It’s hard to believe now but at the beginning of the 19th Century the white shirt showed your social standing. Because of the working conditions then, it was difficult to maintain lightly coloured clothes so anyone who chose a white shirt was considered to have a high social status. It then became a stalwart in offices across the globe, before coming out from behind the desk in the mid-20th Century to be adopted by fashion icons like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. Ever since then, the white blouse has garnered a cult-like following of fashion editors and taste-makers, choosing this simple staple as the basis for lots of looks.
To see the impact the white shirt has had on how we dress, you only need to glance at the front row at Paris Fashion Week. Some of the most influential people in the industry wear it like a uniform or even a badge of honour. You also see the classic white shirt worn by woman all over France – an essential piece in traditionally chic French wardrobes. It still speaks of status and what you do for work. Because let’s face it, unless you keep a safe distance from young children and red sauces, it can be a risk. But the allure of the white blouse is greater than ever. There are so many styles to choose from, from simple masculine cuts to ruffled designs.
Arielle of My Boring Wardrobe
Diane of Petite in Paris
We don’t believe there’s such thing as ‘the one’ when it comes to white blouses. Instead that there are lots of styles that will work for every woman. So here are six of our favourite petite white blouses for some inspiration.
1. Crisp White Collared
Crisp, classic and easy to wear. This more masculine style of white shirt is perfect with boyfriend jeans and white pumps at the weekend but will look sharp tucked into a pencil skirt at work. We love how the structured collar is in perfect contrast to the more relaxed rolled back cuffs. And you know what else we love? It’s non-iron. So you can button it up in the morning and look pulled together in 60 seconds flat.
2. Oxford Shirt Turnup Sleeves
The beautiful cut of this shirt is the perfect partner to some cropped tailored trousers in a subtle print and a pair of elegant flats. Minimalist detailing like the concealed placket are reminiscent of Japanese design and will keep you looking neat and tidy. Take note of the rolled back cuffs: these are perfect for petite frames as longer sleeves can sometimes swamp you.
Damsel in Dior
Walk in Wonderland
3. Boyfriend Blouse
Fitted Boyfriend Floral Embroidery Shirt
We never said your white blouse had to be plain. This boyfriend blouse features delicate flower embroidery in tonal white so it’s barely visible unless you get up close. The feminine flowers sit perfectly on the relaxed, silhouette. Tuck this into jeans and wear unbuttoned with a coloured cami underneath for a cool weekend look or button it up to the top and pair with some black trousers to make it work appropriate.
4. Silk Shirt
Choosing a petite white blouse in silk is a luxurious choice. The soft fabric will feel beautiful against your skin and will also drape flatteringly over your tummy and waist. This particular silk shirt has front flap pockets that give it a more casual finish but the mother of pearl buttons ensure it’s elegant. Wear yours with a printed midi skirt for a look that will take you from work to weekend and back again.
Good Bad and Fab
My Petite Dilemma
5. Shirt With Bow
This blouse scream Parisian style thanks to the contrasting black neck tie and ruched sleeves. It’s all in the details with this shirt. Because of the striking neck tie, wear it with a plain outfit like black tailored trousers and simple heeled pumps. You could also choose a brightly coloured ribbon or thin scarf and tie it around the collar of your classic white shirt to create a DIY bow blouse.
6. Ruffle Blouse
Ruffles have been a key trend for a few seasons now and choosing a white blouse with a ruffled front is the subtlest (and easiest) way to embrace the style. When you’re wearing a ruffled shirt, you don’t need to worry about jewellery or accessories… it makes a statement on its own. Just pair it with some slim fitting trousers to balance out your silhouette. We love the V-neck on this one as it lengthens your torso and makes you look taller.
Petite in Paris
My Boring Wardrobe
Founder of Bomb Petite