Never underestimate the power of a plain white shirt. T-shirt, button-up, Henley, sweater, doesn’t matter. White shirts have a crisp effortlessness about them. They look so relaxed, but also a little like a rebel without a cause.
Sure, white button-ups can be the most formal of shirts, but they don’t have to be if you ditch the tie and/or layer up. In fact, all white shirts look great with layers. Leather jackets toughen them up. Blazers class them up. Cardigans are cozy and casual. Trench coats make you look like you walked out of a Burberry campaign. And let’s face it, life is better in a Burberry campaign.
The real key to your go-to white shirt is caring for it. Wash it before you wear it, every time. Some shirts you can get away with doubling up, but even if you don’t see it, you’ve probably spilled something on your white shirt and it is noticeable. Also treat it aka use bleach or safe stain removers in order to help it last longer.
It is not a bad article of clothing to have a few of, in fact you probably already do. You’ll know it is time to toss and replace your favorite when the fabric begins to ball, it gets holes, or pit stains. And please stop wearing them in public as soon as these signs appear, especially the pit stains. Also you are less likely to get said stains if the shirt is looser under the armpit.
Find ones that you really like the fit of and have a good neckline because this should be a comfortable piece of clothing–both physically and confidently so.