Thursday, June 21, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

Peter Lindberh's supermodels in white shirts (image from
Pretty much every "grown-up" lady I know has a perfect white shirt. It's a staple element of the wardrobe of most modern women. Until now, the white shirt has either been buttoned up with a suit for business meetings or worn loose and mannish as in Peter Lindbergh's supermodels portrait above. However of late, it's started to inch into actual fashion territory too.  By that I mean that it's been used as key styling tool on the catwalks and, most importantly, is Alexa Chung's new favourite thing to wear to big events.

Alexa in Christopher Kane at the Scottish Fashion Awards
In our day-to-day work, the FashEd and I are constantly hearing about how consumers are trying to save their pennies and are reluctant to invest in whole new looks. This makes the white shirt's new lease of life even more exciting for those of you out there who want to look of the moment with out breaking the bank. Step forward our new formula-

1. Take a blingy party dress from your wardrobe.
2. Wear with white shirt.

Ta da! Ok, so it's pretty simple but the basic principle is that you can revive old skirts and dresses just by wearing them a new and now way, namely by priming them up with a crisp shirt rather than baring flesh or using a cardigan  to cover up. Take it a step further by adding gems to the cuff or a ribbon round the collar. It is imperative that the shirt is taken far, far away from corporate connotations to achieve the right level of nowness- Kristen Stewart wore a Stella white shirt get-up recently which would have been rather fab had it not been for the overly staid jacket that got plonked on top.

Kristen Stewart in Stella (image from
Alexa in Marc Jacobs plus shirt at the Met Gala (image from
It wasn't actually Alexa who started this trend- though she's it earliest real life adopter. On the AW12 catwalks, there were white shirts sprinkled into many of the major shows. Giles' show notes even thanked Gap for the provision of white shirts throughout. Roksanda Ilincic kept the shirt within its menswear roots but added fur and sporty cuffs. Simone Rocha put huge knitted panels on hers while Stella's were embroidered in cobalt blue rococo patterns. 
Giles AW12 (image from
Roksanda Ilincic AW12 (image from
Here are our favourite white shirt picks, just keep it well away from a suit jacket, unless you work in a law firm...

ASOS £25

Reiss £79

Topshop £32

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