Picture Holly Golightly tiptoeing out of Paul Varjak’s apartment in Breakfast at Tiffany’s or  Mia Wallace challenging Vincent Vega to a twist contest on the dancefloor in Pulp Fiction, now picture the common thread – the white shirt.

Much like Audrey and Uma, most of us also own at least one white shirt, I have about 10 – in every cut, sleeve length and cotton/linen iteration out there. A versatile staple, worn with jeans and skirts, under a suit or left unbuttoned over a summer dress or bikini, the white shirt is the ultimate light summer layer. Both smart and breezy, the white shirt will take you from day to night. And for centuries the classic white shirt has been heralded for its elegance and versatility by Hollywood stars and public figures alike – think Grace Kelly, Julia Roberts and Marilyn Monroe.- But even before these worldly icons graced the white shirt it has been a powerful sartorial symbol since the late 19th century, as women sought more practical and comfortable clothing, pairing them with long skirts and tailored trousers. 

From here onwards, the white shirt served as a symbol of empowerment, co-opted in the 70s, as part of a ‘power’ suit, as women began to further challenge traditional notions of femininity and boldly embrace a more assertive image in the frequently male-dominated workplace. 

Whether you're in the office or not, I’d be lost without my wardrobe of white shirts, so here’s how to style yours… 

From bed to day 

Who says pyjamas are only for the comfort of your own home? We love this short-sleeved set from Tekla, paired with a classic black boot from Max Mara and a soft leather clutch from JW Anderson. Style with a half tuck to achieve that low-effort, high-impact look.

The borrowed shirt 
A timeless classic - the oversized men's shirt. This linen shirt by Gant is the perfect easy-breezy staple piece to have in your summer capsule wardrobe. For a touch of romance, we styled it with the iconic Miu Miu ballerinas and added a pop of colour with the accessory of the season - the Prada Galleria bag.

Cool girl casual
The white shirt has always had an element of formality, but this Wardrobe NYC shirt styled half-buttoned and paired with some vintage denim jorts (our guilty pleasure trend of the season!) and this distressed 16Arlington bag, and you'll be sure to achieve the low-key it-girl aesthetic.

Shop white shirts here...