By Susan "Honey" Good
Many women consider the "white shirt" a style classic but for years, I was not one of these women. However, a shrewd saleswoman turned me onto this feminine, style staple and I never looked back. I've been embracing the power of the white shirt ever since. All thanks to my lovely saleswoman, Kim... she hooked me up, darlings and I am so delighted.
(Remember my tips for finding a great salesperson here? It's a must, darlings!)
Kim came into the fitting room carrying an armful of spring clothing. I noticed that there were three white shirts in the mix of lovely floral dresses.
"I love the dresses, but I don't wear white button down shirts, Kim." I continued, "I think of my husband wearing the white shirt. I don't think the white shirt is feminine... they wrinkle and the upkeep is expensive."
Her reply was, "You don't know what you are missing! White shirts are very feminine. Forget wrinkles and upkeep! I wash my shirts, hang them up to dry and then put it back into my closet with the other 24 white shirts hanging in my closet."
I said in shock, "you own 25 white shirts?"
"Maybe more!" was her reply.
Of course darlings, being a quick study on other women's fashion thoughts, I listened, and then not wanting to be rude, tried on a classic button down white shirt.
Kim then proceeded to turn the sleeves up to my elbows and fold over the cuffs letting them drape over a tiny portion of each white sleeve. She let the shirt hang over my body with the last button unbuttoned and lastly placed a belt around my waist that hung loosely on an angle slightly draping over one hip.
By the time she was finished dressing me, I thought to myself,
"She is right! I love the stylish look! Where have I been not acknowledging the importance of the white shirt in my collection of clothes?"
I did buy two white shirts from Kim that day and since have added several more to my wardrobe.
I love the button down cotton white shirt at the Gap! Go in and look, darlings! I love the brands, La Reida and Jill Sanders, too.
I love cotton and pique fabric. I love the basic white shirt, a nipped in at the waist white shirt, the cropped white shirt, the tuxedo style white shirt and the tunic white shirt. I have, as you gather, fallen in love with the white shirt!
I love mandarin collars, men's style collars and romantic lace collars and no collars!
DO THIS DARLINGS...
Think of your white shirt, as I do, as a fresh white palate that allows you the flexibility to design your style of the moment. You can leave your home looking chic, casual, prim and proper, romantic or sophisticated. I have even worn the white shirt black tie with a ballroom skirt or under a black tuxedo.
In other words, the white shirt has become the most versatile item in my wardrobe, darlings!
Maintaining my white shirts depends on the weave. As I mentioned oxford cotton is best but we women are not bound to one fabric so ask questions at time of purchase.
I wash my shirts when possible adding a splash of starch to the water because I like a crisp look and then hang them up to dry! If I stain my white shirt I take it to my cleaners to wash, never dry clean and ask them to add a touch of starch.
And always and always remember, darlings, you are not shopping for a blouse! You are shopping for the crisp, chic, top of the tops...the white shirt.