I Asked Over 2000 Women Where to Buy the Best White Shirts—They Love These 17

The term "effortlessly chic" gets thrown around a lot in fashion. In reality, these two words are rarely applicable. But when it comes to the white shirt? The term absolutely applies. No matter what sort of budget you have or your sense of style, the white shirt is the ultimate wardrobe staple. Is there anything else so simple yet so chic? It's so easy to wear on the weekend, to the office and while working from home. It's perfect for a night out but also a night in watching Netflix. It's the ultimate classic to have in one's arsenal, and whether it's oversized or fitted, linen or poplin, there are endless ways this classic piece appeals and can be rendered.

Best white shirts for women: Grace Kelly and Julia Roberts



The white shirt even has its own icons. Old Hollywood stars such as Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly wore them loose with capri trousers or tucked into pencil skirts. Another recognisable look comes from Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, in which she wore a white shirt tied at the waist with a miniskirt.

Modern-day white-shirt muses, however, include the likes of Jenna Lyons, former creative director of J.Crew. After all, she reconfigured how we view this humble item. But perhaps our favourite go-to celebrity for white-shirt styling inspiration is Victoria Beckham, whose insouciant way of rolling up her sleeves has us wanting to do the same.

But whatever your preference, one thing's for certain: Finding the one that fits you is like finding the fashion holy grail. It needs to fit just right and not gape at the chest. It needs to weather a coffee spill, and it needs to be long-lasting because when you find the ultimate one, you'll never get rid of it.

Best white shirts for women: Jenna Lyons and Victoria Beckham



To get the definitive guide to the best white shirts for women, we posed the question to our 2000-member Facebook group So… Should I Should Buy This?, asking them where they've found their best-ever white shirts. I also asked all the editors at Who What Wear which brands they rated. I had plenty of responses, and some labels clearly stood out. But what was evident was that no matter the price, people were willing to pay for more if a genuinely perfect fit was on offer.

Of all the brands that came out on top, there were two winners: COS and Gap were the most popular, in general. But there were so many more that were recommended. Marks and Spencer is ideal for those with bigger chests, as it offers an ingenious solution of hidden buttons on the inside to reduce the risk of gaping. Ready to discover your favourite white shirt? Keep scrolling to see how to style yours, and then check out our edit.

How to Style A White Shirt:

Best white shirts for women: Sylvie Mus wearing a white shirt with white jeans and a jumper over her shoulders



Style Notes: I love a white shirt with white jeans. Sure, you might find yourself avoiding the red wine, but it looks so chic, so it's probably worth it. 

Style Notes: Here's another combination of jeans and a white shirt—this time with white heels. It's a small difference, but it really makes an impact. 

Style Notes: Up the sass factor by wearing your loose white shirt tucked into a miniskirt with metallic heels.

Best white shirts for women: Abi Marvel



Style Notes: I particularly like how Abi Marvel has knotted hers at the waist, wearing a punchy bra top underneath. 

Best white shirts for women: Allison Ho



Style Notes: Give your crisp white shirt the fun factor by pairing with a ruffled tulle skirt and sneakers.

Shop the Best White Shirts

1. H&M Poplin Shirt

H&M wasn't mentioned in the group discussion, but I've had a white shirt from the brand for about five years, and it hasn't let me down. It's great for a cover-up on the beach but is also smart enough for work. 

2. Boden Cotton Shirt

The patch breast pocket only adds to the classic appeal. 

3. COS Minimal Concealed-Pocket Shirt

Plenty of members of the Who What Wear Facebook group love COS, mainly because it offers white shirts with modern twists, like a concealed pocket as above.

4. Theory Menswear Shirt in Good Cotton

For a real investment piece, you can't go wrong with Theory's classic white shirts, which have everlasting appeal.

5. Marks and Spencer Cotton Collared Long-Sleeve Shirt

A steal with an oversized fit, classic collared neckline and a longer length that opens up multiple styling opportunities. 

6. Arket Poplin Shirt

Arket is one of our favourite places to go for basics that look expensive but are very affordable. Case in point? This white shirt. 

7. Gap Poplin Shirt

Another brand that was mentioned a few times was Gap. Not only are its shirts apparently easy to iron, but they also last a long time. 

8. Sézane Tomboy Shirt

French brand Sézane does a great line in shirts, but you'll have to be quick, as they tend to sell out very quickly. 

9. Uniqlo Loose Fit Shirt

Another great place to find basics is Uniqlo. 

10. Weekday Edyn Shirt

Weekday was another recommendation from the Who What Wear team. This one is perfect in name, perfect in nature. 

11. Gant Relaxed Oxford Shirt

Editor in Chief Hannah Almassi recommends white Gant shirts in an oversized style, as these are good for those with a bigger bust. 

12. Equipment Slim Signature White Silk Shirt

If you want something a little looser that still fits well, you can't go wrong with Equipment's silk shirts. 

13. Whistles Oversized Shirt

Whistles has a way of taking classic pieces and adding a modern touch, like this chic oversized fit. 

14. Lauren Ralph Lauren Classic Fit Stretch Shirt

Another recommendation from our Facebook group was Ralph Lauren. I own a striped shirt from the brand and can attest that these wear well and look great on. 

15. The Frankie Shop Lui Organic Cotton-Poplin Shirt

Cut from organic cotton-poplin, the Lui shirt and has a rounded hem that's longer at the back and a relaxed fit, making it the perfect everyday throw-on. 

16. Albaray White Organic Cotton Shirt

Made of 100% cotton, we love the flattering curved hem and relaxed fit of this white shirt from Albaray.

17. Rails Arlo Shirt

Rails is always a go-to for editors when it comes to easy basics that stand the test of time. Layer it over tanks like above or wear as is. 

This piece was published at an earlier date and has since been updated. 

Next Up: I'm a Stylist—This Basic Buy Is My Most Worn Item All Year Round