The Best White Shirts for Women

White Shirt

There’s power in simplicity, even when it comes to fashion. While bright colors and patterns might make the day on occasion, solid colors with statement pieces can often be your best choice. When we considered outfit selections and trends, it was hard to ignore the power of the white shirt. Crisp and clean. Functional and versatile. The best white shirts for women can do it all. 

You see, in a closet full of season-specific trends, the classic white dress shirt is the great equalizer, the bottom line, the very definition of a wardrobe staple. At times the personality of a white shirt seems virtually infinite. Paired easily with anything from boyfriend jeans to printed trousers or a ball skirt, it instantly adds a touch of cool masculinity. A classic cotton shirt can look crisp and tailored. Change the fabric to silk or sheer organza, and the look is instantly dressier, sexier – a menswear-inspired fashion at its most feminine.

Hollywood History

It is a timeless, ageless piece that gives a woman that chic masculine/feminine vibe that has proven to be irresistible. The classic white shirt became a trend in the Forties thanks to the stars of Hollywood: in 1938, Kathryn Hepburn wore it in Holiday; Ava Gardner wore a short-sleeved model with wide shorts and lipstick, followed by Lauren Bacall in Key Largo in 1948. In the Fifties, it took Audrey Hepburn to make the shirt with rolled sleeves and lifted collar iconic: she was a princess hanging around with Gregory Peck; those were her Roman Holidays.

Audrey Hepburn wearing a Classic White ShirtStyling your white shirt is easy – loose shirts can be worn over an undershirt or a camisole instead of a jacket. Untucked, they can hide a bulky waistline or give modesty and shelter from the sun to a skimpy bathing suit. Tucked in or worn under a jacket, they take a back seat to the perfect suit.

When is a shirt not a shirt? When it’s too pretty or feminine to betray much of its historical roots as men’s clothing – in other words, when it’s a blouse.

Shop the Look

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
The Deep End
The Deep End, $135
Classic Button-Down Shirt
Classic Button-Down Shirt, $24.30
The Boyfriend Button Down Shirt
The Boyfriend Button-Down Shirt, $79.50
Everyday Pocket Shirt
Everyday Pocket Shirt, $59.50
NIC+ZOE Women's Tech Stretch Shirt
NIC+ZOE Women’s Tech Stretch Shirt, $87.67+
Classic Button-Down Shirt
Classic Button-Down Shirt, $158
Pilcro Linen Surf Buttondown
Pilcro Linen Surf Buttondown, $90
Talbots Perfect Shirt
Talbots Perfect Shirt, $89.50
Savannah Ruffle Button-Up Shirt
Savannah Ruffle Button-Up Shirt, $128
White Maia Oxford Off Shoulder Twist Shirt
White Maia Oxford Off Shoulder Twist Shirt, $295
Reiss Campbell Shirt
Reiss Campbell Shirt, $150
Fitted Shirt in Good Cotton
Fitted Shirt in Good Cotton, $255
Oversized Grandad Collar Blouse
Oversized Grandad Collar Blouse, $120
Blooming Jelly Button Down
Blooming Jelly Button Down, $31.99
Classic-fit Thomas Mason® for J.Crew shirt
Classic-fit Thomas Mason® for J.Crew shirt, $168
Maeve Buttondown
Maeve Buttondown, $98
Talbots Sleeveless Perfect Shirt
Talbots Sleeveless Perfect Shirt, $79.50
Dobby Classic Shirt
Dobby Classic Shirt, $59
White Willa Top
White Willa Top, $158
Button-Up Shirt in Organic Cotton Knit
Button-Up Shirt in Organic Cotton Knit, $150
Cos Relaxed Fit Wide SLeeve Shirt
Cos Relaxed Fit Wide Sleeve Shirt, $120
Amazon Essentials Women's Classic-Fit Long Sleeve Button Down Poplin Shirt
Amazon Essentials Women’s Classic-Fit Long Sleeve Button-Down Poplin Shirt, $24.30
Classic-fit lightweight cotton poplin ruffle-sleeve shirt
Classic-fit lightweight cotton poplin ruffle-sleeve shirt, $79.50
Velvet by Graham & Spencer Devyn Buttondown
Velvet by Graham & Spencer Devyn Buttondown, $189
Boyfriend Shirt Cover-Up
Boyfriend Shirt Cover-Up, $78
White Oxford Adair Boyfriend Shirt
White Oxford Adair Boyfriend Shirt, $88
Menswear Shirt in Stretch Cotton
Menswear Shirt in Stretch Cotton, $225
COS Smocked Short Sleeve Shirt
COS Smocked Short Sleeve Shirt, $89
Beninos White Button Down Shirt
Beninos White Button Down Shirt, $20.45
Collection cotton poplin shirt with feather trim
Collection cotton poplin shirt with feather trim, $198
Citizens of Humanity Kayla Buttondown
Citizens of Humanity Kayla Buttondown, $198
Pintuck Ruffle Short Sleeve Blouse
Pintuck Ruffle Short Sleeve Blouse, $69
SheIn Long Sleeve Button Down
SheIn Long Sleeve Button Down, $25.99
Slim-fit Thomas Mason tuxedo shirt
Slim-fit Thomas Mason tuxedo shirt, $168

When you start to plan out your wardrobe, don’t shy away from the cool lines of a lovely white blouse. Pair it with your favorite jeans or slacks, or dress it up with a smart blazer. Consider yourself a blank canvas and add a dash of color with a dazzling necklace or an on-trend belt. Life is too short – have a little fun and look good while you do it. 

Read Next:

The Best White Jeans for Women

Best Jeans for Women Over 50

34 Best White T-Shirts for Mature Women


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