Friday, 21 June 2013

Back to Basics: The White Shirt

Although each seasons's trends add a dash of excitement to both our lives and our wardrobes, sometimes we crave the reassurance of an item we know we can always rely on. Certain clothes are so ubiquitous that they are evident in almost all of our closets and comfort us with the knowledge they can be thrown together with both classic and new items to easily create a stylish, comfortable look. First in the series is my pick of five white shirts that would slot perfectly into your fashion framework as either your first foray into this particular piece or as a subtle new season update.

Clockwise from top left: Silk blouse, £230, Equipment; Shirt with sheer overlay, £36, ASOS; Flower embroidered shirt, £30, Topshop; Pleated front blouse, £55 (on sale from £110), Reiss; Zip pocket shirt, £30, River Island.

Whether you decide to call it a shirt or a blouse, it's purely semantics: what is important is its position in your wardrobe. Often over looked in favour of more exciting, trend driven numbers, the white shirt remains a constant in the majority of our lives. Most of us have at least one variation of this piece for our work wardrobe and why wouldn't we? The white shirt (or blouse) is one of the most timeless items of clothing you could ever purchase and is flexible enough to allows designers and brands to offer subtle tweaks to suit any body shape or sartorial preference.

Running late to work and need to pick an outfit quick? Trying to plan something for the next day just to see an abyss staring back at you from the depths of your wardrobe? Allow one of a smorgasbord of these utilitarian beauties to come and shroud you in stylistic reassurance. Wear under a trouser suit as a solid framework to your professional demeanour, tucked loosely into a pencil skirt for some 1950s inspired chic or with jeans and a blazer for Dress Down Fridays and casual offices.

Many choose to make their choice in a shirt an investment, spending a fair amount of cash with the promise of quality and durability as well as timeless style. If you're willing to do the same and dip into your pockets, this silk number by Equipment (above) is perfect. Reiss is also well known in the high street for providing premium workwear with a high fashion twist, and this pleated number is a steal due to its 50% discount. Looking for a more affordable fix that you can pick up during a spot of lunch time shopping? Then look no further than this subtly embroided piece by Topshop, which gives a gentle nod to Spring/Summer's reoccurring flower theme, or River Island's little number, fronted with zip pockets which will carry you throughout the year. Finally, for those addicted to online shopping, ASOS offers up the goods with their take on both the white-on-white and sheer fabric trend with their modern sleeveless shirt with added translucent overlay. Whatever your style, from classic through to utilitarian and out the other end at feminine, there will always be something out their to add joy and ease to your personal workwear collection.



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