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10 Ways To Wear A White Shirt

When we talk about wardrobe essentials, one of my favorites is the classic white shirt. Whether fitted, loose and flowy, crisp cotton or silk, classic white shirts are a tried and true way to create a casually chic outfit. They dress up and down to go with everything from bathing suits to taffeta maxi skirts, and everything in between. It’s the ultimate chameleon in your wardrobe so let’s look at 10 ways to wear a white shirt.

fashion blogger Jennifer Connolly wears white tunic shirt and narrow black pants

  • Wear an oversized, long, and loose white tunic shirt over your favorite skinny jeans or leggings. This is the perfect way to look crisp and polished in those super comfy leggings.
  • Tie your white button-down at your waist, over a sleeveless slip dress.  This also helps to give you some waist definition in a straight dress.
  • Wear your white shirt tucked into jeans, pants, or skirts for a smooth look. Go for a full of half-tuck depending on how full the shirt is.
  • Try it as a bathing suit coverup to the beach or pool. The longer the shirt, the better for this:)

fashion blogger jennifer connolly wearing white shirt tied at the waist

  • Try tying your white shirt at your waist, open or buttoned over a tee.

 

  • White shirts look great worn under a pullover sweater, either tucked or untucked.

fashion blogger jennifer connolly wearing a white shirt under pullover

  • Try a long white shirt or shirtdress buttoned and belted over slim pants.
  • White shirts do double duty worn open as an outer layer over other tops.white shirt worn open as jacket

 

  • Try your white shirt under a long or short vest or a sleeveless dress.

3/4 sleeve white shirt under sweater vest

 

  • And of course, if your lifestyle permits, try tucking your crisp white shirt into a ballgown skirt ala Sharon Stone or Carolina Herrera.

Best White Shirts For Travel

Knits are the best way to go for wrinkle-free travel, but I’ve also discovered some no-iron crisp white shirts travel beautifully.  They come out of your bag, looking almost as smooth as they went in. It’s easy to steam out any residual wrinkles with a quick steam in the batheroom. I’ve also given mine a little swish with handsoap in the hotel sink and hung to dry.jennifer connolly wearing white button down shirt tacked into blue jeans

Removing Stains From White Shirt

No-stain technology is terrific these days, but invariably they’ll get stains. The Spruce recommends a vinegar and baking soda paste. Cleanipedia suggests a vinegar and salt combo. I swear by my trusty Tide Pen and never travel without one.

*When wearing a white shirt, remmeber The One Bra You’ll Never Need!

How To Prevent Gaping Shirts

Gaping between buttons is a common problem with even the finest white shirts. First, look for shirts with a button that is directly level with the broadest part of your bustline. If that isn’t enough, gaping is easily prevented with this fashion tape. I love this stuff. Every woman should have this in her arsenal. Carry one in your bag, keep one in your glove box, and give one to your best friend. It solves a multitude of problems, invisibly. Fashion tape also secures plunging neckline, sliding bra straps, scarves, and will temporarily keep your hem up without ever leaving a mark on anything.

Of course, a crisp white shirt could be one of the 5 Wardrobe Essentials You May Not Need!

What’s your favorite way to wear a white shirt?

I love to wear my collar up so here’s How to Pop a Collar and Keep it Up

 

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40 Comments

  1. There is a product called White Brite at supermarket in detergent section. Works amazing on getting all (or most all) whites. Made my slightly yellowing white jean jacket look like new. Bought mine at a stop and shop here in Massachusetts anyway. Hope you can all try it. Just use in washing machine,

  2. Not all of us look good in white. There is not the same variety of design choices in “ivory”! And white shirts are on every “must have” wardrobe list.
    Signed,
    A woman who got married in a cream wedding dress

  3. I wish that I could wear a white shirt, but with my complexion it just doesn’t work. Thanks for the fashion tape tip. I’ll be adding that to my next Amazon order!

  4. Can you please tell me the name of your “fashion Tape”….your link did not work for me. Since I am in Canada I may need to buy from a different source so knowing that actual name brand of an item would be very helpful

    1. Lauren, the link worked for me The brand is Hollywood. I’m also in Canada and I just checked amazon.ca. It’s available there!

