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The Great White Shirt

The winner of our reader comment competition last month was Jennie Geisker who was thrilled to drive a yellow Cayman through the NSW countryside for a weekend. We learned that Jennie has an online business specialising in French-cuff business shirts – so we asked Jennie for her tips on selecting the ultimate white shirt. Here is her article.


Two months ago in Vogue Australia I read the most exciting thing a shirt designer can read. ‘Button Up. This season, the strongest fashion statement comes with a collar and cuffs.’ They were talking about the white shirts they’d been presented from international designers for their AW 13/14 collections.


This comes as no surprise to me because the ultimate white shirt  (UWS) is the one key item you can always call upon in a wardrobe crisis. If you’ve spent the time to find the right one for your body type, then you know it’s going to sit fabulously on you and always look chic. It will come in handy for all sorts of occasions, from last minute interviews to presenting to your peers, dinner with friends, casual day attire and even beach wear when it nears the end of its life.


The UWS is your friend in a crisis. You know that day when every thing you put on looks dreadful? Or you’ve just bought a really expensive jacket because it was 10% off, not realizing you have nothing to wear it with.  It’s during these times that your white shirt becomes your knight in shining armor. As long as it’s clean, ironed and fits you correctly, it’s going to look effortlessly chic.


Best ways to style your UWS

  1. For an interview – looks great on its own if it’s a French cuff.  Or you can add a bow scarf, beaded collar or just a blazer for effortless chic. Pop on some red lipstick to add confidence to your look.
  1. A night out – add a leather pencil skirt, roll up the sleeves, undo a few buttons, tuck it in and you are chic and sexy for a night out.
  1. Casual – worn out (not tucked in) with jeans and ballet flats. Roll up the sleeves, add a giant tote bag, and make sure you wear those designer shades as you channel you inner supermodel.
  1. Beach – when the shirt has reached its life span, but you just can’t let it go, wear it to the beach with the collar up for super luxe beach look. It protects you from the sun and covers you just enough for modesty.


Tips for buying a shirt for your body shape:

  • Pear Shape/triangle – Pear and triangle shaped women are bottom heavy, therefore the focus needs to be on the shoulders and top half of your body.  You would suit a shirt worn open around the collar, and the waist accentuated, such as empire line. You can also wear chunky necklaces or beaded collars to draw attention upwards.
  • Inverted Triangle – You are generally top heavy with broader shoulders, so you need to create the same shape around the hip area. You could wear a shirt that was an empire line shirt, comes in just under the bust line and then flares out. Wear your shirt buttoned right up to the collar because you want less focus up top and more focus down the bottom. Avoid chunky necklaces and scarves. Team your plain shirt if tucking it in.
  • Banana / straight – Your goal is to create a waist line, so any shirt that nips in around the waist works, or better still create a waist by wearing a belt. It’s all about balance, creating an illusion of the hourglass shape.
  • Hour Glass – You are lucky in that you can wear a fitted shirt with collar done up or open. As long as you continue to follow the natural shape of your body, you can wear just about anything. Lucky lady.


With monochrome the hottest look for our SS 13/14, now is the time to invest in a good white shirt. You will look back and wonder how you ever survived without it.



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