were graphic tees always a thing? am i just not remembering? i can recall a lot of those “my [insert relative] went to [insert vacation spot] and all i got was this shirt” shirts, but nothing like the statement-making that is going on today.
sounds like i’m complaining, but i like graphic tees. they can infuse a lot of personality into an otherwise average outfit. they give the viewer a little glimpse into the wearer’s p.o.v., and that’s the same kind of fun we get from bumper stickers and tweets.
the thing is…they aren’t all good. and if you’re going to wear words (or images) across your chest and you are over the age of 12, your graphics better be meaningful. no offense, but a grown woman who is not working on a d.i.y. project in her craft room need not be seen in a tee that says “old navy.” not special.
pick a graphic tee that has some significance to you. maybe it’s one that showcases your alma mater. school pride is a great way to say something about yourself and do a little acceptable bragging. just find one that everyone else doesn’t have. or what about one that highlights an interest or hobby? years ago i passed a woman walking with the best toned arms i’d ever seen. she had on a shirt that said, “this is krav maga.” you can bet i googled that and took a class. another option is a tee that speaks to the zeitgeist in an interesting way. look for one that captures the talk of the times.
my point is that tees with words should be fun, but thoughtful, too. they are kind of like a tattoo without the commitment. so if you just need to throw on a tee and run an errand, make it a solid or make it count.
ok, last thing. do not pair your graphic tee with sweats. give your tee some style by wearing it with something slightly elevated. think good jeans + cute shoes, a fun skirt + heels, or a structured blazer with the sleeves rolled up. the juxtaposition of a casual tee with a more fashionable piece is a winning combination. and if you add a chunky piece of jewelry, well, all the better.