5 essential white shirts for your wardrobe + how to care for them

Sponsored by Vanish NapiSan

I think I have a problem. A white shirt problem.

The problem is two-fold. For starters, I can’t stop buying them. For seconders, I love to wear them but they are like magnets to all manner of food and drink stuff.

For this reason, my entire family think that being sponsored by Vanish NapiSan is a match made in laundry heaven.

See, I can tell you now, I’m never going to stop buying white. I’m simply not afraid to wear white because Vanish NapiSan has long been my secret weapon in the laundry.

White shirts and tops are very much here to stay in my wardrobe and they should be in yours too. Let me present my case …

Style tips

1. A white shirt is a wardrobe building block. White shirts in all styles play a crucial role in bringing outfits together. Got a white shirt? You’ve always got something to wear.

2. White tops make great layering pieces. In summer layer a white tee over a tank. In winter layer that same tee under a knit.

3. White tops and shirts create a perfect canvas for your accessory collection. You can change the look of an outfit with a coloured necklace or scarf when it’s based on a white top.

4. White makes you look and feel brighter. Wearing a white shirt or top is an instant face illuminator. What’s going on here is a mix of light reflecting off the fabric plus the fabric bringing out the whites in your eyes.

5.  White need not be boring or safe. Consider white tops or shirts in different fabrics and textures. It’s these differences that will lift the whole outfit.

You may want only one good white shirt in your wardrobe. Me, I’m all for a whole stack of them.

In fact, when I come across a white top in a fabric and cut that I really, really like, I’ll buy at least two of them so I’ve always got one on rotation.

At last count I’ve got about 15 white tops, tees and shirts. Excessive? Maybe just a little. So for you, I’ve narrowed that collection down to five essential white shirts you should consider for your wardrobe.

5 essential white shirts + how to care for them

Technically this not a shirt, it’s a tank top but boy, oh boy, does it earn its place in my wardrobe. It’s a Country Road seamless tank. I don’t wear it on its own, rather I layer it under all sorts of tops, especially other white ones. It’s stretchy and fitting so deals with some of my muffin top situation as well as providing a little modesty when the piece worn over the top is sheer.

5 essential white shirts: the tank

I’m in love with linen tees. They just look more dressed up and seem to get better with every wash. Specifically linen relaxed-fit tees. This one was bought from the Witchery store at Sydney airport last year because I landed from the Sunshine Coast wearing a white tee that I had successfully spilt tea on during the flight. I then had a stroke of luck on a trip home to Sunshine Coast in June this year to find two more of the same on the reduced-reduced rack. Snapped those babies up quick smart.

5 essential white shirts: the tee

This is my Nina Proudman white shirt. Did you pick it? It’s a Johnny Was and I love it so. The fabric and embroidery are something else and the cut of the shirt just skims. The perfect tunic really.

5 essential white shirts: the tunic

I do a fair bit of travel for work. This Mela Purdie shirt is my go-to shirt for arriving looking good and not feeling sweaty. The fabric is all kinds of wonderful. It’s called “technical fabric” which sounds like it won’t be breathable but is actually the opposite. Plus, it’s a quick wash, hang up to dry and it’s ready to wear overnight. You get what you pay for in the white shirt department, Stylers. And this one is worth the investment.

5 essential white shirts: the wash and wear

I love a more sheer white shirt for evening. A perfect piece for showing off your “good” bra (you know the black lacy one you should wear more often … just because!) and working it back with a pair of jeans or leather skirt or pants.

5 essential white shirts: the evening

Care tips

By now you’re probably thinking I’ve gone mad. So much white. So many stain possibilities. So much quality time in the laundry.

Part of this is true – owning and wearing so much white does increase my chances of  “attracting” any red wine, bolognese sauce or chocolate within and 10m radius.

But (and it’s a big but) I’m not afraid of a little laundry challenge. Not wanting to boast but I will because it’s about the only domestic duty I am actually good at – I have superior laundry management skills.

The same family who guffaws at my white shirt collection is also the first to hand over any of their clothes for the Stain Removal Department of my laundry management consultancy to “deal” with.

Here’s how it’s done around here:

1. It’s all about the need for speed when it comes to getting stains out of clothes. Declare an emergency zone around said item and deal immediately with the stain emergency.

2. Always carry face or baby wipes in case of accidents away from home. On some fabrics and with some food and drink, the stain will lift there and then. For others, this is a stop-gap measure until you’re home.

3.  At home, remove shirt immediately, spray with stain remover, leave for one hour and then soak immediately with a good quality laundry stain removal product like Vanish NapiSan for 24 hours. Wash as normal. If soaking a garment with a particularly stubborn stain, sponge the stain in the soaking tub until it starts to come out.

4. Stain still there despite your best efforts? Try a different method - one method won’t necessarily work on every stain. Whatever you do, don’t iron the affected shirt beforehand. Ironing sets the stain.

5. Hang your stained white and light clothes out in direct sunlight. If a trace of stain remains after the spraying, soaking and washing, the sun can sometimes “bleach” out the trace.

Yes, this is a sponsored post but I can tell you Vanish NapiSan laundry stain removal powder has been my friend since bringing home my first baby more than 18 years ago. I remember doing the first soak and wash and wondering why I had waited for babies to embrace this genius of a laundry management solution.

I’ve given you just a few stain-removal tips above but there are so many more to be found at The Tip Exchange.

