During dessert, I dripped a spot of chocolate on the front of my shirt. My white shirt, of course. Which I had just changed into to wear to dinner.
As I was trying to blot the spot with my napkin, my son turned to me and asked, "How many white shirts do you own?" Thinking quickly, I responded, "Thirty?" As the three of them laughed, I found myself explaining what white shirts mean to me. And the more I thought about it, the more eccentric I guess I am, or have become, or always was. Or is it just a clothing rut?
When I was a young teenager my mother taught me the importance of wearing ironed clothes. To this day, I really can't wear a shirt right out of the dryer without at least touching it up with an iron. Even if the shirt is one hundred percent cotton and will turn into a map of wrinkles within minutes of putting it on, I have to start out with a freshly ironed shirt. This is one of the reasons that I tidy up in the morning in my pajamas; who wants to put on a freshly ironed shirt to wash dishes???
As a teenager, I was really skinny. In fact, I was underweight at 5' 7" tall and 108 pounds. I could wear almost anything, and did. But my favorite go-to outfit was a freshly ironed white oxford shirt with capris and flats.
And here I am now, fifty years later. Not so skinny, less tall at 5'6" (sorry, not giving you the poundage!) and what's my go-to attire? You got it....a freshly ironed white oxford shirt with capris and flats.
But let me explain! I have those hang-around-the-house white shirts. You know the ones; they've been
With the advent of wrinkle-resistant cotton, I now own shirts that you can wear all day and they don't wrinkle. These are great to wear with your dressier slacks and a blazer, sweater or your favorite shawl. You could go from the mall to a client dinner in one of these and pull it off. But don't kid yourself, you still need to iron these shirts. And they do have one problem. The fabric is woven differently so they don't really breathe and you wouldn't want to wear one of these on a hot day even though they're one hundred percent cotton. I also own a couple of white on white prints for a dressier look. Paired with dress slacks they are perfect!
Am I in a rut? I don't know. I do know that I own shirts in lots of other colors,including solids, plaids and stripes. I'm even wearing a blue striped shirt in my current profile picture.
Back in 2010, I blogged about Yuka, a young hairdresser who works at Vidal Sassoon in Manhattan. I was really delighted with her outfit. It was cheery and fun and colorful and upbeat. She looked young and hip and made me smile when I looked at her. But would I dress like that? Not a chance! I'd feel like I was ready to work in the circus!
Look at photos of stars like Katherine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Diane Keaton and even Taylor Swift on Google. You'll find photo after photo of celebrities wearing the tried and true white cotton shirt. Call it my uniform, but they're simply timeless and they work and I love them!
I lamented over one of my favorite white cotton shirts last night that had to be retired a couple of years ago. I owned a Ralph Lauren shirt that was made from the softest cotton imaginable. After owning it for about ten years, I literally wore it to death, because one of the sleeves simply shredded when I bent my arm while wearing it.