12 of the best shirts for women—for every mood and occasion

We've found the best shirts for women—from white styles for work to silky iterations for after dark

Best shirts for women: Composite image of three models wearing denim, leopard and pink shirts
(Image credit: Whistles, H&M, Mango)

With so many styles, colors, and brands to choose from, finding the best shirts for women can be time-consuming. But the right shirt is a real investment piece that you'll wear for years to come. 

Like finding the perfect blazer, the best leggings with just the right amount of stretch, or a cozy but chic winter coat, snapping up a shirt that will work for different occasions is a valuable part of every woman's capsule wardrobe. A white shirt, that'll look just as good with tailored wide-leg trousers for work, as it will tucked into a fancy midi skirt with heels for an evening look, is a fashion staple. As is a striped shirt that can be worn oversized over a roll neck top, and still look equally as good for summer over a swimsuit. Once you find 'the one', no doubt it'll be a key player in your closet each season, every year. This is our carefully curated edit of the best shirts for women to add to your list of wardrobe essentials this season.

Best shirts for women as chosen by our fashion expert

Whistles Nino Chambray Collared Shirt

(Image credit: Whistles)

1. Whistles Nino Chambray Collared Shirt

Best denim shirt

Specifications
RRP: $157/£119
Sizes: US: 0-14/UK: 4-18
Reasons to buy
+Oversized collar and puff sleeves for an update on a classic+Matching trousers available

There's no doubt about it, a denim shirt is an integral part of most people's wardrobes. Finding the right wash can be down to preference, but in our opinion, rich indigo denim will never fail to look premium. This Whistles styles with a slight '70s feel thanks to the exaggerated collar will look good worn done up with a cashmere sweater over the top or open layered over a dress with boots. 


Cos Slim Fitted Shirt

(Image credit: Cos)

2. Cos Oversized Tailored Shirt

Best white shirt

Specifications
RRP: $99/£59
Sizes: US: 2-14/UK: 6-18
Reasons to buy
+Cool oversized fit+Longline length

Nothing beats a fresh, crisp white shirt. Reliable, effortless, and bound to always make you feel like you can take on the day, this Cos oversized iteration is the perfect style for on and off duty. For work, pair with straight-leg trousers and loafers. For weekends, wear jeans, white trainers and a tote bag. 


H&M+ Satin Shirt

(Image credit: H&M)

3. H&M+ Satin Shirt

Best plus size shirt

Specifications
RRP : $23.75 /£17.99
Sizes: L-4XL
Reasons to buy
+Inclusive size range+Timeless leopard print

Who doesn't love a bit of animal print? Livening up a simple satin shirt, this glossy number will be your go-to for everything from soirées to brunch dates. The inclusive size range and flattering fit make this H&M+ leopard print shirt one to keep in your wardrobe for years to come. 


Marks and Spencer Checked Collared Regular Fit Shirt

(Image credit: Marks and Spencer)

4. Marks and Spencer Checked Collared Regular Fit Shirt

Best checked shirt

Specifications
RRP: $42.50/£25
Sizes: US: 2-20/UK: 6-24
Reasons to buy
+Inclusive sizing

The humble checked shirt has proven it's a keeper. As the ultimate laid-back shirt, it's the best style to opt for when it comes to relaxed dressing. The perfect companion to your trusty jeans and sneakers combo, M&S has a whole host of versions that you may want to grab in a size up to ensure they're extra comfy. 


Mango Satin Finish Shirt

(Image credit: Mango)

5. Mango Satin Finish Shirt

Best pink shirt

Specifications
RRP: $59.99/£35.99
Sizes: US: 0-12/UK: 4-16
Reasons to buy
+Soft blush pink to flatter all skin tones+Satin finish without having to invest in real satin

A great alternative to a white shirt, soft dusty pink is ideal for the office. For a stylish look that'll never fail, add it over a lightweight white roll neck top and tuck both into a pair of sleek, tailored trousers with heeled boots. Trust us, it works. 


Jigsaw Vivid Floral Shirt

(Image credit: Jigsaw)

6. Jigsaw Vivid Floral Shirt

Best floral shirt

Specifications
RRP: $165/£125
Sizes : US: 2-12/UK: 6-16
Reasons to buy
+Sleeves can be rolled up to be short sleeved+Uplifting, vibrant print 

Proving shirts are far from boring, this punchy floral print style from Jigsaw is guaranteed to uplift your best jeans, and your mood. The puff sleeves with frill detail can be pushed up to create a short-sleeve style instead. It's basically a two-for-one buy if you ask us!


River Island Black Polka Dot Shirred Shirt

(Image credit: River Island)

7. River Island Black Polka Dot Shirred Shirt

Best formal shirt

Specifications
RRP: $47/£36
Sizes: S-L
Reasons to buy
+Shirred detail to highlight the waist+Flattering asymmetric hem

Looking for a 'nice' top to go with your favourite jeans? Look no further than River Island polka dot beauty. This sheer style with sparkly buttons and flattering stretchy shirred waist detail is perfect for layering over a silky cami top. Or, if you're feeling daring, why not just add it over a pretty bra that's worth showing off? 


