How to look great in your white shirt

Tafadzwa Zimoyo
September is going towards the end and it is getting hotter and hotter. The jacarandas have blossomed and it’s a sign that you can go all out with no jacket or jersey because that’s the fuller summer circle. So, I was browsing WhatsApp statuses on my mobile phone and I came across my friend Lillian Madyara’s status which had the review story of the Glitz Style Awards pictures.

Well, let me salute my brothers and sisters from another mother in Ghana. They held a successful fifth annual Glitz Style Awards which took place at Movenpick Ambassordial Hotel last weekend.

For those who are in dark, the awards are meant to recognise the efforts and work done by fashion icons, celebrities and designers.

Let me cut it short, they are fashion awards.

It was a night of style, creativity and originality as celebrities stepped out in style on the red carpet.

Undoubtedly, the Glitz Style is Ghana’s biggest fashion night and much is expected from style influencers and celebrities.

Well too, it was all about breaking all the fashion rules (if there is any at all) and stepping up your style to be the talk of the town, trend on social media and major websites.

Looking at how they rocked, one lesson that can be drawn was the fashion sense in Ghana, required planning, coordination and perfect blending to bring out an iconic event.

I think this is what we are also lacking here, some fashion awards. One thing I know is that Zimbabwe is talented and some creativity can be shown.

I rest my case.

Last week I got an email suggesting I should write about the white shirt, which is most common to everyone but is taken for granted.

No wardrobe is complete without the humble white shirt.

One of the most versatile pieces you can own, this fashion staple can be styled down for day, up for night, and a myriad of ways in between.

Whether yours is made from crisp cotton or soft silk, the tailored shape of a button-down makes any outfit feel instantly elegant.

For ladies, you can pair it with trousers and a blazer and head to work.

You can tuck it into jeans, slip on sneakers, and go about tackling your weekend to-do list.

Tie it up, cuff the sleeves — no matter your preferred styling or the time of year, you really can’t go wrong with a white shirt.

However, historically a symbol of wealth and distinction, white shirts still hold much of their premium appeal, particularly when worn the right way.

Pretty well the oldest trick in the book, jeans with a white shirt straddles that fine line between sophistication and cool like nothing else.

As is often the case with simplicity, the devil is in the details. Choosing the right style shirt is of utmost importance and it all comes down to occasion.

If you’re simply updating your regular T-shirt and jeans, more casual shirts are a great option. I would opt for a chambray or a plain poplin — preferably with a button-down collar.

This will stop the collar from slouching around your neck and help the shirt sit across your shoulders. On the flipside, if you’re scaling up your jeans for a nice dinner, opt for a fitted shirt with a dense weave.

Again, it takes a lot for me to stray from a white shirt when suiting up. It’s the perfect blank canvas for a tie and pocket square and is pretty much universally flattering.

For the day to day, nothing beats a dark navy or grey two piece with a white sateen finish shirt. My favourite combo is a shirt with chinos which is just about one of the dullest looks you can describe.

And yet, adding a white shirt into the mix can make a world of difference, taking an otherwise workaday ensemble and turning it into something special.

Pair a white Oxford with olive coloured, tab waisted linen trousers to give your regular kit some serious style punch.

Alternatively, the simplicity of a white shirt offers limitless opportunity in terms of trouser styles and patterns.

Why not use this as an opportunity to try out a print like a pinstripe or dabble with something bolder?

Avoid looking like a scholar with your white shirt. Then there is this issue, nothing worse than a white shirt that is, well, not white. And though this sounds obvious, it’s very easy for the best asset in your wardrobe to turn stale.

To prevent this, there’s only one word you need to know; bleach.

This miracle worker will ensure that you’re looking fresh and that you’re maintaining a true white — not that unpleasant grey that can creep into some wardrobes.

Till next week, stay white.

You Might Also Like


Take a survey

We value your opinion! Take a moment to complete our survey