I have a friend who wears white shirts on a daily basis. When I asked her for the secret to maintaining fashion-shoot-worthy whites, she informed me that bleach and owning multiple shirts were key. “You can’t just have one,” she said. Some time after acquiring this information, I found myself in need of a slightly-more-professional fall uniform. I had assumed more responsibilities at work and wanted a look that suited my new role.
I’d already amassed a generous number of the J.Crew Martie pant in black and navy. They, along with two pairs of ballet flats in the same colors, anchored the lower half of this new look. Sometimes, I swapped the flats out for navy platform sneakers. The Superga 2790 Acotw made my legs look longer and elevated my uniform a bit more than the Superga 2750 Cotu to which I had been accustomed.
I’d made up my mind that the top half of my uniform would consist of classic white shirts. I bought seven cotton v-neck tees from Everlane and about an equal number of camisoles to layer underneath. I also added five white button-up tunic shirts to the mix. They were a little sheer, slightly oversized, and fit elegantly over the camisoles. Both white shirts looked polished under a light grey herringbone blazer that I acquired specifically for the upgrade. The blazer lent itself to being swapped out for a lightweight jacket or trench coat while running errands. Sometimes I’d skip an outerwear layer altogether.
The latest addition to my white shirt collection: the J.Crew slim perfect shirt in Baird McNutt Irish linen. This button-up shirt has the laid-back personality of summer: the sleeves roll up nicely, and it pairs well with shorts and skirts. By now, I’ve mastered the art of wearing white shirts in warm and cool weather. They are an essential staple, but you definitely need several of them in rotation to keep them looking flawless. My cleaning secret: soak the underarms (or the entire garment if needed) in a bucket with warm water and a generous amount of OxiClean. Do not use bleach.