Essential, of course, but there’s nothing basic about the white shirt for the coming season.
New white shirts have taken on a life of their own. They are architectural, deconstructed, oversized and tunic-like. They can be worn everywhere, with anything, from day to night.
It’s part of a move to a new era of tailoring and structure, with young designers rediscovering the simplicity and impact that a white shirt can bring. The mood is contemporary yet quintessentially classic. Take a look at the new Modern Rarity collection by John Lewis, where innovative design duo palmer//harding has created six new styles of white shirt for women, some with dipped-back hems, voluminous pleated backs and luxurious design flourishes.
An oversized white shirt is a perfect layering piece. True, if you prefer, you can wear a classic fitted white shirt, tucked into your jeans or tailored skirt, but for a new season touch, add a pin brooch or slinky slim ribbon tie to the neck.
Check out antiques fairs for men’s dress shirts, to wear layered over tees or belted as a tunic dress. I found mine in my husband’s grandfather’s attic, still starched (it washes away).
American shirting legend Brooks Brothers is presenting a White Shirt bar in a refurbished six-wheeler American truck, at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet York from this week until October 9. It is offering seven classic men’s and four women’s styles, with prices starting at £69.
Founded in 1818, Brooks Brothers is the oldest clothier in the United States, and the first to introduce button-down collar shirts and ready-made men’s suits to the American market. Its credentials are impeccable and mightily impressive. It has dressed 39 of the 44 US presidents and created all the men’s costumes for 2013’s The Great Gatsby with Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as for every season of the extraordinarily well-dressed TV series Mad Men. Don Draper really does say it all.
The styling team at York Designer Outlet has the following tips for styling the white shirt this season:
Wear buttoned to the neck with a chic interpretation of a tie, such as a luxe ribbon, a thin silk scarf or a velvet choker – the look this AW16.
Cover your collar with glitzy brooches for a new take on statement jewellery.
A crisp white shirt tucked in to a high-waisted skirt works seamlessly from desk to dance floor.
Never underestimate the glamour of an oversized shirt with the sleeves rolled up. Throw on shades and drape a sweater round your shoulders for a dose of Parisian insouciance.
Meanwhile, heads up that the Leeds Victoria Quarter Shopping Affair takes place on October 6 from 6-9pm. This year’s theme is Disco Deluxe, which will see the arcades transformed to the time of Studio 54, with live music covering classic disco hits, dancers with spinning disco balls on their head, acrobatics, huge glitter balls hanging from the ceiling, plus of course Seventies inspired make up and fashion trends.
Designed to kick-start Christmas shopping, 60 boutiques will offer discounts on the night, including 20 per cent off at Ted Baker and Paul Smith, 10 per cent off at Vivienne Westwood and 20 per cent off at Kiehls on two or more items bought.
There will also be a free photo booth, where you can get unlimited prints, plus lots of props to help you channel your inner disco diva (this sounds like a must).
The event is free to attend but shoppers are asked to RSVP online or via the Plus app. Free parking will be offered in Templar Street and Edward Street car parks for all those who RSVP before the event. See www.victoria-quarter.co.uk/events/a-shopping-affair-2016.