The best shirts for women need to be the best shirts for the varied lives women lead, and that means more than one style
A good shirt can be one of the building blocks of your capsule wardrobe. There are longline shirts for styling great leggings outfits, pretty silky varieties that will elevate your basics and tailored white shirts for classic looks or anchoring the best mom jeans outfits with the rest of your personal style. Have no fear, when it comes to shirting, there are plenty of options and you will find the shirt that works for your body and your life.
One of your wardrobe essentials, a beautiful shirt, or a collection of beautiful shirts, will mean you always have a go-to outfit to fall back on.
Best shirts for women—seven places to shop now
- Boden—best for mid-market luxury, expect great prints and plenty of color. Prices from $75 / £50 (opens in new tab)
- Cos—ideal for directional pieces, Cos shirts are well-tailored with a fashion twist. Prices from $69 / £45 (opens in new tab)
- GAP seasonless basics—from classic cotton to dressed-down denim, GAP shirts are great, whatever the season. Prices from $54.95 / £34.95 (opens in new tab)
- Hawes and Curtis—looking for something a little more ‘suited and booted’. Jermyn street shirt specialists, Hawes & Curtis are ideal for a more tailored aesthetic. Prices from $79 / £39 (opens in new tab)
- H&M—big on style and versatility, small on cost. From fashion-forward to timeless styles, H&M have a huge selection of shirts for women. Prices from $12.99 / £9.99 (opens in new tab)
- J.Crew—our preppy go-to, J.Crew offers good quality basics to help underpin your casual and smart wardrobe. Prices from $69.50 / £78 (opens in new tab)
- Marks and Spencer—the place to shop for everyday essentials in good quality fabric. Prices from $26 / £15 (opens in new tab)
Best shirts for women as chosen by our fashion expert
Reasons to buy
Boden is the destination for luxe, mid-market basics and this is no more evident than in their stylish and timeless array of women’s shirts and blouses. The brand favor print and color, but there are plenty of classic white and navy iterations too. Elevated with frills, cut-out detailing and oversized collars, Boden shirts dress up the best skinny jeans for women with ease and add interest to skirt outfits. With a distinct boho feel, Boden shirts add femininity to any outfit.
- Browse all women's shirts at Boden (opens in new tab)
RRP: $98 / £70 | The Boden design team loves a statement collar and we aren’t complaining. This remains a strong fashion trend for 2022 and instantly gives any shirt a feminine feel and softens jeans and blazer looks.
RRP: $120 / £95 | Boden are well known for the pretty prints that give a basic shirt an update and add versatility. This blouse will work brilliantly with jeans as well as tucked into full A-line skirts.
RRP: $190 / £130 | This silk shirt comes in eight print and color iterations, so there is a style for every taste. You’ll find Boden are great for repeating classic shapes in lots of different color and print options, so when you find a style you like, stock up.
Reasons to buy
If we had to sum up Cos shirts in one phrase it would be ‘relaxed tailoring’. The brand has a distinctly androgynous feel, with shirts largely in block neutral colors, or striped iterations. Playing with oversized fits and long-line shirt silhouettes, you might want to size down across the board, particularly if you have a petite frame. There are two ways to play the oversized shirt look. Either lean fully in with palazzo trousers or on-trend wide-legged jeans and go for a super relaxed, oversized fit—this works particularly well for dressing a rectangular body shape. Or style with more form-fitting pieces such as skinny jeans, or high-waisted mom jeans to help bring back your shape—try a half-tuck if you want to highlight your waist a little.
- Browse all women's shirts at Cos (opens in new tab)
RRP: $99 / £59 | This 100% cotton shirt is machine washable, making it a great wardrobe basic. In an oversized, relaxed fit, this shirt can be worn open as a layering piece over a camisole in the summer instead of a jacket. Available in four colors.
RRP: $115 / £69 | Sizes: US: 2-12 / UK: 32-44 | Oversized really is the name of the game at Cos, but while much of their women’s shirting is geared towards a more androgynous aesthetic, little details such as this front ruffling, offers a more feminine and softer finish.
RRP: $120 / £69 | Continuing on the relaxed-fit theme, this dark navy shirt is incredibly elegant. The wide cuff adds a point of difference and gives a high-end finish to this ready-to-wear style. Made with 100% cotton, it's also machine washable.
Reasons to buy
GAP is a staple on the ready-to-wear market, so it comes as no surprise that they're on our list of top places to purchase the best shirts for women. While they do offer some slightly smarter styles, when it comes to shirting at GAP, much like their jeans, we're all about the denim. GAP has a lovely, relaxed aesthetic and their denim shirts for women are certainly some of the best and at a really great price point too. Learning how to wear a denim shirt will open up a whole new wardrobe, from pairing with shorts in the summer to double-denim the rest of the year, you'll find lots of easy wear, wardrobe essentials at GAP.
