Gaping, white shirts, sleeve lengths and more….
What to do if shirts “gape” at the bust?
That’s an easy answer, try Shoreditch Corporate shirts. They all come with a modesty button carefully placed to stop the “gape”.
How do you keep a white shirt white?
The reality is that it is hard to keep a white shirt white. They need to be replaced often. I would say a white shirt has a lifespan of a year to 18 months, no longer.
Even though dry cleaning is expensive, I do recommend dry cleaning white shirts. This will make the shirt retain its colour and shape and crispness for as long as possible. Also, you don’t need to clean your shirt after every wear; you should be able to get at least two wears before you need to wash or dry clean it.
Remember to avoid spraying perfume on a white shirt. Don’t rub your makeup on it. Be careful with deodorant application, as that is what causes yellowing in the armpits.
Bleach is a wonderful thing… if it’s a sturdy cotton shirt, you can use bleach as maintenance. Otherwise, with synthetics and stretch and higher-end cotton, be careful with bleach.
How can I make sure my shirt stays tucked in my pants or skirts?
This is tough, and really depends on your body type: if you are long-waisted, this will be a more significant concern than if you are short-waisted. Look for shirts with a long tail, which helps them stay tucked in. Specifically, by long tail, meaning the tail should cover your bottom, and hit right around the bottom of your bottom. But don’t size up, don’t buy a shirt that has too much extra fabric, otherwise you won’t be able to fit all that fabric in to your pants or skirt. Also, while there should always be a scoop on the side, make sure that the scooped area is also on the side. If it scoops up too high it will pull out of your pants of skirt.
Are different cuts of shirts recommended for different body types and shapes?
It is less about cuts than about how you wear it. If you are trim or athletic, a very tightly tucked in shirt will be very chic. If you are more voluptuous, a slightly blousy look will be more flattering. Just remember that the natural inclination of the shirt during the day will be to come out a bit, so don’t start too blousy. If you are short-waisted, tying the shirt in a knot is very current and summery, and if done in a sophisticated way, without showing midriff, can be very office appropriate. Finally, long-waisted people can wear shirts untucked, for a breezy look.
What about sleeve length?
If you are going to wear a shirt with the cuffs buttoned all the way down, the cuffs should hit right below the wrist. However, there are a lot of modifications possible.
To give you a trim, slender look, hitting just at the wrist can also be perfect. The easiest to manager length is mid-forearm, you don’t want to push the sleeve up, because otherwise it looks too casual.
In terms of short sleeves, what is important is to make sure the sleeve comes down to the mid upper arm, meaning closer to the elbow than to the shoulder. This creates a nice casing for the upper arm, which is often not a favourite body part… And make sure the fit is perfect, because too tight is uncomfortable.
In general, regardless of sleeve length, the fit in shoulders is the key. Pay attention to where the shoulder seams hit — they should be squarely on your shoulders, not above or below. And just say no to shoulder pads!
Is there ever an occasion when a button-down shirt is not appropriate?
The wonderful thing about shirts is how versatile they are. Shirts are inherently appropriate, if they fit. You can wear a long one as a tunic to the beach. You can wear a tailored one tucked into pants to the office. You can wear them with jeans. You can ever wear one to a black-tie event!
How would you accessorize a shirt?
Necklaces look great with shirts! There are really two ways of wearing necklaces with button down shirts. For the colder weather, button up your shirt all the way to the collar and wear a very editorial, big statement necklace under the collar. The length should be right at the clavicle.
Alternately, unbutton your shirt a little and wear long necklaces, which dangle over the open neckline, and should hit at the top of your bust. If the necklace is too long, they dangle off your bust and then become awkward looking.