What a Tee-se: The Men’s Guide To Graphic T-shirts


Quirky catchphrases, ooh-inducing prints, artsy designs. Graphic T-shirts have metamorphosed into closet essentials, offering an offbeat respite from starched shirts and structured pantsuits. But printed tees are not easy to pull off, as seen on dozens of not-so-dapper men every day. Let’s face it, badly styled graphic T-shirts make for a ensemble worthy of a man-child; we sure hope that’s not what you have in mind when you put on your favourite superhero tee. Here’s the thing: wear it right.

What to wear

  • Read the T-shirt. We mean it! The worst kinds of graphic tees are usually those with stupid or offensive catchphrases.
  • Stripes, subtle checks, colour blocking, discreet logos, and monochromes offer an understated take on printed T-shirts.
  • Picking a bold graphic? Make sure the background is neutral or understated so that the print pops without looking like an eyesore.

Where to wear

  • Unless you work in a very casual environment, crew and V-neck tees are entirely limits for office. Don’t wear them even on casual Fridays.
  • Graphic T-shirts work best in a casual setting. Think beach getaways, coffee breaks with friends, or a hipster party.
  • Keep edgy, over-the-top prints for rock concerts and all-night gigs.

How to wear

  • Pair with a slim-fit rolled up pair of jeans, minimal watch, and sneakers/boots for an everyday style statement.
  • An on-trend bomber jacket is perfect overlay for even the most boisterous tee.
  • Coordinate a pair of plain bottoms with the base colour of your tee for a balanced ensemble. Take your ques from designer Sounak Sen Barat.
  • Looking for some sports luxe inspo? Pick a pair of plain or subtly textured joggers.
  • Stay away from added accessories—wristbands, super chunky belts.
  • Take the eclectic route. Pick a long line instead of regular length tees or pair a printed number with wide-legged trousers.
  • Stay away from skinny silhouettes. A beer belly hanging out through a body-skimming tee is not a great sight.
  • Pairing graphic T-shirts with blazers? Pick a relaxed blazer and pair with minimal graphics or small all-over prints.


The popularity of graphic T-shirts has made this menswear item a closet staple. Keep a few basic styling rules in mind, and you can wear these bold tees to your heart’s content without resembling a child. Parental guidance not advised.

Shop graphic tees on elanstreet.

Featured image courtesy Burton Menswear/PR Shots.

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