Ladies, roll up, roll up. Introducing: “The Perfect White Shirt”.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to see a headline like that and know that you could find that most elusive of wardrobe staples “The Perfect White Shirt”?  It’s right up there with “The Perfect Little Black Dress”.  Of course, one person’s perfection is another person’s ill-fitting.  And therein lies the problem.  Indeed, there are so many different facets of what would make perfection, from material, to pattern, to fit, to sleeve length.  And that doesn’t even take consideration of price or availability. So, in a quest to find “The Perfect White Shirt” it is important to think about what would constitute a perfect shirt for you.

Consider the following.  A white shirt is the ultimate in versatile wardrobe staple.  You can wear it with a pair of jeans to dress them up and totally nail the smart casual look.  You can wear it untucked over a pair of your favourite shorts, even tying it into a tummy-knot to rock that beach-casual, just-jumped-out-of-bed look. Or you can wear it with a crisp suit or tailored trousers and not look out of place in any boardroom.  So, considering it’s ability to suit so many sartorial occasions, getting it right is pretty important.

Let’s break it down, in the quest for understanding perfection.  Ideally, every white shirt should have a full sleeve, or at the least a 3-4 length sleeve.  This will enable you to maintain that boardroom chic, whilst also allowing you to roll the sleeves up if you are looking for a more informal look.

Which gets me on to how to perfect the sleeve roll.  The ultimate way to make an amazing shirt look tawdry is to get the sleeve roll wrong.  If you feel you want to shorten the sleeve length, fold the sleeve up by the width of the cuff.  Continue to fold over until you get your desired length.  This will ensure that the cuff rolls are neat and lie flat against your arm.  However, to avoid that arm skin bulging out the end of your shirt look, a maximum of three cuff-widths is the most you should go.  Any more and you run the risk of a pseudo-hulk moment as the shirt seams give way to the over-tight cuffs.  One best avoided, I am sure you will agree.

Now, let’s consider the material.  Whilst white shirts come in a myriad of different materials, you should consider what you will typically be wearing under the shirt. Even with the simplest t-shirt bra, without a good quality fabric, you will potentially be presenting the world with a different view than you intended.  Of course you may be actually intending to rock the 90’s bra peeking out of shirt look, in which case, rock on.  No judgement here…

But assuming you are not attempting to recreate those halcyon days of bra-popping, double-breasted jacket-wearing goodness, a good quality cotton shirt should be enough to avoid spicing up your life.  We suggest completing the light test.  Most fitting rooms will be well lit to show the clothes off to their best advantage.  You can use this to your advantage by holding the shirt up towards the light and placing your other hand on the other side of the shirt.  If you can see your fingers in detail, the shirt is likely to be a bit revealing.  Consider buying an alternative to avoid presenting your lingerie to the masses.

And finally, but perhaps most importantly, the perfect white shirt should also fit you well.  This doesn’t mean it has to cling like a second skin, but it should also not make you look like you have suddenly gained 5kgs.  It is one of those rarities in life that a half-tuck, or a tuck in and pull back out again makes you appear streamlined.  In fact, much more likely is that the end effect is less flattering rather than more.  If when you try it on, the shirt reaches only to the hip line, it has been designed to be worn outside of your clothes.  Whilst you can still tuck it in, you may find yourself constantly re-tucking all day.  All other shirts are longer and have been designed to be worn tucked in, and will almost certainly provide the best silhouette if worn that way.

So now you have it.  A beautiful shirt, with adaptable sleeves, that won’t cause your mother to make comments about ‘being able to see your breakfast’, and with the right fit.  Surely such a shirt has to cost a fortune, right?

Well, no actually.  A perfect quality shirt doesn’t have to break the bank.  It is pretty rare for people to get shirts tailored for them, and buying off-the-rack is pretty normal!  There is a range of potential price tags available, with the majority of female professional shirts retailing somewhere between $80 to $200.  Of course, being off the rack, the shirt wasn’t specifically designed with you in mind.

And that is where StopTheGape comes in, to instantly turn your beautiful, versatile white shirt into one that is tailored for you, whilst no one knows you are wearing it.  Mrs Mia Wallace could have used one for sure.

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