I’m not talking about a corporate white button-down shirt that you’ll find on most “what every women should wear” lists. Of course, it can be a button-down shirt if that’s your thing — but it can also be a blouse, knitted top, T-shirt, tunic, or item of knitwear. 

White tops can be dressy or casual, and made of either natural or man-made fibres. The shade can be a cool bright optical white, a neutral off-white, or a warm cream. The point is to choose white tops that work well for your lifestyle, wardrobe, body type and sartorial preferences.

I encourage clients to amp up the quantity of white tops in their Spring and Summer wardrobes for ten reasons: 

  1. They provide an effective change from dark tops that we wear so frequently in Winter. 
  2. To my eye, white tops look better than black tops on most complexions.
  3. They complement the colours that run through blonde, salt and pepper, and light grey hair.
  4. They make outfits look crisp, modern, fresh, and more warm weather appropriate. 
  5. They complement white, metallic and light footwear. 
  6. They complement pastel and bright wardrobe items better than other neutrals. 
  7. They look fabulous with black, blue denim, pearl grey, olive, and most patterned bottoms. 
  8. White layering tops are an effective and easy lively neutral to wear under dark, bright, jewel or pastel toppers to the office.
  9. They provide an excellent backdrop to a statement Spring or Summer scarf
  10. They are PRETTY. Full stop. 

My Spring and Summer wardrobe wouldn’t function without a good assortment of white tops for all the reasons I’ve listed above. I think white tops are magical, and that’s why they’re a wardrobe essential for my style. 

I like my white tops best in a bright optical white, but I do also like them in off-white and cream. I do not wear T-shirts, tank tops or knitted tops, and seldom wear basic button-down shirts anymore (although they used to be an essential for my style.) Sometimes I wear a white blouse, but I prefer my blouses in patterns and colours these days. I’m all about wearing soft and comfortable white Spring and Summer knitwear in an assortment of thickness and silhouettes. I wear white warm weather knitwear instead of T-shirts because it’s more insulating, and looks dressier and sharper than a tee. I also find them easy to layer, accessorize, travel with, and launder. I pop a white camisole underneath for extra comfort, and never have problems with items that are too sheer. 

I successfully replenished my capsule of white Spring and Summer tops this year. I’m thrilled with the assortment, and it’s working extremely well. I can wear the cream tops into the Autumn too.

Here’s my current collection of white Spring and Summer knitwear. Some are essentials and some are statement pieces. I have multiples of some of the styles, and many are wardrobe workhorses.