Graphic tees etsy

Graphic tees etsy DEFAULT
Etsy SEO For Tshirt Sellers..Etsy SEO for tshirt sellers may be a little different than it is in other places. If you are used to selling on pure tee shirt sites you might not be aware of all the nuances you can use with Etsy! Here are my best tips and ideas for rocking your Etsy SEO!

Etsy SEO for tshirt sellers may be a little different than it is in other places. If you are used to selling on pure tee shirt sites you might not be aware of all the nuances you can use with Etsy! Here are my best tips and ideas for rocking your Etsy SEO!

Additional Resource :: 5 Hacks For Selling Tshirts On Etsy Using Printify

How Etsy SEO Works

Okay, let's start off with how Etsy works SEO-wise since some of you might be coming from other sites. Etsy allows you to target keywords in two places, in the title and the tags. According to Etsy the description and materials do not have any weight at all in Etsy search. source Etsy SEO guidelines on

The first area is the title where we get 140 characters to describe our listing (MUCH more about this later!)

Etsy Listing Title Area

The second area is the tags. You can enter up to 13 tags of 20 characters each. This will come into play a lot later as we find LOTS of keywords we can use in our tags.

Etsy SEO Tags

I know it says that these are optional, but if you don't use them your chances of getting found in Etsy search go way down!

Etsy's search functionality has gotten better in the last few years that I have been following along, but it is not intuitive. It can extrapolate tshirt to the plural, but will rank them slightly differently. AND it can't extrapolate kinds of things at all so if you type “collie” it can't understand that this means dog in the same way Google search can.

Please note, the first 4 results are paid promoted listings which we will not being including in our analysis today!

You can see the difference in the plurals clearly here. The first search is for “boy tshirts” and the second is “boys tshirt” with the plurals reversed. There are only two that made the search for each of these terms and they are not listed in the same order.

Debunking the plural keywords Etsy SEO myth

While that may seem shocking, what is even more starkly recognizable is that Etsy doesn't even count all the “tshirt” synonyms the same. The left search is for “boys tshirts” and the second for “boys tee shirts”.

Difference In Synonyms In Etsy SEO Search

What Does That Mean? You should be using the synonyms for kinds of tshirts in your tags at the very least!

Starting Your Research On Google

I always like to start my research into keywords on Google. Doing a search for tshirts we see immediately that Google asks do we mean t shirts (with a space), let's note that down for later!

tshirts, t shirts

I use a Chrome plugin called Keywords Everywhere that spits out a list of related keywords ranked top to bottom with search volume from Google Adwords.

Keywords Everywhere Related Terms

Using this we find more keywords! YAY! And now we head back into English class and start to categorize them a wee bit.

  • Synonyms for tshirts: tshirts, t shirts
  • Adjectives: graphic, cool, funny, vintage, unique, designer, artistic, blue, classic
  • Sales Type: wholesale, custom
  • For Whom: mens, womens
  • Size: oversize

Dang, just doing that one little search we find that there are a bunch of keywords we could use on shirts in general, but I always find it helpful to do an ACTUAL search to make it more easily understood!

Our Sample Tshirt

Melissa Montgomery of Overtype graciously said that I could use one of her Fall tshirts as an example in this post. Here is the one we are going to SEO for!

Fall Tshirt

What I love about this is that we are not trying to sell something that is “popular” per se (like Disney or geek tshirts). This is just a nice little, seasonally appropriate tshirt!

Additional Resource :: I am a huge proponent of having seasonal products … Seasonal Marketing Holidays…. Dates, Hashtags and Keywords (Case Study Included)

So here is what Melissa had before we got our hands on her SEO:

Fall Shirt, Happy Fall, Gift Women, Graphic Tee, gifts for her, Thanksgiving T Shirt, Fall Clothing, Pumpkin Shirt, TShirt Women Soft TShirt

and here are the tags she used:

Tshirt Search Etsy SEO Marmalead

Tags show up at the bottom of the listing and are not really visible to the buyer unless she looks all the way down there. 

One thing to note is that Melissa has repeated some of the keywords like Fall (3 times), Tshirt (2 times), Women (2 Times) and Shirt (2 Times). You don't get any added bonus from Etsy for repeating keywords so we will just X those out for now!

She also did not max out the words available in the tags.

That said, her product photography is brilliant and the design of the shirt is wicked cool!

Which Is The Most Popular Kind of Tshirts?

I think we need to get something out of the way right now! I use a tool called Marmalead to research which keywords are searched for the most and since this is the MOST IMPORTANT one of all, lets take a peek! (#promo)

Tshirt Search Etsy SEO Marmalead

Interesting, it looks like t (space) shirt gets the most searches a month, but that could be because it contains shirt although tee shirt didn't benefit from that so we are going to make sure to use both of those terms in the title and make sure to get the rest of them into the tags!

