How to Style a Button Down Shirt

In the continued quest to help you multitask your closet … today I’m showing you how to style the classic button down shirt.  I was going for five looks but true to my usual I came up with a few bonus looks too!  While the classic white button down will work, I often opt for a stripe button down to add a little more interest.  There are several examples in the gallery with a white (and even a pink) button down though.  Most of these looks were created using a stripe button down from J.Crew which comes in either classic or slim fit (I have the slim fit).  Uniqlo (which is the brand of my white button down) also makes a stripe version.  #AllGoodChoices

More Stripe Button Down Shirts

Because a stripe shirt was used to create 80% of my looks, I also included a ton more options at all sorts of price points!  #StripeShirtExtravaganza

Okay, shirt covered.  Let’s look at ways to style it!!  #LetsHaveSomeFun

Under a sweater

Need an extra layer of warmth?  Add a button down underneath a crew neck or v-neck sweater.  This provides not only warmth but a professional collar as a sweater back drop. No one does this look better than @cappyandlee so you should check out her Instagram page!  You can tucked or leave it untucked – it really is personal preference.  I’m generally an untucked gal.  #MoreInteresting

The pieces from my look are mostly older (J.Crew Popcorn Sweater, Rag & Bone Simone and Tory Burch Heels) but below are three looks that would be perfect paired with the same stripe button down I am wearing.  I even love the shoe picks already shown with each of the outfits!

Stripe Sweater ($60 on sale!) | Ivory Cable Sweater ($47 on sale) | Red Sweater ($55 and size up to layer) | Pants (all three looks) | Navy Slingback (Alternative) | Leopard Flat or Heel | Classic Navy Pump

Classic Suit

I hesitated to put the obvious on the list but the button down shirt and suit are like two peas in a pod.  They were meant to coexist.  Have fun with the patterns and colors though … no really … show your personality.  See a few more examples of how to do this below.  All the details for this look can be found in this post.

Upgrade Your Denim

Casual Friday? Travel Day? Weekend Brunch? Whatever the reason, nothing upgrades denim like a button down.  I will often add a blazer (usually I’m sparing it from suitcase scrunch) but it’s not required.  There are several looks in the gallery at the end with just the button down sans blazer.  Note:  I frequently belt this look to make it look a little more pulled together.  

Under a Dress

Make your summer dresses last one more season by adding a button down underneath.  You will be surprised how much it changes the look!!  The second outfit is from Ann Taylor last Spring but their camp shirt is one they carry all the time in different colors and patterns.  (It isn’t a full button down which makes it great for layering).  See several more looks with this same camp shirt in the gallery at the end.  It was a part of last summers capsule wardrobe and I wear it all the time!

Prep up a Pencil Skirt

Consider it a uniform. Classic button down with classic pencil skirt.  You can mix and match the colors, add some stripes (or any other print) for fun but the formula never changes.

With Trendy Trousers

Track stripes, paper-bag waists, wide legs … trousers are anything but boring these days.  I don’t wear tons of pants but I find when I do, they always have an element of interest.  Above is a pair of wide leg pants made by Leith and track pants from Rag & Bone.  Pairing trendy pants with the classic button down helps counter their trendiness in the office.  Here are a few pants that caught my eye that would pair beautiful with the stripe (or white) button-down. #PickStripe

BOSS Plaid | Lewit Plaid | Silk Joggers | Rag & Bone Plaid | Boden Paperbag Waist

Pattern Play with a Blazer

Consider this a subset of the suit or denim upgraded looks.  Whichever look you are going for, don’t be afraid to mix the patterns and textures.  Pattern play is a sure fire way to add interest and dimension to your everyday uniform.  My Floral Blazer is nearly two years old but you can still find random sizes occasionally.  Below are five excellent alternative candidates.

Veronica Beard Plaid | Floral | Veronica Beard Tweed | Halogen Tweed | Plaid Double Breasted (Under $100)

Here is the striped blouse paired with the tweed blazer in the middle.

Even More Button Down Looks

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How do you button down?  Comment below with your favorite look!

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