Style by Claire Lopez

A whiter shade of … white

Nothing says summer better than white. Yes, it isn’t the most practical colour out there and in fact every time I put on a white top, tomato sauce and red wine have a habit of zoning in on me with military precision. But adding a bit of white into your life can be just the ticket to giving your wardrobe a lift.

A white t-shirt – super simple but actually quite difficult to find a good one. First off this needs to be white – not the colour of the once white pants that have been through the wash several thousand times, but actually a fresh, crisp white.

Secondly you need to think about your shape: are you broader up top or big busted – in which case go for a v neck or a scoop which will be slimming. Small busted, then a pocket could be the answer. Have you got wide shoulders – then stick to sleeves which sit on your body rather than a grown on sleeve which will add width. It is definitely not a one size fits all approach but what I can say is avoid ribbed cotton jersey in a high crew neck style. Not the most modern.

Now can you find a white t-shirt that isn’t see-through? Not really because you want the jersey to be drapey and light-weight. A slub is always nice too like this Cotton Slub V Tee from Hush £27. Wear a flesh coloured bra underneath rather than a white one to remove the focus from what is under your t-shirt.

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I have this t-shirt in the grey marl and it is a great fit – shaped without clinging: Maye Seam Back T-shirt £35 Whistles.

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American Vintage is a great brand for jersey and they have lots of different styles including this T-Shirt Nouveau Mexique £35. Not sure why she is standing like a sulky teenager though.

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Boden also has a number of options to choose from including this V neck linen tee £34.50.

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Gap has an entire section dedicated to the perfect white tee and my favourites include:

Slub roll sleeve tee £14.95.

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Linen cap sleeve tee £19.95.

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Cap sleeve pocket tee £14.95.

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M&S also has this Pure Linen T-shirt £15.

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The lynchpin of every wardrobe – you can wear this in so many ways: shorts on the beach to under a blazer with some heels.

What if you want something a bit smarter? Well, here we depart slightly from white and head down an optically kinder and less stark route because a woven t-shirt, unlike it’s jersey counterpart, should not be bright Vanished white, rather, a softer white like this Silk Tee from Hush £65 Antique White.  Perfect under a jacket for the office or for a night out. Add fine chains or a statement necklace to finish the look.

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A good woven cami is another useful wardrobe staple like this Silk Vest £55 Hush. Again definitely not in the optic white camp for this one.

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If silk is just asking for jammy fingers or snotty noses to head your way, then this Triangle top Hush £45 is a machine washable option. Dress it down with shorts and sandals for the beach or pop on some heels with skinnies or a more relaxed jean and a jacket for a cocktail-ready ensemble.

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I have last year’s version of Topshop’s Double Strap V-Front Cami £16 in white and black. (Although this year there are also lots of lovely bright, fun colours to choose from for holidays). I have worn this so much and in so many ways – from on the beach to New Year’s Eve under a sparkly jacket and with leather look trousers and heels. Plus they also come in Tall and Petite.

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Oasis also has a very similar cami for £22 if you don’t like the double strap.

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So hopefully your white top woes are sorted and one last word: if you want to do on-trend then go for an off the shoulder style like this Broderie Anglaise Top £65 Hush. It’s not super versatile but you should now have that covered.

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