The shirt — it’s a humble, solid and dependable garment. A shirt is something that virtually all of us have in our closets. It might form an integral part of your working wardrobe, worn under a smart jacket, far from being the star of the show themselves. Many of us like to have a smart but casual shirt or two to offset our more rugged denim, or perhaps a softer blouse to balance a smart skirt.
This season, however, we should be thinking about how to bring shirts and blouses to the forefront. There are several ways of styling them creatively. This means you can pair up your shirt or blouse with a variety of other pieces from your wardrobe for a different look each time.
For an even greater impact, it’s worth considering updating your wardrobe with some contemporary pieces. There are some great styles to look out for.
Shopping for ladies’ shirts? Try these contemporary styles
These styles are far from the standard button-down, white cotton shirt. Elegant and sophisticated, you should be able to find plenty of contemporary, stylish shirts for women to fall in love with here.
The style of collar often determines the overall look of the whole shirt. The basic straight collar has its time and place, but there are many more options to choose from with more contemporary styling.
Favorites right now include the stand collar, a stiff, upright band of fabric that perfectly frames the face. A stand collar, fully buttoned to the top, is very distinguished and reminiscent of Victorian fashion, both striking and a little more elaborate than many other shirt collars. When paired with a draping, lightweight fabric for the body of the shirt, it forms a graceful and polished look for evening wear.
Alternatively, opt for a collarless shirt with a v-neck that leads the eye down to delicate detailing on the body of the shirt. Collarless shirts can sometimes be associated with relaxed, boho styles. However, in silk or a similarly luxurious fabric, they are particularly graceful and are ideal for showing off exquisite jewelry.
Finally, bow blouses tied at the neck are particularly sought-after right now. Because of the extra volume of fabric used, they are particularly striking when a bold fabric is used, such as geometric print in silk.
Fabrics and patterns
Leather is a highly contemporary look for shirts. Forget cowboys and bikers. You can find tailored leather shirts in soft and comfortable nappa leather that are very feminine and luxurious. Look for equestrian-inspired riding shirts with formal tailoring, or fitted, structured pieces that feature double or triple stitching to add subtle, delicate interest.
Silk is a timeless choice. The most stylish contemporary silk blouses are incredibly lightweight and fluid, cascading from the shoulders to provide a relaxed fit and loose sleeves. Viscose achieves a similar look with a slightly heavier weight.
Buttons and fastenings
In contemporary styles, button and fastening details are usually very subtle. In fact, many designers are opting for hidden button-through fastenings. Buttons are rarely contrasting even when visible and therefore small, fabric-covered buttons are often chosen.
Asymmetric buttons can also give the classic shirt a modern twist. This is a particularly appealing type of fastening in the leather shirts mentioned above, forming a flat-fronted, flattering style.
Sleeves and cuffs
This season, look out for double cuffed finishes, which can give a more tailored look to a loose, flowing sleeve. A tuxedo shirt can be given a more contemporary twist in this way.
Double cuffs are often paired with stiff collars, upright or not, and are likely to be finished with a single, simple button.
5 Ways to Style Your New Shirt
Shirts can be part of your outfit, any time of day, any time of the week. Here’s how to wear them, starting with the most casual through to the most formal.
1. With denim
It’s a well-established fact that shirts look incredible with denim of any kind. A fitted style of shirt gives a more formal but still edgy look to the scruffiest of denim jeans, shorts or skirts.
If you’ve invested in a loose-fitting silk or viscose shirt, considering balancing it with stretchy, skinny jeans. Conversely, a more fitted leather shirt may look great with a more relaxed, loose-fitting or even wide-legged jeans. Mix and match until you find your perfect shirt and denim combination.
2. With high-waisted shorts
If you love the tailored shorts appearing on this season’s runways but are unsure how to make the part of your wardrobe, consider tucking a loose blouse into them for a smart-casual look. High-waisted, belted leather shorts with strong lines work well with a softer, more voluptuous silk blouse.
3. Leather on leather
Matching leather shirts with skirts or trousers in the same fabric is a strong, contemporary look. Belted, pleated trousers or the clean lines of a knee-length skirt in soft, nappa leather form an elegant, slender silhouette in combination with a slim-fitting shirt.
4. With a belt
If you’d like to wear a looser cut blouse along with a long, flowing skirt, consider cinching the outfit in at the waist with a contrasting belt. A long and wide leather belt, wrapped twice around the waist, gives a little more structure to a silk shirt and skirt ensemble.
5. With a long-length evening skirt
Take your shirt into the evening. A tuxedo-style style shirt paired with a long, flowing skirt can rival formal evening dresses.
Semi-sheer, embroidered tulle is very glamorous and by wearing a more simple, fitted shirt in a complimenting color, the skirt is truly given its moment to shine.
A voluptuous, floor-length skirt can also be accompanied by an elegant, fitted and tucked shirt for a beautiful hourglass outline. Consider wearing your shirt and skirt in contrasting colors and fabrics for a bold look.
With these five ways of styling contemporary shirts and blouses in interesting fabrics, like leather and silk, you’ll never think of shirts as dull workhorses again. These are glamorous, refined outfits that work for a variety of occasions, all year round. With something for everyone, there surely must be room in your closet for a new addition.
Kristina Fidelskaya is committed to providing an elegant and feminine wardrobe to modern women with real lives and real needs. Timeless collections based around impeccable materials and craftsmanship, each piece is unique, tells a story, and stays with you for a lifetime. Fusing traditional tailoring with modern, contemporary designs, Kristina Fidelskaya creates luxurious understated products.