- Browse all women's shirts at GAP (opens in new tab)
RRP: $59.95 / £39.95 |This organic cotton version is in a classic light wash and features one front patch pocket. Pair with blue denim jeans for a fun, double-denim look or tuck into a midi skirt for a softer finish.
RRP: $59.95 / £39.95 | In four colorways, this everyday basic will be a piece you reach for time and time again. Great with shorts and denim cut-offs for your holiday wardrobe, or easily layered under a cardigan on chillier days, a round collarless blouse is a simple silhouette that will never go out of style.
RRP: $120 / £69 | This stylish, slightly oversized women’s shirt comes in three striped styles and five block color iterations. Made from 100% organic cotton, this is an ideal purchase as we head towards the spring. In Tall, Regular and Petite categories, you can find a great fit for your body type.
4. Hawes & Curtis
Reasons to buy
Genuine shirt specialists, Hawes & Curtis should be at the top of your list. With a range that straddles all your shirting needs, from pretty prints to timeless tailored styles, Hawes & Curtis have the shirt basics of your wardrobe, sorted. While you can often find attractive and colorful printed shirts elsewhere in the ready-to-wear market, Hawes & Curtis come into their own for executive and well-tailored shirts.
- Browse all women's shirts at Hawes & Curtis (opens in new tab)
RRP: $79 / £39 | If you’re looking for a sharp-fitting shirt, this is certainly the place to head for those classically tailored styles. Most importantly, look at the neat fit and dart detailing, showcasing the level of detail in this shirt. A shirt can often swamp your silhouette and look baggy, but this level of tailoring means you can look and feel great.
RRP: $109 / £49 | Go bold or go home. This symmetrical print blouse makes for a great statement piece. Wear under a blazer for a pop of color or team with a pair of jeans for a smart/casual look. This semi-fitted, satin blouse will also work really well with a full skirt for more of an occasionwear look—gently tuck just the edge of the hem in, to avoid losing the border print.
RRP: $109 / £49 | This pussy bow blouse with frill detailing is as chic as it is sexy. Wear buttoned-up and tucked into high-waisted jeans, palazzo trousers, or with a pencil skirt for a super sleek look. This crisp blouse is well-tailored to highlight the wearer’s silhouette, as well as featuring an on-trend fuller sleeve. The ruffle detail adds a further feminine touch.
Reasons to buy
H&M is a brilliant pit stop for wardrobe basics and easy, on-trend pieces that let you buy into fashion-forward looks without a hefty price tag. This mass-market retail giant has a huge array of bargain shirts and blouses for women, including a plus size collection.
- Browse all women's shirts at H&M (opens in new tab)
RRP: $17.99 / £12.99 | H&M are a great pitstop for wardrobe essentials and this khaki, V-neck blouse is as versatile and simple as they come. Available in seven colorways, you can get one for every day of the week and it will go with absolutely everything—and at that price, it’s hard to resist.
RRP: $24.99 / £17.99 | Made with 100% cotton, this breathable shirt in an on-trend pink will be a piece you reach for time and time again. Go oversized and wear it as a layering piece instead of a jacket in the spring, or do a stylish half-tuck, to help regain some shape and highlight your waist.
RRP: $24.99 / £17.99 | Looking for the best plus size women’s shirts? Check out H&M’s plus size collection for a varied range at great price points. This longline shirt is a fun and directional piece. These days leopard is considered a neutral, so pair this with any color you want.
6. J. Crew
Reasons to buy
- Browse all women's shirts at J.Crew (opens in new tab)
J.Crew collections are best described as wardrobe favorites that have been elevated. Whether that's shirting with extra design detailing, a fashion-forward print, or a new jacket with a quirky twist, J.Crew takes classic silhouettes and puts a fresh new spin on them. Although they have plenty of color and embellishment, they are also underpinned by an all-American, preppy aesthetic, so expect your basics to be taken care of too.
RRP: $89.50 / £100 | J.Crew has a sleek aesthetic with a slightly preppy feel and this chambray shirt plays into that style. The mid-wash will pair well with classic red, white and blue hues and look great with denim, while the press-stud fastening adds a point of difference to this shirt. Style under a classic Breton striped sweater for the season ahead.
RRP: $128 / £143 | A collaboration between J.Crew and Liberty, this attractive print collection includes a number of timeless shirts in some classic Liberty prints. Feminine and stylish, this paisley-inspired print might be very much reflective of the heritage Liberty print house, but it feels incredibly modern and channels fashion’s current love of all things ‘70s.
RRP: $198 / £221 | Trims and embellishments are a brilliant way of up-styling classic silhouettes. This timeless white shirt is given a dressy makeover with fun feathered cuffs. It's a subtle but beautiful way of making your evening look stand out from the crowd, pair with cigarette pants and a blazer for a real style statement. Wear in the day tucked into jeans.
