Trend Report: Graphic T-shirtsOne of the things we truly cherish about clothes is their ability to take you back to a specific time and place. Much like hearing a particular song or smelling a certain scent, key pieces can transport you—consider it a garment-induced memory, if you will. We find this especially easy to do with graphic t-shirts. When perusing our personal stockpile of tees, we’ll instantly return to the halls of our junior high school, where we rocked our dearest Strawberry Shortcake tee, or the mosh-pits of our favorite nineties concerts, where everyone was clad in grungy, album-cover emblazoned shirts. Nostalgic feelings aside, we have noticed that a wave of style-inclined celebrities are sporting similarly visual graphic tees, and we felt happily obliged to call them out in today’s trend report.
At first glance, the graphic tee seems almost self-explanatory—throw it on over some jeans, slip on your trusted Chucks ($35), and go! Demi Lovato demonstrated this cute and laidback approach when she wore her Ozzy Osbourne tee on Good Morning America a few weeks ago. Chloe Sevigny also took the carefree route with this trend while running errands in New York last month. She showcased her support for the Mets through a graphic jersey worn with cutoff jean shorts and Tara Subkoff’s Gladiator Sandals.
Though a graphic tee is typically associated with easygoing outfits, with a little creativity you can elevate this piece and make it part of a fashion-forward look. For example, the lovely Miss Emma Roberts, seen here shopping in Dublin, achieved superb results by tucking a Bruce Springsteen Burnout Tee ($24.99) into J Brand Skinny Leg Jeans ($165), and adding a black Donna Karan belt, Frye’s Veronica Slouch BootsWhips Flat Gladiator Boots ($2100), and a studded Givenchy Overnight Shoulder Bag. Olsen added interest to her outfit by wearing a number of chunky rings and tying a plaid shirt around her waist. ($328), and Sergio Rossi Compact Clutch ($840, 212.956.3303). One of our favorite takes on the trend was illustrated by Mary-Kate Olsen (surprise, surprise) while out and about in Hollywood wearing a vintage Kenny Rogers tee with a black mini-skirt, Azzedine Alaia
As if we didn’t have enough celebrity style evidence to reinforce this report, we noticed that Rihanna is also on-board for the movement. The singer rocked a Mickey Mouse Tee from Forever 21 at the Barbados airport earlier this month. While her exact shirt is no longer available, you can purchase her Forever 21 Shelly Striped Racerback Vest ($20) and an Urban Outfitters’ Western Mickey Crew ($28) like hers now. As for the rest of Rihanna’s outfit, she chose a pair of Corpus Alpha’s Cigarette Leg Jeans in Shadow ($165) and completed her ensemble with a fabulous pair of Christian Louboutin Pigalle Point-Toe Pumps ($585).
As customary, we examined the runways for verification of this trend. We were pleasantly surprised to discover the flock of designers who featured this garment in their fall collections. Our favorites included the David Bowie T-Shirt ($295, 212.965.8000) seen at the D&G show, the aforementioned Off The Deep End Tee ($68) from Marc by Marc Jacobs, and the Soledad Singlet Graphic Tee ($99, 212.334.9772) that turned up on the Miss Sixty catwalk. The designer shirts are fantastic, but they are a bit pricey, so we found a variety of inexpensive options for you to explore! —Jessica Amento
1. Junk Food Blondie Tee ($71) From the moment we first heard The Tide is High, Blondie has continuously held a special place in our hearts. We plan on outwardly wearing our affections with this perfectly broken-in, vintage-style print shirt.
2. 291 Spirit Deep V T-Shirt ($82) What better way to shamelessly display your thoughts to the world than via a great slogan shirt? Have fun styling this one with layers of chain necklaces, pyramid-studded bangles, or other thoughtfully chosen accessories.
3. Alloy Vintage Batman Tee ($27) The Dark Knight left us all a little Batman-obsessed, so we couldn’t overlook this sweet Alloy find. The vintage wash gives it a worn-in feel, and we suggest pairing it with some thrashed jeans.
4. dEliA’s Nirvana Tee ($29) Celebrate this tee’s ultra-cool color palette by exposing it to the city lights on a night out with friends! It’s just begging to be dressed up; we’d wear it with a black mini-skirt, patterned tights, and extreme high heels.
5. Wet Seal Love Neon Tank ($12) The graphic trend encompasses tank tops, as well! Soak up the remaining summer rays in this lightweight neon tank. For an extremely striking eighties effect, paint your nails neon and bust out your bright shades.
6. Old Navy Destination Graphic Tee ($15) Even if you weren’t born in 1982 and you’re not from New York, we still think you should add this groovy tee to your closet. It just might be our favorite, and it comes with an affordable price tag!