A white t-shirt is a definite staple in any closet. It’s classic and timeless. Plus, the versatility of the color white means that it will match with any color or pattern you throw at it.  

It’s one of the many pieces of clothing that everyone adores and owns, due to numerous reasons. For one they’re comfy. The cotton fabric is light and breezy. So when you wear a white t-shirt, it adds depth to your outfit. It doesn’t feel like a heater is strapped on you. 

Secondly, a white t-shirt goes with anything and everything. You can mix and match it with whatever. Another bonus about white tees is that it’s good for just about any fashion crisis. Wearing an outfit that’s a little too plain, add a white tee. INSTANT OOMPH!! Wearing an outfit with too much going on, add a white tee. INSTANT CALMING EFFECT.

Not only that, if you look at any branch of fashion you will also find our lovely friend, THE WHITE T-SHIRT.  Why? Because it is THE MOST versatile piece of clothing ever. And that is a fact that everyone will agree with.

Back to Basics.

” Its very plainness, after all, leaves room for self-invention…” – Laird Borrelli-Persson, Vogue.

(Borrelli-Persson 2017) 

A white t-shirt is every fashionistas best friend. Hell, I don’t normally wear t-shirts and even I love my white tee. It makes me feel light and awake. Also whenever I wear it, I feel so cozy regardless of the layers that I normally wear. Which, as a hijabi and modest fashionista, is practically ALL the time.

Similar to a blank canvas,  a white t-shirt is inviting and universal. It has roots all over. From preppy girl to grunge fashion.  The plainness that it has, is a superpower that not many pieces have these days. 

Personally, I love the simplicity of it. Nowadays we often want to stand out so much that we forget to appreciate the basics. We want to be unique yet we are scared to embrace simplicity. It’s quite sad. We have formed the opinion that basic equals boring and normal. When in reality it’s the exact opposite. 

A Balancing Act.

When we were younger our parents always chose what we wore. That’s why when we became teens we refused to be like what people want us to be. We strive to be different. Unique in every sense. 

I believe that in this day and age, true uniqueness is the ability to connect with your roots. In the fashion industry, a white t-shirt – though it is viewed as “BASIC” – is one of the many roots that has helped fashion evolve.

The trick to being “different” is being able to take something so basic and making it yours. Owning a white t-shirt and knowing how to incorporate it into your style is like owning the elder wand (peep the Harry Potter reference). 

Regardless of what your style is, if you look into its fashion roots I assure you that the white tee will be found. The only difference is that each fashion icon learned to use the power of the white tee to fit them and their style.

It’s definitely hard to make something you. Especially, when it is so much easier to be like everyone else. Here’s a pro tip: connect to your roots. 

Connecting with Our Roots

For me, my roots lie in both my Filipino and Lebanese culture. As well as my religion. This means that I do my best to wear modest clothing because as a Muslim, I am automatically representing my religion simply by wearing my hijab (headscarf). Now don’t start thinking ” Oh, she can’t possibly be fashionable while being modest.” or ” Poor her she must have really strict parents.” 

Contrary to what most people think about hijabis especially girls who wear their hijab from a young age we aren’t oppressed nor are we forced. We choose to wear our hijab because it is what liberates us.

Anyways, as you can see due to my connection to both my religion and culture I choose to integrate my beliefs in my fashion sense. It is a very noticeable fact. From the way, I wear my hijab. To the fact that I don’t wear pants in public. And how I try to always keep my chest covered. 

Now that doesn’t mean that I can’t be fashionable. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. What people see as a barrier to being fashionable. I see it as a challenge. Who doesn’t love a challenge?

Outfits Incorporated.

Here are a few ways that I have overcome the challenge of being fashionable while staying true to my roots. Plus incorporating our lovely friend the White t-shirt. 

One shirt. Four outfits.

I was able to create four completely unique outfits ALL while incorporating a white t-shirt.

Outfit #1 – Classy Me

Pairing a white t-shirt with a crisp blazer and jersey skirt can help you achieve a classy and business casual look. All at the SAME time. Plus you still have room to tweak the outfit to better suit you. The black and white color palette means that you can be a little funky by adding a bold lip color or a bright-colored purse.

Outfit #2 – Sporty Me

A jersey dress + white t-shirt + jean shirt = sporty fun. Pairing this outfit with your favorite kicks and a baseball cap will make you ready for any outdoor adventure. The jersey dress is light and stretchy that even when paired with a white t-shirt for fun will still make you fashionable & sporty.

Outfit #3 – Girly Me

Floral and jean patterns are my absolute favorite combo. The only thing that makes that combo even better is the pop that a white tee brings. This outfit goes great with a pair of black flats. The colors that the floral skirt brings mean that you can pair this match up with a range of colors. You can choose to go for a nude more natural makeup look. Or you can choose to do a more vibrant but subtle makeup look. Regardless of what you choose, you will look girly but down to earth. 

Outfit #4 – Funky Me

I LOVE a good leather jacket. It is by far my favorite item in my closet. Pairing it with a nice, comfy, white shirt and a patterned skirt just makes it even better. The funky patterns that the skirt has will help add life to the outfit while giving off a punk rocker kinda vibe. It also gives you a chance to complete the look with either a bold hijab color – like the red I am wearing – paired with a nude lip or go with a black hijab color and pair it with a bold lip. Either way, you look ready for a night out.

It’s really amazing what you’re able to create when you connect to your roots. Not only are you more grounded, but you learn to remain true to who you are.

Another cool thing about this is that you learn to find the beauty in simplicity and minimalism

Staying True to You

Remember that there is absolutely nothing wrong with mimicking your fashion icon. But just remember not to compromise your values and integrity to fit in. Just like a white t-shirt is a blank canvas. So is every day you’re alive.

Learning to stay true to ourselves is something that we all struggle with. By practicing with small things, staying true to yourself soon becomes second nature.

Just starting with learning how to style a white tee to fit who you are will do a lot. You slowly learn to value your opinion once again. Not only that but you learn to appreciate yourself and all your boundaries much more. 

Be it because you choose to match your white t-shirt with that leopard print skirt and leather jacket just cause. Or you choose to match your plain white tee with the super floral dress and jacket cause you like layering. You’ll slowly start to see how you are getting back in touch with who you are and not who people want you to be.

Society will drag you down. That much is true. So unless you know who you are and are 100% sure of that fact it will be hard. Standing by what you think looks cute despite the opinions of others is the first step towards living – instead of just surviving.

Endings with New Beginnings.

White t-shirts are the gateway to numerous possibilities. They teach us to make our styles our own. Not only that but they help keep us grounded.

Pairing a white tee with different patterns and colors is always a fun experience. It opens your eyes to the different combinations that have yet to be tried. It allows us to better understand what suits us and what doesn’t.

Plus, a white t-shirt grants us the superpower to be unique in our own sense. We learn to appreciate where we come from and how we portray our roots. To understanding the beauty in the basics around us.

My white t-shirt has become one of my go-to pieces. How about you? Let me know how you pair your white t-shirts in the comments below.

Until next time.

XOXO Ayah <3