So our title looks like “Love Fall Tshirt, T Shirt” right now. Let's look for some more good keywords!


Now we need to think about what the synonyms and related words are for fall! I like to use for this!

Thesaurus Fall Search

Oh snap, they don't even recognize Fall is a season. This seems important and like a clue. I know as a human that another word for Fall is Autumn (if English is not your first language, let me just apologize for our messed up word use!)

Doing that search didn't get me anything exciting but I did add it to my title.

“Love Fall Tshirt, Autumn T Shirt”


An easy win for us is to show the color of the tshirt, this one appears to be available in 7 colors but this listing is only for the front one which Melissa has called Coral Orange in the description, but we know descriptions don't show up in search so lets go with Pumpkin Orange (see how I snuck that matching fall word in!)

“Love Fall Tshirt, Pumpkin Orange Coral, Autumn T Shirt”

Advanced: There is a huge question about whether colors shown in “attributes” when you load your listing count towards SEO and I fall on the side of “no” and additionally Google can't see Etsy attributes so I want that color up there in the title when possible. I KNOW that sometimes means making more than one listing, but in my perfect world I would like to have it there!


So now we are going to swing back around to our Google adjectives…

  • Adjectives: graphic, cool, funny, vintage, unique, designer, artistic, blue, classic

Are there any that stand out as being appropriate? I like a few and added them to our title!

“Love Fall Tshirt, Pumpkin Orange Coral, Autumn Graphic T Shirt, Cool Artistic Classic”

Who Is It For?

Let's look at who this is for, a woman! So is it woman, womens, women? Bloody hell, let's check!

Women Tshirt Search Marmalead

The engagement number shows how many clicks are made after the search is done so for sure we are picking “women”.

Pro Tip: If you are not using a tool like Marmalead to do your research you can put the different words in your title and tags and then swing around later to your stats and see which get the most views. (#promo)

If you are using Marmalead and doing this for your business it would pay to do all the other combinations of searches (women t shirt, womans tee shirt) and make a little chart for yourself about those variations and their search volumes!

“Love Fall Women Tshirt, Pumpkin Orange Coral, Autumn Graphic T Shirt, Cool Artistic Classic”

At this point we still have 49 characters left in our title so let's check out Pinterest and see what it has to say!

Pinterest For Etsy SEO Research

Doing a search for fall tshirts we get these terms in the boxes across the top:

Fall Tshirt Search For Etsy SEO on Pinterest

Vinyl, Designs, Women (there it is again!), Sayings, For Kids, Southern, Ideas, Outfits, Cute, Pumpkin Spice, For Teachers, SVG, DIY

Ohhhhh interesting… I think these fall into some fun categories…

  • DIY (not good for sales) – Vinyl, Ideas, Svg, DIY
  • Good For Us – Sayings, Cute, For Teachers (maybe in our tags!)

“Love Fall Women Tshirt, Pumpkin Orange Coral, Autumn Sayings, Graphic T Shirt, Cute Cool Artistic Classic”(for teachers in tags)

On Etsy

I like to check out Etsy last because if I just do what all the other sellers do I will probably not be super creative and successful. We get SO MANY words that no one ever thinks to use, but that at least some people search for!

Etsy Tshirt Dropdown - Etsy SEO For Tshirt Sellers

Okay, we see some that we recognize… “tshirt women” and “with sayings”… interesting. Sayings came up twice, once in Pinterest and now here. BUT remember that Etsy cannot extrapolate so we need to add the whole phrase, “with sayings”, to our tags at the very least!

“Love Fall Women Tshirt, Pumpkin Orange Coral, Autumn Sayings, Graphic T Shirt, Cute Cool Artistic Classic”(with sayings, for teachers in tags)

Fall Shirts - Etsy SEO Research For Sellers

Oh interesting… it is NOT “fall tshirts” it is fall shirts or “fall shirt women”. These are pretty powerful phrases according to Etsy so we will put them in our tags complete like that!

“Love Fall Women Tshirt, Pumpkin Orange Coral, Autumn Sayings, Graphic T Shirt, Cute Cool Artistic Classic”(with sayings, for teachers, fall shirts, fall shirt women in tags)

 in tags

Fun! We see that we are on the right track according to the little boxes with our “fall shirts women” and “fall shirts for women”. This can sometimes be a really cool place to find Etsy specific keywords!

“Love Fall Women Tshirt, Pumpkin Orange Coral, Autumn Sayings, Graphic T Shirt, Cute Cool Artistic Classic”(with sayings, for teachers, fall shirts, fall shirt women in tags)

Melissa's Keywords

Okay, this super important. Melissa is a successful tshirt seller who has been doing this a while and she knows a thing or two. I am missing some of the words that she originally used in her listing so we are are going to add them in now!

Final Title… Whoop Whoop!

