my no t-shirt rule {WFMW}

Let me just preface this by saying that I am by no means a fashion expert.  In fact, anyone who knew me in high school, and maybe even college, is probably laughing their head off at the thought of me giving any fashion advice whatsoever.  So take what I say with a grain of salt.

Up until just a few years ago I cared zip, zilch, nada about clothes, hair, or shopping.  I spent the majority of my high school years in jeans and a t-shirt (or once our dress code forbade jeans and we could only wear collard shirts – sloppy khakis and oversized polos).  Outside of church I never wore skirts or dresses.  If you’re friends with me on Facebook you can check out some pictures of me from high school that were posted recently – yikes.

After my weight loss I still mainly wore jeans and t-shirts, just in a smaller size than before.  I still didn’t really know much or care much about fashion.

(Before we go any further, I just want to mention that in many, many ways I am grateful that I didn’t care about these things, especially in high school.  Because of my weight/body type finding cute clothes that fit would have been difficult anyway and would have probably caused great distress if I had really cared.  I’m also glad that I was able to live those high school years without feeling pressure to dress a certain way or wear a certain brand.  That being said, I do look back at my pictures and cringe, wishing I had put forth a little effort.  Hindsight is 20/20 so let’s move on).

If you’ve been reading this blog for long (or know me in real life) you know that I’m just a *wee* bit wordy.  So I said all that to get to my topic, so here we go.  At some point toward the end of college I started getting interested in shopping, trends, fashion, clothes, etc.  And at some point along the way I made a promise or a deal with myself – I was no longer going to wear t-shirts in public.  When I say t-shirts, I’m not talking about cute, fitted t-shirts.  I’m talking about the 8 million shapeless t-shirts that anyone who has played a sport, supported a sport, gone to a school, participated in extracurricular activities, been a part of a church group, or joined a sorority (so, everyone) has.  That’s what I call my “no t-shirt rule”.

I discovered that it was just as easy to put on a cute shirt as it was to put on a t-shirt.  Once I started following the no-shirt rule I also sort of fell into a no tennis shoe rule as well just because who wants to ruin a cute outfit with ugly shoes?

I took a series of pictures to show you the difference this has made in my wardrobe and how easy it is to make a difference.

So, here I am in what used to be a typical outfit for me: t-shirt, jeans, tennis shoes – not exactly fashion forward, grown up, or attractive

(t-shirt/where I used to teach; jeans/Gap; shoes/Nike)

Here we have basically the same outfit – a black t-shirt (but now a nicer, fitted one), the same jeans, and flats instead of running shoes.  It took just as long to put on (maybe even less time since I didn’t have to tie my shoes!) and already looks much better.

(shirt/NY&Co; jeans/Gap; shoes/Fergalicious shoes via DSW)

p.s. who even knew Fergie had a shoe line?

Take 30 more seconds to throw on a headband and scarf and now your jeans and t-shirt outfit is even more intersting

(headband/Burlington; scarf/Burkes)

You really ought to check out Everyday Mom Style.  This blog was started by a mom who wanted to step up her style.  She takes pictures of her outfits each day and posts them.  Not only does she take pictures of her outfit, but she usually does something like what I just did and shows an outfit or piece of clothing that is totally yuck or just s0-so and then shows what she did to make it better or to create a similar outfit.  I discovered this blog during last week’s What I Wore Wednesday and I am totally inspired by her!

The three pictures above hopefully will show you how “up” your outfits while still staying true to what you love.  This next outfit leaves the jeans & t-shirt theme I’ve been going with but I want to show it to you anyway as way to punch up your jeans even more.

Notice I’m still wearing the same jeans and shoes, I’ve just traded in my t-shirt for a flowy, silky shirt and a blazer.  This is still an easy, comfortable outfit but looks polished and put together.  This is my favorite outfit, in fact, out of all the ones I’ve shown you because the shirt is looser than the fitted t-shirt and so I don’t have to feel so worried about it hugging my middle.  I’m obsessed with blazers this fall because they are an easy way to dress up an outfit while still being pretty casual.

(blazer/Gabriel Brothers; shirt/TJ Maxx; necklace/Burlington)

In all fairness, I only wore these outfits to take pictures for this post.  It was Saturday and I was trying to roast pumpkin seeds (that didn’t turn out well) and cook several other things, so after Michael so sweetly took all these pictures I changed once again into something with no scarf or long necklace to get in the food.

I love cardigans!  It’s just like wearing a t-shirt but looks nicer.

This was my “real” outfit on Saturday

(same jeans; same shoes; cardigan/Limited; tanks/Old Navy; necklace/My Belle Boutique; flower pin/made by me)

In the interest of full disclosure (doesn’t that sound fancy?) I must tell you that I do wear t-shirts sometimes.  In fact, I wear them every day at the gym.  I also wear them around the house and for spirit days at school and such like.  I just try not to make a habit out of it.  Someday I would like to get to where I don’t even wear them at the gym and have cute gym clothes instead but I’m just not willing to sink money in to that yet (workout clothes are expensive!).

Also, I want to make sure that you know that I’m not trying to write this post to be judgmental at all.  I’m not saying t-shirts are bad.  If I see you wearing a t-shirt I am not going to think bad things about you.  It was just a rut that I wanted to get myself out of and that’s why I implemented my “rule”.

My no t-shirt rule works for me. Linking up with Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family and What I Wore Wednesday at The Pleated Poppy.

Not sure what to do with all those t-shirts you aren’t wearing anymore?  Turn them into a t-shirt quilt or a cute necklace.



  1. Cute and you are right – just as simple.

  2. I agree with your rule! I make a few exceptions, but for the most part I don’t wear T-shirts anymore and try to avoid collecting new ones. One problem with them is that as they get older, the neckband tends to get stretched out and/or discolored, and that looks so bad.

  3. Cute post and ideas. :-)

  4. You are adorable and I love that you actually referred to my site on your blog- thank you! I’m glad we found each other!
    I think your after pics are darling, and I agree 100% with the no t shirt rule. Glad to see you have the no tennis shoes rule too…
    I’ll be back to see your site again soon!
    Take care,
    Everyday Mom aka Megan

  5. I was just telling a friend that it takes just as much time to throw on jeans as it does sweats! And a nice scarf takes NO TIME!

    Very cute outfits! I’m looking for a blazer.

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