How to Style a Plain White Tee Shirt After 50: 12 Looks

Last Updated on July 5, 2024 by Candi Randolph

Is there anything more versatile than a white t-shirt? It’s like the unsung hero of our wardrobes—always there, ready to save the day. Whether you’re heading to a casual brunch, a business meeting, or a night out, this simple piece can be transformed into countless stylish outfits.

The humble white t-shirt has come a long way from its origins as an undergarment. Today, it’s a fashion staple that can be dressed up or down, making it an absolute must-have in every wardrobe. It’s the blank canvas that allows your creativity to shine, offering endless possibilities for creating looks that are chic, comfortable, and completely you.

4 simple ways to style a white t-shirt after 50

In this post, we’ll explore 12 (give or take a couple!) fabulous ways to style a white t-shirt, perfect for women over 50 who want to look effortlessly stylish. You’ll see the outfits I created with two styles of a white t-shirt – they’re sprinkled throughout the post along with shopping information for some of the pieces. It was fun to see how many unique looks I could create by shopping my closet!

But before we get into the outfits, let’s talk a bit about why the white t-shirt is such a timeless piece and how to choose the perfect one for you. From finding the right fit to maintaining its crisp whiteness, I’ve got you covered.

Body Positivity and Confidence

how to style a plain white tee shirt after 50 - a dressier look with midi skirt
Dress up the t-shirt with a floral midi skirt

Fashion is not just about clothes; it’s about feeling good in what you wear. A white t-shirt might be a simple piece, but it’s a powerful tool for expressing your unique style and embracing your body with confidence. Here’s how to rock that white t-shirt with positivity and pride:

Embrace Your Body Shape

  1. Celebrate Your Curves: A white t-shirt can highlight your curves in the most flattering way. Opt for styles that accentuate your waist or pair it with high-waisted bottoms to show off your silhouette.
  2. Find Your Perfect Fit: The right fit can make all the difference. Whether you prefer a relaxed, boyfriend-style tee or a more fitted cut, choose what makes you feel comfortable and confident. Don’t be afraid to try different styles until you find the one that feels just right.
  3. Accentuate Your Best Features: Use your white t-shirt to draw attention to your favorite features. If you love your arms (I know…for most of us that’s not an option), try a sleeveless or cap-sleeve tee. If you want to highlight your neckline, go for a V-neck or scoop neck.

Style with Confidence

  1. Mix and Match: Experiment with different combinations and see what makes you feel your best. Pair your white t-shirt with everything from jeans to skirts to dress pants. The versatility of a white t-shirt means you can adapt it to any occasion, reflecting your personal style.
  2. Layer It Up: Layering can add dimension to your outfit and boost your confidence. Throw on a blazer for a sophisticated look, a denim jacket for casual cool, or a cozy cardigan for comfort.
  3. Accessorize Boldly: Don’t be shy with accessories. A statement necklace, a colorful scarf, or a pair of bold earrings can transform your white t-shirt from basic to fabulous. Accessories are a great way to express your personality and add a touch of flair to your outfit.

Embracing Age with Style

  1. Age-Appropriate Chic: Style isn’t confined to any age. Women over 50 can rock a white t-shirt just as fabulously as anyone else. Opt for classic, elegant pieces that make you feel sophisticated and chic.
  2. Confidence is Key: The most important accessory is confidence. Wear your white t-shirt with pride, knowing that your style reflects your individuality and strength. Confidence comes from within, and when you feel good, it shows.
A colorful fringed scarf and wedge sandals elevates this look with the V-neck tee
A colorful fringed scarf and wedge sandals elevates this look with the V-neck tee

Positive Mindset

  1. Be Kind to Yourself: Fashion should be fun, not stressful. Don’t worry about fitting into certain trends or sizes. What matters most is how you feel in your clothes. Be kind to yourself and choose what makes you happy.
  2. Celebrate Your Uniqueness: Your style is a reflection of who you are. Celebrate your uniqueness and let your white t-shirt be a canvas for your personal expression. There’s no right or wrong way to wear it—just your way.

