Monday, August 10, 2015

One Shirt, Two Shirt, White Shirt, Blue...


Is there any fashion item that's more lauded than the simple white shirt? Probably not. It's on every "must-have list" of "wardrobe staples" I've ever read. You know, those fashion items we're told every girl or woman needs in their closet. Right up there with a great pair of jeans. The white shirt has been on the cover of fashion magazines like Vogue countless times. Even on their famous 100th Anniversary issue in April 1992. By the way if you want to get your hands on a copy of this so-called "iconic" issue.... there's one for sale on Kijiji for only $50.00. Seriously.

     

I'm not disputing the value of a great white shirt. Or blouse. I always have a couple in my closet. Right now I own a classic, white, button down shirt. As well as a tuxedo-style one with ruffles down the front. It looks great under a mannish tweed jacket for fall.    

Some women just have the knack of looking fabulous in a white shirt. Lauren Bacall. Audrey Hepburn. Ines de la Fressange. And Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy. She had great style, didn't she?

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The white shirt look, below, has attracted a fair bit of on-line attention lately, and been hailed as the "look du jour." That's Danish stylist and fashion blogger Pernille Teisbaek. She features lots of really interesting outfits and other fashion tidbits on her blog Look de Pernille. I must say, though, that this is not one of my favourites. I think I'm too old ...or maybe just too prissy... for the rumpled shirt, ragged hem thing. 

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But even though the white shirt, however you wear it, rumpled or pressed, is still the reigning queen, fashion does seem to be having a blue shirt moment. I loved this blue shirt when I saw it in a post by Alyson Walsh on her blog That's Not My Age. She talks about how this cover for the July issue of British Vogue garnered all kinds of on-line yammering... mostly negative. You can read Alyson's post here. But despite the slings and arrows hurled at Vogue about this cover, I agree with Alyson... Stella Tennant looks wonderful. The very epitome of "ageless style" at only forty-four. I might be biased, though. After all her grandmother was a Mitford.


Jenna Lyons, creative director and president of J. Crew, also sports a blue shirt with pizzazz. 

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So is the blue shirt becoming the new white shirt? Ines de la Fressange says it is. She thinks it's a "wardrobe staple," clean and crisp and not as boring as a white shirt. You can read the rest of her "must-have" list here.

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I'm not comfortable tucking in my shirt these days, so this look below appealed to me; definitely more my style. Portuguese blogger Tatiana show us a whole array of blue shirt looks in this post. It seems that that other French fashion icon, Emanuelle Alt, is a fan of the blue shirt. 

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As am I. I bought this blue, checked sleeveless shirt in the spring. And on a sunny, breezy, not-too-hot summer day, I love it with my NYDJ cropped, white jeans and my Helmut Lang jacket. I wore this to lunch last week with my friend Barbara. As usual, we discussed fashion, our recent travels, and books, book, books. It was Barb who put me on to the Mitford sisters years ago. 

Black Helmut Lang jacket, Equipment sleeveless shirt, white Paige cropped jeans

And this is my new, blue, going-into-fall shirt. I bought this blue Equipment shirt at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. I like the shirt-tail hem, and the generous cut. And I love it with these Paige high-rise, skinny jeans. And my Stuart Weitzman loafers. I'll probably add my blue Smythe blazer in the fall. Or I have a longer (mid-thigh length) black, Elie Tahari jacket that might be even better. Fall outfit planning is so satisfying. 

Blue cotton Equipment shirt, Paige high-rise skinny jeans, black Stuart Weitzman loafers

But for now, I swapped the loafers for my Stan Smith Adidas for a day of shopping with my sister. We were picking up a gorgeous Escada dress that she bought last week at the Anniversary Sale, and had altered. And we had appointments at Nordstrom for a bra fitting. Shopping for a bra can be sooo frustrating. The overwhelming number of brands, and styles and colours.... and sizes. It is not an activity for the faint of heart.

Equipment blue shirt, Paige high-rise skinny jeans, Stan Smith Adidas

So I'm off. Hopefully looking casual and cool in my new blue shirt. Even if I'm not rumpled and frayed like the really cool girls. I can't bring myself to do rumpled. Or wrinkled. Well, except for the other non-trendy wrinkled-ness... definitely got that going on. 

Equipment blue shirt, Paige high-rise skinny jeans, Stan Smith Adidas, Michael Kors tote

Ah well, you work with what ya got, people. Three hours after I took this shot, and two new perfectly fitting bras each to the good, my sister and I were scarfing down thin crust pizza at the restaurant in Nordstrom and giggling like teenagers. Wrinkles and all.

We do love our sisterly shopping days. 

By the way. The title for this blog post is from that kids book: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Ever since I decided to write about white shirts vs blue shirts, I haven't been able to get it out of my head. 


What about you? White shirt or blue shirt? Rumpled or pressed?





