How to dress up or down your white shirt, from our new Personal Stylist

Hi everyone!
This is my friend Susannah’s first blog post for us and I hope you gain as much inspiration as I do from reading her now regular feature on this blog. Before I leave you to her fountain of knowledge I wanted to tell you that she is now offering Online and Virtual Styling starting at just £10 for an Online Style Clinic. For full details on this and the other services she offers, please visit her website SHM Personal Styling. And now over to Susannah! 

Hello. I’m Susannah and I’m a friend/colleague of Peggy’s, professional stylist and mum to two darling ‘cherubs’ of 6 and 8.

In each monthly blog I’m going to be looking at a different ‘classic wardrobe staple’. Items that most of us have shoved somewhere in our cupboards and if not would be well worth investing in. Those pieces that may not appear the most exciting but are actually the building blocks of our own signature style. In this time of Dave and Nick’s ‘austerity measures’ even clothes need to work harder for us and earn their keep. And if you build your look around these design classics you will be well on your way to an efficient, effective and child benefit friendly wardrobe!

Design classics are as the name suggests – items that last years, never date, are always ‘on trend’, are often trans seasonal and definitely worth taking a bit more seriously. And this month we are starting with the ubiquitous and unassuming ‘White Shirt’. A classic white shirt can take you from efficient professional to stylish school mum to chic lady who lunches and definitely deserves a place in every multi-role’d womans wardrobe. The key thing to remember about the white shirt though is just that – it needs to be white. Sparkly and spangly and gleaming, not greying and fraying. So don’t spend oodles of cash on your shirt. Buy something you will be happy to part with as soon as the first dullish cuff appears and replace it with a nice new sparkly one.

If you don’t already own one, need to chuck yours out or are looking for inspiration I found this great little offering from Next for £35. It’s classically shaped and has a double cuff which adds an extra style bonus star to it. At 98% cotton and 2% elastane it will breathe nicely and have that little bit of give that ensures it keeps it’s shape and keeps you comfortable.

  • The Classic: For a relaxed look in it’s simplest form team your shirt with a pair of your fave indigo Jeans. Tie the two up with a leather belt in brown or black and you have the basis of a look that will never ever date.
  • Relaxed lunch date: Team your white shirt and jeans combo with a tailored or boyfriend jacket and knee high heeled boots. Add an oversized tote bag and a couple of accessories and you’re good to go.
  • Work wear: For a professional look wear your shirt tucked in to a pencil skirt or a pair of tailored Capri pants. Wear with heels and a string of beads to add a shot of stylish chic to the overall look.  A classic shaped over coat such as a swing would finish the look off nicely.
  • School run: Go for a more preppy look and wear your shirt underneath a knitted tank top or jumper with the collars flicked out over the top.  Either wide leg trousers or an A-line skirt work equally well for this look. Finish it off with loafers or a pair of brogues (nice and flat for running in when you’re late) and a chunky scarf chucked casually round your neck.
  • Evening wear: For something a bit more glam tuck your white shirt in to a pair of slim or boot cut trousers. Get your killer heels on, and add a statement necklace and cuff. And if you’re feeling really daring undo a couple of top buttons. With such a classic look you can afford to sexy it up a bit without ending up looking too towie in the process.

Any questions or feedback? Then please feel free to drop me a line. See you next month!

Susannah