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Life of Colleen: Wardrobe meanderings part 4

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Wardrobe meanderings part 4
posted by Colleen Shirazi on Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

What's your favorite shirt, the one you reach for first after doing your laundry?

I've come to believe a favorite shirt is akin to a signature perfume or a "go to" lipstick. There's something eternal about it. Even if you move on to some other fragrance, lipstick or shirt, it's well to go back periodically and review.

For several years, my favorite casual shirt has been a plain white long-sleeved cotton henley. It goes with everything, is the right weight for most weather, can be layered over virtually any camisole, tank or tee, and is easy to care for. And it always looks...right.

Prior faves:
  1. A military-style olive green long-sleeved henley. Olive green goes with just about anything; it's only slightly less versatile than the white henley.

  2. A blue-grey 3/4 sleeve cotton boatneck top from Banana Republic (back when BR still made incredibly durable shirts).

  3. A black v-neck 3/4 sleeve BR tee, when such a creature was far more obscure.

Now that I have a 9-to-5 again, I like this off-white cotton-silk sweater:

banana republic sweater

The website image is inaccurate: the neck is much scoopier, and the necklace craps up the lines. But the actual sweater is lovely. (This jpg is a swatch from one of my Photoshop document files.)

At the bottom of the swatch, you can see the cotton henley I'm trying as a replacement for my white one. I bought the former online, and was initially dismayed to discover it wasn't as white as depicted, rather more of a greyish oatmeal hue, if that makes sense (and doesn't sound too unappetizing).

But then I maintain a white shirt needn't be snowy. I have a range of "white shirts," from ivory to cream to, well, light greyish oatmeal. If I can plug the oatmeal shirt into the outfits in which I wore the white henley, it's okay with me.

As far as the olive green henley, I haven't found a replacement. My old one was a man's shirt from the Gap. But I am sort of looking (and suspect the replacement will also be a man's shirt, since army green is harder to find in the ladies' section).

I'm happy to skip trying to replace the blue-grey 3/4 sleeve boatneck, but I am planning to buy a boatneck tee. Along with the v-neck, I find the boatneck most flattering, but v-necks have become quite common. (It's well to note I'm never without a black v-neck fitted tee though...echoes of an earlier favorite shirt.)

LL Bean has a boatneck tee on their site that looks good, but the color range is limited. American Apparel's color selection is wide, but their boatneck is sheer jersey--not the look I'm after. Mmmmm....haven't decided yet, but it's not a priority, the way replacing the white henley was.


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