Recently, I’ve felt unusually interested in oversized, silky shirts. The ideal would be to wear one tied at the waist, but this isn’t Gilligan’s Island – first of all, it’s too cold in Wellington to allow even the possibility of the wind touching my delicate tummy skin, and second of all, that style is a bridge too far for corporate land. So, option number two is to wear them tucked into wide legged, high waisted pants. My front running contender on that front is now, and forever will be, these bright orangey-yellow pants that you may remember from this post (oh my gosh look how short my hair was).
The secret to shirts always comes down to the same short list of critical features:
- Can I roll up the sleeves? V important to ensure I can look casual, or ready to get down to work, depending on your point of view.
- Where are the buttons? I like there to be a modest button and an immodest button. That means you should be able to button your shirt for work without any chance of showing your underpinnings, but then undo that button and be ready to party (again, without any bra showing, just a bit more décolletage).
- Does it collapse at the shoulder? Assuming the shoulder seam will sit a little wide on you (see: oversized), the important thing is that the shirt will collapse over your shoulder so that it looks like it’s meant to be a relaxed fit. If it’s too rigid, it will look too big.
- Will it tuck neatly? I don’t know what it is, but some shirts tuck well, and others are horrendous. It doesn’t matter if there’s a bit of excess fabric, but you want it to stay in and not blouse up too much.
I loved the ridiculous print on this shirt – as you guys know by now, my fashion theory is that the more colours there are in a print, the more you can mix and match it with other things. It’s not actually retro or vintage, but the yellow details really reminded me of Gianni-era Versace, which obviously was a huge selling point.
On the downside, it is synthetic and therefore wanted to be full of static and a pain in the butt. The good news is that I own Statique, an anti-static spray and the joy of my life. I strongly recommend this if you intend to wear synthetics (modern or vintage) so that you can avoid the frustration of pulling fabric away from your skin, only to feel it immediately stick down somewhere else. A quick spritz with Statique, and I was good to go. This is another option I found online.
(Also, I’d prefer if the buttons were covered by a hidden placket, rather than being clearly visible. It’s not the end of the world, but as an alternative, I’ll be replacing the basic white plastic buttons with something a bit better looking. Basic sewing skills for the win! Thank goodness I was forced to do home economics – sewing on buttons and making a pavlova, both skills I’ve carried forward into my adult life).
This shirt is from Ketz-Ke, and a quick peruse of the website accompanied by some full-blown assumptions tells me that this shirt probably cost between $100-$150 new. I really appreciate what Ketz-Ke is about, bringing some funkier options to the wardrobe of NZ women, and I just looked at the Leo+Be line they are doing for a younger woman and I could see myself wearing several of those designs (not that they care, I realise!). What I realise, as I’ve researched this post, is that I do not understand retail pricing for fashion in New Zealand. This is essentially a polyester shirt that’s made in China, with no major design features and no special construction. The polyester and construction are better quality than some major chain stores, for sure, but I feel like this has opened a new area of learning for me called – why do you cost that?
None of these things are available – sorry! The shirt is a Savemart find (this is why I don’t understand retail pricing – in my mind, you can get an entire outfit for under $30, as pictured on my Instagram) and the pants are from Fashion Bunker about a year ago. Wide legged pants/culottes are a thing right now, so check out some awesome New Zealand based options online. The shoes are from a trip to Melbourne in 2014ish, so…sorry again? They’re yet another example of why “clean out everything you haven’t worn in 12 months” is terrible advice – I’ve held onto these for about 2 years without wearing them, and now I’m all excited about them once again.