By embracing body positivity and confidence, you can turn a simple white t-shirt into a powerful statement of self-love and style. Remember, fashion is about more than just clothes; it’s about celebrating who you are and feeling good in your own skin.

Choosing the Right White T-Shirt

add a vest and/or sweater to a simple t-shirt and skort outfit for unique looks
Two unique looks with this casual skort create a duo of outfits

Selecting the perfect white t-shirt might seem straightforward, but a few key considerations can make all the difference in how it looks and feels. Here are some tips to help you choose the right one:

Fit and Fabric

  1. Fit Matters: The fit of your white t-shirt can change the entire vibe of your outfit. A relaxed, slightly oversized fit is great for a laid-back, casual look, while a fitted t-shirt can be more polished and chic. Try on a few styles to see what flatters your body shape best.
  2. Fabric Choice: The fabric of your t-shirt affects both comfort and appearance. A 100% cotton t-shirt is breathable and soft, perfect for everyday wear. If you prefer a bit of stretch, look for a blend with a small percentage of elastane or spandex. For a more luxurious feel, consider fabrics like linen or bamboo.

Necklines and Sleeves

  1. Neckline Options: Different necklines can create different effects:
    • Crew Neck: This classic style is versatile and universally flattering.
    • V-Neck: A V-neck elongates the neck and can be more flattering for those with a larger bust.
    • Scoop Neck: This softer, rounded neckline can be very feminine and flattering. This is almost always my choice.
  2. Sleeve Lengths: Consider the sleeve length that best suits your style and the season:
    • Short Sleeves: Perfect for warmer weather and layering.
    • Long Sleeves: Great for cooler days and can be rolled up for a casual look.
    • Sleeveless: Ideal for hot days or as a base layer under jackets and cardigans.
add some sparkle to take your t-shirt out for the evening
Take your t-shirt out for the evening with a beaded sparkly vest and necklace, and fun platform sandals

Quality and Details

  1. Seam and Stitching: Pay attention to the seams and stitching. A well-made t-shirt will have neat, even stitches and durable seams that won’t come apart easily. Check the hem and neckline for reinforcement.
  2. Transparency: Make sure the fabric isn’t too sheer, unless that’s the look you’re going for. A slightly thicker fabric can offer more coverage and a more polished appearance.

Style Versatility

  1. Versatile Pieces: Look for a white t-shirt that can be styled in multiple ways. A plain, no-logo t-shirt is often the most versatile, allowing you to dress it up or down as needed.

Sustainability and Ethics

  1. Ethical Choices: Consider brands that prioritize ethical manufacturing practices and sustainable materials. Not only will you feel good about your purchase, but these t-shirts are often higher in quality and last longer.

Choosing the right white t-shirt is about finding a balance between comfort, fit, and style. By paying attention to these details, you’ll ensure that your white t-shirt becomes a reliable and stylish foundation for countless outfits. 

Basic Care and Maintenance

A simple short-sleeved jean shirt creates a complete-looking outfit with light blue jeans
A simple short-sleeved jean shirt creates a complete-looking outfit with light blue jeans

Keeping your white t-shirt looking fresh and pristine can be a bit of a challenge, but with the right care, you can maintain its bright appearance and extend its life. Here are some tips and tricks for basic care and maintenance:

Washing Tips

  1. Wash Separately: Always wash your white t-shirts separately from colored items. Even a small amount of dye from other clothes can cause discoloration.
  2. Cold Water Wash: Use cold water to prevent shrinking and to maintain the fabric’s integrity. Cold water also helps in preserving the bright white color.
  3. Gentle Cycle: Choose the gentle cycle on your washing machine to reduce wear and tear on the fabric. This is especially important for delicate fabrics like linen or those with added stretch.
  4. Mild Detergents: Opt for a mild detergent that is free from bleach and harsh chemicals. These can damage the fibers over time and cause yellowing.

