How to style distressed T-shirts

Outside of work and occasions, I am a fan of casual, easy-to-wear styles — as seen by my many posts of casual outfits (example, here | here | here) on my blog and also by quick snaps of OOTD on my Instagram. However, I used to not be the biggest fan of distressed T-shirts.

Recently, I saw a T-shirt in one of my most favorite colors, pastel purple, or lavender/lilac on Forever 21. The color alone almost sold me. Because you are reading this post, this obviously means I went ahead and bought it. Besides the color, the price point was good enough to warrant a low risk purchase. Plus it would be a fun challenge to see if I can incorporate it into my wardrobe.

Top:  Forever 21 (similar here | here | here)
Shorts:  Old (similar herehere)
Shoes:  Target (similar here | here)
Backpack:   Leather shop in Greece

A pair of jeans would be an easy and obvious choice to pair with a casual distressed T-shirt. However, I ended up looking a little too ‘bummy’ though I have seen girls who can totally pull it off!

I felt that a nice clean pants with solid colors would go better, hence this woven shorts. Target has one here though I adore this dress shorts here.

The t-shirt I got happened to have raw cut sleeve, so I rolled it up to hide the raw cut and add some cute touch. I *purposely* left one sleeve unfolded so you could see the difference. I forgot to roll both up after taking pictures though. So I was walking around with these half up half down sleeves!! I was still laughing to myself as I wrote this.

My accessories included an array of gold rings, a simple leather backpack, and comfortable slides.

More often than not, I tend to find gold jewelries make everything less casual. I love this cuff I got from J Crew. I wish I would have gotten two! (Superwomen style — cuffs on both arms, anyone?)

It would look dressier with some block heels ballerinas but I was going for more a casual vibe :). I found an almost exact style here or similar from Target here.

I hope these tips (summed up below) will work for you:

  • Go for less distressed (e.g. smaller holes) items or DYI with a T-shirt you do not mind experiment on
  • Pair with a solid color (any neutrals), non-distressed pants
  • Tuck your T-shirt in
  • Roll up your sleeves
  • Accessorize with clean simple accessories.

What are your thoughts on distressed clothing — do you love it or hate it?


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