Wardrobe MVPs: The versatile jersey shirt

— by Alyson Walsh


Photo: Claire Pepper

There was a time when my signature top was a grey marl t-shirt but I’ve moved on. Grown up and outwards. Now in my mid-50s, I tend to save the skimpy, old favourites for under sweaters and go it alone with a looser, long sleeved, jersey shirt. This Most Valuable Player (MVP) – I had to Google it, too – is what I usually refer to as Wardrobe Glue. The reliable items of clothing that go with everything and pull an outfit together. The versatile jersey shirt is like a grown-up t-shirt. Its sporty elegance reminds me of American designer Claire McCardell’s timeless practical clothes that revolutionised womenswear in the 1950s. And a little bit of the oh-so-desirable Equipment shirts of the late 1980s. The versatile jersey shirt is a Wardrobe MVP because it can be worn in a multitude of ways: with trousers, jeans, joggers, culottes and denim skirts (see how versatile!); layered under a jacket, v-neck jumper, pinafore or dungarees. And it’s the perfect match for the peg trousers I seem to be perpetually wearing.

The sage green jersey shirt in the photo was a thank you gift from independent brand NRBY (owner Jo Hooper, knows my style) I’m wearing the navy version of the Evie top, below. Similar styles are available at White Stuff, (both plain and patterned), Michael Stars, Reiss and Boden. Sustainable brand Ninety Percent has an organic cotton version but it’s currently sold out and Eileen Fisher always runs an organic cotton, easy shirt in her System Collection.

Easy, everyday style solutions, that’s what we want.


Photo: The Daily Telegraph

Style notes: in the top photo I’m wearing the versatile jersey shirt with Studio Nicholson trousers and a Mimi Berry bag (both items borrowed for the shoot and returned). In the second photo for the Telegraph, the jacket and trousers were borrowed from Sandy Powell’s collection for Menage Modern Vintage (all proceeds go to Refuge), the silk scarf is from Heti’s Colours, the tote bag from Doe Leather and ankle boots are Ops & Ops.


What are your wardrobe MVPs?


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  There was a time when my signature top was a grey marl t-shirt but I’ve moved on. Grown up and outwards.