Catherine McNeil photographed by Tobias Lundkvist and styled by Columbine Smille.

The White Shirt

Timeless, sophisticated and utterly chic. This season, we celebrate the white shirt by highlighting its simple beauty.

Patti Smith on the cover of her album Horses, All Over Press.

THE STORY BEHIND IT
Today, the white shirt is a statement piece in its own, often the hero in a minimalist look. That hasn’t always been the case. Throughout the 1800s, the white shirt was considered an undergarment, hidden underneath waistcoats and jackets. However, it has long been a symbol of status and wealth. In the early 1900s, the white shirt was the choice du jour for the growing office-working middle class.

The white shirt entered the women’s fashion scene in the 1920s, and as for so many of today’s wardrobe staples, Coco Chanel was the woman behind its breakthrough. The revolution of womenswear, when Coco Chanel introduced a more masculine style, made the white shirt the perfect choice, both classy and powerful, for the contemporary style icons.

Hollywood was quick to adapt the new it-item. Legendary actress Katharine Hepburn wore a rather demure white shirt in 1938’s Holiday, while Audrey Hepburn introduced a flirty version with rolled-up sleeves in 1953’s Roman Holiday. (Lesson: If you go on holiday, wear a white shirt.)

A more present day iconic Hollywood moment: Uma Thurman in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction from 1994, where she paired a crisp white shirt with cigarette trousers and simple flats. 20 years later, it is still our go-to look.

Despite its white-collar heritage, the white shirt has a rebellious side. Punk rock queen Patti Smith famously graced the cover of her 1975 debut album Horses wearing a white shirt, looking unimaginable cool.


HOW TO STYLE IT
“No wardrobe is complete without a white shirt”, declares stylist Columbine Smille. “No wardrobe is complete without a white shirt”, declares stylist Columbine Smille.

The white shirt works anytime and anywhere – it is all about how you wear it. And le look du jour is very simple.

”Pair it with black cigarette trousers and luxe leather accessories. The look should be timeless, simple and comfortable!”

 

Photographer Tobias Lundkvist’s favourite items are the classics: a black t-shirt and Chuck Taylors. Stylist Columbine Smille’s favourite item is the perfect black silk dress. Our model is très cool Aussie Catherine McNeil. Hair by Mette Thorsgaard and makeup by Josefin Scherdin.

Eartha Kitt, Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction, Cindy Crawford, Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing, Marilyn Monroe, Ursula Andress, Audrey Hepburn and Katharine Hepburn in their version on the white shirt, All Over Press.
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