It happens to us all. That moment when we realize we feel frumpy because we’re wearing the same basic t-shirt on repeat. Stop judging yourself though and feel inspired. T-shirts are God’s gift to moms and working women everywhere. With a few simple tweaks and a focus on the right pieces, you can quickly and effortlessly dress up your frumpy old t-shirt and look like a stunner as you head out the door.
First things first. Always invest in quality clothing and apparel. Whether that is thrifted, second-hand from a consignment shop, or whether you’ve saved up and made a larger purchase…styling all comes down to the individual quality of each piece you own.
If you were to take the same outfit I styled above and swap each piece for items of lower quality and less uniqueness, you would not look as put together. I promise.
You have to start shifting your focus away from fast fashion if you want to look better with fewer quality garments and have a defined style that makes you feel truly unique.
How to instantly dress up a t-shirt
Think of it like cooking.
You can make mac and cheese out of a box and feel like crap or you can choose organic whole wheat pasta with organic cheese and cream with herbs, spices, and just the right amount of salt.
Clothing is the same way. It may seem like a blazer is a blazer is a blazer. Though it’s not. Tailoring, fabric, weight, fit and construction all matter. If you make a basic outfit out of the most unique, gorgeous, and well-made items you will look completely different as compared to an outfit styled with things from a big retail chain.
The good news is that it’s so insanely simple to choose high-quality items that are so unique and beautiful, you’ll never feel frumpy or board again!
one / / Madewell Hand-to-Hand Pendant
Start with unique and simple jewelry. Less is more, especially if you’re trying to save time! Focus on one item of jewelry, to begin with.
To instantly dress up a t-shirt just pop on a beautiful necklace, bandana, or long flowing scarf.
Resist the urge to swaddle the scarf around your neck. Keep things flowing long, or neatly tied up. Never in between. It’s not flattering although you may feel like you’re comfortably hiding.
Go for unique items that are simple and interesting, like this hand charm necklace from Madewell.
You can find simple jewelry like this at consignment shops and thrift stores as well.
two / / Everlane Oversized Blazer
To instantly dress up a t-shirt you must have a classic blazer. Must, must, must.
In fact, this kind of blazer will do so much heavy lifting in your wardrobe I believe it is a staple piece to have in your capsule closet.
Choose something that has quality tailoring and classic lines. Try to avoid wool poly blends. And although it’s harder to find these days, see if you can get a cotton lining rather than polyester. I like the style of this blazer from Everlane.
three / / Muji Organic Cotton Corduroys
Corduroys are almost slacks in my mind. They’re like one step up from jeans in a way.
Are pants or jeans? No one knows, so they’re fair game for workwear or for casual wear. You can easily wear a darker color of corduroys or stick with a lighter color on the bottom. I myself would wear something darker, like a dark brown, navy, or maroon.
If it were casual Friday or if you could easily wear jeans, this would be an easy swap for corduroys. Another great option for a bottom here would be to wear a shorter skirt with tights. One swap = a totally different outfit.
Likewise, if you’re not a skinny jeans or straight leg kind of woman, boot cut, ankle length, or wide leg jeans would also look great! Focus on a fit and combination that works for you, but always stick with quality manufacturing.
I like these organic cotton corduroys from Muji, a Japanese brand I can’t stop drooling over.
four / / Nisolo Dari Boot
What you absolutely have to appreciate is that having the right pair of shoes will work wonders for your overall style.
Guys! I’m serious. Can we say Carrie Bradshaw! You have to do it. You have to start looking at every element of your outfit with new eyes. Think about how easy it is to put on shoes as you’re rushing to head out the door. It takes no time at all.
So imagine slipping on your jeans or corduroys, throwing on your favorite t-shirt, tossing a jacket over your arm, and then in a mad dash popping your fancy boots on and rushing out the door. That basically describes most of my mornings.
I don’t have time to worry about what I look like. I just need to look good, and I bet you feel the same exact way. When you have things that work for you, that last, and that go with everything you own you don’t need much in terms of quantity and you won’t spend hours wondering what to wear.
I just works!
I think I might need to save up for these boots from Nisolo. They’re based in Nashville and are an ethical brand. Gah gah. Drooling some more over here.
five // Your Favorite T-Shirt
Although this t-shirt is from Clare V. you can imagine your own favorite t-shirt in this spot.
“Every mom counts” is what this t-shirt says in French. So I’m kind of a fan of it. But your t-shirt doesn’t have to have anything on it. It can be a basic grey, white, black, cream, or even stripped. Do what works for you. Work with what you have.
PS, you don’t have to go out and buy all new things. That’s not the point of these Style Edits. What I’m trying to show is how you can use what you already have to create new looks. But, over time, you can slowly add in new items, swap out for old, or replace what you want.
Take it one step at a time.