Drying Tips

  1. Air Drying: Whenever possible, air dry your white t-shirts. Lay them flat on a clean towel or hang them on a drying rack. Avoid direct sunlight as it can cause yellowing over time.
  2. Tumble Drying: If you must use a dryer, choose a low heat setting. High heat can cause shrinkage and damage the fabric. Remove the t-shirt while it is still slightly damp to minimize wrinkles.
A pretty infinity scarf elevates the tee shirt and jeans
A pretty infinity scarf elevates the tee shirt and jeans

Stain Removal

  1. Immediate Action: Address stains as soon as possible. The longer a stain sits, the harder it is to remove. Blot (don’t rub) the stain with a clean cloth to absorb as much as possible.
  2. Natural Remedies: For common stains, try natural remedies like a paste made from baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the stain, let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with cold water.
  3. Targeted Treatments: Use a gentle stain remover specifically designed for whites. Apply it directly to the stain and let it sit for the recommended amount of time before washing.

Preventing Yellowing

  1. Avoid Fabric Softeners: Fabric softeners can leave a residue that causes yellowing. Instead, add a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to keep your t-shirts soft without residue.
  2. Regular Whitening: Periodically soak your white t-shirts in a mixture of water and oxygen bleach (not chlorine bleach, as it can weaken the fabric and cause yellowing). Follow the product instructions for the best results.

Storage Tips

  1. Cool, Dry Place: Store your white t-shirts in a cool, dry place. Avoid damp areas where mold or mildew could form, potentially staining your t-shirts.
  2. Avoid Plastic Bags: Do not store your t-shirts in plastic bags, as these can trap moisture and cause yellowing. Use breathable fabric storage bags instead.

By following these care and maintenance tips, you can keep your white t-shirts looking bright and new for longer. Taking a little extra time to care for your garments will ensure they remain a versatile and stylish staple in your wardrobe

Accessorizing a White T-Shirt

a versatile outfit with tee shirt, slacks, pretty scarf and long white cardigan
Medium blue slacks paired with a t-shirt, pretty fringed scarf and (almost) matching wedge sandals work well with or without the white extra long sweater

A white t-shirt is like a blank canvas, ready to be transformed with the right accessories. Whether you’re dressing it up for a night out or keeping it casual for a day of errands, the perfect accessories can elevate your look and showcase your personal style. Here’s how to make your white t-shirt pop with accessories:

Jewelry

  1. Statement Necklaces: A bold necklace can turn a plain white t-shirt into a chic outfit. Think colorful beads, chunky chains, or intricate pendants. This is a great way to add a focal point and some personality to your look.
  2. Delicate Pieces: For a more subtle elegance, opt for delicate jewelry. Layering thin gold or silver chains can add a touch of sophistication without overwhelming the simplicity of your t-shirt.
  3. Earrings: From hoops to studs to dangling earrings, the right pair can add sparkle and draw attention to your face. Choose pieces that complement your hairstyle and the neckline of your t-shirt.

Scarves and Hats

  1. Scarves: A scarf can add color, texture, and interest to your outfit. In cooler weather, opt for a cozy knit scarf. In warmer months, try a lightweight silk or cotton scarf. You can drape it around your neck, tie it in a knot, or even wear it as a headband.
  2. Hats: Whether it’s a stylish fedora, a casual baseball cap, or a sun hat, adding a hat can instantly change the vibe of your outfit. Hats are also practical for protecting your skin from the sun or adding warmth in the colder months.

