The White Shirt - Your Wardrobe, The Français Way...
Here, in the Parisian Niche, we love talking about fashion and how to incorporate key items into your Parisian capsule wardrobe. We've done many packing lists, in fact, and plan to share more each season, so please subscribe to learn more.
Within those packing capsule lists, for both men and women, P'Niche has made many recommendations to help you master your own Parisian Street Chic Style.
Of course, P'Niche's all time favorite is the Breton Top (Marinière). Seriously, it's in nearly every color in my wardrobe.
As you can see, styling your "chic of the day" is important in the Parisian Niche! Let's get to today's star - the white blouse...
The original white blouse was actually more of a white dress - worn by none other than Queen Marie Antoinette, and captured on canvas in 1783 by official royal portraitist, Madame Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun. (More on her, my fave, soon...)
In fact, the casual / intimate apparel nature of the painting caused such a stir, that the artist had to repaint the queen in her much more royal attire to appease the royal court.
Everyone's a critic...
A few decades (and several revolutions later), we in the 1830s, when the white shirt underwent a Victorian age makeover, moving from the fabric of undergarments to the white dress shirt of the upper classes.
It can be noted, however, that the white shirt was typically covered by vests, waistcoats, and coats.
Moving forward through the decades, this stark white shirt was considered a true sign of one's wealth. By why?
Well, simply stated, it showed that you had enough money at your disposal to change your shirts frequently, and were able to have the shirts professionally washed, laundered, and starched to maintain their crisp look.
In fact, this is how the class defining expressions of "white collar" and "blue collar" came about.
The white collar meant that you were of the affluent society, while the blue collar indicted that you were of the lesser respected working class.
Even in those days - think "upper crust," but make it fashion!
Moving forward in time to the 20th century...
Specifically, we land in the 1920s when the white shirt had truly become a unisex staple.
Love her, or not as much, Coco Chanel had a large influence in making this item a "must have" for the chic and fashion forward women of the time.
Post World War I as well, Edward VIII, Prince of Wales, chose for his wardrobe a white shirt, which was much softer in feel, and flowed with more ease than its starched predecessors.
Ease of spirit and movement had become the fashion notion of the time.
It was around this time as well, that the humble white shirt became an office place uniform of sorts.
To this day, the white shirt is a staple in most wardrobes. They can be in fabrics like: cotton, linen, satin, or silk. This fashion stands the test of time.
Each designer will have their own take to it - with or without collar, some ruffles, some adornments, some collarless, some cropped, some long.
Tucked, untucked, or even "French tucked," you will want to make sure you have your white shirt at the ready.
Just take a look at cinematic greats like Katherine Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Diane Keaton in Annie Hall, George Clooney and Brad Pitt in Oceans 11, etc.
Let's take a look at some more chic looks...
Of course, the Queen (see what I did there?) of Hearts (and Fashion) nails it with her effortless and chic style.
With easy-breezy rolled sleeves, a classic cognac colored leather belt and light wash (but relaxed fit) blue jeans Diana looks ready to take on her day.
We like how she keeps her jewelry quite minimal and comfortable looking without sacrificing an iota of style - as you can see by her chic, black sunnies.
How much we adore Diana's class and style!
Keeping up the royal trend...
Both Kate and Meghan nail the white shirt look - and while they are similar, they are not the same.
Kate (attending the Calgary Stampede event in Canada) gets it so right with her nod to the elements with a playful belt, coordinating cowboy hat, and gorgeous suede boots.
Meghan opted to match her black belt to her black point toed does and roll her sleeves up to get to work on her many charitable causes.
Her go to for white shirts is Misha Nonoo - more on that in a bit.
As you can see, they both get it right!
Parisian based Yanique (founder of myparisianlife.com) has been living in Paris for over 15 years, and you can easily see it in her street easy Parisian style.
With simple gold jewelry and a simple roll of the sleeves of her crisp white blouse, she is ready to take on the city, some clients, and then even a late afternoon apéro with friends.
