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How to Dress Up a T-Shirt

How to Dress Up a T-Shirt

Seven outfit ideas that will change the way you think about your go-to tee.

By Emma Steinbergs

If suits are the sartorial symbol of power and professionalism, T-shirts are clothing’s answer to all things casual and off-duty—or so we’re told. The old rules of dressing may tell us our tees are reserved for running errands and unwinding outside of the office, but pair them with more formal pieces, and you have yourself a quintessentially Power Casual combination that you can wear to work, on the weekend, and nearly anywhere in between. 

Not to brag, but M.M. T-shirts are especially easy to elevate, because they’re some of the best in the business. Made from GOTS-certified organic Peruvian pima cotton in a women-owned factory, each style has a super-soft handfeel and a smooth finish that looks effortlessly polished with joggers and trousers alike. Once you find a cut you like, you’re most likely going to want more than one, so our T-shirt bundle is here to help you stock up: Buy any 2 of our full-price T-shirts and save 10% using code TWOTEES; buy 3+ and save 15% using code THREETEES.

Want to see just how versatile your new tees can be? Scroll to read our four rules of thumb for how to dress up your T-shirts—plus outfit inspiration featuring our two true “T” shirts, the scoopneck Leslie and the V-neck Lee

How to Dress Up a T-shirt

Tip #1: Opt for Tailored Pairings
Pairing your T-shirts with more tailored pieces is a foolproof way to increase your outfit’s formality. Try incorporating a pair of suiting trousers or a structured blazer to create an ensemble that’s balanced both in terms of silhouette and formality. 

Tip #2: Incorporate Elevated Textures
While our best-in-class pima cotton is luxurious in and of itself, mixing it with rich knits and sumptuous materials—like wool, cashmere, and silk—will take your outfit to the next level.

Tip #3: Tuck It In
Tucking in your top minimizes your chances of looking sloppy and maximizes the legginess of your silhouette. For especially relaxed T-shirt styles, like the Leslie and Lee, go with a loose tuck to avoid bunching, or try a French tuck (front tuck) for an effortlessly chic touch. Looking for more tips? Read our story on how to tuck in a shirt.

Tip #4: Don’t Forget to Accessorize
A set of shiny hoops or a pair of patterned flats can reframe your T-shirt as a key component of a thoughtful outfit. We love a minimalist look, but when you’re looking to elevate such a casual essential, you won’t want to skimp on the accessories.

7 Dressed-Up T-Shirt Outfits

Outfit #1

T-Shirt + Textured Jacket

Made from our new boucle knit, the Evangeline jacket looks like a tweed lady jacket but is so much more comfortable. In other words, it’ll get along swimmingly with your comfy yet polished Leslie T-shirt, a classic silhouette with that perfectly relaxed cut you’re always after. Tuck it into the wide-leg, Better Than Denim Milo jeans for a sleek ensemble that’s secretly stretchy.

How to Dress Up a T-Shirt
How to Dress Up a T-Shirt for work

Outfit #2

T-Shirt + Classic Suit

If you wear full suits to work, we recommend adding T-shirts to your rotation of underpinnings. Along with your tailored jacket and tapered trousers, a polished tee—like the V-neck Lee—looks just as put-together as a blouse but feels a tad more laid-back. For a distinctly modern edge, complete the look with white sneakers.

Outfit #3

T-Shirt + Patterned Pairings

Involving pattern is another way you can imbue your T-shirt with instant depth and sophistication. To dress up your casual white T-shirts, try pairing them with timeless patterns, like our check plaid, which is available in our classically tailored Dolly jacket and the matching Whitney skirt.

How to Dress Up a T-Shirt for work
tshirt office outfit

Outfit #4

T-Shirt + Satin Set

It’s time to treat your T-shirts to a night out. A V-neck style in a bold hue, like the Lee in bright indigo, packs a punch and goes well with swankier styles like the Everyday Satin Hyo jacket. To get all dolled up, add in the matching Penny skirt and the heeled Ella sandals.

Outfit #5

T-Shirt + Elegant Culotte

The Leslie T-shirt is known for its loose, easy cut, meaning more dramatically shaped pairings will stand out in contrast. The Jennimai jardigan features especially clean lines, while the Zhou culottes have a swingy, wide-leg silhouette that adds elegance and movement to your top half.

tshirt office wear
How to Dress Up a T-Shirt

Outfit #6

T-Shirt + Tailored Trouser

Clearly, we believe that tossing on a jacket is one of the best ways to dress up your T-shirts. But wear a pair of impeccably tailored suiting trousers, and your tees can hold their own. The Horton is a particularly versatile pant we find ourselves wearing even on the weekend, and you can French-tuck the Leslie T-shirt into the front for an effortless vibe. To further elevate the look, add a bold belt and leather pumps.

Outfit #7

T-Shirt + Silk Slip Skirt

A slightly boxy T-shirt plus a silk slip skirt is one of our favorite Power Casual juxtapositions. Finish the look with sneakers when you want to lean into this combination’s casual side, or opt for heels and glitzy earrings when you need to dress it up.

T-Shirt + Silk Slip Skirt outfit

Written By

Emma Steinbergs

Emma is M.M.LaFleur's Brand Manager. She previously worked as an M.M. stylist and still loves thinking through styling challenges and solutions for customers.

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