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iStyle: Shirting the issue

Whether you opt for office-appropriate or the more casual, you’ll want to button-up in these menswear-inspired shirts, writes Rebecca Gonsalves

The perfect white shirt is something of a holy grail for fashion followers – untold time has been spent in pursuit of a specimen that is not too stiff and starchy, but doesn’t err across the line into blousey territory. A crisp white shirt after all has long been sartorial shorthand to communicate to the world that you mean business.

But, as the working world has changed so, too, has the uniform for tackling it. As dress codes relax, so too have fits and fabrics and where a white shirt would once have been paired with a black trouser suit it may now just as likely be worn with boyfriend-fit jeans or a pleated floral skirt. A smart sensibility is maintained through styling details like a buttoned-to-the-top collar, while a necklace layered in the place of a tie is an eye-catching detail.

MiH Jeans is so much more than a denim label – having grown to incorporate beautifully made ready-to-wear with a sophisticated, simple aesthetic since it was re-launched in 2005. The brand’s just launched British Icon Shirts collection tackles the elusive white shirt with customary ease, taking inspiration from traditional menswear styles.

The bib-fronted ‘‘Dinner’’ shirt is a take on tuxedo dressing, the crisp, fine-cotton style designed to be worn loose over a pair of jeans, while the ‘‘Studio’’ shirt is a cut-and-pasted artist's smock, collarless with a bib front, rolled sleeves and volume at the back.

Embracing more than just crisp white cotton, the ‘‘Nightcap’’ shirt is modelled on a pull-on blue-and-white striped pyjama shirt – the button-through back detail that runs from yoke to hem is not only a nice styling touch, but ensures a flat front with no gaping buttons. The ‘‘Oversize’’ shirt is available in plain blue or a blue Fleur de Lys print, with a fly-front placket concealing the buttons.

Whether white or blue, crisp or  casual – there’s plenty to get shirty about in this collection.