The Classic White Shirt

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This is quite simply, the biggest shirt I have ever seen. When I saw it, I bought it immediately. It’s got a massive 66″ chest and is described on the label as XXXL. I got this in the British Heart Foundation shop in Whitby and it cost £5.25.

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Possibly the best feature of this is the collar – it’s huge! I wanted to turn this into my own version of the classic white blouse using the oversized collar as a bit of a design statement. It means I can wear it with all the buttons done up, but it’s not too uncomfortable. Brilliant!

Remaking this shirt was really, really easy.

Below you can see that it totally drowns my dressform.

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I cut off the sleeves and took it in at the sides by the required amount.

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I then trimmed around the armhole area and did a quick edge finish. You can just about see below that for the hem at the bottom, the front didn’t match the back. So I rounded the corner of the back off to keep a men’s tailoring vibe going on.

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And here it is! So easy!

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I think this works really well as a classic white blouse. It’s particularly good for layering! Which I need at the moment given the chilly weather we’ve been having. I put together this look for the office…

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Here’s a pic of the shirt without the layering just to show you what the fit is like.

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Perfect for some cheeky after work cocktails too!

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What do you think, do you like the very large collar as a design feature, or is it a bit too… Harry Hill?

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There’s only one way to find out!

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40 comments

  1. Helena A.

    Hi! I am so going to do this for me! I love the picture without the layer, where we can see it all! Great idea!
    Happy first day of Spring!!! :D
    Kisses from Portugal!!!

  2. Teresa

    Men’s shirts are such fun refashions aren’ t they? I love how you never really have to make a new sleeve-if the shirt you start with is big enough it just turns into a kimono sleeve! the collars can sometimes be overwhelming but yours is pretty much the perfect big collar size

  3. Eleni

    Why don’t you try to wear it with leggings or just very skinny jeans? I think it will work very well.

  4. Joyce

    I love how big it originally was, it’s amazing! Did you go waft around in it pretending to be a ghost before you cut it up? In any case, lovely refashion – simple but so effective :)

    • charityshopchic

      Thanks Charity, glad you agree about the collar. The pocket was still roughly in the right place and was slightly oversize like the collar… so I left it. I could remove it if I change my mind, but there’s a slight risk it would leave a mark on the fabric. I’ll think about it!

      • Alyssa

        I also would have wanted to nick the pocket but also would have balked knowing the tell tale mark it would have left. LOVE the rest of the shirt . Your blog rocks!

        • charityshopchic

          Thanks so much Alyssa, I agree it was a bit too risky to remove the pocket and don’t think it detracts from the overall look, since it’s still roughly in the right place.

  5. callie

    Love the collar — if you wanted to glam it up a bit more you could add some bling to it, or even embroider an initial on one side!

    • charityshopchic

      Hi Callie, yes there are loads of potential variations. I kept mine classic for maximum versatility, but there are endless things you could do with beads, sequins or buttons.

  6. Lizzi

    I love that you kept the length, I admit I expected you to hack off some of the bottom before you were done. But it works, especially as an underlayer.

  7. Anna Dorthea Aasbjerg

    Great, basic shirt. Goes well with most items in the basic wardrobe – or at least with what I have in mine! :-)
    It would be great to wear with skinny jeans, a narrow belt and loafers! (Just bought both animal-printed belt and loafers fra H&M for almost nothing – it would be perfect for spring/summer!!)

    • charityshopchic

      That was the idea, to make something that would be versatile and go with everything. I’m happy with it! I have a few more outfits in mind too. Great suggestion about the skinny jeans. Thanks for commenting!

  8. Lex

    I’ve been lurking on your blog for ages and am really into refashioning. I do think UK charity shops are much more expensive than the US thrift stores and to see that you paid over a fiver for that shirt makes me think that if UK charity shops were less expensive, more people might be inclined to venture into re-using clothing (their organisation could use work too if you want the truth). When you can buy 3 white shirts for £5 in ASDA, it seems false economy to buy one for £5 in a charity shop. I think the overall shape of the shirt turned out brilliantly although I’m not sure about pairing a dress-length shirt with a skirt – the layering is great but the little belt was cuter and I can see that outfit working beautifully over skinny jeans or capri-length trousers.

    • charityshopchic

      Hi Lex, thanks for the comment. Yes, UK charity shops are a lot more expensive than any thrift stores in the US. I do question the value of some things I see in charity shops, especially if it’s £7 for a Primark top that would have been £4 when new. However, I don’t begrudge giving £7 to charity when I get something in return. I am in it mostly for the interesting finds and fabrics, not as much to save money, though that is a factor too. And yes, several people have suggested jeans or leggings with this shirt, but I think your suggestion of capri pants is excellent… I just have to make some now!

  9. Gail

    I like the big collar but like a lot of your readers, I think it would look better worn with skinny jeans or leggings. Although, in so doing, you run the risk of creating the Tom Cruise look from a movie in which he sang “Giveme that old time rock and roll”. I know this sounds critical but it’s just my opinion. I absolutely love your recreations and totally admire your ability to reinvent things.

    • charityshopchic

      Thanks for the feedback Gail, I will certainly pair this with skinny jeans going forward, though I have to say I like it with the skirt too. It’s a very versatile piece.

  10. Trisha Millward

    I just wanted to let you know that I absolutely love your blog! As a beginning sewer your pictures and explanations of how you makeover clothes are extremely helpful.

  11. TaraLee

    I just recently found your blog after a recommendation from The Refashionista, and I love it! This particular refashion is fabulous! I think for a large busted woman like myself, this would be really slimming. I can’t wait to start looking for a huge shirt to make my own!

    • charityshopchic

      Thanks so much for commenting, TaraLee! I hope you do give this a try. If you’re more busty than I am, you may need some bust darts to help get a flattering fit. Good luck!

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