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The classic white shirt is a true style staple. Working just as hard at the weekend as it does in the office, we’ve found the 12 timeless designs that will add instant cool to every wardrobe.
When it comes to wardrobe staples, there are few that work harder than a classic white shirt. Though it’s a perfect partner for office-appropriate suiting, the power of this crisp style is that it’s just as effective when styled with your off-duty looks as well. A true style chameleon, there are few pieces that are simultaneously as cool and as chic as a crisp white shirt.
The eternally elegant Katharine Hepburn was a huge fan of a simple white shirt with the collar turned up; Marilyn Monroe was often pictured in blue jeans with a classic shirt thrown on, and more recently, Meghan Markle has proven to be a fan too. Take your styling cues from Meghan and pair with a relaxed-fit pair of jeans and loafers for a laidback look that still feels incredibly chic or just add a pencil skirt to pull off the Duchess’s favourite smart-yet-stylish wardrobe hack.
Effortlessly elegant, not only can a crisp white shirt anchor an entire outfit but it requires minimal styling. If you’re feeling sluggish, simply substituting your failsafe T-shirt for a white button-down will immediately leave you feeling refreshed and focused. If you’re struggling to keep your head in the game while working from home, experiment with pairing a relaxed-fit shirt with a pair of straight-leg jeans for an endlessly comfortable yet completely polished look that will keep your head back in the game, even if you’re working from your sofa rather than your office.
Whether you’re looking for a classic tailoring-inspired style or a playful design with an oversized collar or statement-making balloon sleeves, we’ve found 11 of the best white shirts to invest in now and wear for years to come.
Arket relaxed poplin shirtA timeless take on the classic white shirt, this slouchy style was made for layering under an oversized blazer or colourful suit jacket for an office-appropriate look that still feels stylish.
Zara shirt with cutwork embroidery
The cutwork embroidery on this shirt gives it a statement-making feel. Wear yours with wide-leg trousers and square-toed sandals for a minimalist look that packs a punch in the style stakes.
Jigsaw classic poplin relaxed shirtAn oversized fit and pointer collar make this crisp white shirt the ultimate off-duty piece. Play into the minimalist aesthetic by styling with a pair of delicate gold hoops and a chain necklace – that’s all that you need to add to make its simplicity pop.
Cos relaxed-fit tailored shirt
A long-line cut with an oversized fit lends itself to androgynous styling. Maintain a streamlined aesthetic by pairing with slim-fit trousers in an eternally cool shade of black and a pair of razor-sharp white ankle boots for a sleek, no-nonsense look.
Reformation Will shirtNot just for the office, this relaxed-fit style is one that we’ll be wearing on the weekends too. Wear with a pair of straight-leg jeans and add a woven basket bag for a summer-ready look that feels carefree yet cool.
With Nothing Underneath The Boyfriend shirt
Opt for a classic approach with this crisp white iteration. We’ll be wearing ours with blue denim and a timeless tan trench to channel the kind of French girl chic that looks meticulously put together, even if you threw it together in minutes.
H&M oversized shirt
Wear this forever shirt with wide-legged leather trousers and a pair of square-toed heels for a Scandi street style-inspired look that will leave you feeling ready for your Sartorialist close-up.
Mango oversized white shirt
Want to bring a touch of your personal style to your 9-to-5 uniform? Just add fun accessories to add just the right amount of fun to an otherwise timeless take on shirting.
Cotton On dad shirt
This shirt is a standout piece to treasure for years to come; wear with the fashion girl’s favourite style staple, a tank top, and tailored jeans.
White Stuff Emilia organic cotton shirt
This delicate detailed shirt is a match made in heaven for a pair of tailored trousers. Whether you wear yours with a classic blazer or slouchy suiting, this work wear staple is one that will work as hard as you do.
River Island Studio oversized shirt
This cotton shirt is a bestseller and for good reason. Crafted from a soft and silky sateen, juxtapose the shirt’s daintiness with a pair of slouchy trousers.
Holding images courtesy of Getty; other images courtesy of brands