Every Elegant Woman Must Have a Crisp White Button-Down Shirt

This timeless classic is a staple in the closets of the world's best dressed women.

The white shirt: a classic wardrobe item that, at one point, was useful only for white collar businessmen, men’s formal suiting, and occasionally, the WASPy woman’s weekend uniform. It is undoubtedly one of the most versatile pieces a stylish woman can have in her wardrobe, being one of the few pieces that easily transitions from day-to-night: holding the ability to look both formal and informal. Not to mention, the effortless way it can elevate one’s outfit.

The timeless classic is usually linked to Carolina Herrera but its history goes way back. Old Hollywood actresses like Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Marilyn Monroe were known fans of the white shirt’s calm elegance. And years later, actress Sharon Stone made use of the age-old style trick when she wore her husband’s Gap shirt which will always be remembered as one of the most iconic looks in Oscars history, fashionably styled with the sleeves pushed up and paired with a satin lilac Vera Wang skirt.

Marilyn Monroe

Grace Kelly

Audrey Hepburn

Pull a Katharine Hepburn and wear a white silk shirt with loose-fitting pants. The feminine fabric of the shirt and the boxy trousers is the perfect balance between masculine and feminine.

Take some inspiration from Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and the French with a fail-safe combination of a white shirt and black cigarette pants.

For the more adventurous woman, use a pop of color and a little detail to elevate the white shirt. Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw wears hers with a green Vivienne Westwood skirt with tulle detail.

Follow Emma Watson’s footsteps and put a contemporary spin on the white shirt by adding modern accessories.

Put an alluring twist on the classic, just like Rihanna with her oversized Juun.J shirt.

About The Author
Paolo Chua
Staff Writer
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