Photography I DANIEL Archer
styling I naomi barling
Don't know what to wear? Most style conundrums can be easily fixed with the humble white T-shirt. No matter the season, or your personal style, it can take you from board meetings to disco floors and beach beds. You can mix and match to compliment any outfit. Loose and liberating, or cut to perfection, there's something wonderfully low-key about a white T-shirt. So, here is the lowdown on how to style yours this season.
The search for the perfect white tee can be endless. Should I go oversized or fitted? Stretch, ribbed or opaque. Crew neck, V-neck, boyfriend? Does it give off enough of a 90s Kate Moss for Calvin Klein look, or do I just look dishevelled? With something as simple as a white T-shirt, the cut and fit will make or break the look. If you have a fuller bust, go for a figure-hugging style. To keep it on the cooler side go for a crew neck, not a V and wear under oversized suiting or with some high tailored trousers. For those of you that can carry off the oversized look, make sure the fabric is soft, stretchy and lightweight. A stiff tee look is not a good one.
Since no white tees are the same, you can never have too many, but decide where your loyalties lie and then invest in good fabrics and brands. Look for natural fibres by brands like Ninety Percent, which uses organic cotton and Tencel, made from wood cellulose. Try Net Sustain or Browns The Conscious Edit, for great sustainable basics.
Pair a fitted tee with high-waist jeans to elongate the legs and match with some kitten heels and a blazer, or breathe new life into your office attire by layering your tailored suiting over your tee. Finish with some chunky heeled boots for weekdays, then switch them out for sneakers at the weekend for an OOO that screams elevated every day. If you’re into the neutrals, put a playful spin on utilitarian style by pairing with combat trousers, a blazer and a textured bag. For after-dark, master the art of understated elegance by pairing a simple tee with a leather skirt and some over-the-knee boots or some jewelled stilettos. Last but not least, layer under a slip dress to tick all the 90s boxes.
“This season I am slightly obsessed with two-piece suits. Trouser suits, skirt suits and in general just matching tops and bottoms. The white tee is the perfect layer to wear with all my current combinations. I will wear a full tailored suit with a tee underneath and my everyday mid-heel boots, throw on my gold jewellery and I’m ready for work. Having a perfectly-fitted tee takes away all the effort, you can rely on it to blend in with everything and work.”
NAOMI BARLING, BURO. FASHION EDITOR
BURO. edit of the season’s top white-tee investments.