Like some sort of sadomasochist, I liked my school uniform. Before you suggest that this is, in fact, a completely acceptable way to feel, it was bottle green. I don’t just mean the skirt, either. Aside from a white shirt, my jumper, blazer, skirt and tights were all the colour of discarded cider bottles. And, yet, I liked not having to organise outfits in the morning. I liked the feeling of pulling on a crisp, white shirt every morning and never being bothered that I didn’t have the right shoes or designer jeans. We were all the same, bottle-green figures and suddenly, when I didn’t have a daily uniform anymore, I missed it. I miss it most at this time of year, when the summer suddenly grinds to a halt and everyone buys new stationery as they make their resolutions for the scholastic year ahead. I miss it because the weather is almost always unpredictable and I have no idea how to dress. But I’ve discovered that the high street’s new collections are full of snazzy shirts, designed to make everyone’s life easier.
I’m a particular fan of oversized styles with straight-leg jeans, which, in many ways, is fast becoming my new uniform
Whether printed, plain or with balloon sleeves, shirts – to quote the ever-wise Julian from Bridget Jones’s Diary – truly work with everything, for every occasion. Throw one on with jeans for weekends or tuck them into smart skirts for work, they’re an easy, faff-free way of putting an outfit together. What’s more, they’re comfortable. I’m a particular fan of oversized styles with straight-leg jeans, which, in many ways, is fast becoming my new uniform.
From autumnal florals at Kitri and & Other Stories to classic cuts at Sézane, there are plenty of options to choose from. I’m really into Cos’s take on corduroy, while Arket has a shirt that is just the perfect amount of oversized. Top of my list, however, might be Zara’s chain print or anything leopard (this one from H&M is great). I’m still clinging to the dusty remnants of summer but, in all honesty, I’m beginning to look forward to the chill in the air that will justify my layering of a roll-neck jumper under absolutely any of these shirts. It just won’t be bottle green.