Photo: Penny Wincer

Some people swear by classic white but I much prefer the Lovely Blue Shirt (LBS). Its complexion-enhancing properties are second to none and  – as someone who is never going rush headlong into a floral frenzy  – a beautiful blue cotton top is the perfect way to bring a little spring into the style equation.

One of my favourite Lovely Blue Shirt fashion moments is an old image of Grace Kelly (from the Howell Conant book) looking just as perfect in a button-down LBS and mannish pleated trousers, as she did when decked out in her trademark heroine style. See also the fabulous Rosella Jardini – there’s a brilliant picture of the 66-year-old Italian fashion consultant taken by Garance Doré. One glance is all it takes to appreciate the wonder of the LBS. My advice is to keep things relaxed and waft around in a slightly oversized, borrowed-from-the-boys style, in cool cotton or linen. The one I’m wearing is Autograph at M&S – yep, I’ve been trawling the Marble Arch store again to find all the best basics.

Guaranteed to look nonchalant and cool throughout the summer months, the LBS goes with everything: jeans, cargo pants, peg trousers for those who lean towards Gentlewoman Style; patterned pencil skirts and maxi skirts, for a spot of Casual Glamour. Whichever Style Tribe you belong to, the Lovely Blue Shirt is a failsafe way to add instant chic appeal.

This is a sponsored post. And I will be talking a bit more about sponsorship and advertising later this week.

27 thoughts on “The Lovely Blue Shirt

  1. I have a lovely blue shirt, too. A nice change from a white shirt which I also love. My problem is I’m not “wafting about” in it nearly enough. Ha. Love that word.
    Looking forward to reading your post about sponsorship and advertising. I’m still trying to decide on where I should be taking my own blog. To monetise or not.

  2. As ever Alyson you look confident and relaxed in this outfit. Blue shirt a good match for your eyes. I’m not a blue shirt wearer, but I do have at least two pairs of nearly identical olive chinos. As a green eyed girl I wear mine with liberty print tshirts or another shade of green top or ecru. Last year got a few slightly loose striped blue shirts, Gap on discount. That’s as blue shirted as I get. But only wear with dark denim and other things in a blue range, striped scarves included.
    No problem about endorsing an affordable version available from a major chain, in my opinion.

  3. I love a blue shirt and have several but might be finding room in my wardrobe for this one anyway. I love the long tail which will either be a flattering length left out or will tuck down properly on my long frame. I always fear I look like I’m working in a shop in a white shirt – they just don’t suit me.

    I liked the pink one in the link too.

  4. I have never tried a blue shirt but will try to find this one in our local store as l have always worn white shirts

  5. I love a light weight denim shirt. I have a particular favourite from Jigsaw from a couple of years ago that I love to wear with khaki trousers. In do love the colour of the shirt you are wearing on your photo Alyson and shall to investigate further. I have recently bought a a pair of M&S jeans on your recommendation, and very pleased with them I am too!

  6. Lovely light in this photograph. Was it shot on Southbank centre in Festival Hall perhaps?
    Your photographer always makes beautiful portraits showing the best of London architecture in sunlight.
    Hopefully there will now be more longer lighter days on which to wear different weights and colours of clothing. We are all tired of winter wear and recent need to retreat into down boots hats gloves again.

  7. I love LBS and have a few – they are very flattering on everyone I’d say. Yours is beautiful and love it paired with the olive khakis.

  8. Pale pink shirts do wonders for a pale complexion also. I’m another that will not be embracing the flowery print trend. I much prefer solids and pinstripes.

  9. Alyson, I am very happy with the notion that you will from time to time collaborate with retailers in order to inform your followers of items you think will be of interest. Following your blog about the new M&S Autograph jeans, I went into the store in Manchester City Centre yesterday and was really grateful for the help I had from Lauren in the Fit and Style Studio (complete with tea and shortbread). I left the store with two fabulous pairs of jeans. Love your blog as always!

  10. I never get on with shirts, could be the boobs as I always seem to get gaps. Then there’s the tucking in or not tucking in. It’s funny, blouses seem entirely different somehow, maybe it’s the drapey fabric which better suits my body shape.
    I like the fact that you’re searching out the good stuff from M&S. I wouldn’t want too much sponsorship and it has to ‘feel’ like it’s something you’d choose anyway. So far, so good. I’ve bought both your books by the way as I recognise you have to make a living!

  11. I love a white shirt but took your advice in ‘Style Forever’and tried a blue one which was a huge success. I got it in a Jaeger outlet. The fabric is cotton in a herringbone weave which gives an interesting texture, and it has three quarter length sleeves with turn back cuffs.

    As for sponsorship – no proble for me. You’ve established yourself as a writer of honesty and integrity that your readers trust, and that won’t, I feel, be compromised by sponsorship.

  12. I’m with you Alyson! Also love the blue pin-striped shirt too. Nothing says Spring better than a crisp cotton shirt, although a little sunshine wouldn’t hurt either 😉

  13. ‘As for sponsorship – no proble for me. You’ve established yourself as a writer of honesty and integrity that your readers trust, and that won’t, I feel, be compromised by sponsorship.’ Anna K.

    Anna K’s comment was important for me. I trust you. But I worry about the compromise.

    I feel that once you are paid for something and promote that same something the perspective changes.
    Will you be obligated to wear it/us it over and over and over again in posts?

    One of my favorite bloggers is now promoting and I see that the posts feature jewelry which is worn (3 pieces at a time). The result is, I no longer ‘trust’. I would like to say if you want to promote, go work for the company directly. My friends always ask me for advice and I don’t charge in any way or shape or form.

    Feels like a slippery slope to me. I know you will think about it all.

