it’s all about a classic white shirt styled three ways. who doesn’t like to see one item styled multiple ways? or how about an oversized white shirt? recently, on our YouTube channel, we introduced a new style series called Fashion Squared. this series will showcase the multiple ways we can inject our personality into outfits created by wardrobe staples like a simple white shirt.
for me, there’s nothing better than a crisp white button-down. but if you find yourself thinking button-downs just don’t look good on you, take heart. there are so many options available when it comes to the humble white shirt. maybe your version doesn’t entail buttons at all! take a peek at a few that caught my eye.
today, i decided an oversized white shirt would be a fun style challenge. so i grabbed one purchased from Athleta for a trevel junket last spring read here and chose three different ways to style it.
a classic white shirt is always office-appropriate and perfect for a nine-to-five look. but have you ever wondered how this iconic classic earned the nickname white-collar in reference to social class? it all started in the early nineteenth century or what is commonly called the Victorian Era. way back then the working class could not afford to have their clothes laundered as often as the upper class. it was a saturday chore for most and we all know a white shirt needs frequent washing to keep it in pristine condition. but a blue collared shirt more readily hides stains. these social conditions led to a distinction between the upper class and working class based solely on their apparel. the terms white collar and blue collar were born.
by the end of the nineteenth century, the white dress shirt with its stiff collar and fitted shape began to evolve and became more affordable. men were seen everywhere from church to the promenade sporting a classic white shirt. early in the twentieth century, the Prince of Wales(a fashion icon) exchanged white shirts in favor of fluid colored ones. now the simple white shirt was used less to distinguish class and began to take on a symbol of masculinity, power, and respectability. it wasn’t long before businesses like IBM mandated dress codes for their employees and utilized white shirts. but with better manufacturing techniques the stiff collar was replaced with a relaxed fit and the fit began to change yet again.
it wasn’t long before movie stars and musicians began to interpret the white shirt. anyone remember the Beatles wearing a black suit, white button-down, and tie? but how, exactly, did women begin to incorporate this classic into their wardrobe? again, we have Coco Chanel to thank when she combined an iconic menswear staple with one of her jersey suits. the difference this time was the collar was unbuttoned. but the white shirt was now a fashion statement for women. in the fifties screen actresses like Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Marilyn Monroe repurposed the classic white shirt, wearing their own versions and catapulting a simple button-down into an iconic classic.
outfits from the video white shirt styled three ways are linked below
shirt |similar denim | similar black leather moto | red mules | similar black handbag
shirt | chino shorts | denim jacket | scarf | ballet flats
shirt | faux leather pants | black pumps | similar handbag
today, there are so many versions of a white shirt – button-down, tuxedo, non-iron, silk, cotton, statement sleeves, the choices are endless. which white shirt is your favorite?
is the Founder and CEO of Style at a Certain Age. She writes Sundays-Fridays on all topics ranging from fashion, health, wellness, home design and more.
She’s 63, 5’8, and size 8.
ALL of these looks are fabulous! SO my taste!
Loved this video as I am Passionate about the basic white shirt! Appreciate all the creative ways Beth puts outfits together👍
One can never go wrong with a crisp white shirt!
Dear Beth, I have been amiss at reading my favorite blogs during the summer busyness, and am just now getting back into the habit. That means I missed the news about Mr. Style. So very sad for you and your family, but rejoicing that you have the hope of being with him again in heaven with the Lord. I look forward to that, as well–to see you both! Prayers for you as you are adjusting to this life without your suave and debonair best friend and husband.
You wear them all well. Inspiration for me to head to the closet for a fresh look at a classic.
Hi, Beth…I have followed your blog for years and love it dearly. However, the site is getting more and more cluttered with ads, making it less enjoyable to navigate…I don’t care for things popping up at me and being inserted smack dab in the middle of your photos as I try to focus on your words and photos. I miss a more simple site…
hi jod! thanks so much for your feedback. we value your opinion. the team is in touch with MediaVine to discuss ad options. the blog trys to balance the cost of business with great content and pleasing aesthetics. it’s a balancing act for certain. xo
So true–white shirts are so timeless –these are all good looking examples. They are perfect whether dressy or casual, and of course they go with any color at all. That’s what I call versatile.
Oh! Thank you so much for this post! It is timely for me as I just bought my first ever white oversized fitted shirt last week. Who knew one can wear one in so many trendy ways? I can’t wait to try a few of your ideas.
Love all that you do!
Beth, you’re always lovely but that first picture of you with lighter makeup and pink lipstick is GORGEOUS! You look years younger, soft, dewy, and beautiful!
Dear Beth, good morning from Germany!
Love your Videos and your style!
Take care of you! Sometimes your eyes look sad, fully understand that you miss your best friend. I am now 44 years married and thankful for each single day together with my man. Viele liebe Grüße!
LOVE the basic white shirt. Very classic. Love being reminded of ways to refresh their look! Thank you, Beth. I almost gave away 3-4 in my closet this summer. What was I thinking! So glad I didn’t! ~
I love a crisp white shirt. I wish I could find one that isn’t see through!
where does one buy that oatmeal colored poncho!!!!!!!!! love it
I enjoyed your video very much and I am looking forward to seeing more. I am a young 76 years old and I still love fashion and continue to be concerned about what is cracked for someone my age. Hope to see more outfits for the older women.
Beth. I’m dealing with pancreatic cancer n my husband died of cancer almost 10 yrs ago. He, too, is in heaven because of his faith in Jesus Christ n His promise of eternal life. The one thing that helped me in my times of grief was to remember that he has never been SO alive as he is right now in the Lord’s presence. Our husbands don’t have to deal with this corrupt and sinful world nor do they have to deal with everyday problems and frustrations that come to all of us. That is heaven. Wow.
Many of us have walked this path before you and we know where you are in this chapter of your life. Just remember God‘s attributes and trust Him with everything in your life. The psalms say that He is the Husband to the widows n the Father to the fatherless’. He has been my faithful Husband the moment He called my earthy husband home. May you find Him to be the same to you. May He who loves you with an everlasting love reveal Himself to you in unique ways EACH day.
I’ve been following you for a year and enjoyed every article. I just found out about Mr. Syles death last week.
Blessings in Him
so sorry for your loss. I had no idea until now. You and Mr. Style made a lovely couple and he supported you all the way. You have taught me to make life fun and I have followed your example to make life more fun. I have followed your example and I make friday cocktails for my husband and I. It is such good way to star the weekend. And I have suggested it to my friends as well. It must be hard for you. May God give you the strength to carry on. You are a blessing in peoples lifes. Big hug. Yurika
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