vintage tshirt

Top 3 Ways to Perfectly Style Your Vintage T-Shirt

Vintage clothing allows you to embrace what is unique about you and make a statement with your wardrobe without saying a thing. Whether you want to flash your ‘80s aesthetic or express a more hippie style, understanding how to put together the perfect vintage look takes a little outfit inspiration.

However, styling your vintage clothing doesn’t mean just copying an outfit that was trending in the last decade. While you can dress to match your aesthetic exactly, just because your vibe is vintage doesn’t mean you don’t pay attention to trends. You can find dozens of ways to style your vintage t-shirt, but choosing a way that frames your style aesthetic may feel tricky.

Just because you like a t-shirt with a vintage look doesn’t mean you have to be vintage from head to toe, and this post gives you an idea of some of the best ways you can pair your shirt with other elements from your wardrobe. So throw open your closet doors or start rummaging thrift store racks to find the perfect pairing for your t-shirt.

vintage tshirt

1. Find Your Look with the Right Pair of Jeans

Wearing jeans and a t-shirt is a classic approach for any style aesthetic, but jeans aren’t just jeans. Walk into any store, and you’re welcomed with a wall of different styles of jeans, all offering a unique look and endless ways you can style them. So depending on your go-to style, you have a lot of options when it comes to jeans. Just consider these looks:

  • Staying on trend with straight-leg jeans: You can faux crop your jeans and add booties for an on-trend look that hints at vintage when you top it with your t-shirt. Depending on your style, you can give your t-shirt a tuck or crop it for a more playful look.
  • Grunge it up with high-waisted jeans: If you like the ‘90s grunge look, your t-shirt and jeans make an iconic look. Avoid making it too obvious—or looking like you’re reliving the old days—by choosing a grunge band shirt for this look. High-waisted jeans with well-placed rips are a must for the grunge look. Feel free to go a bit baggy and belt it up, roll them up, and finish your look with chunky black boots.
  • Go preppy or street with wide-leg jeans: Cropped wide-leg jeans are having a moment, and you can faux crop them by shearing off the bottoms or keep them tailored and prim. Regardless of how your hem is finished, ankle or mid-calf boots keep the look trendy, but a pair of flat slides keep you preppy. If you want more of a street look, platform sneakers should be your go-to.

2. Create a Look with Shorts or Skirts

Although jeans are an obvious go-to styling look for any kind of t-shirt, a vintage t-shirt can elevate your look when paired with shorts or skirts. Shorts offer a similar classic style as jeans, and your skirt can be short or long, so to perfect your look, try these different styles that appeal to your favorite aesthetic:

  • Rock your look with distressed denim shorts: Your shorts can turn out your inner rock star, especially if you like the grunge look. Distressed denim finished off simply with a pair of skater sneakers makes a big statement for warmer weather.
  • Keep it preppy cool with high-waisted shorts: Take what others assume are basic shorts and add your t-shirt to elevate your look. Kick the denim to the curb and go with shorts that have color to seal your style. From beige and army green to basic black, a quick tuck of your shirt or turning your t-shirt into a crop can adjust your look depending on your aesthetic.
  • Pair your t-shirt with a miniskirt for a variety of looks: Your miniskirt can be considered preppy, street, or rocker, depending on the material, color, and how you finish up your look. Leather makes an obvious choice to create a hard-core rocker look, but you can keep it preppy or street by following the same choices you would for shorts.
  • Vary your look with a floral skirt: If you pair your t-shirt with a full and breezy floral skirt and sandals, you can maintain a hippie look if that’s your vibe, but if you have a Y2k aesthetic, you can pair a floral skirt with your shirt as long as your skirt has a vibrant, bright look. You can even make your look preppy with a pair of chunky sneakers. While a floral skirt may seem fairly narrow in terms of options, you can really vary your look.
vintage tshirt

3. Seal Your Style or Mix It Up with Outerwear

These days, outerwear is like another accessory. From puffer coats to trenches and blazers, your outwear choice can really influence your style aesthetic. So whether you want to solidify your look or mix it up, consider how outerwear influences your style:

  • Use a structured blazer: When you pair a blazer with a vintage t-shirt, you have a great style contrast that makes a solid foundation for any look. If you prefer an understated style, stick with jeans and flats, but you can give it a ‘90s vibe by pairing it with shorts.
  • Top it off with a puffer coat: Puffer coats can top your wide-legged pants or jeans but can really make a statement if you add it to a pair of shorts with boots or sneakers. Whether you want to go with a street look or stick with a preppy style, you can use your puffer coat for a variety of looks.

You can take these style ideas for your vintage t-shirt and lay the foundation for a variety of different aesthetics. You can take your preppy look and adjust it to a VSCO girl vibe or ‘90s look, and your rocker look can go heavy ‘70s and take on a hippie aesthetic or a full-on grunge look. Regardless of the look you want to achieve, your t-shirt gives you a unique element in your wardrobe that you can use to make a statement that is uniquely you.

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