“Love Fall Women Tshirt, Pumpkin Orange Coral, Autumn Sayings, Graphic T Shirt, Gifts for Her, Happy Thanksgiving Cute Cool Artistic Classic”
(with sayings, for teachers, fall shirts, fall shirt women in tags)

Fully SEO Etsy Tshirt Example

Now For The Etsy Tags

Tags can mess up new sellers a bunch. I tend to repeat my title in my tags unless I have a lot of extra keywords! In this case we DO have a bunch of extra keywords so I will just put our main keywords in there and then fill in the rest!

Tshirt Sellers Tags Etsy SEO

Some match exactly and some are just ones that I think could be searched in Etsy for these kinds of tshirts. For example, I thought of a Mom who wanted a cute shirt to wear to her son's football game, and that shirt looks a little “woodland” to me (see below).

Also I added the name of the shop to the tags. Etsy's shop search functionality is horrendous so you want at least some of your listings to have your shop name!

Advanced :: Checking Out Other “Real” Tshirt Sites

I did a search for “Fall Tshirts” on Redbubble, and while there weren't a lot, there was one down there on the right that caught my eye.

Redbubble Fall Tshirt Search

That reminded me that “Woodland” is a popular style right now so I added it to Melissa's tags all sneaky like!

You can also check out the tags they are using to get more ideas!

Etsy SEO For Tshirt Sellers FAQ

Does It Take This Long Every Time You Do A Listing?

Nope! Once you have done this for a while you will have a large list of keywords that you use and that are successful for your shop. You can check out this post about using your Etsy stats to help your overall SEO after you have been on Etsy for a while!

Should You Use The Same “Good” Terms In Every Listing?

Great question! Nope. While it may seem like you have found some “perfect” keywords to use for your item, if you just copy and paste those over and over again you will functionally be limited to those words in search. Being the first 10 listings for a single search would be great but not everyone searches the same way. Even now 10% of the terms search on Google everyday are brand new and never have been searched before!

Do you have any more information about this?

Make sure to watch the video above to see me do this research “live”!

Etsy SEO For Tshirt Sellers... Etsy SEO for tshirt sellers may be a little different than it is in other places. If you are used to selling on pure tee shirt sites you might not be aware of all the nuances you can use with Etsy! Here are my best tips and ideas for rocking your Etsy SEO!

A Guide to Shopping for Vintage Clothing Online

You can’t even walk through a Target these days without seeing some piece of “vintage-inspired” clothing or accessory. From broken-in denim, to band tees, to artfully distressed leather jackets, the vintage look has never gone out of style – even if the items of clothing have gone out of production.

“I think a lot of it has to do with nostalgia,” says Avery Plewes, a Toronto-based costume designer who pulled racks of vintage designer clothing for the Kristen Stewart and Laura Dern film, JT LeRoy. “While you may outgrow the phase in your life where you listened to a particular band, a tee is a reminder of a period in your life, and the artist that was the soundtrack to that time. Also,” she adds, “a vintage T-shirt is almost always more comfortable, because it has been broken-in by the person who owned it before you.

jt leroy laura dern kristen stewar

Courtesy Universal Pictures Content Group

Avery Plewes

Vintage is big business these days for both retailers and individuals alike. While you can spend your weekends scouring flea markets and thrift shops, a number of sites have also made vintage shopping more accessible than ever before, letting users browse, shop and order everything online. The key to getting a good deal: make sure you do your research and due diligence before hitting the buy button. Here are a few tips to help you succeed in your vintage shopping experience.


If you’re looking to score that special piece, your first bet should be eBay. The online marketplace is one of the largest and most popular places for vintage apparel and accessories. The site’s huge breadth of inventory has everything from luxury and designer items, to rare, one-of-a-kind pieces.

“When it comes to vintage, we offer an amazing selection of retro and hard-to-find clothing and accessories that our community of sellers from around the world are listing daily,” says Bradford Shellhammer, Global Head of Buyer Engagement & Growth at eBay.

What we like: eBay has easy-to-figure-out filters in place that shoppers can use to narrow down the style, brand and decade that they’re looking for, from iconic brand tees, to a 1960s band jacket, to 1990s Dr. Martens. “And,” Shellhammer adds, “we have tons of styles for any type of budget, whether you’re looking for a unique, designer coat to add to your wardrobe, collecting vintage rock band tees, or on the hunt for trending items like Champion sweatshirts or Dior saddle bags from the 90s.”

Another good place to shop: Etsy. Once a haven for crafters and DIY enthusiasts, the site is now home to many well-curated and well-stocked vintage boutiques, run by super knowledgeable and enthusiast vendors from around the world. Like eBay, you can either buy an item outright, or try to contact the seller to negotiate a better price (or package a couple pieces together for quick sale). “In the past, I’ve bought Victorian dresses from Etsy for Grimes videos and found it way cheaper than buying at the vintage store in Los Angeles,” says Turner, a commercial and celebrity stylist whose clients also include Julia Michaels, Kim Gordon and the DJ, Porter Robinson.

