How to Style: Summer Starched Cotton

Picture via COS Stores.

Picture via COS Stores.

One of my favorite items to recommend to clients is a crisp white button down.  This piece always gives pop and it is one of the most versatile items in a closet. Recently, I've noticed a lot of architectural detail in a simple white cotton poplin shirt, like a subtle fold pattern or a extra long hem.  A la the internet, poplin is "a plain-woven fabric, typically a lightweight cotton, with a corded surface."  It is what you traditionally think about a mens button down shirt to be made of.  It is bright white, easily starched and looks good paired with anything from a formal skirt to ripped jeans.  I love this addition to your closet because it always shines up an outfit and is easy to reach to in a hurry.

Here are a few of my favorites and some tips for making them work in your closet.



Banish Boxy.  You'll notice all of our suggestions for bottoms are closer fitting.  As a general rule of thumb, if you wear a voluminous top, go with a more form fitting bottom, and vice versa.  This avoids an all over "box" look.

Go light on budget here.  White is hard to keep looking flawless and can also yellow over time. For this reason, we recommend a budget-friendly option.  Cotton is cotton, and you aren't missing any upgrades (like a weaved-in-stretch) here.

Dry-Cleaner required.  Unless you are an ironing aficionado/freak, it is frustrating and time consuming to get these babies ready.  Wash at home in cold water and then take to your cleaners for starching.

Under.  Because these are white shirts, they can tend to be transparent; always go with a nude or cream bra.  Add in a cami if you like; try some of our favorites here, here and here.