The white shirt would have to be one of the most important items in your wardrobe.
Not only is it versatile, able to be mixed and matched with just about anything and everything, from tailored skirts to your well worn jeans, it gives just a touch of elegance to whatever you’re wearing.
Being white, it works well with colours too, broadening your options and reducing the risk of colour clashes.
Although the idea of a white shirt sounds simple, be wary; there are white shirts and then there are white shirts. A cheap white shirt, or men’s shirt, might be OK for a super-casual stay-at-home style, but it can make you look quite dowdy or unkempt. However, a clean, crisp white shirt screams chic elegance and authority. It gives a clear indication that you are successful, organised and sharp.
The style of shirt you choose depends on your preferences, your personality and the situation, not to mention your body shape and build.
Soft, flowing materials give a more feminine and soft look, whereas twill or poplin are less sheer and the material a little firmer, giving you a stronger, more defined look.
The former are generally less fitted, and loosely wrap your body shape. The latter, ideally, are tailored and more fitted, drawing in waists and giving a neat, clean look.
If you’re large in the bust, finding a tailored shirt with darts under the busts will give a nice fit, drawing in the waist. Smaller busts can be defined with a wider, lower neckline, and darts down the side of the shirt will give the illusion of bigger breasts.
Tailored shirts, nipped in at the waist, also help to define the gorgeous, feminine figure and are ideal for more formal and business occasions.
Be aware of cuff and collar sizes. Large, pointed collars work well on tall, slim people, whereas rounded collars are much better suited to those with rounder faces. Collars are ideal for more formal business occasions, and a nice, collar-less, rounded neckline work well for most work and semi-formal engagements. Both team well with jackets, although keep your collar free shirts teamed with your single-breasted, jacket.
Whether you tuck your shirt in or not depends on both the style of the shirt and the occasion. Tailored shirts, nipped at the waist, can be left in or out, although for more serious business and work occasions, tucking it in will afford a much neater, tidier look. If your body shape is heavy at the top, a white shirt worn untucked can make you appear larger than you are, so look for a shirt with vertical design elements. Pintucks from top to bottom or buttons in a contrasting colour can lead the eye up and down, virtually changing your shape. Alternatively, add a long, dangling scarf or necklace to give you the vertical touch.
Softer shirts can remain loose, and are fabulous for hiding any curves you want hidden, hanging neatly over waistbands. It’s still important, however, that you choose your shirt well.
Being a classic item that can mix and match with anything, it is worthwhile investing in a few white shirts in different styles. Define your look and match your white shirts well to your body shape, as well as what is in your wardrobe.
The classic white shirt – it looks so innocent and understated, yet it’s one of the most important pieces in a woman’s wardrobe. It’s simplicity makes it easy to dress up or down, so the same shirt will look totally appropriate for work during the day, but a quick change of accessories and perhaps the addition of a belt, will take you comfortably off into the evening.
Every woman needs a white shirt in her wardrobe. Do you have one?