This Chic Basic Is Every French Girl's Layering Go-To for Fall


(Image credit: @aja.bdgi)

When it comes to basics, there's no one we trust more than the French, who've more than proven their ability to turn simple wardrobe staples from boring to enviable. And of all the essentials our favorite French women wear most, none is more key to a crisp, chic collection come fall than a white button-down shirt. Whether they wear theirs pants-less with bloomers, layered underneath a cozy knit, or styled backward for a peekaboo back moment, our friends from Paris always succeed at creating inspo around their poplin shirts.

Of course, not all white button-downs are created equal. If you don't pick the right one, you could easily end up with an overly wrinkled, oddly fitting, or weirdly see-through style that simply won't get the job done. The 28 options below, however, feature none of the aforementioned shortcomings. Keep scrolling to shop the basic of all basics for fall.

The Best White Button-Downs


(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

No pants, no problem—that is, if you have on a crisp button-down shirt and some sparkly knee-high Saint Laurent boots.

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(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

Midi denim skirts are chic enough on their own, but when styled with a tucked-in button-down shirt, they're practically perfect.

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(Image credit: @annalauremais)

Paris Fashion Week is no match for a buttoned-up poplin shirt when it's paired with a khaki bomber jacket and pleated miniskirt.

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(Image credit: @leasy_inparis)

The possibilities are endless when you have a clean canvas like this button-down. Flip it around, tuck it in to some perfect-fitting Levi's, and leave it unbuttoned for a low-key sexy look.

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(Image credit: @aja.bdgi)

Layering isn't always the easiest task, but when a white poplin shirt is the base, the process is as simple as throwing on a neutral knit, some skinny pants, and a pair of riding boots.

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When it's not yet cold enough for a full-blown jacket but too chilly to wear just a tank, throw on a button-down. It's the perfect transitional topper.

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(Image credit: @claire_most)

This look is proof that basics don't have to be boring. Instead, they're perfect for playing around with different styling techniques.

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Senior Fashion Editor

Eliza Huber is a New York City–based fashion editor who specializes in trend reporting, brand discovery, and celebrity style. She joined Who What Wear in 2021 after almost four years on the fashion editorial team at Refinery29, the job she took after graduating with a marketing degree from the University of Iowa. She has since launched two monthly columns, Let's Get a Room and Ways to Wear; profiled the likes of Dakota Fanning, Diane Kruger, Katie Holmes, and Sabrina Carpenter for WWW's monthly cover features; and reported on everything from the relationship between Formula One and fashion to the top trends from fashion month, season after season. Eliza now lives on the Upper West Side and spends her free time researching F1 fashion imagery for her side Instagram accounts @thepinnacleoffashion and @f1paddockfits, running in Central Park, and scouring eBay for '90s Prada and '80s Yves Saint Laurent.