Each season certain items of clothing seem to get more attention than others, with a noticeable update. This season, it’s all about the Victorian white shirt. Your average white shirt has been totally transformed into a feast of ruffles, cuffs and neck ties. All this attention means that your usual white shirts may not fit in well with your on-trend fall outfits, that have naturally incorporated the more dramatic white shirt. Invest in a couple of white shirts with Victorian details that can see you through the fall in style. So what should you be looking for exactly?
One of the most characteristic elements of a Victorian shirt of course is the generous nature of the shirt, that is the general rule. We’re imagining billowing shirts with poufy sleeves, tightly secured at the wrists with dramatic cuffs. In order to get enough oomph of course you need to stick to a stiff cotton shirt, softer fabrics can’t create the same effect.
If you don’t feel you need the extra fabric, or if you much prefer a softer look, you can opt for a crepe or silk version with a generous cascade of ruffles at the chest panel. Many of these blouses are slightly sheer to create an appealing ethereal mood.
Another feature incorporated into white shirts this season (also inspired by the Victorians) is the baby button trend. You know those pretty buttons, that when lined up look so much more substantial and feminine than regular buttons. Of course the greatest issue is doing them up and then undoing them. When choosing a shirt make sure that the baby buttons are merely a design detail and not actually functional..
Another popular version is of course the necktie iteration of the Victorian white shirt. Typically a high-neck ruffle collar that is secured in some way, often a thin black ribbon or a long substantial ribbon that can then be secured at the neck in a pussy bow. The shirt’s top button can alternatively be released, relaxing the look a little, in which case the ribbons are tied loosely lower down, or even left completely undone.
Then there is what I call the ‘Little House On The Prairie’ trend, where there the shirt actually buttons in the back, with a chest panel of pleats or lace, a high neck and again cuffed sleeves.
Lastly, the Victorian shirt trend incorporates the historic corset (just more comfortable). These style shirts have a deep balconette style neckline and a more fitted bodice, perfect to match with a pencil skirt for a more formal look. As with all fitted shirts, adding a belt is optional and can be used to both define the waist and add an element of design to a relatively simple look.
Clearly lots of choices in the white shirt department. Lastly, always remember to wear a beige or nude bra not a white one, so that it remains relatively invisible under the shirt. Happy shopping.