For designer items (think: vintage purses, jewelry or shoes), you’ll want to go with a trusted site, like What Goes Around Comes Around, which boasts one of the best selections of luxury vintage goods in the country. Along with its physical boutiques in New York, Beverly Hills, Miami and the Hamptons, the store’s website offers everything from one-of-a-kind custom gowns, to hard-to-find Rolex watches. What Goes Around Comes Around has become a favorite of celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Adam Levine, who flock to the store’s – and website’s – extensive selection of vintage tees.

These days, even popular e-tailers like ASOS are getting into the vintage game. The ASOS Marketplace features hundreds of curated vintage tees, denim, jackets and accessories for men and women, while Urban Outfitters has a special section online for vintage and one-of-a-kind pieces as well. Among the items we’ve spotted in the past: everything from a vintage Christian Dior tux, to 90s-era Polo shirts, tie-dye and camo prints. The e-commerce site, Farfetch, also carries a solid inventory of vintage goods, with designer names like Chanel, Fendi, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, just to name a few. And sneakerheads love StockX, which is a “bid/ask marketplace” where buyers and sellers transact on things like Retro Jordans, streetwear and more. A perk of shopping with these sites: many of them offer weekly promo codes and discounts that can be applied to their vintage pieces, in addition to new merch.

A last resort: “Instagram has been incredibly helpful in my search for my own wardrobe collection, which has come in handy for last-minute videos with a $2 budget,” Turner says.

Plewes concurs. “I love Etsy and eBay for vintage graphic or band tees [but] Instagram is also a great resource, especially if you are looking for something that is more niche.”


While some people swear by vintage T-shirts, others prefer holding out for more unique or special pieces. Kacey Musgraves’ stylist, Erica Cloud, says she’s always on the hunt for a well-worn leather or suede jacket, vintage Levi’s, “beautiful old robes or kimonos, and my favorite, mechanic jumpsuits.”

Cloud, who says Musgraves “loves all types of vintage as much as I do,” recently found a vintage Willie Nelson tee for an appearance that Musgraves and Nelson had together. She also works with Busy Philipps for her show, Busy Tonight, and says the actress loves to wear vintage pieces mixed with current designers. “[Vintage pieces] add personality and uniqueness,” Cloud says, “but are still classic.”

What to look for: unless you’re a collector, you’ll want pieces that are still in wearable condition, with original stitching still in place, and without any modifications. If it’s a well-made piece, especially from a reputable designer, someone should be able to wear it for years. “The best way to identify vintage is the quality of the garment, cut and fabric content,” Plewes says. “The quality you get in a vintage piece is not available anymore unless you are paying a premium for designer pieces.”

Another thing to look for: any visible stains or permanent discolorations. That vintage Grateful Dead tee might be super soft and perfectly-distressed, but if there are pit stains or food stains on it, you’re going to have a hard time getting those out. (Not to mention a hard time unloading the shirt if you want to re-sell it in the future).


Not all vintage is created equal – nor is all vintage actually real vintage. The best way to spot a real from a fake: “Look at the tag,” says Cloud. “Most vintage tees and other pieces are produced by companies that aren’t around any more.”

If it is designer vintage you’re after, there are several websites that will authenticate an item for you. Plewes recommends Entrupy, an app that lets you snap photos of items you like, and then uses AI algorithms to analyze the images to determine authenticity. Another way to validate: take it to a vintage dealer or store. “Any proper vintage designer vendor should be able to validate the authenticity of an item for you,” Plewes says.

Shellhammer says eBay has a ton of measures in place to ensure the authenticity of items for sale and to remove false listings. “In the rare case a buyer believes that he or she has purchased a counterfeit item, eBay has a Money Back Guarantee that applies to virtually all transactions and will cover them accordingly,” he says.

Another tip: “I recommend that shoppers look out for positive feedback on the seller’s account, check the photos and descriptions carefully,” Shellhammer says, “and don’t be afraid to reach out to the seller with questions.”

Read carefully too. You can find original artist and concert tees from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s on eBay, but you’ll often see those designs reproduced on new apparel, and then listed as “vintage inspired.” “Original tees from an artist’s specific tour or show are often mentioned in the seller’s listing and include the year, overall condition of the item, and a price that reflects its rare nature,” Shellhammer says.


At the end of the day, a vintage piece should not only appeal to your sense of style, but to your personality and way of life as well. Many people use vintage clothing to tell a story, or to transport themselves back to another time.

