You Can Wear This Spring Staple With Leggings, Jeans and More—Here's Proof

Ah, the humble button-down shirt. Possibly the most versatile wardrobe staple you can buy, aside from maybe classic blue jeans. What a shirt does that jeans don’t, however, is make any outfit you pair it with look polished. Hands down, a classic shirt is the easiest basic you can buy to elevate your wardrobe, and every good capsule deserves one. 

When I say versatile, I mean it. Whether you opt for a crisp poplin, classic Oxford, silk or linen style, there are countless ways to style a shirt. In winter, tuck it in, button it up and layer it under a knit, and in summer, it even works unbuttoned as a beach cover-up. But I think a shirt truly comes into its own in spring. It’s the perfect layer thrown over a ribbed vest and leggings and trainers for a weekend or alone with denim or tailoring for a smart way to combat warmer days. You can even tie it up as an extra layer over your summer dresses to help you get more wear out of them—the options are truly endless. 


(Image credit: @symphonyofsilk)

A classic white shirt like this is a wardrobe staple.

Sometimes, though, it’s easy to get into the habit of wearing your shirts with the same outfits every time. I know I’m certainly guilty of turning to my go-to shirt-and-jeans pairings on busy mornings. So I thought I’d start saving some of the best shirt outfits I come across while scrolling in order to unlock some more exciting combinations that feel particularly fresh for right now. 

I’ve pulled together some recent winning looks below that I think you're going to love and shopped them out with my tried-and-tested *perfect* shirt recommendations. So whether you’ve been looking for that ultimate white shirt, a springy bright one or a classic linen style, or you’re simply looking for inspiration on how to style the shirts you already own for spring and beyond, keep scrolling to see eight fresh ideas. 

1. Half-Tucked


(Image credit: @kingharriet52)

Harriet shows us how the simple half-tuck styling trick can elevate a classic outfit. 

2. Over Leggings


(Image credit: @tamaramory)

The easiest way to dress up your favourite low-key leggings? Throw on an unbuttoned shirt. 

3. Unbuttoned With a Vest and Wide-Leg Trousers


(Image credit: @_jessicaskye)

Linen shirts are a summer saviour. Fashion people are wearing them open over a ribbed vest and wide-leg trousers this season. 

4. As a Cover-Up Over a Dress


(Image credit: @naaomiross)

Don't just wear your shirts to the office. They make the perfect holiday cover-ups as well, or they even work thrown over a dress for brunch in the city. Tie it at the waist for another cute look. 

5. Tucked Into Tailored Trousers


(Image credit: @tylynnnguyen)

For a failsafe polished look, tuck your favourite style into tailored trousers, and add chic accessories. Short sleeves offer a nice spring twist on this classic.

6. With Blue Jeans and Stripes


(Image credit: @symphonyofsilk)

On mornings when you don't know what to wear or need a little confidence boost from knowing your outfit is spot-on, pair a classic white shirt with blue jeans, ballet flats and a striped knit thrown over your shoulders. Effortless. 

7. As a Co-Ord


(Image credit: @laurennicolefk)

Shirting co-ords are really taking off this year and for good reason. They offer a smart yet relaxed all-in-one outfit.

8. Tied Up With a Slip Skirt


(Image credit: @naaomiross)

Get creative and knot your shirt at the waist over a silky slip skirt for a different silhouette that makes it looks like you've put much more effort into your outfit than you actually have. 

Up Next: I'm a Fashion Editor—Here Are 6 Jeans-and-Sandals Looks That Are Inspiring Me

Emily Dawes
Affiliate Editor

Emily Dawes is the very definition of a fashion multi hyphenate. An editor, stylist and writer with over eleven years’ worth of experience in the industry, Emily is known for her impeccable taste, elegant outfit choices and being able to spot the next big thing in fashion from a mile off. Our readers loyally trust her advice and shopping suggestions; so much so she began her own column documenting the most expensive-looking pieces on the high street, which has become a top-performing piece of content for the Who What Wear brand.

Emily has worked for Who What Wear UK since 2020 in a myriad as roles, spanning from contributing editor and branded content editor. Now, she holds the position of affiliate editor and is responsible for the brand’s overall affiliate strategy, ideation and content execution. Working closely with Who What Wear UK’s affiliate manager, Emily has been instrumental in securing and nourishing brand partnerships, surpassing her goals as standard. Leading the team in tentpole shopping moments including Black Friday and Peak Trading, with Emily’s guidance and leadership, team Who What Wear is in a stronger affiliate position than ever before.

Prior to joining the Who What Wear team, Emily served as YOU Magazine’s acting fashion editor where she managed the fashion team and oversaw all fashion content output for the fast-paced weekly title. Emily is a stylist in her own right, having worked with a slew of VIP clients including writer and television personality, Elizabeth Day, as well as styling and art directing several celebrity cover shoots for glossy print publication, Grazia. Her adept fashion knowledge means brands regularly sought out to work with her as a consultant: previously she has developed marketing and content plans for brands for Cocoon and Edge of Ember. Before entering the industry, Emily obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and American Studies with International Study from Nottingham University. Fun fact: Emily spent a year studying in America which saw her join a sorority during her time there.

When she’s not working or tracking down the chicest, new-in items to share with our audience, you’ll find Emily bestowing her East London home with her stylish flair, reading everything from the classics to cowboy romance novels and escaping to the country with husband, baby boy and dog, Roo, whenever she can.

Emily is currently on maternity leave.