The Shirt, more than a basic, an Essential

During the few last weeks we talked about Vintage, Romantic and Minimalist styles. This week I’m tackling a basic piece we find in these three different styles but we will discover them in other ones too:

From the more or less thick cotton shirt for men to the silk blouse for women, the shirt is nowadays unisex and has known many troubles in its past. Considered as a prosperity sign to the 19th century, it’s finally during the 20th century that women adopt it as a rebellion sign against the battle of the sexes.

A basic and master key, the shirt is classic, timeless, it won’t go out of fashion and is easily wearable in summer as well as in winter. It gives this small “additional touch” of femininity, style and elegance. Familiarized to the podiums and seen at every corner for decades now, the blouse became THE ultra-feminine piece in 60/70’s and may overshadow the essential Black Dress.

A virgin sheet on which you can inscribe your proper style:

……..Long sleeves shirt tucked in A-line raw jeans or swing skirt:
Here is how to wear the elegant vintage style. Either the shirt is white, either it is pastel colored; you like the square or pointed shoulder pads. The jewelry details on the point of the collar bring light to your outfit. But be careful, the shirt has to be skinny, perfectly fitted and you forget the chest pockets!


……..Short puffed out sleeves associated to pleated skirts:
Here is the eternal pretty girl outfit. This look, totally reserved for the less-than-30-years-old women, allows playing with the collars categories. You dare the contrasted collars or the printed ones, Peter Pan or classics, opened or closed. In winter, wear your shirt with a pretty low V-neck thin pullover (but prefer collar in matching shades) as well as high socks in your boots or ballet shoes. Please banish heels if you don’t want to look like the sexy student in teenagers movies.


……..Filmy shirt combined with a big-stitches cardigan and stoned or used jeans:
Here is a romantic look, a tiny bit bohemian. You should dare spring colors shirts or unobtrusive prints. The long sleeves or sleeveless shirts are privileged but be careful you won’t wear them the same way. The long sleeves blouse is more audacious with a plunging neckline which will leave appear a lace camisole, while the sleeveless shirt is buttoned up until the collar button with a pony tail which will disclose your neck. The little things that make the difference: don’t forget to belt your cardigan in order to fit your straight blouse.


……..Boyfriend shirt with jeans and tennis:
Here is a casual masculine-feminine outfit which is starring denim, going from pants to short, through the shirt itself (but not both at the same time). Another way to wear the masculine-feminine style: an ultra-skinny shirt with a big knot, a bow tie or a tie on a half-opened collar. The shirt is tucked in an A-line short or pants accompanied with the most classic pair of pumps.


……..Silk shirt associated with cigarette pants or pencil skirt:
Here is a refine minimalist style, or the working-girl perfect outfit. You must choose a blouse in precious materials; its cut is perfect, a bit loose. You should bank on a low-neck collar rather than the eternal stiff one: the Jabot collar or the Pussybow collar will be your assets, mostly if they are in matching shades. If you opt for a simple and slim collar, you will like the opened chest pockets (but not the turn-up ones), the small-chest girls’ best friends to highlight your femininity. To complete your outfit, there is nothing like a wonderful pair of vertiginous varnished or a bit fanciful pumps.


You unpick and you start afresh:

The white shirt is the par excellence basic! Nothing is easier to accessorize and personalize. Let’s start by the jewelry: a Bib necklace on a closed collar buttoned up until the collar button could break the “uptight” style and brings colors to your outfit. If you prefer the opened collars, the girls who have long and thin neck can slip their bib necklace under the shirt, or you can just wear a small chain with a pretty imposing or unobtrusive charm. On your wrist, it’s the same thing, a chain or a thin bangle will too seem to suit a wide cuff bracelet with folded down sleeves.

Concerning personalization: it’s easier to start with the buttons. If you are fed up with the pearly buttons you see everywhere, unpick them and go to the Notions store, an absolute Aladdin’s Cave! Navy style buttons could marry raw jeans, Liberty buttons with big-stitches clothes, Vintage buttons, black & white ones, round ones, square ones… Just have fun! Another personalization for the nimblest girls, put jewelry on the corner of the collar, an edging on the cuffs or on the top of the pockets, another material pockets, net sleeves in matching shades… The shirt offers you an infinite number of possibilities, isn’t it the basic role?

by Violaine Coutances


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