Offbeat Basics: White Graphic Tee

I like basics, but basics that are too basic are just boring. I like my black leggings, and I like my ribbed tanks – don’t get me wrong, basics are important. But in the interest of multitasking, would it be so hard to incorporate some basics that were interesting enough to stand on their own?

This is what I’m calling an Offbeat Basics, mostly because I like clothes that are a little offbeat and dare I say quirky (yep, still hate that word), but I deem them to be completely necessary and therefore essential to any comprehensive wardrobe.

A while ago, I asked you if you were comfy with the idea of wearing shirts with words on them. You said “Yes…ish.

The Look: White Graphic T-Shirts

White t-shirt – the most basic of the basic, right? Graphic white tee might sound boring, but it’s completely not. Well, conditionally. When you throw it on top of a pair of jeans and boring person shoes, yeah, it’s going to be basic and lame. But if you treat it like a neutral in the middle of a cacophony of other exciting stuff, it can add its own little temperament to the mix, which can be really good.

White graphic tees: not just pajamas anymore.

Case in point:

White Graphic Tee (Kendi Everyday)

Kendi Everyday

White Graphic Tee (Kelli Murray)

Kelli Murray (& we love us some Kelli Murray)

Graphic White Tee (Le Happy)

Le Happy

A little bit irreverent, a bit carefree, but it looks anything but sloppy.

White Graphic T-Shirts: What To Buy

White Graphic T-Shirt: ASOS picks

Paul by Paul Smith Apple Head Tee, $74.25; People Tree Organic Cotton Rabbit Tee, $50.63

I’m pretty picky about my graphic tees (which is why there’s a whole category devoted to them), and there needs to be a perfect balance between the design and the content of the shirt. I’m not a fan of predictability, but I am a fan of nostalgia. I’m not interested in brand-hoarding, but I’m okay with a word or two – granted they’re the right words. It needs to be understated, but interesting. My belief is that you shouldn’t have to use your shirt to tell people things about yourself. “Princess,” “Dare Devil,” and “I Miss Tupac” have no place on graphic t-shirts. If you need your clothes to literally spell out your personality, you’re doing fashion and/or your personality wrong. (Unless it’s something funny and self-deprecating like “Scumbag!” or “Drops Things A Lot.“)

This is officially the most thought I’ve ever given to a graphic t-shirt, and definitely the most I’ve ever written about my feelings about them.

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White Graphic T-Shirts from ASOS

L-R: Mango Take Me Away Tee, $28.12; People Tree Organic Cotton Panda Tee, $47.25; Just Female A Tank, $45.57

White Graphic T-Shirts

Clockwise from top left: Bench Short Sleeve Graphic Tee, $8.49; Isotope European Countries Tee, $15; Old Navy Blues Brothers T-Shirt, $14.94; Old Navy Pink Floyd T-Shirt, $14.94

How do you wear graphic t-shirts?
How do you wear your white ones?