Linking up this week with:  What I Wore at The Pleated Poppy, Style Me Wednesday at Shopping My Closet, Passion 4 Fashion at Rachel the Hat, Fun Fashion Friday at Fashion Should Be Fun, Friday Finds at Forage Fashion, Casual Friday at Two Thirty-Five Designs, Hello Monday at More Pieces of Me 
        

20 comments:

  1. Hi Susan, I'd say I'm blue shirt - with a white shirt I'm always worried about messing it up. And I prefer them pressed - but, here's the thing, I don't like ironing them! I usually enjoy ironing, except for shirts - good job my husband has lots of them in his closet, since I always put off ironing shirts for as long as I can.

    By the way, is the bag also new? I can't remember if it's been on the blog before, but it looks familiar; anyway, great colour for fall.
    P.S. You're not the only one who won't/can't tuck shirts in anymore!

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    1. I hate housework as a general rule...except for ironing. I love to iron. I talked my husband through ironing his own shirt a few years ago. So far he's done...two! The bag's not new, a couple of years old, in fact. Even though it's a spring/summer bag..the color is good for fall. And since I wear so little bright colour it always adds some to my outfit.

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  2. I love both white and blue shirts. Now that I have enough wrinkles in my face, I can't pull off a rumpled fine cotton shirt (chambray or denim are ok) but the no-iron cottons irritate my skin and an ironed cotton shirt that is untucked looks good only for about 4 hours. Alas, my first world problems ;)

    Your pale blue shirt will look wonderful with your burgundy jeans and yellow bag.

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    1. You're right... definitely first world problems! Good idea...I must try that blue shirt with my burgundy jeans. Thanks, Diane.

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  3. Another ironer!!! I love to iron and always have. My Mother liked it too and taught me well! Daughter, not so much! I iron everything I can get my hands on.
    White shirt or blue shirt? I like both. Actually,my very favorite shirt is a J.Crew, from perhaps 15 years ago, that my daughter bought when she was in high school. It sat and sat until I adopted it a few years ago. Small, blue pinstripe on white. And oh so very crisp!!! The collar stands up so beautifully and the cuffs fold back just the right way. Am debating wearing it on the flight to Rome; very wrinkled, yes, but then, that's part of the charm, no?

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    1. I don't know why I love ironing...since I hate housework otherwise. Your J. Crew shirt sounds perfect.

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  4. I do like sisterly shopping perhaps because you can be more brutally honest than friend shopping or maybe that's just my sisters & me ? I remember Alyson W's blue shirt post & the fact that many people complained of the pic being too plain & unstylish but I liked it . You've given me some ideas for the shirts in my wardrobe - white , blue , check , dot , stripe etc . Margaret Howells are my favorite. Funny , we don't call them blouses any more
    Wendy in York ( who hates ironing )

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    1. I laughed at the young reader who commented that the shot of Stella in her blue shirt looked like an ad for "menopausal medicine!" Yes...when we were kids, boys wore shirts and girls blouses...even if they were cotton.

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  5. I've always thought it would be lovely to have a sister to go shopping with! I do have great fun shopping with my daughter though .... She saves me £££s ...usually with the words " I think you suit the one you've got at home much better!! " I have a blue boyfriend style chambray shirt similar in style to yours that I wear with white jeans or dark jeans with a cashmere sweater over. I really like the Stella Tennant Vogue cover ... Simple and stylish!
    I don't like ironing either!! :)
    Rosie

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    1. I say the same thing to my older sister. Or similar...I'm the fashion memory bank. I know her wardrobe better than she does:)

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  6. Had a few problems with poor wifi so just pressed publish when I realised I'd forgotten to add that I had a really good Flat White in the Strada Cafe in Le Marais Paris earlier today! Thanks so much for mentioning it, otherwise I wouldn't have realised how good the coffee was ....the best I've had in over three weeks! Very much appreciated! I also feel very lucky to have been able to see the Eiffel Tower sparkling whilst lying in bed tonight!!
    Rosie

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    1. So glad you liked the Strada Cafe. Must be wonderful to see the Eiffel Tower from your bed! Enjoy the rest of your trip!

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  7. You look fantastic in your shirt! I love this look. Unfortunately even at my skinniest I did not look good in a white shirt. Short with big boobs. It doesn't work! But a beautiful blue or even a black works just fine and is very slimming as well as crisp, tailored and goes with everything.

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    1. Thanks! There are so many more styles than just the classic men's wear inspired shirt, aren't there?

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  8. A definitely prefer the blue. White shirts are just horrible against my skin. I had my colours done. My "white" would be more of a light beige. You look great in your blue shirt.

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    1. Thanks, Paula. I'm the opposite...if I wear a white top it has to be white white or I look like I have the flu.

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  9. Love this post! I think I'm a pressed blue shirt kind of person! :)

    Stopping by from the Pleated Poppy Link-up!

    -Adriele
    www.StyleAssisted.com

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    1. Thanks, Adriele. And thanks for stopping by.

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  10. Susan, you always look so chic! Love your style! I've never done the white shirt thing because I'm lazy about ironing ... if rumpled is in, I'm thrilled! ;)

    Thanks so much for being a part of Fun Fashion Friday!
    OXOX
    Dawn Lucy
    http://fashionshouldbefun.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Dawn Lucy. Rumpled is in, apparently...just not on me. Thanks for hosting Fun Fashion Friday.

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All comments, ideas, commiserations, questions, complaints... are most welcome.