How to wear a white shirt

The white shirt is a timeless classic and a staple for any wardrobe; whether its purpose is to provide a crisp white canvas for a casual look or be dressed up to create a statement outfit worthy of any occasion.

The white shirt can be traced back to the Middle Ages when shirts were worn as undergarments, kept hidden beneath waist coats and jackets. As many of or style staples today, the white shirt evolved from menswear. By the 1800s, a tailored white shirt was seen as a reflection of wealth and class as white was easily stained and so was worn by men who worked in offices. It was here when woman also started to wear the white shirt and it began its move into the world of womenswear. In the forties, Hollywood stars such as Lauren Bacall and Katharine Hepburn made the white shirt famous. Later in 1950 Audrey Hepburn fuelled the love of the white shirt by wearing in the romantic comedy Roman Holiday. The white shirt was not only prominent in the film industry but also in the music industry, with Patti Smith wearing a white shirt on the front cover of her album Horses in 1975. Fast-forward to today and the white shirt is still considered a staple that will never go out of fashion, with designers constantly evolving the classic style.


Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. Image source: Via Pinterest

How to wear a white shirt

Styled down, styled up, buttoned up, buttons undone, tucked in, left out, half tucked in half out, the list is endless! With so many ways to wear this versatile piece and so many styles available we thought we would put together our top 5 ways of wearing a white shirt, as a little inspiration on how to switch up your styling and give your white shirt a new lease of life.

Woman standing wearing a white shirt and blue jeans

1. Pair with denim

A match made in heaven; white and denim. If you’re seeking a casual day-to-day look that’s effortless, uncomplicated and minimal pair your favourite jeans, denim skirt or jacket with a simple oversized white shirt. And why not try tucking your white shirt in or just tucking in at the front and leaving loose at the back.


Image source: Left image via Pinterest, Right Image via Pinterest.

2. Layer up

A white blouse is the perfect blank canvas; clean, minimal and made for layering. For colder days try layering under knitwear, the white collar and cuffs peeping out will provide a stylish crisp look. 

a group of images of women in knitted jumpers worn over a white shirt Image source: Left image via Pinterest, middle image via Pinterest.

3. Enhance with a pop of colour

A white shirt will work with all colours; there is no colour that will clash with white so have a little fun lifting your white shirt by pairing with bold colours and prints. Be as experimental as you like…

two images of woman wearing white shirts with colourful skirts

4. Make a statement

Looking to dress up your white shirt, why not try adding interest with a statement necklace. We love this look from Olivia Palermo wearing her statement necklace just under the collar.

olivia palermo wearing white shirt dress and statement necklace standing in front of barriers and photographers

Woman standing in front of wooden door in charcoal cardigan white shirt and necklace holding a black bag

Image source; Olivia Palermo via Pinterest.

5. On the beach

With summer on its way, we can’t help but dream of jetting off somewhere hot and exotic and one item we will definitely be packing is our white shirt. A loose breathable shirt is the perfect beach cover up, providing shade for shoulders.

Woman on a boat with sea surrounding wearing a black swimsuit sunglasses a hat and open white shirt