Nothing beats a classic white shirt. A sartorial must-have, it consistently proves to be the most versatile piece in the wardrobe. Classic and enduring, our favourite basic is perfect for now and forever, taking us around the clock from a breakfast meeting to the boardroom to a red carpet event. And of course, there’s nothing more chic than your favourite jeans paired with your favourite white shirt.
This week Sydney-based calligrapher, hand-letterer, graphic designer and founder of The Blackline Bottega shares her style tips (and more!) on how she’s styling her new favourite shirt - four different ways.
Instantly identifiable, having worked on countless weddings, parties and big name brand events, Lauren’s cultivated aesthetic together with her calm demeanour means she’s in high demand. During the work week you’ll find her in her studio, and after hours playing with interiors (she loves a little furniture-moving moonlighting while her fiancé is out of the house).
With an understated sophistication, Lauren’s personal style is reminiscent of a modern day Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy. A minimalist aesthetic punctuated with timeless man-style tailoring and crisp white shirts (hello Franklin!).
A little about me… I'm a Sydney based creative with a love of all-things-design. I have a background in Fashion Design & Journalism. I've carved out my career in graphic design with a focus on hand-crafted and made elements like illustration, cut + paste, hand-lettering & calligraphy. And I love interiors, architecture, ceramics, and styling on the side. If I'm not working, I'll be reading or cooking and entertaining, running, hiking or at yoga / pilates. And I love to take myself out on "adventures" like exploring new suburbs — even if they are pockets of Sydney suburbs I've never seen.
5 words that describe my style… Minimalist, classic, monochrome, textured, timeless — with the occasional splash of earthy tones.
My style icon is… I don't think I could pinpoint a single style icon. Like most teens in the 90's, I went through a phase of loving Alexa Chung and the Olsen Twins' style and then realised my body wasn't remotely similar to theirs and the clothes they wore did not translate well on my curves. So I started from scratch and wore things that make my body look great. I've often turned to other inspiration outside of fashion. I'm often drawn to paintings, or drawings, ceramics and sculpture in the look that I'm going for rather than actual fashion. For example, I love ceramic textures and this love transfers to fabrication — the pebble surface of a Cecile Bahnsen dress, or the cut of a skirt and how it shifts shape or creates lines.
I wear this on repeat… I LOVE the Viktoria Woods Bramwell pants and wear them on repeat — they're made from sustainable bamboo — and look great with a tank and my I&P Shirt open for a classic look or with a t-shirt and knit for a dressed down look with sneakers. I love my khaki Jac+ Jack coat, a nice hand me up from my more stylish younger sister and love to layer it over everything in winter. Otherwise, my plain white and black t-shirts, my I&P white shirt and a couple of slip skirts are the most regular items rotating in my wardrobe. And of course gym gear!
This song is the soundtrack to my life… There are some songs that transcend time and space for me and can instantaneously take me back to a moment, season or emotion. Hold by Vera Blue saw me through countless heartbreaks and travels that took me away from my loved ones. Girl from The Internet holds a special place in my heart. Schwanengesang D.957 by Schubert, Gnossienne: No 1 by Erik Satie and The Nature of Daylight by Max Richter have always had the power to tap into my emotions in a powerful way.
Tonight for dinner, I’m going to have… It's Date Night so we're out for $3 Tuesday Tacos at Titus Jones. Jordan came up with this concept that we should have one night of the week that is date night. We've stuck with it over the few years that we've been together. I disliked the concept at first because I felt like planning a weekly date would make it feel lacklustre, but it's been such a great way to have a weekly adventure and carve out quality time.
I’m currently reading… I'm in between books at the moment. I've just finished Victoria Devine's She's on the Money which I loved and would highly recommend to anyone wanting to get their finances in order (Fun — I know!) and Bri Lee's Eggshell Skull. It was intense but such an important read and completely challenged all understanding and beliefs I'd had about the Australian justice system. And next on my list is Persuasion (I need to re-read it to rinse out the Netflix version like the apparent puritan Jane Austen fan that I am) and The Beauty of Breaking by Michele Harper.
Watching… I recently watched Normal People on Stan to see how it matched up to the book by Sally Rooney and enjoyed that. The last few films that I watched from beginning to end and loved were Minari, Uncle Frank, Our Friend, The King and The Last Duel.
Listening to… On Spotify, I'm loving The Neil Frances Mix (with a mix of Tora, Neil Frances, Leisure etc.) and the IN BED & D.S & Durga playlists when I'm trying to channel a particular mood or vibe in the studio. My sister introduced me to two songs this week — Italian Riviera by Saib & Pelota by Khruangbin — they are delivering all my European summer vibes on repeat and will likely make into regular circulation. We have a record player and I've really enjoyed diving back into what songs sound like on vinyl. Jordan came into our relationship with a Quincy Jones vinyl and I have been loving listening to Bossa Nova. And on podcasts, I listen to The Imperfects regularly and love to jump into an Esther Perel Where Should We Begin podcast when I want a hit of psychology.
Following… In another life, I would have been a stylist / architect / interior designer so I'm obsessed with Alexander & Co., Kate Lawrence, and Joseph Gardner amongst many others. For travel and design, I love following Francis Rudman, Slow Living Hotels and Querida, a design studio in Barcelona that can do no wrong. A lot of my friends are creatives too so it's always nice to pop through and see where they're travelling, what they're creating and working on.
Right now, I’m constantly wearing… My mum's MacPac puffer because it's cold and I have not yet returned it... from 3 years ago. One day Mum, I promise!
I chose the Franklin shirt because… I've previously not found a white shirt that has fit me well (they've either gaped at my chest or been weird across the shoulders making me look a bit blocky) and I was hopeful that the I&P one would be THE ONE. I was not disappointed. I love the positioning of the buttons; there is no gaping. And also the cut across the shoulders and length. It's the new hero of my shirt collection.
I’ll be wearing it… With my Bramwell Pants, open and rolled up to the elbow over a Dissh or WSLY tank and white sneakers. OR diagonally tucked over my one-shoulder The Range peach top with gold hoops for an elevated look. OR buttoned up over a pair of jeans and a slide or mule. OR in Summer, over linen shorts and my bikini top. I like the idea of wearing it as a shirt or just an additional transeasonal layer.
Top 5 picks from I&P:
Well it's hard to go past my evident love of the Franklin Poplin Cotton Shirt - White
I'm really curious about the Franklin Poplin Cotton Shirt in Indigo & White Stripe - This would be fun in summer for a casual look with tailored white linen shorts and white Birkenstocks.
Veja Venturi Suede Sneaker - perfect for casual wear!
The Casanova Cap - I'm obsessed with the beige tone and have been loving caps recently. This would be great for an off-duty look.
Follow Lauren @theblacklinebottega | Photography by Michaela Taylor