Dolly Parton and Kacey Musgraves61st Annual Grammy Awards, Show, Los Angeles, USA - 10 Feb 2019

Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock

For this year’s Grammys, Cloud styled Musgraves in a vintage, red jumpsuit with ric rac detail from L.A.’s Palace Costume. “Kacey performed with Dolly Parton in the tribute for her, and we decided to go old-school Dolly,” Cloud says. The best part: “It fit her like a glove. No alterations necessary. The attention to detail and designs were just such better quality before fast fashion came around.”

“What I love about vintage, especially in my field is that there is always a story attached to it,” adds Plewes. “[The garment] has lived another life previously to my use. My job is storytelling and it is such an added bonus when the pieces I work with come with a past life.”

  1. Castle tattoo design
  2. 2003 subaru impreza specs
  3. Kinetic desk toy

Now that I don’t work in an office everyday and my days are full of changing diapers, playing in water tables and chasing toddlers, I wear a lot of graphic tees. Over the past couple of years I’ve found some great places to find graphic tees.

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting my blog!

Lately I’ve been asked by a bunch of you where I find my graphic tees or more causal tops so I wanted to share it with all of you! Also, ge sure to check out this post with tips on how to style them!

Check out what's in this post!

Best Places to Find Graphic Tees

1. Anthropologie

Here’s the thing about Anthropologie – they consistently run sales (and then sales on their sales) so keeping an eye on that can help you snag some cute tees for not very much money! I love so many of their graphic tees, it’s hard to not buy them all!

I really love the brand Sol Angeles that Anthropologie carries. They’re more expensive but you can typically find one included in their sales! I love how their tees fit and wear!

2. Nordstrom

I have many of the same sentiments about Nordstrom as I do about Anthro. Nordstrom has a ton of options (more than Anthropologie) and lots of sales. This is one place to browse often. 😉

I’ve found a lot of luck with the Sub Urban Riot brand and J.Crew brand of tees from Nordstrom so keep an eye on those!

I’ve had the Be A Nice Human shirt for a while and it’s one of my staples!

3. Evereve

Evereve has quickly become one of my favorite places to find graphic tees. It’s honestly one of my goals to NOT buy a graphic tee every time I walk into that store because they always have an abundance of great tees!

They also have Sub Urban Rio and Sol Angeles as well as tons of other great brands!

4. Madewell

Madewell also has a ton of super cute graphic tees. I also adore their plain casual every day tops!

The second I bought one of their “Whisper” tees and tanks, I bought 3 more of each in different colors. They come in plain colors as well as stripes and with graphics on them. They’re the best!

Those are a few places you likely already knew about. And now for a few places you may not know!

5. Able

The material on the Karina tees is amazing AND you’re helping marginalized women in the process. Win win win!

The yellow one (which has now been discontinued) below is the Karina tee so you can get an idea of the fit. It comes in a variety of colors that’s always changing!

6. Nellie Taft

okay cool graphic tee
all is well t-shirt

I’ve bought a couple tees from Nellie Taft now and love them (except I somehow stained my All Is Well tee so now I need to get a new one).

I just bought this “okay cool” top which I’m pretty much obsessed with. Turns out having a toddler makes you realize the phrases you say all.the.time and apparently I say “okay” quite a bit. 😉 All of their clothes are made in the USA too!

7. Milk and Honey

You may recognize these tees from this post with ideas for wearing an oversized t-shirt!

I loved the tee I wore and have gotten another tee and a sweatshirt! They have faith based tees as well as funny ones (like the thirty something one)!

8. Etsy!

crazy plant lady graphic tee with black tassel earrings

{photo cred Rebecca Petersen}

This one is super broad because there’s about a million different shops on Etsy selling graphic tees but that’s the beauty of it! You can search for pretty much anything and find someone who either makes a tee with what you want or can get one made.

It’s where I got my plant lady shirt and my dad a “best grandpa ever” along with “my grandpa is the best grandpa ever” tees for Roy and all of his cousins for our trip to Disney.

Just be sure to check reviews on shops though so you get a good idea on the quality.

9. Amazon

Like etsy, Amazon is busting at the seams with cute graphic tees! My sister and I (who is a completley different body shape than me) shared a few different styles on this graphic tees post.

Similar to etsy, make sure you check reviews as well as fabric makeup to make sure you’re going to like your new tee! Find our be kind graphic tees here.

Graphic tees and good quality casual tees can be hard to find! Everyone has different tastes and style preference so try out a few different brands and styles and take note of how they’re made (just cotton? a little poly or rayon? crew neck vs v-neck?).

Once you start to hone in on the style and feel, you’ll make better choices when buying tees so you’ll actually get something you actually love!

Be sure to check out this post for 7 graphic tees shown on different body shapes!

Where’s your favorite place to shop for tees?

Thanks so much for reading and sharing!



