The white blouse can be light and floating, impeccable and austere, sumptuous and all-enveloping, tight and close-fitting. It rises up to frame the face. It sculpts the body by transforming itself into a second skin. Imputed with glamour and poetry, freedom and impetuousness, the prim white shirt turns out to have a thousand identities…” After reading Gianfranco Ferre’s beautiful quote, one can easily understand how is it that the white classic garment effortlessly finds itself a place in a woman’s wardrobe, time and time again.

Traditional or modern, when it comes to making a light statement, the white shirt is amongst the few items able to really highlight grace, femininity and good taste, so easily, yet so effectively. Hiding under many names – dress shirt, Oxford, blouse, button-down, button-up – the white staple gets a subtle make-over for spring 2013, enough to point out its evolution, while retaining its longevity and classic appeal.

womens classic white shirt

White shirt: the timeless look

Crisp, featuring a slim cut, long-sleeved with front and cuff button fastening, this is the image of the classic white shirt that serves as departing point in the reimagining of a wardrobe essential just in time for spring. Emerging from a strict, masculine inspired signature design, towards something softer, lighter and utterly feminine, the white shirt is being updated in luxe fabrics and slightly embellished with delicate additions.

White shirt on the runway at Valentin Yudashkin S/S ’13

White shirts with sheer panels

Nothing evokes femininity quite like the sheerness and delicacy tastefully building up a garment. Playing upon its alluring quality, a white shirt with sheer organza panels seizes to be seen as another androgynous rendering, becoming more of a lighter vision of the timeless silhouette. Tucked into a high-waisted embroidered lace mini skirt, styled with a pair of classic pumps, the iconic look morphs slowly into a sexy and sophisticated take, able to transition you from day to night in flawless style.

White shirt featuring sheer panels on the runway at Jason Wu S/S ’13

Laser cutting

Still clean and crisp in appearance, the white cotton blouse updated with geometric eyelet embellished sleeves represents a subtle reinterpretation of the wardrobe staple, but one that definitely reads modern and smart. Following onto an athletic cut, the button-down can top anything from flirty A-line mini-skirts to high-waisted pants, telling its story through shape and timeless quality.

White shirt featuring laser-cut sleeves on the runway at Victoria Beckham S/S ’13

Volume on sleeves

This spring season is all about experimenting with volume, so naturally the trend pursued the classic button-down shirt as well. Kept to an elegant minimal, the accent fell on the luxurious volumes added to the sleeves, turning the white shirt into a romantic statement for night. Particularly so, when styled with all black accessories, including glamorous floor-length skirts and flat-topped hats.

White shirt featuring voluminous sleeves on the runway at Ralph Lauren S/S ’13

Delicate beading

It’s always amazing to witness how such delicate details hold the power to switch the general perception on tradition and heritage. A subtle line of beads, gently placed across the button-line of a carefree collared white blouse, can instantly guarantee a playful and relaxed effect, going perfectly against the laid-back attitude of an endless summer. A touch of exotic prints for even more charm and the look is complete.

White shirt featuring delicate beading on the runway at Paul & Joe S/S ’13

Double layers

When it comes to construction, the white shirt seems hardly interpretable but than again, where would all the fun be if that sentence turned out to be true. For spring, the white button-down with long sleeves gets a second layer, envisioned as a croc spine embroidery overlay. Teamed to a pair of tailored basketball shorts with suspended stripe details, the classic shirt becomes part of the contemporary sportif-chic aesthetic.

White shirt featuring double layers on the runway at Alexander Wang S/S ’13

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