I'm very late to this party. As in, "the guests have already finished dinner and are on to dessert" late. I always thought button-down shirts were stiff, sweaty, and uncomfortable. But oh, how wrong I was. It's only this year that I've finally come to realize the potential of the simple top, its versatility, and the ease with which I can transform an otherwise sloppy look. I don't think I was the only one convinced that button-downs were old-school and boring, but I'm here to show off exactly how wrong I was.
Below are five styling ideas that prove the versatility and all-around coolness of this simple wardrobe basic. All that's needed is a little bit of inspiration, and it turns out that was all it took for me. While I'd point out that material choice is of utmost importance—I'm partial to silk and linen, which both handle sweat and wrinkles well—when you find the style that works for you, it's like discovering a secret weapon you never knew was in your arsenal.
Whether I'm now dressing up jeans for the office, or styling it with a miniskirt for a weekend going out, I've found that I've been sleeping on the button-down all along. Well, not anymore. Read on for styling ideas I'm into along with some shopping to help inspire you too.
An oversize button-down is a cool layering piece to style over a fitted dress or tee and jeans.
Available in sizes 00 to 14.
Available in sizes 12 to 24.
Available in sizes 2-4.
Try dressing down a flirty, ruffled blouse with simpler pieces like a button-down skirt or track pants.
Available in sizes 0 to 14.
Available in sizes 14 to 16.
Available in size 1.
Refresh a classic striped button-down by pairing it with a top underneath in a contrasting color.
Available in sizes UK 6 to UK 14.
Available in sizes 34 to 40.
Available in sizes UK 6 to 14.
For a less stuffy take on styling a button-down, consider leaving the top done up while leaving the bottom unbuttoned—it's perfect for summer.
Available in sizes UK 6 to UK 16.
Available in sizes 10 to 18.
Available in sizes XXS to XXL.
Nothing is more classic than a crisp white button-down. Mix with stripes or simple hues like red and blue for an ultra-sleek look.
Available in sizes XS to L.
Available in sizes FR 34 to 48.
Available in sizes X to 4X.
Now you're all set to try a button-down too.