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White magic

A white shirt is versatile - simple yet dressy

A WARDROBE needs to be built upon a few basics. The white shirt is one such `basic' that begins with a sense of purpose and ends with maximum flexibility thereby increasing the existing stock.

You do not need many of them and each has its special role to play. They may be for business meetings, a visit to your in-laws or even for a movie. The white shirt has always been hegemonic among shirts - a symbol of class by virtue of pristine colour.

The white shirt is an element of simplicity. But dressy enough to stand on its own with trousers or jeans and versatile with suits and sweaters. A white shirt provides the option of instant formality and can even be kept waiting for evening or special events. This goes to say that fabrics need to be planned.

In keeping pace with the trends, white shirts are of lightweight finely woven cotton. The most luxurious are superfine cottons, such as long staple Egyptian cotton and sea-island cotton, which because of longer fibres create a sheer and satin-like texture. Fine cotton poplin, 60's cambric and silk broad cloth are suitably smooth weans for city shirts.

Linen and cotton have walked up the fashion charts. Because of its lightweight character, linen highlights the charm of `macho dressing.'

In accordance with the style gallery, silk shirts are the most formal and refined. Four ply silk can be too warm. One could opt for silk shantung. The white shirt - the wardrobe staple can handle anything. With black trousers, it is an all-time classic - a uniform right for Indian men. It highlights the face and narrows the hip area.

White provides a clean frame for the face and gives an edge of refinement to otherwise basic clothes. A tint of yellow or pink can soften the look of the shirt, while a tint of blue or grey can make it look starchier.

Pointers indicate neat panelling running as a T-bar cutting across the chest and running down vertically. Bigger cuffs and rounder shirt tail with slits are on the charts. `V' shaped narrow shirts with band or convertible collars built on the same are a part of this narration. Kurta shirts are sailing strong.

The style gallery reflects interesting ideas for surface design. Customised placement of pin and cross tucks make a difference. More elaborate ideas echo usage of sequins and beads along the neck, back yoke and sleeve hems.

A white shirt can look crisp and structured with black trousers or played down when teamed with jeans. It dresses you for work or leisure or for almost anything in between. There is little that rivals a white shirt transforming it into the most powerful component of the masculine wardrobe.


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