Avoid an overflowing wardrobe and look effortlessly chic with our edit of essential tops
The white shirt
A tailored white shirt epitomises elegance and simplicity. It manages to be completely unpretentious, while also adding instant sophistication. Choose between a loose, masculine-style button down or a more fitted blouse, depending on your personal style; the only prerequisite is that it must be crease-free and perfectly white.
Originally worn by French sailors, the Breton top has been a firm fashion favourite ever since 1917, when Coco Chanel first introduced it to women’s wardrobes. The nautical stripe looks just as chic with jeans as it does with a full skirt and heels. Don’t be scared to mix it with print either – with the simplicity of a Breton, you can afford to experiment.
The smart top
The return of ‘jeans and a nice top’ as a fashionable evening option is great news as far as we’re concerned – it’s a simple formula that allows you to look dressy but never OTT. Even better, the right top can either be smartened up for the office (black or grey checked trousers are perfect) or given an even more glamorous twist with heels and jewellery for really special events. This waist-cinching number ticks all the boxes.
The white T-shirt
The most functional item of clothing imaginable, a white T-shirt is nevertheless a firm fashion favourite, offering a sartorial blank page that allows your imagination to run wild. For a casual-cool uniform, team with jeans, sandals and a gorgeous piece of jewellery. On dressier days, a white tee’s simplicity off-sets wide-leg trousers or a pencil skirt perfectly.
The sleeveless blouse
One feature we truly value in a top is versatility, and a good sleeveless blouse will see you from daytime to date night, office to holiday, and everywhere in between. Pick a shape that’s loose and comfortable, in a shade that will inject colour into your wardrobe. For a smart look, tuck into a high-waisted skirt or team with cigarette trousers, or go laidback with white jeans or denim shorts.
Editor: Sophie Hines / Photographer: Jonny Mallen / Hair stylist: Liam Moore / Make-up artist: Joanna Bernacka / Model: Caroline Winberg