Friday, 31 July 2015


If you have read any must have list for the stylish woman, it cites the white shirt as an absolute necessity!  Now to be honest with you, I really dislike those lists.  There is a presumption that we all share the same lifestyle and style goals when clearly we don't.

But, I cannot deny that the perfect white shirt is something that has tempted and taunted me over many years.

My body shape makes it difficult to fit a classic white shirt, the crispness and stiffness of the shirt often adds extra bulk to my frame and then there is the comfort issue.  I often feel too restrained in a crisp white shirt.

There are a number of designers who create the most beautiful, interesting and edgy white shirts.  Anne Fontaine makes the most wonderful white shirts.  I find them to be more on the conservative side of fashion, but beautiful all the same.   Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake design the most interesting and edgy white shirts.  Unconventional design, often oversized, and statement pieces.  For them the white shirt is not a support item, its often the star of the outfit.

Thankfully some of the more interesting design features are trickling through to the mainstream retailers making them more available to those of us with budget constraints.

My foray into the world of white cotton shirts has been slow and cautious but determined. There had to be a white shirt (maybe even two) out there for me:)  And there was.

Of course, it's rare to find what you want when you are specifically looking for it.  I found these two shirts browsing in store on two separate occasions.

The Sussan Sheer Back Long Sleeve Shirt (it's a tunic on me) is a nice take on the classic white shirt.  The sheer back and sleeves provide more movement and the shirt is not as bulky to wear as it would be with a full cotton back and sleeves.  The collar is very small and just right for my not long neck and small head!  This is also a great shirt to layer with.  To date I have layered a long black, similar length soft jacket, and a long sleeve black cropped knit over it.  I do prefer to layer as the expanse of white on my mid section is not totally appealing to my eye.

The second shirt is the White Contrast Edge Shirt from Cos.  Cos make some awesome shirts and I was thrilled to find this one.  Fit is good, it has a slight A line, sleeves are the right length for me and it is easy and comfortable to wear.

So as you can see, I am treading carefully, erring more on the side of modern classic but hopefully through styling these shirts, I can add some edge.  I am now on the look out for something with drape, that is oversized and has some length.

Over to you!  Do white shirts of any description have a place in your wardrobe?  What role do they play?

And for some white shirt inspiration, take a look at Accidental Icon's White Shirt board on Pinterest *sigh*.

xxx Deborah


  1. They are both lovely white shirts. I too tend to avoid this 'staple' as I find a white shirt not flattering. I am tall and a size 16. Buttons down the front feel too butch on my substantial bod and like you the bulk of white does not do my mid line any favours, nor does tucking in (fully) a shirt or top. Thanks for sharing some these for inspiration :-)

    1. Jan we share the same issues:) But I don't like to be beaten when there is something I want to wear:) I think sometimes its a matter of working out how to wear it 'your' way xx

  2. They are both lovely shirts, Deborah and I think they will work well as a simple background for your more statement-y pieces. I have a couple of good white shirts that are mostly used for layering-I love to see white collars and cuffs peeking out from under darker layers and the lighter colour is kinder next to my face! Love the Pinterest board - that Comme de Garcon shirt is fabulous!

    1. Sharon, that's exactly how I feel about white shirts. Particularly the white against the darker tones. Have you looked at Accidental Icon's blog? She wears the coolest white shirts!

  3. I'm always intrigued the way certain avant garde designers/labels interpret the white shirt: Ann Demeulemeester, Yohji Yamamoto, etc. Unfortunately clear bright white near my face makes me look lifeless, noticeably so since I ditched the platinum hair color. (The platinum seems to hide the fact that pure white is not my friend!) However, off white - for example, a Rick Owens color called fluoro - works. I've been considering an off white or blush/nude collared shirt, since I've recently found collars are really flattering for me.

    I'll bet you could wear a softer style instead of the stiff classic button-up shirt. It would look incredible with a blazer and the white sleeves peeking out a bit. An Edwardian-meets-deconstructed vibe might be your cup of tea, something like Ann Demeulemeester's poet shirts. Just a though.. :)

    1. I was looking at the fluoro colour, it appears to have a subtle grey tone to it? A soft blush would look gorgeous on you and would work with your current hair colour. I would like to explore my white shirt options further and something along the line of AD's shirts is very appealing. Food for thought... thank you:)

  4. The platinum *seemed* to hide.. (correcting my typo!)