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Graphic tees have a long history of statement-making. Whether it’s a branded T-shirt with your favorite clothing company’s logo, a band tee commemorating a world tour, or an illustration that supports a good cause, the graphic tee trend is the epitome of personal style, showing off the people, places, organizations, and things you care about most. Right now, graphic tees are in a unique spot with a mix of ‘90s and Y2K trends dominating their designs and resulting in some unique styles.
If you’re looking for that perfect graphic tee—AKA one that gets better with time, or one you can wear with anything and everything—we’re making it even easier for you. We researched dozens of options across multiple categories to source the best graphic tees the internet has to offer, and tapped wardrobe stylist Chellie Carlson for her input and shopping tips, too.
Find the best graphic tees available on the internet, ahead.
Best Overall: TinyBeastDesignsSF Strawberry Shirt
Lean into cottagecore with this adorable graphic tee, featuring over a dozen illustrated strawberries. This shirt is our best overall pick because, while graphic tees can be personal, this one has more of a universal feel. It’s also a style that would look great oversized with bike shorts or cut-off shorts for a casual look, or paired with a flowy midi skirt for a more dressed-up feel. The shirt is made of durable cotton material and is available in white (our top choice), pink, black, natural, or a dark gray heather hue.
Material: Cotton (solid colors), cotton and polyester (heather colors) | Size Range: S-3X
Best Budget: Old Navy Short-Sleeve EveryWear Graphic T-Shirt
You don’t have to splurge to get your hands on a good graphic tee. On top of its feel good phrase, the shirt is made from 100 percent cotton, comes in an inclusive size range (including tall sizes), and is available in other colors and prints, as well. It’s also a shirt that wears beautifully and, over time, can start to have that vintage tee feel.
Material: 100% cotton | Size Range: XS-4X (regular), XS-XXL (tall), XS-XXL (petite)
Best Designer: Versace Stampa Medusa T-Shirt
This is our favorite designer graphic tee because, while it features the Versace name, it feels more like a band tee than a designer tee. We love the groovy lettering, psychedelic Medusa head, and unisex fit, which makes for a good, oversized look. It’s also made from 100 percent cotton and has good weight, so it drapes well across the body.
Material: Cotton | Size Range: S-XXL
Best Long Sleeve: Saturdays NYC Techno Standard Long Sleeve Tee
Stand out year-round with this yellow-green funky T-shirt from NYC-born shop Saturdays New York City. The long-sleeve shirt, also available in white, features a small logo on the front chest and a unique graphic collage design on the back. It’s made from a durable midweight cotton fabric in a relaxed fit, making it comfortable yet structured for optimal breathability that's easily layerable for those chillier months.
Material: 100% midweight cotton | Size Range: XS-XXL
Best with Phrase: ban.do Girls Just Wanna Classic Tee
Tell them how you really feel with this Girls Just Wanna shirt from Ban.do. In addition to being ultra-relatable, it’s also great quality. The shirt is screen printed on a lightweight cotton and polyester blend T-shirt with a classic fit.
Material: 40% cotton, 60% polyester | Size Range: XS-XL
Best Vintage-Inspired: Junk Food Clothing Women's Ziggy Stardust Vintage Destroy Tee
Vintage graphic tees are a staple. This vintage-inspired one has the right amount of distress on the neckline and hems, the perfectly faded Ziggy Stardust graphic, and a relaxed, oversized fit that makes it seem like you picked it up from a local flea market. The shirt is made from 100 percent cotton that feels lightweight and breezy, and will only get better with time—just like our favorite vintage tees.
Material: Cotton | Size Range: XXS-XXL
Best Band Tee: Nasty Gal Fleetwood Mac Plus Graphic Band Tee
This wouldn’t be a list of the best graphic tees without a fantastic band tee. Classic rock bands like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin typically shine in this category, but we wanted to shine a light on folksy Fleetwood Mac in this classic black and white tee. Made from cotton material, the relaxed graphic T-shirt features a full-size Rumours graphic for a brand new T-shirt with a vintage aesthetic.
Material: Cotton | Size Range: 12-24
Best Sustainable: Lisa Says Gah Alex Tee
Our top pick for best sustainable is the Lisa Says Gah Alex Tee, which features a trendy baguette graphic across the bust. The shirt is made from bamboo and a recycled polyester jersey blend in a cropped mini tee style. Its high neckline and cropped sleeves also give it a vintage feel, which is always appreciated in a graphic tee.
