10 ways to rework a white shirt

28th October, 2023

White shirts are the kind of wardrobe staple that can be worked in endless ways. This makes them an absolute must in any closet because when armed with a single white shirt you can create myriad looks. White works back with virtually any hue making it the ultimate style chameleon, and the style is the kind that can be dressed up (or really dressed up such as this iconic look Sharon Stone wore to the Oscars) or ultra dressed down thrown over a bikini at the beach. It’s seriously one of the few pieces in a woman’s wardrobe that can be worn virtually anywhere—work, dinner, at home, on the school run, out with friends, to a picnic… the list goes on.

If I’ve yet to convince you of the sartorial super powers that a white shirt has, then check out the looks below. I’ve found 10 different ways to rework a single white shirt, each achieving a different look and feel. You’ll find yourself with a fresh new appreciation for such a classic piece.

Tie it up

This look can either look ultra sexy or ultra sweet depending on what you pair it with—and both work! You could try an evening look such as the one below, by teaming a white shirt with a skirt or pants and wearing it cropped and worked back with a sexy heel. Alternatively you could opt for a denim shorts or a printed skirt and sneakers and you have yourself a look that channels casual and cute.


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Layer underneath other pieces

In winter you could wear a white shirt paired with a sleeveless vest or even a jumper, whilst in summer you could easily channel a little 90s style by popping a shirt on under a slip dress. Try subbing a white shirt in in instances where you’d usually wear a white long sleeved or short sleeved tee and you’ll be surprised at how it can magically transform the entire look of an outfit.


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Tucked in

One of the most eternally classic and polished ways to wear a white shirt is to wear it tucked in. It looks sharp and sleek and can instantly make a look feel put together. You could wear a white shirt like this when paired with jeans, a tailored trouser, a skirt or shorts making it one of the easiest and versatile ways to style a white shirt.


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A post shared by Aimee Song (@aimeesong)

Tucked out

If tucked in isn’t your thing you could always go for something a little more relaxed and wear it out. I think this look can work really well when you’re playing with volume—a white shirt paired with a pair of wide leg pants achieves that perfect amalgamation of casual and cool. Or you could wear it with a skirt like the look below and go for something that’s a little more fun.


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Roll up the sleeves

This is without a doubt one of the simplest ways to rework a white shirt. Simply rolling up the sleeves can change the whole look and feel of a white shirt, cutting through its ultra polished nature and making it a touch more accessible and relaxed.


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Button all the way up

Doing up the buttons on a shirt all the way up can change the way a white shirt presents in the same way not doing up all the buttons on can feel more relaxed. It evokes a more sophisticated vibe and is a simple way to transform the same white shirt time and time again.


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Use it as a cover up

This is one of my fave iterations of a white shirt. It looks impossibly chic when you throw on a white shirt nonchalantly over a swimsuit, plus it read effortless. No fussing around with cover ups, just throw on and you’re done. If you want to dial up the glam stakes you could pop on a pair of statement earrings or wear a silk scarf as a headband or a bandana.

Wear it all the way open

Who says you have to button up a shirt? You could wear it open over a crop for a slightly edgier look such as the one below. Alternatively you could also wear it with tailored trousers and a white tank a la this look by The Row. Either way it’s yet another easy way to transform a humble white shirt into a bonafide trend item.


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Pair it with shorts or bike pants

Yes, your fave white shirt will play very nicely with your fave pair of shorts or bike pants. It’s yet another way to do a high/low look that reads: so very cool. Plus there’s no doubting that the comfort ratings of an outfit such as that are through the roof!


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A post shared by Elle Ferguson (@elle_ferguson)

Let the sleeves peek through

Even a simple styling trick such as having the cuffs and a bit of the sleeve showing through when you’re wearing a blazer can change up even the most tired white shirt. Plus you can do this and work it back with so many existing pieces in your closet so you can get maximum wearability from it.


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Shop my edit of white shirts


What are some of your favourite ways to wear a white shirt?

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