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Fashion & Style

Fashion & Style

The Evolution and Power of the White Shirt

It is no revelation that the classic white button-down shirt is a powerful and necessary wardrobe staple. One of my idols in the fashion industry, the iconic and elegant Carolina Herrera, has made this staple part of her “uniform.”  Add to this list unforgettable women like Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Princess Diana, and Jane Birkin. And who could forget Sharon Stone, who turned heads when she showed up at the Oscars in a Gap men’s white button-down?

The white button-down shirt is a gender-neutral option, ensuring an elevated and polished look for anyone who wears it. In the past, the crisp button-down was worn underneath the power suits of men in corporate environments; it projected ambition, dominance, and no-nonsense leadership (think Mad Men). In today’s world, the white shirt has become a “staple” piece for anyone, a style proclamation for some. Designers are offering alternatives that break with the conventional “male” version of the garment, making a once limited look one that any of us can play around with through varieties of silhouettes, embellishments, embroideries, exaggerated sleeves, and fabrics.

Here are some of my favorite current ways to wear the timeless white button-down. Don’t limit it to the office!

Paired With Denim

This is current, chic and never out-of-style.  It will immediately refine a casual look to a stylish, modern, and clean look.

Unapologetic Office Wear

Wearing a non-traditional version of a white shirt (think a fun collar or puffed sleeves) paired with a suit makes a statement. The white shirt will be the focal point of your look and give you a professional vibe.

White Shirt Dress

The shirt that serves a dual purpose. The shirt dress, belted or not it a versatile look. Paired it with a moto-jacket, booties, or leather pants for a full look.

Date Night Look

Pair an embellished button-down with velvet pants, an asymmetrical skirt, or a high-waisted pant for a cocktail look.

Evening Wear

Think embellishments, florets or simple satin; this type of button-down will serve you with a fantastic evening look, especially if you pair it with nicer denim or a simple pencil skirt.

I have always considered the white button-down a staple in my own wardrobe. My absolute favorite variation of the garment? A white shirt that is monogrammed with cufflinks. Yes, you may think that sounds very masculine, but if paired with the right wardrobe pieces it can be a strong feminine look.

The point is, when it comes to the white shirt, the style options are endless and transcend the feminine-masculine binary. The value is in its versatility. Tailored, oversized, collared, ruffled; however it’s worn it should ultimately be in line with your brand and your style.

fotini xoxo

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Written by: Fotini Learn
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