Where to buy the best African designer white shirts

Where to buy the best African designer white shirts

How to Achieve the Perfect White Shirt Look

The Ultimate Guide to Styling a Crisp White Shirt

There is something timeless and elegant about a crisp white shirt. Whether it is worn casually with jeans, or dressed up with a suit or a skirt, a white shirt can instantly make a statement of sophistication and simplicity. 

There have been many times when a white shirt has elevated a simple outfit, into a devastatingly chic look.

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We have seen how designers like Carolina Herrera, have made the white shirt into her signature look, famously pairing her rolled up white button-down shirts with luxurious skirts. It has even inspired various collections, where she has paired the shirts with voluminous skirts. 

Even with menswear, few items of clothing are as important as a white shirt. No wardrobe is complete without a crisp white shirt. 

The History of the White Shirt

The controversial Queen of France, Marie Antoinette, caused a stir in 18th-century France, by wearing a white cotton chemise, which was essentially an oversized shirt dress. It was for a portrait by the artist, Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun who painted Marie Antoinette in a simple white cotton gown known as a robe de gaulle. It set off the world’s desire for cotton, and the slave trade. 

A century later, the white shirt was soon adopted by men as a symbol of wealth, class, and morality. Later on, it became more accessible and affordable with the advent of mass production. It also became more diverse and expressive with the introduction of different styles, fabrics, and details.  

The White Shirt in African Fashion

TAIBO BACAR's white shirts in his 2023 Cape Town Fashion Week collection

The white shirt has been a canvas for creativity and innovation in contemporary African fashion. Many African designers have reinvented the white shirt with their own unique vision and flair, using local fabrics, techniques, and influences. 

For his AFI Cape Town Fashion Week 2023, Mozambican designer, Taibo Bacar presented three distinctive ways to style his crisp white shirts- a maxi skirt, a denim two-piece, and cigarette pants. 

Alia Bare White Shirt

SHOP: Alia Bare's Oversized Asymmetrical Shirt. It is white cotton with a short front and longer back hem. This is a button up shirt with poppers that make it easy to open and close. The sleeves are extra long but can be rolled up to make shorter.

Niger’s Alia Bare went the romantic street-style route, pairing her oversized hi-lo white shirt with slouchy printed pants and a veil.

South Africa’s Gvllvnt presented his signature linen white shirts and even went the extra mile by designing a white shirt-inspired linen safari suit jacket. 

Why the White Shirt Will Never Go Out of Style

Gvllvnt White Shirts showcased at Joburg Fashion Week and Cape Town Fashion Week

SHOP: Gvllvnt's White Cotton Formal Shirt with subtle embroidered branding and a pleated yoke detail on the back of the shirt. Gvllvnt's White Safari Shirt is made with 100% Irish linen and finished off with mother of pearl shell buttons, pockets and back of shirt with pleated detail.

The white shirt is more than just a piece of clothing; it is an expression of identity, personality, and mood. It can be styled in countless ways to suit any occasion, season, or preference. 

It can be paired with any colour or pattern to create contrast or harmony.

It can be accessorised with any jewellery or scarf to add interest or flair.

It can be layered with any jacket or sweater to create warmth or texture.

SHOP: White Organza Button Up Shirt by Taibo Bacar.  

The white shirt transcends trends and fads. It can be adapted to any culture or context without losing its essence or charm. It can be updated with new fabrics or features without compromising its elegance or simplicity.

Shop these white shirts by African fashion designers at House of Nala Sandton City or on the AFI Online Store

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