Categories Fashion + Style Tips, StyleTags fashion, style
About Jen

Jen is a mom of 3 who loves frozen cookie dough, plants and a generous pour of creamer in her coffee. Her biggest joy is helping others find joy in their life, style and home through tips, tutorials and encouragement. She also runs 2 additional blogs. Feel free to send Jen a message or join the fun on Instagram!



If you're looking for a way to instantly make your outfit look cooler, it's pretty easy—throw on a vintage T-shirt. Vintage T-shirts are everywhere on the street style scene, celebs are regularly snapped in them,  and fashion people wear them on repeat. In other words, they're a staple for achieving cool retro style. Not to mention, they're an instant way to make any outfit feel fresh. But because they're so covetable, finding the best vintage T-shirts can be tricky, to say the least.

Typically, we'd head out to our favorite secondhand and vintage stores to source the best tees, but let's face it. Picking through endless clothing racks can be exhausting and often fruitless. To make the shopping process a bit easier and since sharing our expertise is just what we do, we've compiled the ultimate guide to sourcing vintage tees on the internet. From tourist tees to niche '90s band tees, keep reading to shop the five destinations for the best vintage T-shirts, then shop some of our favorite styles currently in stock from each.


Etsy graphic tees

The 25 Coolest Vintage T-Shirts on Etsy Right Now

This spring, I was on the set of a photo shoot when the hairstylist complimented my denim jacket. My reply: “Oh, I got it on Etsy!” A few minutes later, she also asked me about oversize tribal-print sweater I had tied around my waist. “Also Etsy,” I said. What I didn’t tell her was the super-soft vintage T-shirt under my jacket and the nameplate necklace I wear every day are also from—say it with me—Etsy. And so is, I’d say, about 60 percent of my closet.

MORE: How to Shop Etsy Like a Fashion Editor

At face value, the site can appear overwhelmingly large, as twee as any Pinterest “wedding inspo” board, and generally pretty lackluster as far as fashion goes. But! For every crocheted cardigan and stretchy headband, there are gold Moschino belts, ’80s high-waist Guess jeans, silk ’60s Dior blouses, and vintage Gucci loafers. But for vintage T-shirt lovers, that’s where Etsy’s the real gem.

MORE: How Vintage T-Shirts Transformed My Personal Style

To me, a broken-in old slogan tee—whether worn seriously or ironically—is appropriate for most occasions and looks so damn cool with anything you own, from high-waisted jeans to under a blazer.

Here, 25 stellar selections straight from Etsy to snap up now before they’re gone forever.

Vintage 80's Ocean Pacific Graphic Surf Tee, $58; at Etsy store Love Faustine

Vintage '80s Gulf Shore Alabama Tee, $24; at Etsy store Manitou Supply

DEF LEPPARD '90s T-Shirt Adrenalize Tour, $59; at Etsy store Shop Exile 

Vintage '70s Electric Light Orchestra Tee, $48; at Etsy store Love Faustine

Santa Cruz '90s Skateboard Tee, $19; at Etsy store Soma Vintage 

my graphic tee collection \u0026 where to get them!
Graphic tees for grown women: the best graphic tees that are cool and modern, selections to fit every personality, and tips on where to shop #over40fashion

the best graphic tees for grown women how to pick and style the right ones for your style and age

I truly believe that women can wear whatever they want. If it makes you happy, makes you feel good, rock it. My posts are guidelines for those who desire it, and today’s post is how to wear graphic t-shirts. Graphics tees have become a strong trend in the past few seasons and it’s only getting stronger with the politics in the US and other parts of the globe. Wearing a graphic t-shirt is a way to express ourselves without saying a word. Through our choice of graphic t-shirt, we can showcase our favorite band, TV show, book, political party, or belief. However, not all graphic tees are created equal. Below I share great graphic tees for grown women: tees that are stylish, sophisticated, but not at all boring.


Your Heart on Your Sleeve

Whether it’s your political views or a social cause you care about, there’s likely a cool-looking shirt out there representing it. Even better, often these shirts donation a portion to a charity or organization that supports your views. Such shirts can be worn with your leggings to the gym or slipped under a blazer and tucked into jeans for a networking happy hour. To ensure such versatility, keep the color relatively neutral and the print clean and clear. Words and smaller graphics will get more mileage than a giant silkscreened pattern.


Your Life’s Motto

While I’m not big on “inspirational speaker” t-shirts (see below), there are plenty of graphic t-shirts that share a word or short phrase that may speak to who you are as a person, your style, or how you live your life. I have this shirt from J. Crew and feel it fits my life pretty well. I’ve worn it tucked into skirts, half tucked into denim shorts, and paired with white jeans and blazers. If you’re a Francophile you may enjoy a shirt with a French word on it (and you're lucky because I'm finding such shirts at almost every retailer); if you’re dedicated to your yoga practice you may like a shirt that says Namaste (there's plenty of great ones at Etsy). A big trend this season is graphic tees representing cities and states; everyone from Target to Neiman Marcus has options in a variety of colors and styles.


