Everyone needs at least one collar shirt in their wardrobe. This will work with everything you own and is an essential piece for layering.
How much will I need to spend?
A great shirt doesn't need to cost you loads of cash. Thrift stores, Joe Fresh, H&M and almost every other clothing store will carry some version of classic tailored shirts.
How do you choose the right shirt for you?
Proper fit is essential. The shoulder seam should fall right on your shoulder, not drop off the shoulders. The cuffs should be no longer than your mid hand or higher when your arms are straight at your side. The bust should not pull or sag. The waist should nip in to show that you have a waist. The shirt should not be below the crotch in the front or below the bum in the back. The shirt should end mid pelvis or just cover the upper part of your bum in the back.
Often shirts are available in slim and regular fit. Try on one of each on to see what works best on you.I prefer a fitted shirt with a bit of lycra in it. It moves and stretches with me and won't pull as much across my bust.
Should you get a shirt that has pockets?
Sometimes pockets aren't good if you plan on layering as the edges of the pockets will show and add bulk.
What fabric should you buy?
Cotton or a cotton blend will be the most comfortable and breathable. Cotton launders easily however requires ironing. A better choice is one of the non-iron shirts that are widely available now. Put them in the dryer for a bit, give them a shake and they are wrinkle free. They usually have some synthetic in them however so they are not as cool as a 100% cotton or silk shirt.
Silk is a beautiful sexy option that layers well and doesn't add bulk however it must dry cleaned.
How do you choose what colour is right for you?
The timeless classic choice is white as you will be able to wear it with everything. Personally however I don't like white next to my face as it tends to wash me out, so you will see me wearing pretty much every other colour of shirt other than white. If you only have one shirt but are against choosing white I would suggest another neutral colour, blue, grey, black, tan or brown.
What about patterned shirts?
Patterned shirts are lots of fun and really in fashion right now. They add a touch of playfulness and whimsy yet still look professional. If you decide to choose one pattern shirt for your wardrobe stick to a smaller simple pattern with no more than 2 neutral colour in it. Stripe, polka-dot, or check are all good choices that will be easy to combine with other items in your closet.