the white shirt

I have always believed there are some Platonic ideals in the world of fashion: jeans, perfectly tailored black pants, the fisherman’s sweater that makes one look adorably cute and petite and sexy, and not as if one is carrying an extra 20 pounds. Another, I must confess, is the perfect white shirt. They are tricky devils, these white shirts. They can’t be synthetic (good grief, no!) as they will make you sweat to the nth degree. They can’t be too structured, lest you look like the matriarch at a wedding. They must have enough substance, however, to allow one to wear it without feeling as if one is about to reveal the darkest secrets of the lingerie drawer to the world.

But it’s a worthwhile search. The perfect white search gives the face a bright lift, removes years, and has a modern|classic look that is almost impossible to refute. Think Audrey in Funny Face. Think Sharon Stone at the Oscars. Think Charlotte Gainsbourg just being herself.

That said, one knows it will be a heartbreaking relationship. We all know that the most tragic aspect of the white shirt is its inevitable and quick demise. They get dirty, and, well, to not put too fine a point on it, sweat in. And then, frankly, they’re unwearable. So owning the perfect white shirt is always, at best, a very short term victory. It’s ephemeral. A moment in the sun. Because it’s pristine-ness, it’s cleanliness, it very whiteness ensures the brevity of its stay in your closet. And so the search is ever on.