You’re with the Band (or the Book)

Graphic tees are a great way to show your great loves. A well-worn band tee shirt is eternally chic, tucked into a leather pencil skirt or paired with a pantsuit. A quote from your favorite book or author can look quite stylish in the right font on the right colored tee. When doing such shirts, be sure you are a true fan (see my tips below) and focus on classics, not trendy of-the-moment memes or TV shows so you’re not turning that tee into a dusting rag by summer.


You’re a Fan

Whether it’s Kenzo or Keith Haring, RBG or Reddit; a graphic tee is a way to show your love of a brand, a product, or a person. Your favorite work of art, museum, newspaper, or designer usually has a stylish quality t-shirt available that will look great peeking out from your blazer or moto jacket. While I am not usually one to buy large logos and plaster them all over, fashion brand t-shirts can be quite stylish and cool looking. If you are a fan of a brand and can afford one of their t-shirts I see no reason why you shouldn’t elevate your t-shirt collection. Just be sure to baby it so it lasts (it may be a t-shirt but it’s not cheap) and don’t buy fakes (see below).


It’s a Cool Design

Not every graphic tee has to be a billboard for a product or a bumper sticker proclaiming your life’s motto. Sometimes a graphic t-shirt is great just because it has a cool design on it. I have some t-shirts with word-free graphics on them that are decades old and still well-loved because such shirts are usually timeless.  With such shirts, the fabric and silhouette are paramount (see below).


Tips for Grown Women Buying Graphic Tees

  • What are you saying? A t-shirt is a way to express yourself without saying a word; is your shirt properly representing you? Do you wish your first impression to be about tacos, Mondays, wine, or brunch? You’re better than that. Consider graphic t-shirts to be the equivalent of a bumper sticker on your car or a tagline on your business card. Keep the funny sayings about coffee, men, and guacamole costing extra to your coffee mugs and Instagram memes.
  • Don’t be a motivational speaker. If you have a kid in your life under the age of 16, you’ve likely noticed the trend of “motivational speaker” t-shirts. It’s a welcome change from t-shirts advertising TV shows, candy, and brands and is a way to ingrain positive thoughts into peers and the shirt-wearers themselves. It makes sense for kids who are still learning about themselves and the world around them; to see shirts saying BE YOURSELF and DREAM HIGHER THAN THE STARS can motivate them and have them think and see things with a new perspective. As adults, we can motivate through our words and actions; unless such shirts coordinate with your job or project they can ring hollow.
  • If you don’t know it, don’t wear it. If you can’t name a handful of songs by the band, don’t wear the t-shirt. If you don’t watch the TV show, don’t wear a quote from it. If you haven’t visited the city or state, don’t wear it across your chest. T-shirts are a great way to start up a conversation and you don’t want to be left looking clueless.
  • Live in the present, not the past.  I hate to break it to you, grown women, but we're at the age where what we loved as teens and young adults is cool again.  And you know what that means… time to let (most) of it go.  If a 14-year-old is running around town in a FRIENDS sweatshirt or a Nirvana t-shirt, it's not cool for you to be doing the same. However, there is an exception.  If you're some badass who never stopped wearing that Nirvana shirt, if the look is something that is ingrained as part of your personal style already, I say rock it with pride.  For example, I have a decades-old well worn Ramones t-shirt. I don't plan on retiring it just because you can find a similar one at Forever 21.
  • Don’t buy dupes. Dupes is a term from the beauty community; this drugstore blush has the same color, sparkle, and pigment as this fancy department store brand. Dupes do not exist in fashion; they are fakes, they are counterfeit, and they not only screw over the originator but they also are usually made in worse factory situations. If you can’t afford a Gucci t-shirt, don’t wear a Gucci t-shirt.  Fakes are never fashionable and the fashionable can smell a fake a mile away.
  • Fabric matters. While that shirt on Etsy or Zazzle may have a great message, what kind of fabric is it made from? It’s hard to tell online as 100% cotton could be as stiff as cardboard or have a nice drape. Look at reviews, find sites that show the t-shirt on a model, read descriptions looking for descriptive words like drape, soft, stretch, float, and skim that allude to a softer fabric.
  • Fit matters. There’s a difference between that stiff boxy t-shirt you got from participating in a fun run and the tees sold at department stores and boutiques. Look for tees that work with, not against your body. Slimmer fits, styles that drape or have a bit of a fit and flare silhouette, sleeves that hit at a place on your arm that you like (usually having the end either above or below the widest part of your bust). These small details can make a big difference in how often you wear the shirt and how versatile it is with your wardrobe.
  • If in doubt, size up. Often, graphic tees will shrink a bit. It’s better to have your shirt a little loose than too tight. It will give you room to tuck and knot. Also, there’s nothing wrong with having a t-shirt tailored. Every garment in your wardrobe including your t-shirts can benefit from being customized to fit your unique shape!
  • Step away from the mall and get to your computer. Graphic tees are such a great way to show your personality, do you really want the same t-shirt as everyone else? Etsy is one of my favorite places for unique t-shirts. Thrift stores are a great place to find band and art tees. Instagram is a great way to find new-to-you indie brands that make artsy or message tee shirts, and often these smaller companies donate a portion of proceeds to charities.  I have a few suggestions below.
  • Consider color. That hot pink t-shirt is beautiful… but does it go with your wardrobe? If it’s a bold and bright color it may not be as versatile. Or if your wardrobe is primarily neutrals you may find a hot pink t-shirt exactly what your closet needs to feel cohesive. Basic t-shirt colors can also be higher maintenance; black can fade, white can get dingy or yellow under the arms. Just as I recommend with any other purchase, envision your graphic tee in three different outfits. Under a blazer with jeans, tucked into a skirt or pants, worn with leggings and a flannel or cardigan, half-tucked into shorts… you get the idea. I’ve found the hard way that black t-shirts get the least amount of wear in my closet.
  • Quality, not quantity. You’re a grown woman with a full life and a full closet. You don’t need an entire drawer full of t-shirts. If you have a lot of tees that have sentimental value, that’s fine. Box them up, turn them into a quilt, frame them in the home office, make them into pillows. But when clothes are in a drawer, not only do we wear them when we know they’re not the best, they prevent us from buying the best. If you love graphic tees you may have a handful of them, but that’s all you need. More, and you become the Graphic Tee Lady versus the woman in a cool shirt. It’s better to have one or two great fitting, quality shirts that stylishly represent you than a pile of cheesy, faded, or meh shirts that don’t do you or your style justice.

