The Super Shirt is a year-round favourite
How to write a piece on shirts without mentioning back to school… Easy. Have you been watching the award-winning, Australian drama The Newsreader on BBC (all the episodes are on iPlayer)? Well written and acted, it’s a brilliant portrayal of a 1980s newsroom. And so, to style. Not the big hair and massive shoulder pads of news anchor Helen Norville (played superbly by Anna Torv) but the elegant outfits of Evelyn Walters (Marg Downey) the steely wife of veteran newsreader Geoff. She is quietly chic, often dressed in an oversized white shirt and black Capri pants, perfectly accessorised with chunky, jet jewellery. Timeless.
Having a couple of versatile shirts in your wardrobe is a great way to instantly upgrade an outfit. Keep it simple in summer – wear your Super Shirt over a statement skirt, elegant black pants, culottes, faded jeans or wide-leg trousers – and then layer up, later. (With a blazer, jumpsuit or cashmere sweater).
Throughout my 20s and 30s, I lived in clingy grey marl t-shirts and jeans. But now in my late 50s, I’ve loosened up. Clingy and clammy just don’t go. And I’m not driven by what’s in fashion, or whether an outfit is the most ‘figure-flattering’, I’d much rather feel comfortable – and I’d definitely rather watch The Newsreader than go to the gym. Funnily enough, as a teenager I used to DIY my dad’s old shirts and I’ve come back to this oversized aesthetic. Of course, proportions are down to the individual. Style is about doing what’s right for you, wearing the clothes you feel confident and authentic in.
Where to find a Super Shirt: I do rate the cotton shirts at Cos and Arket – but occasionally the collars are a bit floppy. So be wary. In a quest to update my Perfect Blue Shirt, this summer I treated myself to an organic poplin shirt from the Frankie Shop (top photo). The fabric is a good quality and weight, and it has a lovely dipped hemline, great for tucking in and wearing out. This design is repeated from one season to the next and comes in a range of colours. In a recent feature on Sharpening up your Style, my navy shirt is from the most recent Uniqlo J+ collaboration. And, I would also recommend: Alex Mill, Boden (LOVE this ruffle trim shirt in blue but I have a new blue shirt and don’t need another), Frank & Eileen and Everlane.
Ensure your uniform doesn’t become a yawniform by introducing different colours. Catherine Deneuve wore indigo blue at Venice Film Festival, last week.
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First photo: The blue shirt is from the Frankie Shop. My jeans are the Cropped Carrot-style, a gift from Raey ( I went down a size). Don’t ask about the Camper sandals. Bought them in the sale but the fabric really rubs the top of my feet so I haven’t had much luck wearing them this summer. Perhaps with a pair of socks…
Second photo: The pink shirt from Cos (almost sold out in the brighter colour it’s still available in pale pink). The Balloon Trousers are by Kin at John Lewis ( again, I went down a size with these because they are quite voluminous).