      1. I have found that dishwashing liquid works. It is made to cut grease, after all. I put a little on the spot, let it sit a bit, and then rinse it out or put it in the washing machine.

  5. Just wondering if you all bleach your white shirts to keep them white, or just recycle them every couple of years. Great, informative post and photos, Jennifer! Thank you.

  6. I have given up on white shirts after having to get rid of several practically unworn because they turn yellow hanging in the closet. If gaping is a problem, I suggest trying The Shirt for beautiful shirts made in Europe by women. They have eight visible buttons down the front plus two invisible (hidden under double placket) for a total of ten buttons. No way they can gape.

  7. I am wearing a chambray shirt in exactly these ways as well. I don’t tuck but tying in front can accomplish basically the same thing. A little more casual maybe. My first outfit that I wore to death when I discovered fashion was my straight jeans, a white shirt, red shoes or black flats and a red bandana around my neck. Think fifties. I still love that look.

  8. Hi, Jennifer,
    What is source/ brand of white shirt you have on in first picture(sitting down, black slacks and booties)?

    Jane

  9. I love a crisp white shirt and you’ve given me ideas on other ways to wear it. I saw another blogger wear one under her sleeveless jumpsuit and it looked cute, plus takes it into fall. You look very chic in your many white shirts.

    Today is not looking good – rainy & windy. On a day like today, my hubby & I like to grab a coffee and go watch the waves crash.

  10. Love them with navy or black as well as my light khakis!
    Crisp and clean look fOr sure. Must learn about the newer fabric choices! Thanks Jennifer

  11. This is one of those must-haves that is a must-not-have for me. I’ve bought and returned 100 crisp white, button-front, collared shirts over the years — no matter what, they simply do not work for me. I look like a cater waiter in them, especially with black pants. But I do admire them on others, and agree that for most, this is a great wardrobe staple. My version of this is a sleeveless v-neck silk shell, but I don’t wear that piece very often, either.

  12. Love all these looks and love the idea of wearing a crisp white shirt. But…Based on Jennifer’s previous posts on white shirts, I purchased a tunic style and regular white shirt from JJill. Love them both but rarely wear them. When I put them on, no matter how I style them, I feel huge! I am 5 ft, large busted, no waist. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Maybe try a tunic or white shirt that is more fitted and indicates a waist. Also, don’t wear tops/tunics that are too long-not good for a shorter person. Good luck!

  13. Nothing like a white shirt! I use oxyclean to get stains out. I ordered that tape along with hat sizing tape since hats seem to just seem to fall over my eyes. Where are those black, lace up heels from?

  14. All the looks are great suggestions. I have a variety of white shirts in my closet that don’t get out enough. Thess suggestions of course will work for the other colours in there as well. The best take away is that I am going to stop at Shoppers Drug Mart next grocery day and pick up a couple packs of the tape. Great reminder. I hope this quarantine is a bit easier with a little more space.

  15. I love a white shirt, but usually with a stylish detail, and it’s been a staple in my wardrobe for as long as I remember. In fact, I remember the first one I ever bought, which was rather a tunic style, from a Yorkville boutique in the mid 70’s. I remember wearing it with black pants, and I guess that was the beginning of my love for black & white, high contrast dressing. 🙂
    Thank you for all the great styling suggestions above.
    And I’m so happy for you that your husband is with you in Vancouver, but too bad you have to self isolate again so soon. I hope you will be staying in Canada for a long while to make up for that.

  16. I LOVE white shirts and own several, but what stops me nearly every time is that the bra shows through. How to wear a white shirt without a cami underneath? Or maybe you are braver than I? 😉

  17. Great post, and I love how you’ve put the white shirts to task in so many ways. I love the lace-up black sandals/shoes you are wearing in the photo, near top, with the flow white tunic shirt. Can you tell us where to find those, or the brand? In fact, I like all of the footwear you’ve shown in these photos. Stylish but comfortable-looking! Thank you.

  18. Thank you so much for the tips. I have never known about tape to hold a shirt closed…a miracle cure…or ways to keep a collar up. Revelations….

  19. I love white shirts but prefer anything that is buttonless as I have a strong aversion to buttons (seriously- since I was a child!). I love these on other people, but not on me:)