How to Wear a White T-Shirt #FashionFriday

How to Wear a White T-Shirt

Sometimes I think we get to preoccupied with putting together creative wardrobe combinations that we forget how stunning the basics can be. I used to live in black t-shirts and jeans, and now I rarely think to wear something so basic. But black and denim is such a great look.

Another often overlooked wardrobe essential is the white t-shirt.

I love how crisp and clean a white t-shirt looks against just about any color. White with black is classic and sleek and can be dressed up or down and accessorized in infinite ways.

White with pastels is light and fresh.

White with bold and bright colors is stunning.

And white with denim is the epitome of casual chic.

All leave the door wide open for oodles of accessorizing possibilities, which, by the way, is the key to making the white t-shirt work.

Let’s discuss.

In the photos above, I gathered a bunch of photos of various outfits I’ve worn over the past year where a white t-shirt was a basic component. You can see a theme, I’m sure. Most outfits involve a scarf or statement necklace. A statement handbag is another common theme. The bottoms may be denim, printed, or a solid color. Anything goes with white.


One thing that’s sorely lacking in my examples is a skirt outfit. You know me, I love my pants! But I think a white t-shirt with a pencil skirt and some fun accessories can be a great way to create that super cool juxtaposition with dressy and casual.

white tee with pencil skirt

earrings // bracelet // white t-shirt {similar} // denim pencil skirt // nail polish // green crossbody // pink flats

Here are some tips to get you started.

How to Style a White T-Shirt

1. Pair a white t-shirt with anything. Denim, black, pastels, bolds or brights, prints or solids…. the sky’s the limit!

2. Add a fun accessory or two. Consider a bold necklace, a stack of bracelets, a colorful scarf, a fabulous shoe or a statement handbag.

In the photos below, I chose to go with a scarf for the statement piece on the left and added a coordinating bracelet. On the right, I went for a bold necklace that coordinates with the shorts, and my green bag is a stunning pop of color against the white and coral.

white t-shirt with scarf or statement necklace

In the photos below, the shoes add a fun component to the outfits. I love the yellow wedge platform sandals on the right, plus the bag makes a striking contrast against the classic white and denim. The hot pink sandals on the left are really cute for a casual shoe and coordinate with the necklace I’m wearing.


3. Layer. In cooler weather, layer a denim jacket, black blazer or colorful cardigan over your white t-shirt to add interest.


4. Consider the fit and weight of the t-shirt. Go for a flattering neckline and make sure the t-shirt is fitted without being too tight.

Finding the right weight of material is sometimes challenging. It seems like right now the trend is tissue-thin t-shirts. I prefer my t-shirts to have some weight to them, especially the white ones. I am wearing a CAbi top in a few of the photos above that has a double layer — LOVE that. Banana Republic makes a nice t-shirt called the Timeless Tee. I have it in a bunch of different colors in their tank style, as well as a few in their long-sleeve styles and one v-neck. They have a nice weight to them, and they are fitted without being tight. They wash and wear well too.


They currently make it in crew-neck, v-neck and elbow-length. I particularly like the elbow-length, not only because the arm length is interesting, but also because it has a nice, deep rounded neckline that gives you ample room to add a bold necklace. Which brings me to #5.

5. Consider the neckline. An open neckline is also incredibly slimming and brings attention to your face. I stay away from crew-necks because I don’t find them particularly flattering, and v-necks are rather overdone. So look for a nice open boatneck or U-neck for interest.

What’s your favorite way to dress up a white t-shirt?

For more  fashion for women over 40, sign up to  receive my fashion & beauty digest  in your email inbox for a weekly recap of my fashion and beauty posts!

This is not a sponsored post, however, some links are compensated affiliate links.

Join The Conversation

29 Responses

  1. I recently fell back in love with wearing white t-shirts! Though I’ll admit, I usually make sure I carry a spare shirt just in case I spill my coffee 🙂

  2. Strangely I don’t wear white often. Probably still traumatized from my baby and toddler mama days when white was just an accident waiting to happen.

  3. I couldn’t agree more on the white and black t-shirt. They are classics, you can never go wrong with them. I love all your pairings.

  4. The white tee is a definite staple. Love all the looks you created! You have such a fun shoe collection too!


  5. I love that elbow length tee. I really don’t wear white tees all that much, but I’ve been wearing them a bit more now that I have this belly. They are just so easy to dress up with accessories and my comfortable pixie pants.

  6. I love a white t-shirt and jeans. My favorite combination is white t-shirt, scarf, jeans, and cowboy boots. 🙂 Cowboy boots never really go out of style but aren’t really trending right now, I guess. Anyway, does a white t-shirt that is NOT sheer even exist anymore? I really hate wearing two layers in the summer. some of the review for the BR white elbow sleeve shirt say that it is very sheer. Do you find that to be the case? Thanks for the fresh ideas!

    1. Oh no! I hope they haven’t changed it. I don’t have that one, but I thought it looked cute. I have one from Gap that is a bit too thin for my liking. I was going to order this one from BR. So I will let you know! Or maybe I should go to the store and see for myself before buying.

      1. I’d love to know when you find out…if I ever find a white T with a decent weight and cut, I’m going to buy 12 of them!!!!

  7. Could you possibly provide a link for the double layer white t-shirt that is the CAbi brand? I am not familiar with that line, but as some of the other commenters pointed out, I would love to find a white t-shirt that is not sheer! Thanks for a great post.

  8. Love your looks! I love the basics and I need a good new basic white t-shirt for summer. Will have to check out the Banana Republic tee you recommended. That denim pencil skirt is super cute, too (and your bags…you always have the best bags). 🙂

  9. I love all these tips. T-shirts are my very favorite piece of clothing because you can do SO MUCH with them. I’ve always thought I was rather plain in the fashion department because I almost always reach for solid t-shirts but now I embrace it as being easy and having endless accessorizing possibilities.

  10. You look FABulous!! May I ask how tall you are? You look petite but at the same time really know how to work with it!

    Also I tried to find the double layer white tee you mentioned on CAbi, but I couldn’t find it. Can you give me some more details about it? Thanks 🙂

  11. That double layer tee is old and no longer available. I really wish they would make more like that. I’m 5’5″ so no, not petite, but not super tall either.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close this search box.