One might say we're something of a white shirt enthusiasts over here at VAUGHAN.
They might say that.
More accurately, I’d admit to a deep decades-long obsession with the article I consider to be the ultimate wardrobe staple: a clean, classic white shirt.
I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. Done incorrectly a basic white shirt can be, well, basic.
But done well?
A good white shirt can project clean, quiet confidence, elegance and a bit of care-free cool.
Here’s my roundup of the 5 types of white shirts any woman needs in her wardrobe.
The Hepburn shirt by VAUGHAN
The white silk blouse
A classic button front white silk blouse is the single item I reach for when I’m not sure what to wear. You know those days:
You want to look undeniably good, but also kind of effortless.
Enter the silk blouse. It’s the single easiest thing you can put on in the morning. Paired with wool trousers it oozes classic polish, it adds interest to a pair of well worn boyfriend jeans, and it adds an elegant balance to even the most wild party skirt.
Notable patrons: Katharine Hepburn, Emma Watson, yours truly
Recommended for: those “WTF am I going to wear?” moments
Avoid while: breastfeeding
My pick: VAUGHAN’s Hepburn shirt in Lion in Winter. Size up for a bit of added *cool*, size down for a more polished effect.
Classic James Dean
The classic white tee
The humble white tee shirt is probably the closest thing humanity has to a universal wardrobe basic. My favorite part is there's definitely something that screams IDGAF when paired with a seriously luxe separates.
Notable patrons: James Dean, Steve McQueen
Recommended for: channeling your inner fashion rebel
Avoid if: trying to retain modesty during a downpour
My pick: Hanes x Karla "The Crew", a little boy style tee. Always cool, always effortless.
The white bodysuit
I feel like bodysuits are controversial. Are bodysuits controversial?
As intimidating as they may be, as a bonafide 90s girl, I can't help but be partial to a good bodysuit. They pair beautifully with just about any skirt or trousers without adding fuss or bulk and simultaneously accentuating curves.
For a super flattering look, pair with a piece that accentuates the waist - a great skirt or pair of high waisted jeans is ideal here.
Notable patrons: Cindy C, all Kardashian/Jenners (except Rob I suppose), anyone who shopped Victorias Secret clothing in the 90's.
Recommended for: highlighting mega curves and a flat tummy
Avoid if: you reallllly can't deal with wedgies
My pick: The Lenox bodysuit by Alix. High quality, thick microfiber makes this a surprisingly wearable option.
The Martha shirt by VAUGHAN
The white Statement Top a.k.a Going-Out-Top
Another 90s revival that I can't hate? The resurgence of the Statement Blouse aka the Going Out Top.
Remember in college when just about anything paired with Black Going Out Pants became a look? Well, the formula has been tweaked but the idea is similar.
Statement top + light jeans + satin shoes = sartorial success.
Notable patrons: insta girls the world over, Jerry Seinfeld
Recommended for: looking fly on date night, instagram selfies
Avoid if: you're a man
My pick: VAUGHAN's Martha shirt. The beauty lies in the ability to wear this shirt two different ways, draped in the front for mega drama or tied around the back for a waist defining look.
Carolina Herrera's iconic white shirt / ball skirt pairing
The crisp cotton white shirt
95% of the time, I'd take a silk shirt over cotton any day. However, sometimes a cotton shirt is the way to go.
You might get messy.
You're pairing it with a ball skirt a la Carolina Herrera.
Arguably, one of the most iconic designer signature looks of our era is Carolina Herrera's taffeta balls skirts paired with a crisp white shirt.
I cannot imagine a more chic, timeless, wearable option for just about any formal occasion. For that reason alone, a classic white cotton shirt is a closet essential for any woman.
Notable patrons: Catholic school pupils, Audrey Hepburn, safari goers
Recommended for: truly chic black tie moments
My pick: Brooks Brothers non-iron fitted dress shirt. Buy a wear-forever classic and you'll have a bigger budget for accessories... and ball skirts!