  14. I find that to be a very cold blue and not as flattering as one you posted year or so ago.
    I love my blue, grey and khaki shirt dresses from Humanoid and shall be wearing them either alone or as oversized shirts with jeans or leggings.
    I gave up with M&S many years ago , just walking in there makes me feel irritated , I can never find anything .

  15. I usually wear linen shirts, or ones with a graphic print, recently I bought a plain white COS shirt, a really lovely one with lycra, so it feels less restrictive than cotton – but when I wear it, inexplicably I feel like a nurse, and not in a good way, what’s that about? So now I wear it under a jumper or sweatshirt with just the collar/tail showing

  16. Alison, I’m loving your stylish and intelligent blog and have no problem with you promoting Marks and Spencer.
    However, maybe you can also inform the powers that be of the huge frustration it’s customers feel with regard to their total inability to actually take note of what is happening around them in the retail world and what today’s customers want.
    Yesterday I decided I am not willing to make the effort with M&S any more, it is too much like hard work and they have had so many “chances” at redeeming themselves, eventually customer loyalty is not enough.
    Yes, there is the odd “hidden gem” in amongst the mundane, but they are very very few and why should it be like that?
    The new collection is awful, they still can’t get their colours right and the designs are so old fashioned, I don’t think they have a clue.
    I have filled in so many surveys from them over the years and it makes no difference.
    The emphasis now seems to be on pushing the banking, every time I go into one of their shops I get asked if I want to open an account, even hijacked on the shop floor. No-one ever asks what do I think of the new collection?
    Speaks volumes, M&S is a retail store not a bank!
    Apologies for the “rant” but hoping you could maybe in some small way have some input.
    In the meantime I will still be inspired by the rest of your stylish attire.
    Keep up the fabulous work…

  17. Anna K – I think we both bought the same shirt…

    I agree that blue shirts have so much more to give this than the plain white variety (which always feel like school uniform to me)

    Re sponsored posts – bloggers whose every post is sponsored are tedious and I don’t follow them. Those who do the occasional sponsored post and fill it with hyperbole about the products (… ‘and I loved the X cleanser but I exploded when I tried X moisturiser and you will not believe how much my life has changed since I used X foundation…’ etc etc) are worse because they seem to think that the readers won’t notice the product placement.

    But – as others have said – I have no issue with posts sponsored by companies, like M&S, who you have long discussed as I am sure you will report with integrity. And by the sound of it, two of your readers have been delighted by your sending them in the M&S jeans direction.

    Ultimately though – your blog, your rules.

  18. Hmm varied opinions on sponsored posts. I do tend to agree that other bloggers have gone down that route and I have stopped reading their posts. (I am not a fan of Boden or Hush, can I say that?). However, I too trust your integrity and don’t imagine for one moment you will suddenly promote items that you don’t mentally have a ‘feel’ for. Yes, a slippery slope that I am sure you will navigate well.

    I love shirts but as a permanently cold mortal I find them icy against my skin and a long-sleeved thermal underneath tends to kill the look.

  19. Sponsorship debate seems to be causing a lot of attention and strong opinions
    Personally I’m with those who are comfortable with the reality that Alyson is making a living now not as art college tutor but freelance writer and journalist with a broad brief. As I’ve written earlier there is a good balance of topics in this blog. Otherwise I would not take the time to read it to post comments or engage with it as I do. Like others I trust the opinions expressed by Alyson which concur with many of my own.
    Sponsorship is a reality of modern life. When I go to a major art gallery to see an exhibition it is invariably sponsored by one or several companies: banks, businesses or similar. Does that prevent me enjoying the exhibition. No it does not. Without that money the show would not be there with foreign loans and insurance underwritten nor would there be substantial scholarly catalogues available.
    That’s my take on the matter

  20. I agree with Zanna re M&S. It is the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ of the high street; forever slumbering in a forest of horrible fabrics, poorly fitted clothes, ghastly ‘knitwear’; waiting for someone to give it the kiss of life. There have been several false alarms, sadly, nothing seems to work. I don’t get irritated anymore because I don’t go there. Life is too short for drabness and despair.
    I love a LBS, it is such a great alternative to a stark white shirt, which not everybody can wear (despite all the hype); Alison wears it very well , just on the right side of casual; the worst way of wearing it imo is the ‘fussy’ way with chi-chi jewellery! This M&S version is fine, but it will take more than a LBS to ‘prop’ up this great British institution.

  21. I have no problem with the occasional sponsored post as long as you identify them as sponsored and posts don’t become too frequent.

  22. Lovely post on the LBS. This week Everlane came out with their spring colors of the relaxed silk shirt. In it is a lovely light blue. In your first book you mentioned you can never go wrong with a silk blouse. I agree it looks put together. However, does this fall into the category of a ‘pastel’ and something we might want to avoid? Or is it the exception to the rule?

    Thank you for all you do.

  23. From my extensive reading of fashion magazines my guilty pleasure before going to sleep I can tell you that what are called ice cream shadows that is pastels are the new thing for summer. They look good with tanned skin worn with white jeans or chinos and are more suitable in warm weather than all the blacks greys and navy clothing we have been wearing for months in this long dreary winter.

    I was always partial not to pinks but the lavender and lilac spectrum. As fate would have it these have been declared the Pantone colours of the year. Last year it was Greenery. Still wearing that because it’s my favourite.
    Anyway I’ve unearthed from my cupboard, my own vintage clothing many wearable t-shirts and linen dresses and shirts in this colour. Win win with no expense after I washed and ironed these garments. If I’m bored with them they will end up in Oxfam.

Leave a Reply

Thank you for commenting but please be respectful and considerate.
If you want to be in my gang, play nice.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *