No way! White is timeless and goes with everything, so it deserves a prime spot in your closet year-round, says Susan Street, fashion expert, and founder of SusanAfter60, a blog that focuses on looking and feeling your best in your 60s. Image consultant and stylist Annette Y. Harris agrees: “White looks super fresh and chic, and it draws attention to your face. Personally, I love how it makes me feel.”
That said, you can never have enough white—especially white tops. They’re versatile, classic pieces that will make throwing together an outfit infinitely easier year round. So if anything, you should plan to pick up a few more of these staples to round out your wardrobe. From soft v-neck tees to crisp oxfords, here are seven white shirts that belong in every woman’s closet. Plus, exactly how to score a perfect fit and put together a fashion-forward look with each piece.
“I love a crisp white blouse that buttons up the front,” Street says. Pull on some jeans, then roll up your sleeves, and add a fun necklace or scarf or a silver watch, and maybe some colorful shoes to elevate the look, she suggests.
Fit tip: She recommends busty women size up, so the fabric doesn’t pull and create gaps between the buttons. A shirt made with a stretchy fabric can also help you score a perfect fit. (Our pick is made with 3% elastane.)
Buy it now: $70, nordstrom.com
Despite what you may think, tank tops aren’t just for 20-year-olds; they remain an essential wardrobe staple during all stages of life. However, as we get older, they serve a different purpose. Instead of simply being something we throw on with a pair of shorts, they become more of a base layer. A simple, stretchy white tank like this elegant one from Chico’s is a great foundation under a shirt, sweater, cardigan, or jacket. “It gives you a nice smooth line underneath and doesn’t show anything you don’t want to show,” Street says.
Fit tip: For a flattering fit, look for a tank that’s lined or made from a thicker fabric, Street suggests. And if you’re thicker in the middle, go up a size from your usual so that the material doesn’t pull across your stomach. (These 6 foolproof ways to get a flat belly after 40 can also make you feel more confident.)
Buy it now: $39, chicos.com
Perfect on its own with jeans or layered under a blazer for a more polished look, a basic tee is a staple everyone should own. But when it comes to white ones, choose a V-neck over a crew neck, which can look, well, too darn white. A deeper neckline helps to break up the “white acreage,” Street says.
Fit tip: Make sure the tee isn’t too loose. You want to be able to add layers without creating bulk.
Buy it now: $25, talbots.com
Tunics are another chic and crisp choice. “You can throw it on with jeans in the summer, and you can rock it with leggings and boots in the winter,” Harris says.
Fit tip: A too-long tunic can overwhelm if you’re petite and may not be flattering if you’re wider in the hips. If you fall into either of these categories, look for a slightly shorter tunic made with a silky fabric (like our pick from Nordstrom), so you can easily tuck it in and create a more flattering shape.
Buy it now: $28, nordstrom.com; $128, brooksbrothers.com
Though it’s a classic wardrobe staple every woman should own, sometimes a classic white button-down can feel a little stuffy outside of the office. You can still honor the silhouette while seeking out versions that change it up with interesting design elements, such as pleats or a peplum or a wrap.
Fit tip: A good-fitting blouse will “have a little bit of a taper through the middle,” Harris says. “It helps give you some shape.”
Buy it now: $128, brooksbrothers.com
When you need your outfit to go from work to after hours, pull on this shirt from Express. The slightly sheer fabric lends a sexy flair and the deep V and softer fabric makes it extra comfortable for all-day wear.
Fit tip: The shirt should be large enough so you can layer a white or nude tank underneath. The top should be slightly sheer and alluring—not leave you feeling overexposed. (Find out how this 52-year-old went from not being able to do a pushup to winning the Crossfit Games.)
Buy it now: $50, express.com
You may not think of white as the ideal color choice for a jacket (and we know a jacket isn’t really a shirt), but it’s actually an extremely versatile piece. If the base pieces you’re wearing are more conservative, you can go with a hipper, younger look like a moto or denim jacket without looking over the top. “It’s a way to elevate your style a little,” Street says. Street recommends pairing a white jacket with a black tank or tee and pants.
Fit tip: Look for a jacket that’s lined or made of a slightly thicker fabric, so the color of your shirt doesn’t show through. Both of our picks fit the bill.
Buy it now: $63, bluefly.com; $75, nordstrom.com