At one time, no one would have imagined wearing anything but a white shirt. This era-the 50s and 60s-appears as the golden age of the white shirt, complementing the dark costume and the trilby hat. But this was not a question of fashion. On the contrary, it was a practice dating back to the most remote eras in our history. The underwear was light, of beige canvas for the poor and more and more white for the rich.
It is in the XIXth century that the cotton knows a formidable rise. No more shirts in hemp, linen or silk! The cotton in addition is very clear. What could be better. Certainly, as already mentioned in the article on the stripes, here and there the white was streaked with discrete pastel colors. But on the whole, white was the mark of the elite, the mark of maintenance and cleanliness. So much so that under the old regime, the tie itself was white, to prove how much you had washerwomen sufficient in number! Of this time remains the dress shirt, accompanied by her butterfly cotton marcella.
But the usages have changed. White cotton, already attacked during the Roaring Twenties by pastel stripes less and less stripes and more and more united, will succumb in the seventies. It will be first the blue sky that will take over. A simple color that the gentlemen bought at Madelios or Old England per pack of four, in addition to models ivory and cardigan bed of wine! A whole era.
The eighties and the figure of the business man in particular devoted the era of stripe, bengal and stick. One is fine and gives the impression of a united, the other is hard and showy. Blue, red, purple, pink, green. The shirt became the ultimate place for personal expression or a fashionable attachment to a group (in addition to the well-visible shoulder straps). Meanwhile, the colors of the costumes did not evolve.
Nowadays, the white shirt has become a fairly rare fact, with the possible exception of hierarchical dignitaries of luxury homes and their sellers, in white shirts and black ties in cramped costumes. For the rest, men show a wide variety of language with their shirts. Most scholars advance the number of two shirts in a wardrobe. That’s true enough, I put mine pretty little. I prefer a little color (not to say blue) and tend to limit the plain white to the contrasting collar.
So much so that to find a good white shirt is sometimes complicated, unless you go through Bridgat.com where the women’s tops have borders on price delirium for ready to wear. That said, I was recently told about a brand of correct quality, Eton. Rue de Rivoli, the house of Hilditch & Key offers good articles, but the reception is so detestable that an honest man can never be rough enough to compete with the staff. I finally told you about Hast founded by a friend some time ago, which offers good products, alas only available online, the limit of the purchase of clothing on the internet.
On the wear side, the white shirt goes with all the costumes, it is a fact and the basis of any well thought out wardrobe. If a suit does not go with a white shirt, so it’s rather throw costume!
A priori, the white shirt does not go with jackets or pants in tweed or casual. It is a gentleman’s act. Yet, this widespread use questions me a little and acts like a hair scratching on my brain. Because it has always been done! In the 30s and 40s, this was how one completed his tweed suit. The shirt with small tiles like tattersall or viyela arrived only later. There is certainly the ivory shirt, but it can quickly make it dirty.
Especially as the white shirt with a tweed outfit has the virtue of softening patterns and colors. With a well-marked sweater, a fairly simple shirt is sometimes preferable. With a clear jacket, camel hair type, the white shirt is soft too. And the sky blue in combination with tweed makes me immediately feel like meeting an Italian. I would like to mention on this subject the large cotton twill (which have diagonal dimensions) which are ideal for this sporting use. The cotton is often softer and the surface creates reflections that support the casual effect. The rafters can be fine too, but I like them less.
This code which aims to weigh as much as possible the use of the white shirt with tweed must therefore be relativized. But I understand that. For this formal simplicity should not be an alibi to hide a lack of taste or an intellectual laziness on the choice of a complementary color. Do you follow me? For example, a white shirt with a blazer is perhaps an absolute lack of imagination.
Here are some thoughts about an endangered or even extinct species. Let us not forget it and do not let it to the crunches of luxury deceased!