It is that time of the year when you want to be able to quickly dive into your wardrobe and uncover something that's easy, stylish and literally cool to wear. A simple cotton shirt might be written off as boring, but I find that a poplin button-down provides endless outfit inspiration.
This is a staple piece you will keep running to not only during summer but all year round. I find poplin shirts to be such a versatile item to have in your closet whatever the season because the layering opportunities are endless. The same shirt can be smart or casual, classic or more adventurous, depending on how you choose to incorporate it into your ensembles. You can have a surprising amount of fashion fun with a simple poplin shirt, and my favourite is Arket's oversized version thanks to its cut and quality. It most certainly comes under the timeless-and-forever category, and although my beige version is sold out, it's now a staple style the brand has in different colours and prints all the time. Keep scrolling through to see five ways I love to style my perfect shirt.
THE POPLIN SHIRT
1. POPLIN SHIRT + SUIT
Pair a brightly coloured suit with a poplin shirt and some sneakers for a very modern take on a smart and classic idea. The poplin shirt adds to the sense of structure and formality, which is ideal for those work or office settings. However, the simple addition of Nike sneakers brings tailoring and shirting into a much more laid-back world. This kind of formula always makes me feel empowered and confident.
2. POPLIN SHIRT + GINGHAM TROUSERS + CONVERSE
This is where all the fun begins! My most treasured outfit, especially during the much warmer days, is a poplin shirt with gingham trousers, a pair of kicks, a fun bag, a patterned square scarf and some dainty gold jewellery.
Pairing your plain shirt with a cool print or pattern is an easy statement to make—joyful but still simple to pull off. You have the option of leaving the shirt unbuttoned and open with a T-shirt underneath or simply keep it buttoned and half tucked-in to add some definition. If you’re feeling a little more experimental, take it to the next level with a mix 'n' match printed shirt and printed trousers.
Generally, I love to style this look with a pair of kicks, preferably my Converse, but there is nothing in the rule book about not adding a pair of mules or kitten heels to the mix—just have fun with it!
3. POPLIN SHIRT + DRESS + CHUNKY SANDALS
When you find yourself getting a little uninspired with some of your dresses but don't want to buy something new, a shirt layered under a dress can make many dresses feel completely brand new. Ideal for repurposing those summer styles well into the autumn season, there are multiple ways to style in terms of footwear and accessories too. I personally love combining a layered dress look with chunky footwear: flat sandals in the summer, thick-soled ankle boots in the winter.
An oversized shirt with a pair of jeans (preferably straight-leg), a T-shirt underneath and a pair of Converse is a combination you can't go wrong with. You can simply leave it unbuttoned and worn open or do up a few buttons and tuck half of the shirt into your jeans to give some shape.
To add a little character to any laid-back outfit, I'd recommend experimenting with your accessories. I love adding a bold-coloured bag to the mix and layering up some jewellery.
5. POPLIN SHIRT + CROP TOP + WHITE JEANS + SANDALS
I love using this shirt to layer under crop tops or bralettes. As a modest dresser, I can't get much wear out of them without a base layer, but if you are like me and love the colours or designs of certain shorter top, this hack means you don't have to sacrifice a trend you want to buy into. I tend to style this double-top idea with either jeans and trainers for a more casual outfit or a pair of straight-fit trousers and heels for a more date night–ready or evening look. For this particular look, I chose a pair of light-coloured straight-leg jeans, a statement bag and white strappy heels to tie the colours of the crop top together.