|Angie at You Look Fab
Despite my declarations that I really had given up on the idea of the “crisp white shirt,” I continued to be inspired by looks like Angie’s above. My previously stated surrender wasn’t because I didn’t feel the look suited my style; I do. It wasn’t for lack of trying; I did. But my short, big-busted body was having none of it. If the shirt fit the bust, it was too big everywhere else, including the shoulders which really can’t be easily tailored. The end result was something mannish or frumpy, not at all a wardrobe asset. I tried the workaround – a white tee or knit top – but it just didn’t provide that sharp, pulled-together look I was going for.
|Lafayette 148 NY “Leila” Blouse
So when I saw this blouse at the Lafayette 148 New York website, that pleating made me sit up and take notice. Certainly not mannish, and not your standard issue Corporate Drag button front shirt. Structured without being fussy. I’ve had some good luck with tops with ruching through the torso or waist, and with free shipping and Petite sizing, thought this would be one last Hail Mary pass before the clock ran out.
To carry through with the football metaphor….. Touchdown.
Let’s first address the linebacker in the room: this is an expensive shirt. No equivocating. But it looks, feels and fits like an expensive shirt. When I opened the box the shirt (on a hanger) was folded minimally, and when I removed from the packaging there was nary a crease. There wasn’t a loose thread or button, and the buttonholes were pristinely and tightly stitched. No puckered seams anywhere.The collar and cuffs have a firm enough interfacing to help them hold shape without being stiff. The fabric has a soft but substantial hand and just enough stretch. After two wearings and sitting at my desk most of the day creases and wrinkles were negligible. I’ve washed it according to directions (machine wash cold, line dry) and steamed it out, and while not as crisply starched as when new, still looks neat and sharp. (Using a steamer will never yield that same crisp pressed look as ironing, but it’s easier on the fabric, and quicker too.)
Best of all, I feel as though I’ve found a missing link that helps pull my work wardrobe together.
This fits like a dream, and those pleats do exactly what I’d hoped…they contour the shirt to my shape. I wore this to the office twice the first week, and imagine I’ll continue to wear at least as often for the foreseeable future. This piece falls squarely into my “fewer, but better,” Investment Dressing plan. I do hope Lafayette 148 keeps this one in the roster. Currently available in Misses, Petites, and Plus sizes.
(A note about sizes: I find Lafayette 148 New York runs a size or even two smaller than say, J.Crew or Land’s End. Don’t be afraid to size up. Order per the size chart according to your measurements.)
Do white shirts have a place in your wardrobe? Are there any particular brands or styles that work best for you?
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