Fashion Forward: Chic and Stylish Uses for the White Shirt
Updated: Mar 12
A look at Gen Z styles for a fashion staple
(Photo credit: Unsplash)
Modern fashion often calls for flexibility and versatility in an individual's wardrobe. Having a good looking item is one thing, but having an item that can be paired with other things and still look amazing is equally important. Owning multiple pieces that can do this, as it allows the owners to have what's called a “capsule wardrobe,” allowing them to create numerous looks with only a few items. While there are many items can be included in a fashionable wardrobe, there’s one in particular we want to focus on today: the white dress shirt.
The white dress shirt is a perfect addition to anyone’s wardrobe. In addition to being used in business outfits, the shirt can also be styled in other ways that are chic and fashionable. This is especially true as members of Gen Z start to incorporate them into their own outfits. While these shirts might be considered plain by themselves, they serve as a blank canvas, allowing them to be incorporated into many different looks, as we will explore later on.
While it’s been popular for quite a while in the modern business world, the origin of the white dress shirt dates back approximately 200 years. According to an article by The Conversation, the story of the white shirt started during the Victorian era among men in high society due to its pristine nature. While it remained a symbol of the aristocracy for a while, it later became more commonplace. The popularity of the shirt really began to rise in the early 20th century due to its demand in formal settings, such as church and business environments. It was during this time that women started to wear white dress shirts as well, with actresses like Audrey Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich popularizing the look.
Fast forward to the 21st century and the white dress shirt has become significantly more popular, with many people wearing them in all walks of life. While they still excel in business settings, younger people such as Gen Zers have shown that their style potential goes far beyond the office. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the ways it's being worn by men and women today.
The ways men are wearing the white button down in modern fashion have branched out from professional dress, now allowing the wearer to incorporate the shirt into an executive level of dress or casual day out. According to men’s fashion magazine, D’MARGE, men can style a dress shirt in many different ways, including buttoned or unbuttoned, in a casual look with jeans or chinos, a summer look with shorts or with a suit as is common. These looks and similar ones make use of the dress shirt as a base that can be mixed and matched with other items to create many unique looks.
Women are also wearing the white shirt in creative new ways, using it to serve multiple purposes across many different looks. An article from The Every Girl shares some of the ways women can style a white shirt. These looks include wearing it over a dress, styling it with jeans, pants and skirts, and with a sweater. It can also be worn with a blazer or tied at the waist. These are only some of the many ways that a dress shirt can be utilized
The Gen Z View
To gain more insights on how members of Gen Z view and wear the white shirt, I decided to ask some of my peers at AGENZ PR to model their own white shirts and share why they like them. Here’s what they had to say.
"I love how versatile the white shirt is. It is the perfect compliment to any accessory, from a watch to a tie to a sharp pair of shoes, there’s nothing it can’t go with!" said John Slaga. "The only down side is that it is obviously extremely easy to stain or mark on. If I have the chance, I like to keep an extra one on a hanger in my truck just in case!"
“I think wearing a white shirt makes your style look crisp and clean,” said Manager Estella Ramble. “It helps brings out other features in the look because it’s so plain and simple.”
I decided to go for it too, and I liked the result I got. I feel like the white shirt can be incorporated into many different looks, such as the business casual look I made by wearing it under my sweater.
The white shirt is a very versatile piece of clothing, which can be used in many different ways with many different styles. It's crisp, it's clean, and it's a piece that can be used to take any look from good to great, whether it be in a business setting or a casual one. It is another must-have in a wardrobe.
About AGENZ PR
AGENZ PR is a student-led public relations agency at University of North Texas at Frisco. It’s comprised of some of the top PR students from the Mayborn School of Journalism. AGENZ’s focus is on diverse, digital, data-driven public relations that allow clients to better reach Gen Zs with innovative communications. For more information, visit the agency’s website at www.agenzpr.com