Shop the most classic white shirt styles every closet needs

By Colleen Kratofil
December 27, 2017 09:00 AM
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There are a few key pieces in any wardrobe that are notoriously hard to find. That perfect-fitting boyfriend jean that’s both baggy and sexy, that one pair of stilettos that won’t cause severe foot pain and a form-fitting white shirt that’s not completely sheer. While I want to tackle all three style conundrums, my first goal for 2018 is to find the latter and build up my white shirt collection.

White shirts are one of those items that I get too nervous to buy online (you never know how opaque they’ll be in real life) and even chicken out of buying after a dressing room visit (store lighting vs. direct sunlight is very different). But I’ve decided 2018 is going to be the year I face my fashion fears and give my black basics a break for a change.

It may seem like a significantly easier goal than say, people who want to hit the gym or eat less sweets in 2018, but it’s one that I know I can actually keep all year long. Since white tops match with everything, ground playful outfits and add polish to sleek separates, more of these staples in my closet will really go the distance.

I tried out a selection of white tops and consulted PeopleStyle Market Editor Sarah Ball for her shopping expertise to find the best of the best on the market. Scroll below for the shop ten white tops I’m buying to start 2018 off to the “white” start.

Short-Sleeve Tee

I tried on tops from Cotton On and Richer Poorer and discovered that both white tees are must-haves for my closet. Cotton On’s baby tee is a tighter style that’s perfect for layering, while Richer Poorer’s crew pocket tee has a looser-fit that looks cool half-tucked into a high-waisted pair of jeans.

Credit: Courtesy Cotton On

Buy It! Cotton On Baby tee, $12.95;

Credit: Courtesy Richer Poorer

Buy It! Richer Poorer scoop V tee, $34;


In the sweater department, I’m stocking up on basics (like Club Monaco’s Merino sweater) and looking for items that really go the extra mile with a stylish flare (like Free People’s slouchy turtleneck).

Credit: Courtesy Club Monaco

Buy It! Club Monaco “Clayre” sweater, $99;

Credit: Courtesy Nordstrom

Buy It! Free People “By Your Side” sweater, $128;


Since I plan on making a white button-down my new wear-everyday work staple, I’m getting as many perfectly-crafted tops into my closet, including this easy-fit Banana Republic top and Zady’s slim button-down, which was created to have the perfect length, perfect thickness for layering and perfect fabric for the highest-quality shirt out there.

Credit: Courtesy Banana Republic

Buy It! Banana Republic Dillon-Fit Oxford pocket shirt, $41;

Credit: Courtesy Zady

Buy It! Zady .04 the slim button voile, $135;


I’m making sure my blouse selection has a layer-able staple (from Everlane) and a cool casual take on the top (with this baggy option from Madewell).

Credit: Courtesy Everlane

Buy It! Everylane relaxed silk shirt, $240;

Credit: Courtesy Nordstrom

Buy It! Madewell drapey oversize boyshirt, $72;

Long-Sleeve Shirt

One reason I worry about a white shirt being too see-through is usually because it’s too tight. But these finds by Twenty and BP aren’t too clingy which will ensure I’m totally comfortable and not at all self-conscious.

Credit: Courtesy Nordstrom

Buy It! Twenty “Waverly” perforated tee, $105;

Credit: Courtesy Nordstrom

Buy It! BP twist hem tee, $18.90;

Which white shirt are you buying?