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The Sartorial Tabula Rosa: The White Button-down Shirt

Updated on January 10, 2022

Everyone Needs At Least One White Button-Down Shirt

Vintage I. Magnin shirt
Vintage I. Magnin shirt | Source
Vintage Laura Ashley shirt under a vintage Anna Sui vest.
Vintage Laura Ashley shirt under a vintage Anna Sui vest. | Source
Vintage Ralph Lauren shirt
Vintage Ralph Lauren shirt | Source

You Can't Beat A White Shirt For Style

If it weren't for the white button-down shirt, the Gibson Girl wouldn't have become an advertising phenomenon and the beatnik a B-movie favorite. During the 1980s it became the "big" shirt worn day and night over leggings, straight pants and miniskirts. Today there are as many styles and price ranges as consumers.

What's So Great About A White Shirt:

Comfort is one of the most important considerations when shopping for one, making cotton an excellent choice. Breathable, fresh and consistently crisp, Georgina O'Hara insists it's a very suitable fabric in "The Encyclopedia of Fashion" because it's lightweight. Whether you prefer one with 3/4 sleives or a wing collar and french cuffs, you have plenty of options. My favorite place to buy them is the thrift store in the men's department because they're inexpensive and well-made. Not only can you trick them out any way you like, depending on your accessories you pair them with you can also layer them under cardigans for a funky preppy look.

How To Look Stylish In A White Shirt:

If you want to look the ultimate in cool, try pairing one with a pair of tailored black pants, Converse and a denim jacket That's high and low style at it's most hip. My passion for white shirts started in tap class about 10 years ago when I had to wear them as part of the costume for performances and later as an art model for a Beverly Hills art class i used to model for. Paired with a short black skhort, black tights, my wool porkpie and my cane I tried to look as good as Eleanor Powell or Ruby Keeler.

Now when I reach in my closet for something to wear I'm glad I have a large selection of white shirts to add drama and freshness to my wardrobe.

The Basic Garment That Packs A Punch

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