If you’re like me, it’s likely that you’ve grossly misunderstood the benefits of having a white shirt in your wardrobe that perfectly reflects your style.  Classic, timeless and with the uncanny ability to transform an outfit, a white shirt is not called a wardrobe staple for nothing.

Reinterpreted seasonally by designers, the white shirt once considered as nothing more than office wear for men in the 1920’s has grown in popularity so much that it’s now ingrained in iconic cinematic history; anyone remember the Julia Roberts scene in Pretty Woman, Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction or perhaps Baby in Dirty Dancing?

In modern fashion, it’s not unusual to see a white shirt teamed with a full skirt on a red carpet.  A look that’s become accepted thanks to Carolina Herrera who has well and truly adopted this interpretation as her go-to look when she takes a bow at the end of her runway shows.

Read on for 5 ways you can redefine how you view the white shirt and incorporate into your wardrobe.


Office Wear

If you work in a corporate environment, you can keep it simple. Worn with high-waisted palazzo pants, a pencil skirt or a pair of slouchy men’s style trousers, the white shirt has a natural wardrobe match. You can command respect in the office whilst channel masculine chic fashion.

Redefining the White Shirt via The BF Collective

Via The Style Pantry


Red Carpet

There is truly nothing so equally chic and comfortable as a white shirt teamed with a voluminous skirt on the red carpet.  This unexpected pairing ensures that you not only are you observing the dress code for the event you’re attending, but you feel inherently cool for your seemingly unfussed approach.  Another option is to fully channel menswear styling on the red carpet by wearing a chic tuxedo along with your white shirt, topping it off of course with a pair of killer heels.

Redefining the White Shirt via The BF Collective

Octavia Spencer at the 2012 Baftas
Solange at Beyonce’s Life is a Dream Premier
Angelina Jolie @ 2014 Baftas


Out & About At The Weekend

If you usually stick to t-shirts and vests at the weekend, this is for you. Just as the white shirt is an unexpected success on the red carpet, there are also a variety of ways you can rock it at the weekend either during the day or on nights out.

Redefining the White Shirt via The BF Collective

Gabrielle Union
Via J’adore Fashion
Unknown Street Style


At The Beach

The perfect cover up, you’ll question why you ever wasted money buying a beaded kaftan or sarong! Not only is it cheap as it’s more than likely you’ll wear a shirt that you already own, but it’s far more suitable for its purpose as a cover up.  Lightweight cotton and light reflective white means that not only are you going to be the epitome of beach time chic, but you’ll be cool at the same time.

Redefining the White Shirt via The BF Collective

Via Lisa Folawiyo

At Home

 Instead of wearing a wrapper or a bubu at home, wear a white shirt.  Giving you the same loose and carefree feeling you get when wearing a bubu, a white shirt injects something a little playful to your post work outfit.  Even better, if you happen to be wearing your husband or boyfriend’s shirt he’ll much prefer you in this compared to your usual household uniform.

Redefining the White Shirt via The BF Collective

Angelina Jolie in Mr & Mrs Smith
Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman


So, no more excuses, get out there and redefine how you don your white shirt!

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