Yanique clearly has "the eye." Her choice of colorful location (Rue Crémieux) to compliment her chic look is truly a photographer's dream.
P'Niche loves the whimsical and colorful Rue Crémieux and will cover it soon, make sure to subscribe to Parisian Niche to join us back for the exploring...
And boy, can you take your white shirt from day to night. Remember, you are not limited to a standard collar. You can go a simple round / jewel collar.
If you do opt for a plain collar, you have the opportunity to really bring attention to the sleeves with balloon details, ruffles, fringes or other adornments.
When they say less is more, this is what they had in mind. Paired with no jewels that can be seen and a sexy black leather (or vegan leather) pencil skirt, our Parisienne fatale has slipped on metallic pumps for an on-trend pop of electricity.
P'Niche is sure wherever this lady is headed - she is going to turn a LOT of heads - all with a simple white shirt!
From evening to ... red carpet. Of course!
Both of these stars could not be any more chic. From Sharon's pairing of her partner's white shirt and satin skirt, to Zendaya's more youthful cropped look, both of these gorgeous women use the simplicity of the white shirt to emphasize their own natural beauty.
10s across the fashion scoreboard!
Ok fellas, your turn...
It doesn't get much better than three generations of royals, rocking white shirts, in total ease and comfort.
We can't tell from here, but if P'Niche was a betting girl, she'd bet the princes are in blue jeans and King Charles III is wearing simple black trousers with a black leather belt.
Hello Handsome! Going P'Niche's way?
Well, if this does not say easy Parisian Street Chic Homme style, we don't know what does.
This gentleman chooses a slim line white shirt for his look - elongating his frame by leaving it simply tucked out and jusssssst a bit rumpled - as one does.
We love the tonality of his black trousers, black shoes (again, giving him more elongation and the optical illusion of more height) and black sunglasses.
Wait, hold my Sancerre...
Proving that the white shirt look is positively ageless, this gent is strutting his way into a more monochromatic look.
Right now, cargo pants are having a fashion moment, and perfectly captured here - just enough edge.
The shirt looks to be made of delicious linen - perhaps he is on holiday, but let's just say - we'd follow him anywhere!
Maybe he's even offer us his casually tossed jacket to wear over our shoulders on a chilly evening stroll.
Moving to the red carpet, Stormzy really looks dashing and chic in his crisp and buttoned up look, on the red carpet of the GQ Men of the Year Awards.
There is just enough of the white shirt showing to really offset the razor sharp cut of this gorgeous, fitted, navy suit (and corresponding navy tie).
With his stunning timepiece, perfectly placed at his cufflink line, he looks amazing - and you can tell he knows it.
Awards show or not, this look on Stormy certainly gets our vote for best dressed of the evening!
Steering away from a jacket on the red carpet, Eddie Redmayne decided to play with the neckline of his white shirt at the 2023 SAG Awards.
We appreciate the whimsy of this giant bow, as well as a nod the unisex nature of the white shirt here.
He took a chance here and hit it out of the park - simply smashing. P'Niche can easily see this shirt on anyone, in a myriad of different styling options.
I'm already on the hunt for a shirt of this nature - I'll keep you posted to my fashion findings...
In Paris and looking for your own white shirt? Or shirts? Great! Check out my (non-sponsored) faves:
Galeries Lafayette Haussmann
40, bd Haussmann, 75009
Métro: Chaussée d'Antin - La Fayette
Sandro - Sevigne Outlet
26, rue de Sévigné, 75004
Métro: Saint Paul
28, rue de Richelieu, 75001
60, ave des Champs-Élysées, 75008
Metro: Franklin D Roosevelt
And many, many more...
Currently not in Paris and e-shopping? Check out these (non-sponsored) ideas...
An option in white chiffon
What do you think, P'Nicher, are you ready to update your wardrobe with (or bring out your) white shirt? Which was your favorite look that was shown today? Let us know in the comments below et à bientôt!