Material: 50% bamboo, 50% recycled polyester jersey | Size Range: XS-3X
Best Sporty: Urban Outfitters New York Knicks NBA Flower Power Logo Tee
Show off your fandom—real or bandwagon—with this cute Knicks tee. Also available in Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls versions, the sporty graphic tee is made from a soft 100 percent cotton material with a fun floral graphic woven throughout the team logo. It has a more fitted construction so, if you like your tees a little more relaxed, we recommend sizing up.
Material: 100% cotton | Size Range: S-XXL
Best for a Cause: Bird Collective Backyard Birds T-Shirt
Graphic tees are an excellent way to show off the causes you care about. If you’re looking for a tee that raises awareness for a good cause, we recommend the Bird Collective Backyard Birds T-Shirt. The shirt is made from a heavyweight cotton fabric with PVC-free inks and features a bird illustration by artist Jeffrey Burke. And, better yet, every purchase helps Bird Collective in its mission to support bird conservation.
Material: 100% heavyweight cotton | Size Range: S-4X
Best Preppy: Rowing Blazers Firstport Weathered Series Cannes Tennis Tee
This graphic tee from the Rowing Blazers x Firstport collab screams preppy with the nod to school sports and varsity lettering. The vintage-inspired tee is made from 100 percent cotton in a relaxed fit that looks great with a pair of denim shorts, slouchy cloud socks, and sneakers, or some black Levi’s 501 Jeans and loafers.
Material: Cotton | Size Range: S-XXL
Best Nature-Inspired: Parks Project Feel The Earth Breathe Tee
Nature is calling with this Feel The Earth Breathe Tee from the Parks Project. The organic, mid-weight cotton shirt features an illustration inspired by America’s national parks, with “Feel The Earth Breathe” printed at the bottom of the design. Speaking of appreciating the environment, purchasing this shirt helps Parks Project’s mission to preserve and protect national parks across the United States, with a goal of leaving them better than we found them. This option comes in a long sleeve and short sleeve version.
Material: 100% organic cotton | Size Range: XS-XXL
Best Funny: Katie Kimmel Chicken Parm T-Shirt
Show off your sense of humor with this funny graphic tee from Katie Kimmel. Designed from soft and sturdy cotton material, the Chicken Parm Tee makes for a great conversation starter—about your love for chicken parm, of course. In addition to being funny, the tee is also a good choice for someone with a more minimalistic style, since the graphic has a simple design.
Material: 100% cotton | Size Range: S-XXL
What to Look for in Graphic Tees
“The first thing I look for is placement of the graphic, ensuring that it is above the belly button,” says wardrobe stylist Chellie Carlson. Carlson likes to crop her graphic tees, so checking to make sure the graphic ends above the belly button means she can crop the tee without cutting the graphic in two.
“A high-quality cotton is also important,” says Carlson. “You want your tee to be on the thicker side so that the weight of the tee holds itself down.”
For added style, distressing is a fun factor to look for—though, it’s not necessarily required when shopping for a graphic tee. “A little distressing goes a long way,” says Carlson. She recommends looking for a tee that has some slight distressing on the sleeves and hem for an edgier look.
What is a graphic tee?
“A graphic tee usually depicts your favorite band, brand, or artwork,” says Carlson. Graphic tees can be tight-fitting or a bit oversized for a comfy, casual fit.
How can you style a graphic tee?
“The thing about graphic tees is that they can do it all—from uber casual with denim shorts and a sneaker to under a blazer with jeans and heels,” Carlson explains. “They add that extra cool-girl edge to any outfit and allow you to tap into your playful side while still looking elevated.” As Carlson mentioned, a go-to graphic tee outfit is a casual look with denim shorts. In addition to this look, you can also wear an oversized graphic tee with bike shorts, crop your graphic tee and wear it with a pair of mom jeans, or dress it up with a pair of faux leather trousers and heels, or a mini skirt, blazer, and strappy heeled sandals.
How can you dress up a graphic tee?
Carlson recommends pairing a graphic tee with a blazer, light wash straight-cut jean and an eye-catching heeled sandal. You can also dress up a graphic tee with a pair of oversized trousers and almond toe pumps, a flowy maxi skirt and blazer, or a mini skirt and moto jacket.
Why Trust Byrdie
Contributing writer Jessie Quinn has a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism. From working in the fashion closet and interviewing designers at NYLON to now writing about the best style trends for various publications, Jessie researches and sources the best fashion finds. Jessie loves a good graphic tee and owns way too many to count—she also makes her own graphic tees with the Cricut Explore Air 2 and thrifted shirts. When researching the best graphic tees, Jessie looked for designs made from a high-quality cotton material with good weight and a variety of graphic styles. She also considered options that would get better over time, because there’s nothing like an old, worn-in T-shirt. As a result, she curated a list of the best graphic tees across multiple categories.