Some Great Sites for Great Graphic Tees

  • The Outrage: A DC-based woman-founded activist apparel shop and community space, The Outrage makes a donation to a progressive organization with every single purchase.
  • Otherwild: Otherwild sells a variety of items including graphic t-shirts. They are committed to utilizing our resources to provide sustained support to grassroots and national social justice and health care organizations.
  • District of Clothing: Founded in 2014, District of Clothing is a Black woman-founded DC-based company.  While she carries many chic DC tees, she also has great shirts appropriate for people who live everywhere.  I love this one, but note it runs small; I ordered an XL and it felt like a M. Follow the size charts and if you're larger, look at her unisex options.
  • Fanny Karst: Are you a badass woman proud of your age?  Think aging is an art?  that old is the new black?  Then this is the shop for you!
  • The Home T: Ever since the company started, The Home T has donated 10% of their profits to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and is specifically earmarked for research.  I have one of their shirts, it's several years old, the silkscreening still rich, and the shirt is one of the softest I own.  In fact, The Home T saw me on Instagram many years ago before I had many followers, heard about our family road trip and sent us three Maryland shirts for it, no strings attached.
  • Museum shops: From The Whitney to The Met, art museums have in person and online shops full of very cool t-shirts and proceeds support the museum.
  • UNIQLO: While many consider UNIQLO fast fashion, they do some phenomenal t-shirt collaborations. Whether you're into manga, Mickey Mouse, or modern artists you're likely to find a very cool shirt on their website.

Do you have any suggestions on where to find great graphic tees for grown women?  Do share them in the comments!


Now discussing:

We all have those days – the days where we either have to run a billion and one errands or the days where we still want to look semi-cute but have no desire to actually dress up with a sundress and/or wedges. Have no fear, Haute Talk is coming to your rescue! Who says that a graphic tee and a cute pair of jean shorts, lace shorts, colored shorts can’t be just as cute as a sundress? A creative, graphic and bold tee can make a statement outfit any day of the week. So, instead of wearing cropped tight fitting yogas and a huge tee (unless you are actually planning on going to the gym during your daily errands run), put a little pep in your step with a cute new graphic tee! Take a look at some of the graphic tees we found during our weekly Etsy window shopping spree! Enjoy!

Etsy Wednesday: Graphic Tees For Your Summer Wardrobe

1. Women’s Arrow Dolman Slouchy Top | Feather4Arrow, $28

2.  Vintage Bahamas Tee | ReBelle, $19.99

3. 1990s Graphic Tee Bikini | weallneedvintage, $20

Etsy Wednesday: Graphic Tees For Your Summer Wardrobe

1. Koon Clothing – Series 201 Geometric | KoonClothing, $28

2.Kurt Cobain Crop Top | AcceUiam, $14.99

3. Amplify Peace | GravalClothing, $15

4. I’m Sorry For What I Said When I Was Hungry | GoldenYouthApparel, $19.99

5. Retro Boombox Radiohead | TuristaClothing, $20



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