The best white shirts for women: a fashion stylist’s edit

Invest in one of the best white shirts for women and go back to basics with this timeless button-up

Guests seen wearing Dior blouses and pants with Dior black bags outside the Christian Dior show during Paris Fashion Week S/S 2022 on September 28, 2021 in Paris, France
(Image credit: Getty Images / Daniel Zuchnik)

As a fashion editor and celebrity stylist, I'm asked tonnes of questions about style and how to put outfits together, but there are a few that crop up time and time again. One of the most popular is, where to find the best white shirts for women and which brands I'd recommend buying a crisp white shirt from. 

Similarly to a great pair of jeans, the basic T-shirt, and a trench coat, a white shirt is one of those foundation pieces you’ll reach for season after season, year after year so they’re well worth investing in.

The cornerstone of every well-edited, capsule wardrobe this enduring classic is beloved by women of all ages—my mother, grandmother, sister, and I all have a soft spot for a truly great white shirt and always share when we’ve found a gem that needs to be shouted about. I think this shared love is thanks to its endless styling potential and ability to immediately smarten up any look. 



The history of the white shirt

A montage which shows to scenes of women wearing white shirts in films, on the left, Uma Thurman, John Travolta / Pulp Fiction 1994 directed by Quentin Tarantino and on the right Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman

(Image credit: Alamy / ScreenProd / Photononstop / AF Archive)

A hero of stage and screen, the best white shirts have enhanced iconic movie moments and provided us with both sartorial inspiration and an easy Halloween costume along the way. Take ques from Uma Thurman’s classic button-down in Pulp Fiction and pair yours with black ankle-grazing straight-leg trousers and ballet flats. Or, tap into the nostalgia of the 90s and go for a size up, roll up the sleeves and temper its slightly looser silhouette by knotting at the waist just like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (FYI, mini skirts are having a moment this Spring so you can really amp up the reference and pair with a cobalt blue and have your Vivienne moment).

The perfect pairing to denim. A white shirt and a red lip can immediately smarten up even the most love-worn jeans, it all comes down to proportions and cut. This is something Meghan Markle does so well, always opting for a pair of high-rise, straight-leg jeans which elongate the legs whilst also cinching the waist. Take your style notes from her and either tuck your white shirt in the whole way around or, try a french-tuck.

So, whether you’re looking to update your office-ready Oxford or invest in a light and airy linen cover-up for your highly anticipated summer holiday you’ve come to the right place. From frilly blouses to borrowed-from-the-boys dress shirts I’ve curated the ultimate edit of the best white shirts for each and every occasion.

The best white shirts for women to buy now and how to style them

This shirt from Asceno is one of the best white shirts to buy now

(Image credit: Asceno)

1. Asceno, Oversized linen shirt

Designed with balmy days in mind Asceno’s white shirt is cut from airy recycled linen for a loose, oversized silhouette. Pair yours with denim and sandals when exploring a new city and your favorite bikini to the beach.

This shirt from Theory is one of the best white shirts to buy now

(Image credit: Theory)

2. Theory, Cotton shirt

Made from crisp white cotton that’s got a slight stretch to it this classic white shirt is cut for a slim fit, use it to temper wide-leg trousers and wear to your next meeting.

This shirt from Ted Baker is one of the best white shirts to buy now

(Image credit: Ted Baker)

3. Ted Baker, Idalia lace collar shirt

There’s a gorgeous bohemian edge to this pretty white shirt, stitched with an oversized lace collar that’s designed to poke out over the top of sweaters, coats, and gilets alike. Use yours to spruce up tired crewneck jumpers.

This shirt from Jacquemus is one of the best white shirts to buy now

(Image credit: Jacquemus)

4. Jacquemus, La Chemise Bahia wrap front shirt 

The plunging neckline is a sensual signature of Jacquemus, draped to flow down to the navel it’s perfect for date nights and long summer days. Don’t retire it to the back of your wardrobe when the weather cools, simply layer over a tonal turtleneck.

This shirt from Topshop is one of the best white shirts to buy now

(Image credit: Topshop)

5. Topshop, Oversized satin shirt

Cut from satin the classic white shirt has a luxurious makeover that adds a touch of lustre into your everyday. Style with denim for the day and leather shorts for the night.

This shirt from Reformation is one of the best white shirts to buy now

(Image credit: Reformation)

6. Reformation, Denton blouse

Designed to throw-on-and-go Reformation’s blouse is crafted sustainably, using organic cotton saving 9lbs of carbon and 85 gallons of water. The cotton farmed for it is grown during crop rotations, sustaining the land and providing a natural way to control pesticides (Organic cotton requirements prohibit chemicals and genetically modified seeds, protecting land and soil quality.) You’ll feel good when you tuck this into your jeans.

Sarah-Rose Harrison is a London-based celebrity stylist and Contributing Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK. 

No day is ever quite the same for her but the one constant is that she’s always looking for the next big thing and the newest style. 

From ways to be more sustainable to up-and-coming brands, she’s got you covered.