THE TOP EVERY FASHIONABLE WOMAN WEARS

From celebrities to the street style set, the white shirt is a grade-A wardrobe staple…

Holly Willoughby wearing a white shirt - get the look with our blouson sleeve shirt, £39, and red skirt, £45.
Holly Willoughby wearing a white shirt - get the look with our blouson sleeve shirt, £39, and red skirt, £45.

As the old saying goes, sometimes the simple things in life are the best. It’s an adage that lends itself rather nicely to fashion too. From a lived-in leather biker jacket to wear everywhere (and with everything) jeans or a trusty LBD, often it’s the pared-back, enduring pieces in our wardrobes that bring us the most joy. Ultimately, simple doesn’t have to equal uninspiring, and if there’s one piece that proves this, it’s the classic white shirt.

Holly Willoughby and Katie Piper styling their white shirts with striped skirts
Holly Willoughby and Katie Piper styling their white shirts with striped skirts.

A cornerstone of male wardrobes, the white shirt entered the female fashion arena somewhat scandalously in 1793, when French queen Marie Antoinette wore one for a portrait, breaking royal protocol. In the forties and fifties, white shirts were regularly worn by Hollywood stars Lauren Baccall, Ava Gardner, Katharine Hepburn and Audrey Hepburn. An iconic piece worn by icons on and off stage or screen - Patti Smith, Marlene Dietrich, Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman – it remains a go-to for celebrities and street style stars alike.

Clemente Poesy and a street styler wearing white shirts with denim and tailoring
Clemente Poesy and a street styler wearing white shirts with denim and tailoring.

There are currently countless stylish women making the case for the white shirt. Holly Willoughby likes to wear hers tucked into a pencil or full skirt – likewise Katie Piper, while French actress Clemence Poesy wears hers insouciantly undone with denim. The ultimate work-to-weekend piece, a white shirt is also perfectly at home with sharp tailoring and a sleek handbag.

Actress and street style star Olivia Culpo and Rosie Fortescue get creative with their white shirts
Actress and street style star Olivia Culpo and Rosie Fortescue get creative with their white shirts.

It is the street style set, however, who prove that the white shirt can be anything but basic. Constantly coming up with creative ways to elevate theirs, this season is all about layering it under a spring dress or creating shape with an on-trend corset belt. For a look that doesn’t require quite as much effort but will still make a statement, try our balloon sleeve white shirt – just add our red lace skirt for a street style worthy outfit.

Inspired? Scroll down to find your new favourite white shirt…

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