As Spring comes in, our minds turn to white clothes! And especially to white shirts and tops.
Your wardrobe will give you more pleasure, and more great Spring and Summer outfits, if you invest in one or two new white tops.
White brings us a wonderful sense of a new beginning. But it needs to be bright and pure.
Each year around this time I look over last year’s white clothing items – shirts, blouses, tee shirts and pants. As white needs washing so often, many will no longer look bright enough to look good this year. I will use these under other tops, such as jackets and cardigans, for a secret extra layer or to give a more modest neckline to tops which fasten low on the chest.
If you are lucky enough to have the beginnings of a suntan then you’ll want tops that highlight your face and neck. The contrast between a white shirt and a slightly (or very) tanned face is one of the easiest ways to look younger and healthier.
Scroll down to links to items in the photos at the bottom of the post.
How to select a new white shirt or top for 2022
- Choose one classic button-through shirt
- Choose another top with a different style:
- Consider a romantic look with cutwork or embroidery
- Consider a minimalist look with straight lines
- Consider a sporty look with rolled or short sleeves
- Look for a top in cotton or linen
- Try a shirt with this year’s over sized cut
- Look for one top with long sleeves that can be rolled up
- Look for a second top with short sleeves or this year’s puffed sleeves
- Buy a new white cami or tank to go underneath
The oversized shirt silhouette
These last few years clothes have been getting looser and wider. In fact, we are returning to the nineties!
This trend is likely to last for several years. So that very fitted little shirt you’ve been wearing for a while may be starting to look out of date.
If you decide to purchase a replacement – and every wardrobe needs a classic shirt – then look for a boyfriend shirt, which is sometimes called a girlfriend shirt or simply a wider-cut shirt.
But unless you love to be in the latest fashion and stand out from the crowd, there’s no need to go for the very largest and baggiest shirt out there. Some are simply huge and, especially if you are short or all-over petite, they may drown you.
The classic button-down shirt in linen
The fast-selling pure linen long sleeve shirt by Marks and Spencer is one of this year’s biggest successes. It has all the traditional styling everyone wants. It’s a regular fit so, if you don’t want to follow the trend for over sized shirts, this could be perfect for you.
It will go under a jacket at work with the cuffs to the wrist. But it will go over shorts or jeans with the sleeves rolled up at the weekend.
It will breathe so you don’t overheat on a warm day.
Tuck it in for a neat look. Let it hang out for a relaxed look.
If you prefer three-quarter sleeves, as I do, then you’ll want to check out Chico’s no-iron linen tunic shirt. It has all the traditional structure you want but with two breast pockets which mean you can wear it without a camisole or tank top under-layer.
Designed to be worn loose and long over pants, it will also give a warmer weather vibe to your office outfits.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t purchased this shirt – though I love it – so I’ve no idea whether it really is non-iron. I like my linen pressed but if you like a more relaxed, softer style then this could be exactly right for you this year.
The relaxed button-through shirt
Madewell has several white shirts you should consider. My favorite is the popular Courier pintuck-back shirt which has a generous cut with that slight ballooning effect in the back which is so on-trend this Spring.
I love the wide-cut, short, cuffed sleeves. Here’s a shirt I would wear over jeans as my go-to weekend outfit.
I love that it comes in so many sizes. So, if tucking in emphasizes your waist too much, just buy it big and let it hang. Ideal!
The feminine white top
Broderie and cut-work details have gone mainstream this year. They add a lighter and more feminine look to the white shirt, blouse or tee shirt. This means they pair well with skirts as well as pants.
Boden always comes out with beautiful feminine clothes and their shirts this year are no exception.
I simply adore the Boden cut work jersey shirt. The body of this white top has a slightly defined waist so it’s not this year’s baggy shirt. That’s because the designer wants to highlight the boho style blouson sleeves which are fashionable this year.
This is a shirt that drapes well so looks good loosely tucked or left long. The delicate embroidery around the front and back yokes focus the eye well away from your waist. So this style works well for us square ladies, who would prefer people to look at our shoulders and above rather than the outline of our mid section!
The boho blouse
If you’re ready to go for the full-on romantic look then Boden’s frilly popover blouse could be for you.
It will look dreamily boho tucked into a midi or maxi flounced skirt. Or get a more polished vibe by tucking it into high waist jeans with a leather belt.
But this shirt won’t suit everyone. If you’re top heavy the lack of a structured collar, and the gathered sleeves, may simply be too much. But for the average figure, or for small-breasted women, this style will be a high spot in their Spring through Summer wardrobe.
The minimal white shirt
Do you love black and white outfits? Do you often dress tone on tone? Do you find more than a tiny splash of color unstylish? Then you may be a minimalist.
This is a look that has gained a massive following among professional women. It works well for an asexual office outfit and proclaims self-control, a decision maker, a woman not easily swayed by emotion.
But it also works well for weekends and evenings. It is a refined and assured look.
The boyfriend shirt is perfect for this look. The long shirt tails and baggy fit add a casual ease to any outfit making the white boyfriend shirt perfect for creatives as well as weekends with friends and family. Pop the shirt over black or white pants and add flat shoes or sandals.
You can depend on Cos to provide the right clothes for a minimalist outfit. The COS oversized V-neck shirt is in pure, crisp cotton. The two tucks in the back give the fullness for this style. And the dropped shoulder adds to our memories of the nineties.
Marks and Spencer offer their boyfriend minimal shirt in linen. The long shirt tails make it ideal for leaving to hang below a jacket or cardigan for a more casual look. It is more mainstream – and therefore more easily worn by most of us – than the COS shirt. The shoulder seam is just over the tip of the shoulder and the back has a single tuck.
As with most white tops, and especially linen, reckon to wear a cami or sleeveless tank beneath.
The sporty white shirt
If your style is mainly casual then you’ll love Chico’s Tie-Neck Dolman Popover. It’s made in poplin with a hint of stretch. So it will cling on your bust but have a good straight hang at the hem. Drawing the eye from your bust upwards to your charming face, is the main point of this interesting neckline complete with grommets and laces.
This could be your must-have Spring into Summer shirt to wear over jeans.
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If you found this article useful, read these next:
The 9 Best Boyfriend Shirts if You’re Over 50
I enjoy wearing white tops, however I have large upper arms and need to buy a bigger size just for that problem. A stretch fabric is ideal. I particularly like a little ruffle or embroidery.
Hi cynthia. Me too. I never choose short sleeves that are restricting these days. And yes, me too, I love a ruffle now and again! Thanks for taking the time to comment. Joni x
Joni – I have just discovered your blog and love it! I am 71 and really appreciate your suggestions for shopping (I have already ordered a jean jacket!) I’m am looking forward to reading more of your posts. Carol (Canada)
Great to hear from you all the way over there in Canada, Carol! Isn’t the internet fab!! Thanks for the nice comment Joni x