Style Upgrade: How to Dress Up a T-Shirt and Jeans

Street style woman in t-shirt and jeans and faux fur coat
Christian Vierig/Getty Images
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How to Dress Up Basic Jeans and a T-Shirt

Street style woman in t-shirt and jeans and faux fur coat
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

When you build a wardrobe of perfect-fitting, comfortable jeans, you don't want to ever take them off. Many women reach for the basic style elements of jeans and a t-shirt as a go-to casual daytime outfit. But did you know that you can easily dress up jeans and a tee to look right for almost any occasion? We've got your style guide here for how to dress up a t-shirt and jeans to look more classy, so you can get the most out of these basics.

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Wear a Patterned Coat

Street style woman in plaid coat and jeans and t-shirt
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Steal the number one style trick of fashion editors and use an eye-catching coat as a top layer to dress up all your basic outfits. Here, you can see how layering on a long, plaid coat instantly updates a basic weekend outfit of skinny blue jeans and a white t-shirt, making it street style worthy.

For a sophisticated look that works for the office, or meeting stylish friends for brunch, opt for a classic checked coat, as pictured here. You can also try a hounds tooth plaid in grey or brown, Or, play up your whimsical side in a more playful patterned coat, such as one in floral print or polka dots.

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Add High Quality Accessories

Street style woman in ripped jeans and t-shirt and black leather purse
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Dressing up a t-shirt and  jeans doesn't have to mean adding layers of clothing, On warmer days, when you want to bare your arms (and ankles), here's how to instantly dress up even the most casual, relaxed pair of jeans, and create a street style worthy outfit.

Simply steal the fashion trick employed by the most stylish women in the world, and add designer (or designer look) accessories to upgrade your outfit. A chic black leather bag, trendy designer sunglasses, and quality footwear make your look appear more expensive from head to toe, for that "rich girl on the weekend" effect.

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With a Tweed Jacket for the Office

Street style in jeans and a tweed blazer
Street style chic in jeans and a tweed blazer. Timur Emek/Getty Images

Does your office have denim-friendly days? Here's an easy way to dress up a t-shirt and jeans to look pulled together at work. You'll be comfortable and meeting-ready all day, in this go-to outfit of high waisted jeans, a white t-shirt, and a short, Chanel-inspired jacket in nubby tweed.

What makes this unfussy outfit ideal for wearing to work is the perfect fit of all the pieces, and the high-quality accessorie. If you like to wear something at the neck, consider adding a pretty silk scarf, or a statement necklace.

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With High Waisted Skinny Jeans

Street style in skinny jeans
Skinny jeans that fit perfectly add polish to your outfit. Christian Vierig/Getty Images

High-waisted skinny jeans are a women's fashion trend that's still going strong. This sexy jean cut flatters nearly all body types, by magically smoothing curves on larger bodies, and creating the look of curves on straighter figures. It's also a fashion-savvy way to add instant style to even the most basic outfit in jeans. We love the chic, casually clean look of a basic t-shirt and high-rise skinny jeans to create an instantly stylish silhouette.

Be sure to tuck in the shirt at the waistband, as pictured here, to get the full effect of the high waistline on these jeans. Add a little jacket for coverage, and reach for high-quality accessories (such as this fashion influencer's gorgeous nude heels and leather clutch purse) to take this chic daytime outfit to the next level.

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With a Long Cardigan

Street style woman in jeans
Dress up your basic jeans and t-shirt outfits. Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

Here's an easy, stylish casual outfit you can wear from running errands, to picking up the kids. A go-to casual day outfit of lightly distressed jeans and a white t-shirt gets a fashion upgrade, when you layer on a long, camel cardigan and a great-looking leather bag.

This effortlessly chic outfit works for many season, flatters every figure and is comfortable to wear all day long. You can keep it real in this jeans look with easy ballet flats or sneakers, or dress it up a bit with ankle boots or platform sandals. 

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With a Leopard Coat

Woman in leopard print coat and yellow t-shirt and jeans
Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images

Sometimes, you want to dress up enough to look cute leaving the house, but you don't want to fuss.Here's an easy, trendy outfit that is wearable for weekend brunches, casual dinners, and coffee dates, that is so stylish and easy to put together, you'll feel like you cheated.

Start with a go-to pair of straight leg jeans, then add your favorite t-shirt in any color, and top with a classic leopard print coat  You can add trendy ankle boots to toughen up your look, or make it stylishly casual with sneakers or flat loafers. Add a great pair of sunglasses, and a small purse, and you're all set for a fashionable day out.

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With a Puffer Jacket

Street style woman in puffer jacket and jeans
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Your favorite concert t-shirt and easy weekend jeans get an instant dose of style for chilly fall and winter days, when you layer on a fashionable puffer jacket.

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Add a Leather Jacket

Street style fashion in jeans
Dress up jeans and a t-shirt with a cute jacket. Timur Emek/Getty Images

Here's a fashionable way to style jeans and a basic white t-shirt for shopping in the city or meeting friends for lunch. Start with perfect-fitting, slim jeans, and a simple tucked-in white tee. Then layer on a smart leather jacket, either in basic black, or in an unexpected color or pattern, as pictured here. Play with adding accessories, such as designer sunglasses and a great-looking bag, until you've got a look you feel great about.

When choosing jeans for this look, consider an ankle crop that will show off fabulous shoes. You can wear distressed jeans for a downtown look, or upgrade this look with a clean, classic skinny pair.

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Try a Double Denim Outfit

Street style double denim outfit
Street style double denim outfit. Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Double denim is a trendy fashion style -- but many women find it challenging to wear. Here's how to add a denim jacket to a basic jeans and a t-shirt outfit, to create a great outfit for  casual weekend hang-outs with friends. Start with a great-fitting pair of skinny jeans in a medium blue, vintage wash. Then add a boyfriend-style jean jacket (distressed details are optional). Add a designer (or designer-look) purse and easy sneakers, and you've got the perfect weekend outfit.

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With Black Jeans

Street style fashion in black jeans
Black and jeans and a white tee are city cool. Christian Vierig/Getty Images

When you've got no time to pull together a dressy outfit, try this confident, classic fashion combination that can be dressed up for almost any occasion. Pair slim-fitting black jeans with a tucked-in white t-shirt, then add great accessories to personalize your look. This light on top, dark on bottom color combination is flattering to all shapes and sizes. Plus, wearing pointy black high heels also helps to create a long, lean leg line, for an overall slimming effect. For a city-chic effect, choose black-and-white accessories to keep the monotone effect going.