So, one afternoon around the water cooler (and by ‘water cooler’, I mean WhatsApp) my six blogger buddies in The Over 40 Collective and I decided it would be fun to do a style challenge. We’d each choose a white shirt from a brand we all had access to and put our own spin on it. Easy, I thought. I’ll pair mine with a sequin skirt of some variety, load on the accessories, and wear some sparkly shoes… job done. Then they decided we should all wear denim with the white shirt. Fine, not a problem, I thought. Accessories can save anything, even a white top and jeans, so I’ll just go more-is-more with shoes and jewellery.
We decided that Marks and Spencer would be the best place for a good basic white shirt. I went online and ordered this one (not my usual thing, since I tend to avoid basics or anything that smells remotely like a ‘capsule wardrobe’). As luck would have it, the week we all agreed to publish our white shirt challenge post, I happened to be in the rustic Austrian Alps with my family. There went my plan for lots of accessories and heels! I was REALLY going to have to go basic and wear the white shirt with jeans and sneakers or flats (insert silent scream). I added just a bit of my trademark sparkle via a favourite necklace which looks like Edelweiss. It seemed apropos for the Alps!
So here I am, wearing the most basic outfit I will ever feature on this blog. Luckily, the scenery is so gob-smackingly beautiful that you’ll be distracted by the beauty of Austrian nature and will completely ignore the lack of creative styling.
As for the Marks and Spencer shirt, it is nice quality and does the job well. I don’t find this top to be particularly flattering on me, but that is only because my shape works better with fitted tops that loose ones. Some of the other ladies in the Collective probably chose better than I did (you’ll see their choices below). I had 40 white shirts to choose from at Marks and Spencer, and if I were to do it again, I’d probably choose this one or the one that Annette chose instead; the sleeve length and neckline are a little more accessories-friendly on both.
In my experience of shopping with M&S, I always find the fashion-forward hero pieces are gone if you aren’t super fast. From Nikki’s preview of the Autumn Winter collection on Midlife Chic, it looks like they will be focusing more on their fashion-forward lines after poaching a Zara executive. I look forward to that! Setting to one side our White Shirt ‘Challenge’, for me the usual challenge at Marks and Spencer is finding good pieces with a real fashion edge instead of the basics they are well known for.
Without further ado, here is the result of my White Shirt Challenge. I hope you enjoy the photos of the magnificent Steiermark region of Austria as much as I enjoyed being here.
Now have a look at my other stylish friends and see what they came up with from Marks and Spencer.
a white blazer on Michelle of Retro Chic Mama
sheer and sleeveless on Michelle of The Barefaced Chic
broderie anglaise on Liz of What Lizzy Loves
modern poplin top on Nikki of Midlife Chic
off-shoulder knit on Annette of Lady Of Style
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bell sleeves on Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb