Posted on 03 July 2013

Why do people in all major professions wear white? Simply because white symbolizes purity, innocence, wholeness and surety. Not that am saying all the people who wear white have these traits (no pun intended)! But what I observe when I see anyone wearing white is absoluteness and confidence. You might have different explanations for white shirts but I call a white shirt a ‘confident white shirt’. You’ll soon find out why.


The story of our white shirt dates back to more than a century, when it was a status symbol for high class, well bred men- landlords, nobles, earls and the works, you know. In those days, before washing machines and dry cleaning services made lives easier (and lazier), household laundry was a daily chore and the ordinary working class could not afford to wear a fresh shirt every day! A man wearing a white shirt meant, he was affluent enough to engage a servant to wash his clothes and also that he had lots of optionsCWS- history to choose from!

This social segregation went a notch up in the 1930s in the Americas, where educated, salaried professionals were labeled ‘white collar workers’ while the waged, manual labourers were termed ‘blue collar workers” thus, reinstating the ‘status’ of a white shirt. To add to this, was the ‘winter of dis-continent’ - industrial disputes of the 1970s in the UK, where wearing white shirt by the affluent suggested their non-involvement in the disruption.



Till date, the white shirt remains an epitome of style, class and good taste. With iconic personalities- actors, designers, sportsmen and even politicians, the white shirt evolved as a sign of confident dressing!

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Movie stars like Gregory Peck, Fred Astaire, exuded elegance and class in whites. Don’t forget Mr. Bond- whose white shirts with his English attitude scream ‘sophistication’- may be a little shaken sometimes but never crushed! But it’s not just a white shirt. It’s WHITE COTTON SHIRT- superfine, long staple cotton woven in poplin or Oxford weave to give a soft sheen and of course meticulously crafted.


A white cotton shirt is the most easy-peasy piece of garment to have.

CWS-styleI call it ‘no noise’ clothing- no stripes, no prints, no colour to distract the onlooker- it’s YOU and only YOU are the focus on the street and not your clothes! And it goes with almost anything- Denims, trousers, khakis, cargoes and oh well, even shorts!

Tuck it in a pair of classic denim jeans and loafers for that ‘ruggedly charming’ look! May be a linen jacket or even a leather jacket can do wonders.

A business pitch upcoming? Think white. A well tailored suit with a white shirt could steal the show! Just make sure your suit doesn't outdo the shirt! Accessories like a tie, understated or bright and the right cuff-links would just be a heavenly couple with a white cotton shirt!

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To carry off that confident look, especially when you are meeting someone for the first time, like an interview, a white cotton shirt can be perfect to let your personality shine. No colours, no presumption about your personality. After all, there's nothing like a white shirt to show the character behind it.

So chaps, add some whites to your wardrobe and if you earn some compliments, be thankful enough to thank me!

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  • stiffblog: September 09, 2015

    Hello Kapil,

    Apologize for my delayed response. Ecstatic to hear your feedback on the Confident shirt & happy that it helped you win over a meeting. It’s truly amazing how critical a role our clothes play in defining who we are & the impact it has on the work space. The blog as you can tell is a new initiative & i’m glad to hear that you are enjoying the articles. Do advise if you have any specific feedback for me to further improve the content and/ or if there are any specific topics you would like me to cover. Look forward to hearing from you.


  • Kapil Biyani: September 09, 2015

    Dear Abhishek,
    The Confident White shirt is awesome and it helped me win over a meeting today. Thank you!

    Plus your blog is quite exciting to read, especially when we so often ignore things that help us make the first impressions.

    Keep up the good work.


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