Saturday, June 30, 2007

Pleated White Blouse

I don't wear white shirts and blouses as much as I feel I should. Style gurus are always saying that a flattering white shirt is a wardrobe essential. Designers I admire, like Carolina Herrerra, are constantly being photographed in them, looking crisp and elegant. Each time I see one of those photos, I think about how great she looks, and how wonderful an idea it is to pair a haberdashery classic with a shiny satin floor-length skirt, and maybe a silk scarf tied at the waist like a belt.

I do own two well-fitting white shirts. But I never wear them. Sometimes I'll try one of them on when I'm getting ready to go out for a weeknight dinner and am trying to figure out what to wear over a pencil skirt. But, to my mind, it always just looks too business-y and I end up swapping it out for a camisole and cardigan or for a short-sleeved cashmere crewneck.

Have you ever been similarly perplexed? Do you think white shirts really are the wardrobe staple that fashion mavens make them out to be? How do you like to wear yours? Any tips for femming them up?

The blouse in the photo above is nonetheless gorgeous and just the kind of piece I would feel I ought to buy as a staple. I've vowed not to buy any more white shirts until I've started to wear the ones I already have but I'm still pleasantly mesmerized by this one's elaborate fold and tucks and its unusual sleeves.

Shirt by 3.1 Phillip Lim. Image from Vogue, July '07.


tn said...

I share with you the white shirt dilemma. I find when I wear a shirt I feel frumpier, less comfortable, and a bit boxy....and, my bra straps keep falling down!! I think the trick is to start with baby steps, a great fitting, FITTED shirt and pencil skirt or killer pants for day. Great bra. Un-do one extra button. Give it a test drive.

Iheartfashion said...

I do wear my white shirts, just never with a black skirt or pants, so as not to look like a caterer. With a great necklace and a pair of jeans, it's a can't-miss casual outfit.

Candid Cool said...

I have a penchant for white shirts. I have a delicate lace blouse that doesn't get as much wear as I would like it to; I discovered it looks good layered over a white shirt (sort of like a "vest"). I like that it adds some femininity to my minimalist aesthetic.