Five ways to transform a white shirt

Most of us own a simple white button-down shirt. It may have been sitting at the back of your closet while we’ve been in lockdown and it could be mistakenly viewed as corporate.

But there are ways to casually style your shirt to reflect a different lifestyle.

We’ve put together our favourite ways to style an underrated white shirt. Pick what works best for your body shape and ensure you have the right shirt length for you. You may find something slightly longer gives you more room to play. And play you will! Have fun.

Images via Pinterest

Layered Although a statement in its own right, a white shirt looks fabulous as the foundation to outer knitwear when you need to elevate a cool-weather look. Don’t be afraid to let the white undershirt flow freely from under the sweater. It breaks up a look into flattering thirds and also smooths over a tummy and bum. Or you can pair your shirt with a relaxed poncho for a smart evening out with a skirt and ankle boots, or the much-loved favourite denim and boots for wintery day wear that screams smart casual.

Neckwear Make the accessories the look! Frame your collar with a chic necktie in a bold graphic to inject a sense of fun into your outfit. You can follow the same rule by donning that statement necklace you were never sure how to style. It’s our most loved way to wear statement neckwear as the necklace says WOW but the shirt simmers it down. Place the necklace over a fully buttoned-up collar, if it suits your jawline, for extra styling prowess.

Belted Adding a belt over your top can work wonders for both hourglass girls as well as straight body shapes. If you want to wear a shirt and you’re large chested, you should always try to accentuate your waist with a belt or a high-waist skirt. Your only other option is to wear the shirt quite long, loose, open at the neck and with slim pants to balance it out. Straighter shapes may also be wanting to create the illusion of a waist. A starchy-stiff, well-cut shirt with a beautiful belt layered over the top is an incredibly elegant way to do just that.

Popped It’s the simplest of style options but it always works. We’ve done the calculations and by simply popping a collar, your look becomes 28.3 per cent cooler! Well, something like that. But it’s not about a perfectly sharp, upright collar – make it a little uneven as if you’re too cool to really care and it’s welcome to the fashion league with ease.

Knotted Whether you like your silhouette cinched at the middle or you’re looking for an over-shirt to smooth out your frame, adding a little knot to the end of your shirt can help the pieces keep their place and are a fabulously stylish little detail to mix things up.

The humble white shirt is not so humble with these little tips and accessories. We hope you love yours as much as we love ours.

Rebecca O’Hearn has had a long career as a fashion and beauty editor at Yours, Woman’s Day and FHM magazines and has styled some of Australia’s most famous faces. Her mission now is to help women of all ages feel confident that their wardrobe and beauty choices are the best they can be. Her website,, is packed with fashion, beauty and styling tips. This article first appeared on her website.

Is a white shirt a constant in your wardrobe – like the little black dress?

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Written by Rebecca O’Hearn

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