How To Wear: The Classic White Shirt

3 min read
how to wear white shirts

Nothing says wardrobe refresh quite like a crisp, white shirt. 


It’s too easy to forget the simple allure of a clean white shirt. Not only are they grown-up and instantly smart, but putting something so brilliantly white next to your complexion is instantly lifting, too.

white shirt

Layer a staple white shirt with leather

A white shirt, red lipstick and clean make-up look is our go-to solution for all occasions, that hero item you can throw on when you don’t have time to think, or when nothing else seems to work.

While December welcomed all matters of maximalist style, a month of glitter, novelty knits and sequin party dresses can leave us pining for something simplistic, serene and business-like, without being too stuffy. So, consider this modest piece your sartorial trump card for January. 

How to wear the white shirt

A crisp shirt can instantly take you from the office to dinner

The advocates for this timeless throw-on are endless – think Princess Diana, Bianca Jagger, Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin – and their versatility knows no bounds. A white blouse or shirt will go with anything – tossed over swimwear for beach chic, paired with tailored separates for office-appropriate attire, worn with ball-gown-like skirt for an evening event.

For some translatable inspiration, here’s how the fashion pack were wearing theirs at the SS20 shows.

street style inspiration

Stylist and influencer Linda Tol

This is light layering at its fashion best. Work wear needn’t be corporate and boring, and this is a perfect example of how to add a fashion edge . This white Loewe shirt has proved one of SS20’s big hitters, and what really sets it apart is the detail – that unexpected volume around the shoulders. Dutch-born stylist and influencer Linda Tol wears it with a tank top, peg leg trousers and coordinating white boots.

the white shirt staple

Model and blogger Caroline Daur

German model and blogger Caroline Daur looks the epitome of easy chic. Just team a simple white shirt with a black tuxedo jacket and your favourite stonewash jeans and you’ll feel instantly empowered. The heels are optional here, trainers would work equally as well. 

Elie Saab show

A fashion-goer outside the Elie Saab show

When the rest of the look is bold and dramatic, couple it with a contrasting white shirt. It’s a great equalizer, as seen on this guest outside the Elie Saab show. The couture-like silhouette offered by the skirt and trench coat, is pared back with a classic white shirt. 

Shop our picks of fashion’s freshest shirts and blouses, here.


Read Next: How to Wear All White Everything 

  • Words by Elaine Lloyd-Jones
  • Images: Getty Images