Wearing the Oversized T-Shirt

Just when you thought oversized pieces were limited to flannel, dress shirts and pajama clothes, the t-shirt returned to stake its claim on breezy summertime options and provide the perfect solution to I’m bloated today “ what do I wear? But of course, seemingly simple items are not always so straight-forward, so in order to help you look your finest, here’s our guide to the oversized t-shirt.


Because you wouldn’t wear an extra large men’s flannel (regardless of how 90s or grunge you may be, don’t “ don’t you dare), it’s key to find a style that fits you well regardless of its oversized connotations. As for what that means: stay away from baggy sleeves with copious length since a fitted neck will only make it seem like you’re wearing hand-me-downs. And if you’ve thrifted a unique retro number? Consider cutting the neck for an off-the-shoulder style and roll up the sleeves for a laid-back vibe. Just remember that if the underarms droop or your silhouette’s lost, it’s time to find a new style.

Get the perfect fit with American Apparel’s El Salvador Lace Tee, $45.

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Beware the Novelty

True, an oversized t-shirt is a novelty unto itself, but unless you want to look like a thrift session gone awry (and we’ve all been there), it’s important to scale down the novelty if your shirt borders on a dress. Abide by a simple rule: the larger the shirt, the less the LOL, so if you’ve found a one-of-a-kind band or wolf deco t-shirt, make sure it’s not falling off or belted for kitsch overload. Less is more, so if your style is defined by bold patterns or bright designs, couple with neutrals and Oxford shoes.

Make a statement with Urban Outfitters’ Oversized Geo Striped Tee, $19.99.

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Start Small

We understand the irony of using small in an oversized how-to, but if you’re not sure about donning a novelty, you may want to spend less or invest in a neutral style that’s less flashy or head turning. If you’re not sold on length, check out H&M’s selection of crop tops, or even American Apparel’s solid t-shirts that you can top with a vest or denim jacket. And if price has you worried? Head to a Value Village or Salvation Army: not only can you find some retro band tees, but you’ll also spend minimal on a piece that’s meant to incredibly stress-free.

Stick to H&M’s Broderie Anglaise Crop Top for a basic look, $29.95.

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Do vs. Don’t

Oversized t-shirts can conjure up images of painting the house or 1980s don’ts, but if you’re hoping to avoid the Linda in The Wedding Singer look of 1998, be sure to wear your t-shirt as a balanced part of a complete outfit, not its focal point. By pairing high-waisted skinny shorts, riding boots and a white leather bomber with a black t-oversize tee, you’re building an ensemble as opposed to hiding behind something too large “ which is especially risky on days when we don’t want any attention brought to our middles.

Pair your oversized t-shirt with American Eagle’s Vintage Denim High-Waisted Shorts, on sale for $24.95.

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Tags: band tees, heels, Leggings, oversized t-shirt, spring 2011, spring trends, thrifting, trends, wearing a t-shirt

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