As much as I love statement pieces, I always fall back on basics. They’re the foundation of my wardrobe, and since basics are the pieces I will wear forever (and all the time), it’s important for me to find good quality basics that won’t fall apart after a few months of wear.  I recently stumbled upon the “Miracle” Linen tee from Nordstrom Madewell, and you guys, this is the best basic tee I’ve ever worn. I’d actually never purchased anything from Madewell before, but had always heard amazing things about it and the pieces I picked up certainly didn’t disappoint. Plus, I love that Nordstrom carries Madewell pieces because then I get all the great perks of quick free shipping and easy returns with these great brands.

This linen tee is a little more than I would normally spend on a t-shirt, but it’s the most perfect basic tee. I tried it on the night I got it and Philip instantly noticed it from the other room and complimented me on it. I mean, husband compliments on a basic gray tee? You’re going to need one of these.

And if husband compliments aren’t enough to convince you, this is also the most versatile t-shirt. Today I want to show you three easy ways to style it for spring, because a basic t-shirt does not need to be styled in a basic way.

1. Layered
In the spring when you need a little extra warmth, try layering a vest over your basic tee! I’m not a huge fan of wearing denim vests with denim on bottom, so I paired mine with a super feminine and spring appropriate pleated skirt. Then the denim vest is perfect because it adds visual interest, dimension, and a little bit of masculinity to an otherwise feminine outfit. Plus, I added a little edginess to the outfit with some studded sandals…couldn’t help myself.

OUTFIT DETAILS: madewell tee (wearing size small) | madewell denim vest (wearing size small) | similar skirt here and here | similar sandals | petunia pickle bottom bag 

2. Monochromatic
I love the look of a monochromatic outfit for date night . Gray on gray is simple, slightly unexpected, and so modern. The key to dressing up a basic t-shirt is jewelry and shoes — a statement necklace instantly makes an outfit feel dressy, and heels do the same! If you’re doing monochromatic, keep the rest of the outfit subdued and simple to highlight the monochrome.

OUTFIT DETAILS: madewell tee (wearing size small) | similar denim | charles david pumps | similar bag | bauble bar necklace (similar)

3. Boho
This is probably my favorite of the three looks — maybe because it’s so incredibly comfy! It can be scary to pair two relaxed and oversized pieces together, since obviously you don’t want to look….oversized. The key is to add what I call intentional pieces to your ensemble. Pieces that make it obvious you’re not wearing your pajamas, like my hat, a pair of heels, or a structured jacket or blazer.

OUTFIT DETAILS: madewell tee (size small) | madewell track pants (wearing size small) | fringe bag | similar sandals | topshop hat
Which is your favorite of these three looks??
created in partnership with nordstrom madewell




  1. The Boho look is definitely my fav! And that grey shirt is the absolute perfect tee.

    Circus & Bloom

  2. Paige Cassandra Flamm says:

    Loving the casual look with the white jeans and shoes!



  3. Natali says:

    All three outfits are perfect! Love your style and that 1st outfit is so stylish!


  4. Rae says:

    Love this post! Can I ask what size your wearing for the tee?

  5. rachel says:

    Those black pants look so adorable and comfy! -♥- Rachel (For the Birds)

  6. The second outfit is for sure my favorite. I love that tee, and have been looking for something similar. Too bad we don’t have a Madewell here or I’d know where to go! xo

  7. Valerie says:

    Love the first outfit. Can you tell the exact brand of sandals? I may want to go on a scavenger hunt.

  8. Stef says:

    Last outfit for sure! I love my drapey pants from A&F (last year), but it is tough to style them sometimes! That is a gorgeous tee, by the way, loving the center seam, and it *just* that perfect heather grey. I ordered a few tees (v neck pocket) from Madewell (first ever purchase for me too) and will be picking them up soon 🙂 .

  9. Rochelle Storer Bartschi says:

    The monochromatic look is beautiful!

  10. Manpreet says:

    I loved the second look. And I so agree to your point about how we can make our monochrome dresses look good by teaming them up with nice jewellery or shoes. Loved it!
    And you made me realize, I must go back to basics. I love simple outfits like these but then since last year, I have been feeling bad for being ‘too simple’. And it was really hard time trying to wear something I would never want to. I like simple clothes like these and you inspired me to get back to my own style. Thank you <3

  11. Deonna says:

    I have all the stuff to make all three of those outfits! Yay! I found a great t shirt from Old Navy the other day and am going to LIVE in it this summer and spring. It’s called the boyfriend T and it has the perfect relaxed fit and a slim arm. It would work with all of these looks too 🙂

  12. Heidi D. says:

    Love all of these looks! The second is my favorite, I think. So simple, but so chic.


  13. I love the necklace in the second outfit, but the comfy pants in the third look is more up my alley. Your hair has gotten so long! It’s so pretty!

  14. These are great ways to wear a basic grey tee; I love them all! Check out this grey tunic you might like at http://www.awhitewalllife.com/spring-neutrals/.

  15. Maggie says:

    Love all of these looks! I am always trying to find ways to dress up plain t’s because they are so comfortable!! Love it!!

  16. gray tees are the foundation of my wardrobe! Thank you for these 3 new ideas!


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