.
Wear this look for: a day of hanging out at the weekend farmer’s market or people-watching in a park
With the right inspiration and accessories, you can take a T-shirt dress from “Hi, I’m a 5-year-old boy drowning in my dad’s shirt” to “Yo, I’m a bad ass bit** killin’ the T-shirt dress game.” No matter how you wear it, be sure to slip on a pair of spandex shorts underneath unless you want to have a few Marilyn Monroe moments while strutting on the streets. Nothing kills your vibe like a wind gust that reveals a little too much. Unless you’re into that kinda thing… in that case, YGG.