Reformation Parker Relaxed Shirt

(Image credit: Reformation)

8. Reformation Parker Relaxed Shirt

Best striped shirt

Specifications
RRP: $78/£80
Sizes: XS-XL
Reasons to buy
+Made from unwanted deadstock fabric +Available in two other stripe styles

Sustainable US brand Reformation is the destination for amazing dresses, tops, jeans, and of course, shirts. This timeless classic is one that you'll be able to love for a lifetime. The oversized, cool silhouette makes it an easy everyday staple that can be worn done up with denim and kicks or undone over a t-shirt with a silky slip skirt and mules. 


Boden Silk Shirt

(Image credit: Boden)

9. Boden Silk Shirt

Best silk shirt

Specifications
RRP: $145/£110
Sizes : US: 2-18/UK: 6-22
Reasons to buy
+100% silk material+Available in petite and regular sizes

A 100% silk shirt is an investment worth making. Sure, they're more of a splurge than your average cotton version but they look effortlessly chic. The soft silk fabric can be worn day or night and when looked after properly (on a low heat wash, or hand wash), it can last for years. Boden's classic cream iteration is certainly worth the extra spend. 


Ralph Lauren Wave-Stripe Georgette Shirt

(Image credit: Ralph Lauren)

10. Ralph Lauren Wave-Stripe Georgette Shirt

Best designer shirt

Specifications
RRP: $170/£129
Sizes: XXS-XXL
Reasons to buy
+An investment buy+Features Ralph Lauren's signature logo

Everyone knows Ralph Lauren for its iconic shirts. Whether you opt to shop in the women's or men's section (both have great shirts anyone can wear), you're guaranteed to find one you love. This gorgeous design is inspired by the waves in France and features Ralph Lauren's iconic initials. 


Arket Oversized Linen Shirt

(Image credit: Arket)

11. Arket Oversized Linen Shirt

Best linen shirt

Specifications
RRP: $91/£69
Sizes: S-XXL
Reasons to buy
+Comfy oversized fit+Available in four colors

Made from 100% linen, this shirt is a summer favorite. While you may always opt for a white linen shirt, a light 'go with everything' shade like blue can also work as a piece that'll go with everything else you own. From camel trousers to white denim and even silk skirts, this one can be worn so many ways across all seasons (if you layer it in fall, that is).


& Other Stories Embroidered Ruffle Cotton Blouse

(Image credit: & Other Stories)

Best ruffle shirt

Specifications
RRP: $86/£65
Sizes: UK: 2-12/UK: 6-16
Reasons to buy
+Made from organic cotton+Great alternative to a classic white shirt

A simple detail such as a ruffle here and there can really take a white shirt to dreamy new heights. This & Other Stories winner has swapped the usually pointed collar for a scalloped, embroidered style and it looks so good. Imagine it tucked into a pair of high waist flared jeans with heeled boots and a tan cross-body bag


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 wise options to buy no matter the season or year.

If you're looking for something that'll be key for 2022, then it's also best to stick to one of these classic styles.

  • 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. 

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. 

For work, keep the shirt buttoned up (with a few buttons open at the top to not be too stuffy), and opt for a more fitted style to keep it professional. As an outfit idea, try tucking it into a pair of tailored wide-leg trousers with a pointed-toe heeled boot. For cold-weather days (or AC offices), try layering a thin, roll neck top underneath and layer a gold chain necklace over the top. 

For off-duty, you can always opt for an oversized striped style, leave it unbuttoned and throw on over a white T-shirt with your trusty jeans and sneakers. Read our guide on how to style straight-leg jeans for more inspiration.  

When it comes to dressing a shirt up, the possibilities are endless but an easy way to make it feel more put together is by looking at the fabric. While a denim or cotton check with being more casual, a 100% silk style will instantly be more luxe. Wear open at the top and drape it over a silky slip skirt in tonal color and simply add heels. 

Harriet Davey
Harriet Davey

Harriet Davey is a freelance fashion editor, writing and styling for titles including Vogue, Stylist, Grazia, Who What Wear, and woman&home. With over 10 years of experience in the industry, Harriet has a love for shopping but also a newfound interest in trying to be more sustainable. From renting outfits instead of buying new ones to opting for investment pieces, there are so many ways you can be more conscious of the way you shop.

 

This is why at womanandhome.com, Harriet is here to bring you carefully curated edits of the very best pieces worth spending your money on. With a love for Scandi brands and an eye for key designer pieces to mix in with high street hero buys, expect to see shopping stories and buying guides that’ll make you feel excited about updating your wardrobes.