7. Marks & Spencer
Reasons to buy
Marks and Spencer is a ready-to-wear powerhouse and they’re universally loved for their stylish basics. With hundreds of shirts and blouses to choose from, you’ll always be spoilt for choice at Marks and Spencer. Filled with wardrobe essentials, you'll find brilliant, holiday-friendly linen shirts, style statement prints and even classic plaid shirts too. Whether you’re looking for super casual pieces to team with jeans or dressier iterations for work or special occasions, Marks and Spencer will have a style to suit.
- Browse all women's shirts at Marks and Spencer (opens in new tab)
RRP: $42.50 / £25 | A checked blouse is a classic and while this preppy style often has a more androgynous silhouette, this Marks and Spencer, high neck iteration has a much more feminine finish. Available in two colorways, this plaid shirt will work really well with jeans, as well as denim or corduroy skirts.
RRP: $50 / £29.50 | A classic linen shirt is the ultimate fashion partner in the summer heat. Linen is a natural fabric with breathable properties, so it helps to keep you cool. The simple relaxed fit will ensure you feel light and airy all season long too. This is the shirt to have packed and ready for your next hot holiday.
RRP: $245 / £150 | A silk shirt not only feels gorgeous against your skin, but will catch the light beautifully. This lightly tailored fit will be stylish under a blazer or suit jacket for work but also look amazing paired with a leather jacket for a more casual outfit.
Key shirt trends for 2022
When it comes to shirts, the classics—from crisp white and striped to denim and linen—will always have a place in everyone's wardrobes. Timeless, effortless, and designed with longevity in mind, these are always great investment options, whatever the time of year and whatever the runways are saying.
But if you're looking for a more directional take and inspiration from the fashion trends 2022 then there are a few key styles to look out for this season.
- White shirts—shopping platform Lyst has reported a 41% spike in searches for classic white shirts recently.
- Cropped sleeves—on the spring/summer 2022 runway, Dior put short-sleeve iterations under strappy dresses, so this is also something to look out for once it's warmer and a styling trick to take note of.
- Relaxed khaki—Versace opt for another classic style with khaki shirts worn undone. All in all, stick to the staple styles and you can't go wrong.
- Oversized shirting—perhaps off the back of lockdown, we've seen a lot more in terms of relaxed silhouettes across the board. If you've spent months in loungewear, then getting back into restrictive shirting seems understandably unappealing. But the new crop of oversized shirts makes this a doddle. Team with your best leggings and wear one like a tunic shirt.
- Paisley prints—no longer just about office attire, the best shirts for women work for a multitude of occasions. With the '70s still going strong, buy into pretty paisley prints to elevate everything from pleated skirts to wide-legged jeans.
How to style a shirt
The best women's shirts all have one thing in common—versatility. It's all about investing in key styles that'll work hard in your closet, and seamlessly work with the rest of your favorite pieces.
How to style a shirt for work...
To style your shirt for work, lean towards more tailored styles and crisp fabrics that will help you feel put together. If you're planning on wearing your shirt with a jacket or blazer, then opt for a slim-fit shirt to avoid too much bulk underneath.
If you want to highlight your waist and create more of an hourglass silhouette underneath your blazer, then tuck your shirt into some high-waisted jeans. But don't feel you have to tuck in. Create a more relaxed finish by leaving your shirt out over the top of your jeans but make sure the hem of your shirt does not go past the hem of your jacket, as this cuts up your silhouette in too many places and can make you look shorter.
How to style a shirt with a sweater...
We all know you can layer a shirt under many of the best sweaters for women for a chic and preppy look, but what about wearing your shirt on top of a sweater instead. For cold-weather days (or air-conditioned offices), experiment with layering a thin, roll neck top under a shirt and add a gold chain necklace over the top—check out our guide to the best jewelry online for some ideas.
How to style a shirt as a jacket...
Remember, make your shopping purchases work harder for you. While a tailored, oversized shirt is great for the office, for off-duty try leaving it unbuttoned and throw on over a T-shirt with jeans and sneakers. Read our guide on how to style straight-leg jeans for more ways to refresh your denim wardrobe.
How to style a shirt with a half-tuck...
The half-tuck is the epitome of nonchalant, put-together dressing. This clever styling technique allows you to show off your waist, while still wearing oversized pieces. The half-tuck looks effortless, with an almost deconstructed feel to it and it's a trick stylists have been using for years. As the street style shots show, the key is to, as the name suggests, only tuck in half the front of your shirt while leaving the other front half free and fluid. This trick works because it narrows your waistline, but you still get the relaxed, laidback look of the untuck with the second half. It takes a little practice, but once you master the half-tuck, you'll never look back.