The Tip Exchange is a new online platform aimed at helping you solve any stain-removal problems that might present themselves in your laundry.

Got a specific stain removal question you want answered? Got a genius stain removal tip you’d like to share with the rest of Australia? Head on over and join in. Your stain-removal tip could see you fronting the next television commercial for Vanish Napisan.

I know that in a stain emergency, The Tip Exchange will be my first point of call for advice.

And that gives me another good reason to never be afraid of white clothes.

Tell me, are you a gun in the laundry? Would I find white in your wardrobe?

Coordinated by The Remarkables Group 

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  • Pingback: How to find your perfect white t-shirt :: Styling You()

  • mhclm

    Hi Nikki, gorgeous tops you’ve got there. Can you tell me what the sizing is like for your beautiful Johnny Was tunic? Was looking at ebay and came across something similar and some gorgeous jackets as well, but size S instead of M that I normally wear. Having never worn the label not sure if their sizing is true to size or smallish or generous. Hope to find out, thanks :)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I would say it’s on the regular to small size – mine is an XL.

      • mhclm

        Thanks Nikki, that’s a no go then for the ebay jacket. Unfortunately the label is hard to get in Australia :( which makes it expensive buying. Any tips?

        • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

          Oh sorry, didn’t read it was a jacket – a jacket may be ok as you wear it open? I get my Johnny Was from Zambezee Boutique but if you know anyone going to the US, that would be the go.

  • Perthite

    I have every single top on your list! The Johnny Was and Mela Purdie thanks to your fab styling advice!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh so we can play wardrobe swap any day then!!

  • Joanne Rimes

    Perfect timing as always! My one year old bleed on my white linen shirt today! I can relate to your comment about being a stain magnet, basically if I’m wearing white, I’m going to attract something guaranteed. Love napisan.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh dear – that’s not good! And yes stain magnets unite!

  • Janelle@awhitefarm.blogspot.co

    Too many white shirts?? Now that’s just silly!! Next on my white-top radar is the linen tee. Or three… xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I knew you’d be on board – yes, keep an eye out for the linen – really holds its shape well. Country Road did them last summer too!

  • Toula K

    It’s funny you should write this post Nikki as it’s been on my mind for a while to go out and find me some white top/shirts! Love all these white tops you’ve posted. Most of my tops are dark and don’t look as great with colourful accessories or scarves. The dirt factor has always put me off buying white. I’m in the middle of designing some long colourful gemstone necklaces and want to be able to show them off and the best way is to wear them with a white top. Makes them stand out more. So I need to go out and get me some white tops! Thanks again for all your wonderful posts & tips. Oh and I better not forget the Vanish Napisan while I’m out there too :)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      White definitely works best for colourful gemstones – and yes, stock up on Napisan and they’ll keep looking as good as new. I know that sounds like an ad but I have been using for 18 years :)

  • The Plumbette

    White is actually a good colour to wear out with a newborn because their spew isn’t so noticeable but I still use Napisan to spray the area pre wash because it will turn yellow if not attended to properly. Love your white shirt collection. My fave is still my Ollie & Max one. :)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      So true – and yes, I remember those yellow stains well! And the Ollie & Max one is very much a fave for me. I had to narrow it down and it only got pipped by the non-iron virtues of the Mela Purdie one!

  • Nic

    Love your Johnny Was shirt – just beautiful! Nicoll X

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It’s a fave!

  • http://www.hairromance.com Christina @ Hair Romance

    I don’t have kids but I’m already a napisan fan. I blame it on my love of white and my extreme clumsiness. Wearing white jeans today and just waiting for what’s going to hit them…

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      At least you are prepared! I love white jeans x

  • Kelly

    I am not a guru in the laundry – thankfully my OH is! Lucky me!! I am also good at google and have found the “cure” for a couple of stain problems. I don’t do a lot of white on top mostly because I can’t/haven’t found anything to suit me but I do have a few tanks and a pair of white NYDJ.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I’m glad you do have a laundry guru to help you out!! It’s about the only cleaning related thing I’m good at. Mr SY does the floors and bathrooms!

  • Mindy Roestenburg

    I am fan of the white tee. It’s always good to have a couple on hand as they can go with almost anything. We are also Napisan fans in our house. With two young children who love to play outside and get dirty it’s a must. Every night all their clothes go straight into a soak bucket to wait to be put through the wash.
    I almost can’t believe though that in my new season shopping I am actually considering buying a pair of white shorts. I would never have thought I would go there but they just look so nice and at this stage only available in white. Time to throw caution to the wind and just jump right in I think. At least I know where to look for stain removal advice when I need it.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Mindy – do it! You’re already are in the Napisan club so it’s just a case of buying them and wearing them because you’ll be able to deal with any stains. I’ve got white jeans and shorts and they’re a great spring/summer alternative to my denim.

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    Yes you will I have about 4 white shirts a pretty lace type one more like a tee but a bit dressier and lovely on,needs a tank under as well,a white lace up shirt and a oversized bamboo tee and a tunic with black beading detail around the neckline,pretty dressy or just because I feel like wearing it.I love a white tunic style top and your Johnny Was one is stunning Nikki!
    I also find yes they are food magnets but at least you can soak them and a makeup wipe is good as well in an emergency at getting out a spill.I love napisan too and use it on lots of things especially dirty soccer clothes,and have done since the kids were young.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I can’t believe it took until I had kids to embrace Napisan Lisa! Crazy. It’s saved me many a time. Like your white shirt collection too x