My Addiction to Relaxed Tees (& How to Wear Them!)

True Life: I’m addicted to relaxed tees.

Photo Credit

This isn’t me, but you get the picture. Relaxed tees are gold. Photo Credit

The relaxed tee is my holy grail style in the world of casual tops. I currently own four tees in this  make: Two are identical semi-sheer knits from Urban Outfitters – one in black, one in mint. Another, a grey marl from American Eagle, was scooped up at TJ Maxx. The most recent addition to my collection is a more stylized version, complete with a center seam and side panel detailing, courtesy of Trouvé at Nordstrom.

I love them with skinny jeans, tight minis, and the occasional legging. This summer, I’ll probably pair them with my favorite denim cut-offs and flops for an attempt at effortless Minnesota-meets-California-girl style. The shape is flattering, the loose fit means you can eat, drink, and indulge as much as you want without cling, and the shirts look great teamed with almost everything I own – all while being more stylish than  a basic tee. If you want to up your shirt game, I highly recommend adding a relaxed tee or two to your collection!

Top 3 Tips for Choosing a Relaxed Tee

Vince Spruce Dolman Top, via LYST.

Vince Spruce Dolman Top, via LYST.

Look for fitted sleeves. Relaxed tees, at their most basic, are boxy, baggy, and loose-fitting. While this is great for fans of a laid-back look, too much bagginess can appear a bit sloppy or shapeless. In order to combat this, make sure to pick a style with longer, fitted sleeves. No “wings” or split sleeves! Tight 3/4-length or long sleeves help to define your shape and accent your arms while keeping the general slouchiness of the style intact. Scrunch them up if they get in the way!

Bela Luxx Dolman Top, Opal Boutique

Bela Luxx Dolman Top, Opal Boutique

Check the neckline. Relaxed styles that slide off of shoulders or show lots of neck or collarbones are universally flattering, not to mention feminine! The neckline on relaxed dolman styles can vary pretty substantially. Some scoop low,some are cut straight across, and some hang off of one shoulder. In my opinion, the easiest-to-wear of these models are those with a medium-rise, wide neck. This style can be worn on or off of the shoulder and show a pretty peek of skin without being risqué. Just pull one on and go!

Bella Long Sleeve Dolman Top, Cheap Tees.

Bella Long Sleeve Dolman Top, Cheap Tees.

Wear with tight-fitting bottoms. If you’re a girl who likes her pants skinny, you’ll have no problem following this rule! No one wants to maximize personal body volume! Since this style doesn’t have much shape of its own, relaxed tees are simply most flattering with tight-fitting bottoms for a balanced, proportional look. Otherwise, tuck that shirt in! The possible exception? A shirt that’s both relaxed and cropped can look pretty cute with baggy bottoms.

…What do YOU think? Are you a dolman darling? What’s your go-to shirt style? Leave a comment and let us know!


Liza, Editorial Director


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