Belts and Bags

  1. Belts: A belt can cinch your waist and add structure to your outfit. A wide belt over a loose t-shirt can create an hourglass shape, while a skinny belt can add a touch of polish. Choose colors and materials that complement your overall look.
  2. Handbags: Your choice of handbag can make a big impact. A sleek clutch can dress up your t-shirt for an evening out, while a roomy tote is perfect for a casual day. Don’t be afraid to play with colors and patterns to add a pop of interest.
Black slacks and a neutral sleeveless vest amp up the white t-shirt in this outfit
Black slacks and a neutral sleeveless vest amp up the white t-shirt in this outfit

Shoes

  1. Footwear Fun: The right pair of shoes can completely transform your outfit. Sneakers or ballet flats keep it casual, while heels or ankle boots add a more polished feel. Sandals are perfect for a laid-back summer look, and loafers can add a touch of sophistication.

Layering Pieces

  1. Jackets and Blazers: A blazer can add a professional touch, perfect for a business casual look. For a more relaxed vibe, throw on a denim or leather jacket. Cardigans and kimonos also work great for layering and adding dimension.
  2. Vests: Adding a vest can change up the look and feel of your white t-shirt. Whether it’s a long, flowing vest or a tailored one, it’s a great way to add interest without too much bulk.
Add a sleeve/sweater to a sleeveless midi dress (I love the pockets!)

Other Accessories

  1. Watches and Bracelets: A stylish watch or a stack of bracelets can add a touch of elegance and personality. Mix and match metals, textures, and styles for a unique look.
  2. Sunglasses: Don’t forget your shades! A cool pair of sunglasses not only protects your eyes but also adds an element of mystery and chicness to your outfit.

Mix and Match

  1. Personalize It: The beauty of accessorizing a white t-shirt is the endless possibilities. Mix and match different accessories to suit your mood and the occasion. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find combinations that make you feel fabulous.
  2. Balance: Remember to balance your accessories. If you’re going big with a statement necklace, maybe keep the earrings simple. If your bag is colorful and bold, perhaps go for neutral shoes. The key is to find harmony in your look.
  3. Confidence is Key: The best accessory you can wear is confidence. No matter what you choose, wear it with pride and a smile. When you feel good, you look good.

Accessorizing your white t-shirt is all about expressing your unique style and having fun with your wardrobe. With the right accessories, you can transform this simple piece into a standout look for any occasion. 

