Follow College Fashion on Twitter!

Accessories 101: 3 Ways to Style a White Tee & Denim Shorts


I’ll be the first one to admit it: When the weather is hot and the air is humid, I tend to get a little bit lazy when it comes to planning my outfits. Why go over-the-top when I’m just going to sweat all day? After a few minutes of contemplating something super stylish, more often than not I fall back on my everyday go-tos of a white t-shirt and denim shorts.

As plain and simple as this outfit may appear, however, the t-shirt-and-shorts combo can become so much more with just a few accessories. Today, we’ll be taking this classic duo and crafting three different looks suitable for this season’s hot weather. As always, make sure to pay attention to the power of accessories!

 Look #1: Nautical Prep

White tee shirt and jeans outfit 1: Nautical prep with striped handbag, boat shoes, sunglasses, rope bracelet, and necklace
Product Information: Shirt, Shorts, Anchor Bracelet, Tote, Sunglasses, Necklace, Bracelets, Shoes

Regardless of whether or not you own a boat, nautical-themed outfits are always, well, a splash during the summer! Wear this outfit to hang out by the water’s edge or to get lunch at an outdoor patio.

While the basics of the outfit (white tee, shorts) are simple, a large striped tote will add drama and color to the look. Accessories featuring anchors or sailboats will keep the nautical theme alive and a good old fashioned pair of Sperry’s will pull the outfit together. If the whole-body theme is too much for you, simply substitute in your favorite pendant necklace or bracelet to tone down the look – either way, this look will scream, “It’s summer and I’m on a boat!” To me, there are few better words in life!

Look #2: Make A Statement (Necklace)

White tee shirt and jeans outfit 2: Statement necklace, turquoise nail polish, metallic sandals, brown buckled bag
Product Information: Bag, Necklace, Shoes, Nail Polish, Bangles

This outfit illustrates the power of a statement necklace. Out of all the accessory trends this year, statement necklaces are my absolute favorite. A large, attention-grabbing piece of bling around your neck will distract anyone from the simplicity of the look. Play up the necklace’s power by adorning yourself in complementary colors; gold bangles and gold sandals highlight the necklace’s glam undertones and turquoise nail polish (yes, nail polish is 100% an accessory!) adds one more boost of color to the outfit. Essie is by far my favorite brand, and their spring collection has some amazing new hues!

Look #3: Pretty Rings and Boho Scarves

White tee shirt and jeans outfit 3: Statement rings, TOMs, cross-body bag, patterned scarf, aviators
Product Information: Sunglasses, Bag, Necklace, Scarf, Red Ring, Teal Ring, TOMS

Head scarves are making waves this summer with their boho-chic simplicity. What better way to cover up a bad hair day or shade your scalp from the sun than this stylish alternative? Let your boho-glam be the focal point of this outfit; accessorize with simple pieces such as a feather pendant necklace or colorful rings. TOMS and a simple crossbody bag will complete the look without distracting from the main attraction. This simple, stylish, and practical look is perfect for any hot and lazy summer day.

Your turn!

My go-to summer staples are a white t shirt and denim shorts. While this combination may seem ordinary and plain at first sight, by adding a few different accessories, I can create completely new looks each day! Doing so guarantees that I am not only saving money and looking stylish, but I’ll also be staying cool and comfortable in the summer heat.

Now, of course, it’s your turn! What do you think of the outfits featured above? Would you do anything differently? Where would you wear some of these outfits? What are your summer staples? Make sure to leave your thoughts in a comment!

Posted on on May 9, 2012 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , ,

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

20 Responses to “Accessories 101: 3 Ways to Style a White Tee & Denim Shorts”

  1. 1
    May 9th, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I love the second outfit so much! This article definitely shows the power of accessories to change an outfit.

  2. 2
    May 9th, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Came just in time…thank you CF! Never fail(:

  3. 3
    May 9th, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Love them all, I would wear every one! I agree nothings better than saying “It’s summer and I’m on a boat!” :) My summer staples are fun dresses, denim shorts and tank tops! Wouldn’t be summer without wearing a tank top (almost) everyday ;) Great post!

  4. 4
    May 9th, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    I love the second outfit. It is totally my style!

  5. 5
    May 9th, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    I love the nautical look! Pairing a white tee with denim shorts is one of my go-to looks for summer, so it’s great to see all the different ways I can accessorize it.

  6. 6
    May 9th, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    I could see myself wearing all three of these styles, very casual chic for summer.

  7. 7
    May 9th, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Love it! When I feel like I have nothing to wear, I seem to always forget that accessories really can make the same shirt or dress look completely different.

    I am also really loving the whole statement necklace trend this season and, for those of you who don’t own too much jewelry, just having one versatile statement necklace can really amp up an outfit. Definitely check out Forever 21 from some inexpensive pieces!

    Scarves are also a great alternative if you’re not a jewelry girl! I’m currently loving Madewell, Anthropologie, and Free People scarves but since I can’t afford all of them, I’ve found some really cool, one-of-a-kind scarves at thrift stores.

  8. 8
    May 10th, 2012 at 2:27 am

    Love the second look :D

  9. 9
    May 10th, 2012 at 4:03 am

    Love the second look! That’s so me!!
    Can you also suggest how I can style a black tee and denim shorts?

  10. 10
    May 10th, 2012 at 6:10 am

    Thanks a lot for posting such an interesting blog article. The White T-Shirt with Blue Denim looks very cool. I would also prefer a Bright Yellow T-Shirt differently.

  11. 11
    May 10th, 2012 at 9:01 am

    white t-shirt,jeans, blazer and balerinas! the best combination! so easy but still amazing :)

  12. 12
    May 10th, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Love this idea! I have tons of t-shirts and jean shorts that I’m worried about looking too plain Jane in. Thanks for the tips :)

  13. 13
    May 10th, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    I love this post! So useful :) A white tees with denim shorts is my go-to outfit in the summer time.

  14. 14
    May 10th, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Loved this post!!

  15. 15
    May 11th, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Love this look :-) If you want to shop for some fun handmade boho accessories check out my studio link above. We have tons of scarves, multi wrap bracelets, bags, and much much more. We do Funky to Fancy.

  16. 16
    May 11th, 2012 at 2:28 am

    I love the way a statement necklace with a white tee can change the look of an outfit.

  17. 17
    May 14th, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    loving the sunglasses and the shoes.everything is pretty

  18. 18
    July 26th, 2012 at 7:48 am


Links to This Article

Leave a Reply


* Comment Rules: CF is a positive place and our comments section is no different. Constructive criticism is fine, but if you're rude, we'll delete your comment. Please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name and do not put your website in the comment text, as both come off like spam. For more info, see our Comment Policy. Have fun & thanks for adding to the conversation!


* Want a custom avatar to show up next to your comments? Sign up for a free Gravatar.