How to elevate your basics—white t-shirt and jeans

This post will show you how to elevate your basics, a white t-shirt and jeans, for your fall wardrobe.

4 pairs of blue jeans folded to show elevated basics

A bathing suit and jeans.

The two things I hate shopping for the most. 

You too?? Glad you’re here. I can help.

With bathing suit season in the rearview mirror, all focus is on jeans and the current state of their silhouettes and styles as we head into fall. 

But why does it have to be so hard? All of this bickering over if skinny jeans are in or out. Questioning how much longer will high-waisted jeans be a thing? The imminent return of the low-waisted jean. This is all before you’ve even stepped into a dressing room. 

I do need to say that I will NOT be partaking in the low rise trend this time around. I’m 50 with a twin pregnancy under my belt. This style no longer works for my body or lifestyle. You read it here first. So if you see me posting photos of low rise anything, feel free to call me on it.

The good news, you don’t have to chase trends to look good in your clothes. Wear what you love, and what makes you feel good—skinny, high-waisted, and everything in between jeans.  Today I am focusing on jeans and a white t-shirt, two of your eight essential capsule wardrobe pieces that are often worn together. My goal is to show you how to elevate these basics for a pulled together polished look that appears effortless.

Jeans by body type

Middle-age jean wearing can be challenging. One way to assure that you’ve got the best style for your body, is to pay attention to body type dressing. The way we are built doesn’t always work with every silhouette of denim out there. Below are a few tips on how to pick the best type of jean for your body. These are not rules, just guidelines.

Bigger in the middle (apple); stick with a mid-rise boot cut. Try to avoid high-waisted and low rises.

Bigger on the bottom (pear); opt for low or just below your waistline, tapered, boot cut, boyfriend jeans, or flare legs. Stay away from jeans with smaller pockets on the bum and details on the front pockets.

Curvy (hourglass shape); go for wide leg, slight flare, or low rise bootcut. Avoid baggy or stretch jeans.

Bigger up top (inverted triangle): Most jean silhouettes work for this body type. Lucky you!

Straight up and down (no curves): The rise should be just above the hips. Try to avoid baggy or flares.

My favorite silhouettes this season

I’m sharing three jean silhouettes that have caught my eye for the fall but they are not the only game in town. Lots of styles are still on trend this season. Please check out these brands and other styles they have to see what is a good fit for your body and lifestyle. Each of these denim options will elevate your basics that are the foundation of your capsule wardrobe.

So with that, let’s dive in.

Upgrade your white t-shirt

The ultimate staple, and one of the eight essentials for your capsule wardrobe, the white t-shirt. The shape, length, and cut of a white t-shirt may change, but it never goes out of style. Pairing a white t-shirt with jeans is the ultimate basic that you can elevate, dress down, and wear-everywhere with just a few tweaks.

While the white t-shirt is one item of your essential eight for a capsule wardrobe, I recommend that you have three on hand. A fitted one that is easy to layer, a looser longer tee that you can tie or side tuck, and one that is trendier, can be more of a statement piece.

I also encourage my clients to refresh their white t-shirt each season due to wear and tear.  You will always be in style when wearing a white t-shirt and a great-fitting pair of jeans. 

Elevating your basics—putting it all together

Now that I’ve given you some great pieces to add to your wardrobe, here is how to elevate your basics for a polished overall look. Think of your jeans and white t-shirt as a blank canvas—virtually anything will go with them. Then start to play. Grab statement earrings, bold necklaces, colorful bags, and scarves. Add layers such as a blazer, sweater, or wrap. Once you choose your statement piece, use colors from this to add the other pieces so it all works together. I’ve pulled together a few style boards for you to get inspired. 

Pink drop earrings, an on trend sweater vest, and chunky but feminine loafers. Each of these elements takes the classic jeans and white t-shirt to a new level. It is very current and very feminine. The bold sweater vest is the star and the colors in the earrings and shoes compliment the vest.

I’m dying over these velvet button earrings (they come in green too and are headed to my house). This clutch and pony hair mules complete the fall spice up of jeans and a white t-shirt. The color palette is neutral, but the textures, shapes, and patterns make this outfit unique.

The gold necklace made from wooden beads is the centerpiece of this get-up. Paired with a great bag (comes in 11 colors) and snakeskin boots for a relaxed but pulled together look for your white t-shirt and jeans.

If you’re ready to try a new silhouette of jeans, you’ve got a few to choose from now. Need a fresh white t-shirt or want one with a twist, you’ve got options. There are a million ways to elevate your basics so start playing with your clothes and accessories to create your unique look using jeans and a white t-shirt.

Let me know which style you’re going to try this fall in the comments below. As always, share this with a friend who needs some style love. 💕



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P.P.S. Some of these items are affiliate links (this is new for me). This means I get a small commission if you buy from the link. There is no price difference to you, and this does not affect what I recommend. Only the best for you.



I show women over 50 how to get noticed, stay relevant, and be connected through their wardrobe. Getting dressed is something you have to do each day, why not make it fun.



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