Every woman needs a Confidence Shirt.

Every woman needs a confidence shirt | Modern Mrs Darcy

Every woman needs a confidence shirt | Modern Mrs Darcy

Back in the summer, Stitch Fix sent me a beautiful top: flowy and black,with a distinctive-but-not-flashy turquoise beaded neckline. It has a vintage feel, and reminds me of something my grandmother used to wear. 

I loved it immediately, but but with its long sleeves and our hot weather, I couldn’t wear it immediately. I’ve been making up for it this fall, pulling it on for multiple occasions that fall into dressy casual territory, when all that’s required is a great shirt and dark jeans.

This shirt is a compliment magnet–even strangers stop to tell me how pretty it is–but it’s not fussy or attention-grabbing. I feel like myself when I’m wearing it, not like I’m playing dress-up (like some unfortunate statement pieces make me feel) and not like I’m trying too hard. I hate feeling like I’m trying too hard. 

Every woman needs a confidence shirt | Modern Mrs Darcy

When I’m wearing it, I’m not thinking about my clothes: I just feel confident and comfortable (though I’ve learned I feel a little more comfortable with a camisole underneath because the neckline scoops low).

I can get ready in a snap: top, jeans, shoes. I don’t even need jewelry.

It’s not a perfect shirt: billowy sleeves are never my first choice. (I’ve even thought about cutting them off to make banded three-quarter sleeves, but I’m not sure I’m brave enough. Any sewing tips?) But it doesn’t have to be perfect to work, which is a relief for anyone who has some shopping to do.

Every woman needs a confidence shirt | Modern Mrs Darcy

Every woman needs a Confidence Shirt in her wardrobe–a go-to outfit that makes her feel fabulous in 5 minutes or less. It doesn’t have to be a shirt, of course: some women swear by a distinctive top, like I do; for others it’s a power suit, or maybe a favorite sweater.

Whatever it is, if you can pull it on and forget about it, feel unfussy yet more like yourself in it, you’ve got yourself a winner.

What does your version of the Confidence Shirt look like? (If ALL your clothes make you feel confident and comfortable, give us some tips in comments!)


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  1. Sarah Beals says:

    Tops that become my “go-to” pieces usually come from Anne Taylor Loft or Brooks Brothers. (Just realized this a few years ago and stopped buying anywhere else.) I love the quality and cuts. BUT, I have to wait for their sales because they are pricey for me. 🙂 Very pretty print. And your video the other day was great.

  2. Abigail says:

    I love this idea! I love clothes that feel confident yet effortless, but I think I’m still at that stage of getting to know myself and my wardrobe better so I can know which pieces those are. I found out my “season” for the first time yesterday, and it definitely helps me understand why I like some colors but may not feel as confident in them if they don’t mesh with my undertones. Haha it seems so complicated though!

    • Anne says:

      Hurray for finding out your season! Oddly, I was just talking about seasons with someone this morning, for the first time since that cult classic post on Color Me Beautiful. 🙂

  3. You look smashing!

    Oof! I’m so so early into the fashion game. I haven’t found the perfect top. And I wear tops out so so so quickly (bought in March and two are already worn with holes!). I would love to find something like this for my style. I’ll keep my eyes peeled. 😉

  4. D says:

    Anne, you look great as always. I know what you mean about having some things feel like you’re “dressing up” and others just feel like a natural fit. I have realized that my personal style is a little more comfortable than what I ususally wear to the office, but I don’t like to look sloppy, either, so when I find a piece in between (comfortable but pretty) it usually comes home with me.

  5. Louise says:

    My black boots. I instantly feel like a confident, sophisticated woman when I wear them, as opposed to either a little girl playing at being a grown-up, or a schlep.

    I have a long black wool skirt that also works, but it’s VERY dressy, and wool, so I only get limited use out of it. Alas!

  6. Sage Grayson says:

    That is a lovely shirt. I’m not a big fan of billowy sleeves either, but I don’t have any sewing skills. My confidence shirt is a berry colored tunic with a diamond pattern. It makes me feel energized!

  7. Bethany V. says:

    I love anything with ruching and a faux wrap style. I have several from Lands End in short sleeve and elbow length and I recently bought a gorgeous three quarter length sleeve version in a green velour. I also have two long sleeve sweaters that are the same sort of style that I bought from Kohls last year (Apt 9 I think). I basically wore them all winter. They are sliming and forgiving on the litle mommy tummy I still struggle with but they easily dress up or down as needed. I would probably fill my whole wardrobe with them if I could.

  8. That’s a great shirt! These days (still dealing with a post-partum pooch) my “confidence shirt” is a blazer over a colorful or patterned top. (I’m back at work.) It looks really put-together and covers up the lumpy areas that I’m not very happy with.

  9. Erin says:

    I recently (finally!) bought some skinny jeans and that is how they make me feel… I do need to find a top to go with it. I also have a designer dress that was a recent splurge that is perfect when I need to dress up. I’m realizing that the way clothes make me feel when I wear them is far more important than how many I own and how cheaply I got them.

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