The classic white shirt is a true style staple. Working just as hard on the weekends 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 is 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 in a more modern turn of events, 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’ 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 12 of the best white shirts to invest in now and wear for years to come.
ArketA timeless take on the classic white shirt, this slim fit style was made for layering under an oversized blazer or colourful suit jacket for an office appropriate look that still feels stylish.
Acne StudiosAn 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 this piece pop.
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 pair of razor sharp white ankle boots for a sleek, no-nonsense look.
Comme des Garcons Girl
If a fitted white shirt feels too formal, opt for a playful spin on the wardrobe essential that feels no less polished. An oversized ruffled Peter Pan collar brings an injection of Comme Des Garcons’ signature quirky style to the white shirt, while the tapered cuffs and button-down fit keeps things smart enough to work for the office.
H&MNot just for the office, this relaxed fit style is one that we’ll be wearing on the weekends too. Wear a pair of straight-leg jeans and add a woven basket bag for a summer-ready look that feels carefree yet incredibly chic.
Opt for a classic approach with this tailored white shirt. 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.
Stockholm-based label Totême makes the cult pieces we can’t wait to incorporate into our wardrobe, and this playful balloon-sleeved take on the classic white shirt is one of them. Wear 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.
Want to bring a touch of your personal style to your 9-to-5 uniform? The faux pearl fringing on the lapel collar brings just the right amount of fun to an otherwise timeless take on shirting.
Mother of Pearl Miles shirt
When it comes to sustainable style, Mother of Pearl’s ethical credentials are as impressive as the brand’s directional designs. Exaggerated flare cuffs with a statement pearl button fastening make this shirt a standout piece to treasure for years to come.
Raey long-line cotton shirt
This long-line shirt sits perfectly with 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.
Eskandar oversized A-line cotton-poplin shirt
A double stand collar gives this crisp shirt a sculptural feel. Wear yours with wide-leg trousers and square toed sandals for a minimalist look that packs a punch in the style stakes.
J. Crew slim stretch perfect shirt
This subtly tailored, cotton shirt is a bestseller, and for good reason. Focused on fit, the waist-defining cut is ultra-flattering and effortlessly easy to wear.
Holding images courtesy of Getty. All other images courtesy of brands.