Tuesday 19 March 2013

Object of desire - the White Shirt

Every year, Spring brings me to the subject of the white shirt, and every year I find that there is still a hole in my wardrobe where that perfect, classic staple should be. A Holy Grail item, can you ever find 'the one' and if you do, is it still wearable the following year, or does it somehow just look wrong when you put it on again? Why should something so simple, prove to be so hard to find?

Alexa Chung for Vera Moda

Part of the trouble is knowing which style to go for and what works best for you. Whereas some women (notably chic French women) can seemingly throw any old thing on and look amazing regardless of the type of shirt or material, I veer between looking like I'm off to an interview circa 1992 or about to do some DIY in an oversized belted number.  Neither, I can assure you is a good look.

Vogue editor Emanuelle Alt

Ines de la Fressange Photo: Getty Images

The undisputed Queen of the white shirt is of course Jil Sander, and she is finally back where she belongs, designing again for her eponymous label. Her timeless uniform of navy trousers and a white shirt has never gone out of style and her current S/S 2013 collection is a classic example of her immaculate tailoring.

UK Vogue/Photo: Alasdair McLellan

 I love this shirt paired with the pastel polka dot skirt. It's fresh, feminine and beautifully cut. The image is from an amazing spread in April's UK Vogue entitled "Plain Song" - it makes me want to wear white every day though perhaps I would draw the line at wearing a linen napkin on my head... then again, anything in the name of fashion?

I do however think I may have found my perfect white shirt - for this year at least - and possibly even two. The first is by Bottega Veneta, modelled here by the beautiful stylist Giovanna Battiglia:

Photo: Alex Franco

Sleek, chic and easy, in light cotton with interesting fastening details this shirt is one for my dream wardrobe, as pricewise it is sadly out of my league. Slightly more accessible is Vanessa Bruno's silky white blouse - feminine, with a vintage twist - Bruno's signature style.

Photo: Alex Franco

Bruno says she prefers to leave a few buttons undone for a laidback look and likes to look 'smart with a touch of scruffy' - how perfectly Parisian is that - must try it. You can see the rest of this photo shoot here.

So whilst the perfect white shirt continues to elude me, I'm wearing leopard print.  But that's another story.


StealthCrystal said...

I find the white shirt elusive too. I laughed at the "interview" reference, so true

Juliette Chisholm said...

We must go shopping together and try and crack it - maybe Stockholm will have the answers. xx