Shopping Resources for Selected Pieces from Amazon

AUTOMET Womens Tshirts Trendy Fashion Blouses Loose Casual Crewneck Short Sleeve Spring Tops Basic Teeshirt 2024 Summer Outfits Clothing White
  • Material: This short sleeve low crewneck tops is made of rayon+polyester+spandex. Loose, comfortable,soft, lightweight, breathable, light-stretch, wrinkle-free and skin-friendly.
  • Features: This womens casual short sleeve tees is easy to match with jeans, shorts, sweatpants, leggings, cago pants. Also can wear as a undershirt and match with casual coat or jacket. Creat a chic and stylish daily look.
  • Casual shirt: Casual lounge t shirts, perfect for daily life/workout/travel/running/home/office/vacation/sport/gym/yoga/going out. A basic summer outfis tees that suitable for all occasions.
  • Suitable for the season: basic t-shirts, crewneck, short sleeve, strechy fabric, solid color, loose fit, lightweight, comfy under shirts, casual style, suitable for spring, summer and fall.
  • This short sleeve basic t-shirt sets is suitable for machine or hand washes in cold water.
Abaadlw Maxi Skirts for Women with Pockets Long Midi Length Casual Skirt for Beach Party Holiday Blue Floral
  • 💋 【Hidden Pocket】: These long skirts for women have two large pockets, which can store mobile phones, keys, and other items, freeing your hands.
  • 💋 【Double-Layer Design】:The midi skirts for women are designed with lining, so the sight and light are not easy to penetrate, allowing you to enjoy the fun without worry.
  • 💋 【High-Quality Fabric】: These women’s skirts are made of high-quality fabric, which is light, soft, breathable, comfortable, and full of texture. Wearing this maxi skirt in summer will make you very comfortable.
  • 💋 【Applicable Occasions】:This long maxi skirt can be paired with shirts, high heels, or flat shoes, making you elegant and feminine. It also suits various occasions, such as dating, parties, beaches, holidays, weddings, cocktail parties, and daily leisure.
  • 💋 【Washing Method】: The womens long skirt can be washed by hand or by machine. But the water temperature should not be over 30 ℃. Please check the size chart before purchasing to make sure you choose the correct size.
Sale
LifeStride womens Mexico Wedge Sandal, Bone, 6.5 US
  • LifeStride Soft System
  • Available in Medium and Wide Widths
  • Style: Mexico
  • Outer_material: Synthetic
Sale
Scarfand’s Romantic Floral Prints Rose or Flower Patterns Lightweight Infinity Fashion Scarves (Brush Stroke Ivory)
  • Thin Fabric | Lightweight Soft Material | Easy To Wear | Easy to Carry | Versatile
  • The fabric is thin and translucent, allowing some light to shine through.
  • Circumference: 70″ (177.8 cm) Single Loop Length: 35″ (88.9 cm) Width of Fabric: 35″ (88.9 cm)
  • Beautiful artistic rose prints with bold colors that will pop during a bright sunny day. Has lots of material to work with making this accessory extremely verstile and will meet your every need. The perfect fashion accessory for spring & fall temperatures.
  • Ways To Wear: Double or Single Loop | Head Wrap or Hood | Shawl | Belted Mini Dress or Skirt and More!
Vests for Women Fashion Dressy Casual Linen Blazer Jackets Resort Wear Trendy Tops Shirts Summer Fashion 2024 Outfits Clothes, Beige, M
  • Features: Button open front, v neck, waist design highlights curves, sleeveless.
  • Style: Casual cotton linen waistcoat for women, junior, teens girls, lady.
  • Fabric: Cotton linen fabric, soft and skin-friendly, suitable for spring, summer.
  • IDEALSANXUN Women sleeveless jacket cotton linen vest waistcoat for everyday wear, offices, casual, gatherings, dates, vacations, travel, shopping, etc.
  • The linen vest for women are of good quality and product sizes are all standard American sizes, please choose according to your daily size|To provide you with a careful after-sales service|IDEALSANXUN has many high quality products, welcome to enter the store to choose
TICTICMISS Women’s V Neck T Shirts Half Sleeve Tops Casual Solid Summer Tees White
  • 【MATERIAL】Polyester, Rayon and Spandex; V neck shirts is made of high quality fabric, super soft, stretchy, breathable, and skin friendly.
  • 【FEATURES】V Neck T Shirts, Half Length Sleeves Tops, Solid Color Tee Shirts, Loose Casual Tops, Simple Basic Blouses. V neckline lets your neck look more slender and graceful.
  • 【OCCASION】Casual half sleeve tops is ideal for home, dating, work, shopping, street, holiday, school, travel, party, wedding, night out, lounging, ect. Perfect for Spring, Summer and Fall.
  • 【MATCH】Going out tops is great match with shorts, leggings, jeans, high waist pants, skinny pants, ect. Also can match with earrings, necklaces, high-heeled sandals to create a fashion look. This womens shirts is an essential tops for every chic look.
  • 【GARMENT CARE】Machine Washable/Do Not Bleach/Hang Dry. Pleases refer to our size chart to choose the right one. If you have any questions, please feel free to tell us.

Additional Shopping Resources

Seasonal Adaptations

black joggers with a white t-shirt and long sheer white blouse
Black Joggers are dressed up with fun flats and a long sheer blouse

A white t-shirt is truly a year-round wardrobe staple, effortlessly transitioning through the seasons with just a few tweaks. Here’s how to adapt your white t-shirt to suit any weather and occasion:

Spring

  1. Light Layers: As the weather warms up, layer your white t-shirt under lightweight jackets or cardigans. A denim jacket or a colorful blazer can add a pop of fun and warmth without being too heavy.
  2. Floral Accessories: Embrace the springtime vibe with floral scarves, jewelry, or even a flower crown. These accessories can add a fresh, seasonal touch to your outfit.
  3. Pastel Bottoms: Pair your white t-shirt with pastel-colored pants or skirts. Soft hues like mint green, blush pink, or baby blue create a lovely, spring-appropriate look.

