allure of the white shirt

Paris fashion week is over and I think one can safely weigh in on what looks to be one of the biggest trends for the spring/summer 2007 season: the white dress shirt. Not the Lycra-infused, ill-fitting, 3/4 sleeve sort you can buy at Old Navy, but rather something that is truer to the men's dress shirt style. The lines are straigher, the collars crisp and the sleeves slouchy. They can be playful and femenine (Chloe) or highly masculine (Dries van Noten) or even delightfullly eccentric but modern (Stella McCartney).

I'm delighted by this trend, because it signals a return to basics (which means we'll be able to find a nice selection of such "core wardrobe" pieces this spring!). It also shows a shift in mindset in the fashion world. Although androginy is hardly something new (it's being touted as a big trend this fall/winter), this is another facet of that look: something practical, hard wearing and versitle (men's clothes tend to be much more practical than women's). I also think it plays very nicely into the return of minimalism; especially in collections like Yohji Yamamoto's where solid blocks of color as well as cut played a huge role. A basic white shirt can act as an amazing highlight against more sober hues.

A white dress shirt is something that I think every woman should have in their wardrobe (much like a LBD). Aside from the obvious practicality of this look (as with the LBD, the white dress shirt can be dressed up or down) it's also immensely classic and never really goes out of style. My mom recently gave me a white dress shirt that she no longer wanted. At first I was highly skeptical it would look good on me: it was crisp cotton and quite unfitted (I pefer soft cotton and at least two darts). However, after playing with it for awhile, I was happy to discover not only did it look smashing with my ultra high waist H&M skirt (very French chic, imho) but paired with jeans and worn out "classic American sportswear" style. I'm sure there are about a zillion other ways for me to wear it, that I have yet to discover... hehe.

Looking at the shapes, I'm also intrigued by the idea of buying a men's dress shirt, shortening the sleeves and wearing that tucked into a skirt with the short sleeves rolled a bit. Maybe paired with a turtleneck underneath for warmth. I shall have to check out the men's second hand racks next time I'm thrifting...

where to buy: banana republic, nordstrom 1, norma kamali @ nordstrom, nordstrom 2, anthropologie, ebay.
images courtesy style.com

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