The White Shirt...

By Lucy Harbron - 15:51

All my dreams lately are a pale white glow, of a crisp shirt softening over time. I need one.

I've always been cautious of a white shirt. I thought one might make me look too work-wear or too school girl like. But after re-watching Breakfast At Tiffany's, all I can think about it Audrey in that crisp, white night shirt. She makes such a structures piece look so effortless and cosy, she wears the shirt, it doesn't wear her, it's just an extension of herself.

Robert Mapplethorpe's photo of Patti Smith for her album Horses crosses my mind at least twice a day, but it wasn't until recently that I really saw that. shirt. Softened at the collar and slightly oversized, so it looks like she has never worn anything other than that white shirt. The masculine image of Patti's sharp face in a shirt, given a touch of femininity and a whole handful of power as she holds the undone tie, dishevelled hair, undone buttons. I always loved the power in the image, but the power in the clothes is something that's only recently crossed my mind. And now I want to buy into it.

The white shirt has always been an iconic piece. It's a definite power piece. To wear one is to inevitably play into the masculine / feminine look, brought to the spotlight by YSL and remaining there ever since, gradually moving from androgyny to the mainstream. And now the high-street is in a constant battle of who can make the most timelessly beautiful white shirt; my vote is with Zara.

Zara has any white shirt you could want at the minute- classic, embroidered, patterned, tied at the waist, cropped, bell sleeved etc etc etc. I've always had heart-eyes for Zara shirts but deflected for pieces that really styled themselves. But the time has gone, I must have one.

The ability a white shirt gives you to move from Audrey Hepburn, to Jane Birkin, to Patti Smith with only slight changes and saying good bye to your iron. Power in the image, power in the choice is gives.

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