Every fashionista and style expert will tell you that every woman needs a Classic White Shirt. It is one of the 9 wardrobe essentials, sophistication and class, and is about the most versatile thing you will ever own. You can wear it with a suit for an important job interview; pair it with jeans and statement shoes for a date; switch the jeans for leggings and slip on ballet slippers for Saturday casual chic.
But it is, actually, hard to find a good Classic White Shirt. The fit must be perfect, and little details like the darts and cuffs make a big difference. Here are tips for finding the perfect white shirt.
Look at the cut
Tailoring is crucial. You want your white shirt to show off your silhouette, which makes it look crisp and sexy. Avoid anything that is too billowy and loose, or too boxy and mannish.
Invest in good fabric
Since structure is so crucial in a classic white shirt, pay the extra dollar for high quality fabrics like poplin or twill. These fabrics not only hold their structure well, they’re also thicker. A sheer white shirt has its own place in your wardrobe, but you’ll want something opaque for the office.
The collar shouldn’t be so stiff or too tall to rub against your neck. Think about how it will feel when the collar is starched! Also check the width and length of the collar. Does it make your neck look shorter or thicker? Does it complement your shoulders? Fashion is all about proportion—small details like the collar can help balance your silhouette, and make you look taller and thinner.
Check the front
Button the shirt. Then stand straight, and lift your arms—move as you would in the course of a day. Do the buttons gape upon? Does the shirt pull across your chest? Does moving around cause the shirt to lift at the front hem?
Examine the darts
Darts are the lines that run down from the bust area, or from the side of the bust. These add shape and accentuate curves. Look at how the darts design affects the way you look. If it’s the right shirt for you, the tailored effect can enhance your silhouette. If not, it just won’t fit or feel right.
Check the length of the cuffs
The length of the shirt sleeves matters. They shouldn’t be long and floppy that the cuffs fall past your wrist bone. If you were wearing a watch, part of it should still be visible if you stretched your arms across you.
Check where the shirt falls
The most flattering length is an inch below the waistline.