Summer

pair a simple white t-shirt with wide leg pants for a fun outfit
These high-waisted wide leg pants have a subtle stripe, and they’re so much fun to wear!
  1. Breezy Fabrics: Opt for white t-shirts made from breathable fabrics like cotton or linen to keep cool in the summer heat. These materials wick away moisture and allow your skin to breathe.
  2. Shorts and Skirts: Keep it casual with denim shorts, or dress it up with a flowy skirt. A white t-shirt can be tucked into high-waisted shorts or skirts for a polished yet comfortable look.
  3. Sun Protection: Don’t forget to accessorize with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Not only do they protect you from the sun, but they also add a stylish touch to your summer outfit.

Fall

  1. Layer Up: As the temperature drops, start layering your white t-shirt with cozy cardigans, flannel shirts, or lightweight sweaters. This adds warmth and depth to your look.
  2. Rich Tones: Pair your white t-shirt with fall-inspired colors like deep burgundy, mustard yellow, or forest green. These rich tones complement the crisp whiteness of your t-shirt beautifully.
  3. Boots and Scarves: Swap out your summer sandals for ankle boots, and add a chunky scarf for extra warmth. These accessories can instantly make your white t-shirt fall-ready.

Winter

  1. Thermal Layers: Layer a thermal or long-sleeve white t-shirt under your sweaters and coats. This adds an extra layer of warmth without bulk, keeping you cozy throughout the winter.
  2. Chunky Knits: Pair your white t-shirt with chunky knit cardigans or oversized sweaters. This combination is both stylish and practical, perfect for cold winter days.
  3. Dark Denim and Boots: Wear your white t-shirt with dark-wash jeans and knee-high boots. This creates a classic, winter-appropriate look that is both chic and comfortable.

Transitional Seasons

A classic pairing of crop jeans and boyfriend style jean jacket with the V-neck tee shirt
A classic pairing of crop jeans and boyfriend style jean jacket with the V-neck tee shirt
  1. Versatile Jackets: Invest in versatile jackets like a trench coat or a light leather jacket that can be worn in both spring and fall. These pieces can be layered over your white t-shirt for a timeless look.
  2. Adjustable Layers: Use layers that can be easily added or removed as the weather changes throughout the day. Think about lightweight cardigans, vests, or wraps that offer flexibility.
  3. Accessorize Smartly: Use accessories like lightweight scarves, gloves, or hats that can be easily taken off or put on. This helps you adjust to changing temperatures while keeping your outfit stylish.

By adapting your white t-shirt to different seasons, you can enjoy its versatility all year long. Whether it’s the light layers of spring, the breezy styles of summer, the cozy combinations of fall, or the warmth of winter outfits, a white t-shirt remains a constant, reliable piece in your wardrobe.

Conclusion: How to Style a Plain White Tee Shirt

I hope you’ve seen that a simple white t-shirt can provide a wide variety of looks and outfits, from casual to out-for-the-evening. For most of the outfits I show, I shopped my closet. That’s always fun!

If the budget is something you have to pay attention to (I can relate to that!), creating an outfit from a simple t-shirt and jeans or slacks can be an affordable way to go.

Now it’s your turn, girlfriend. See how many cute outfits you can create with a white tee. Because you’ve learned how to style a plain white tee shirt, no matter your age!

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2 thoughts on “How to Style a Plain White Tee Shirt After 50: 12 Looks”

  1. Christina M Daggett

    Hi Candi. I’ve never been much of a t-shirt person, but you’ve shared so many great ways to wear the white t-shirt, all year, that I’m excited about shopping for the perfect one. Since I usually go for the dressier look, I like the idea of pairing the white t, with a skirt. I also like how you accessorized it with a scarf. xx

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