The statement shirt, like the statement collar, is a continuing fashion trend in these working-from-home days. A crisp, white shirt has always been a fashion favourite – notably those from Louise Kennedy in her collaboration with Turnbull and Asser, the Savile Row shirt specialists. Whether worn alone, under a tweed jacket or with jeans, the white shirt is always a reliable wardrobe staple.
Other shirts on the catwalk combined masculine details with a feminine touch at the spring-summer collections. Stripes abounded at Dolce & Gabbana and Dries Van Noten, while Gucci and Saint Laurent styled their shirts under sweater vests or jumpsuits. Valentino's were oversized and in hot pink and violet while JW Anderson at Loewe teamed black trainers and trousers with a polo shirt.
Shirting for Zoom and waist-up video dressing has put a new emphasis on comfort and function in what could be called big-top dressing – making an impact visually on screen from the comfort of your home. The line between formal workwear and pyjama-style, loose-fitting loungewear is being blended through clever cutting and colour, avoiding the details that would identify them as one or the other. On a work Zoom you don't want to look as if you've just got out of bed.
One big shirt fan is Alanagh Clegg of Four Threads. “I think big shirts are fundamental to any wardrobe,” says the Irish designer. Her latest collection features a classic white, button-down shirt in a soft, hand-woven cotton which, she says, can be hard to find. “A lot of cotton shirts are very tightly woven for easy ironing, but that leaves them nearly shiny and cold against the skin.” Her stylish shirt dresses, designed for comfort and elegance, do double duty for Zoom meetings and evenings on the sofa.
For those who favour a little more drama for their tabletop dressing, there are alternatives such as shirts with bold collars, leg-of-mutton sleeves, frills or flounces. Louise Kennedy's Estelle blouse, for instance, with little stars on a midnight background, features a slim stand collar and ruffle cuff details that need no further decor to make an impact on or off screen.
An interesting site that specialises in shirts of all kinds is The Shirt Company. The Gardenia shirt comes in black as well as white and interesting additions are bow knots in pearl or black and gold jewels for €20, Puritan collars (€29) and detachable ruffles and lace collars of various kinds. It is worth a look and there are no extra charges for posting to Ireland.