11 Ways to Wear a Button-Down That Prove You Can Basically Live In It
If I could only wear one top for the rest of my life, the choice would be easy (and not because I don't appreciate variation): my dad's hand-me-down oxford shirt. It works as a beach cover-up, office blouse, going-out top, and even a makeshift Halloween costume. Not only is the humble button-down the most multipurpose piece in my closet, it's also anything but boring when you know how to style it and what to pair it with.
To make my case, I rounded up 11 different examples of fashionable ways to wear a button-down shirt that appeal to a variety of occasions, moods, and styles. Ready to get some mileage out of this unsung wardrobe hero? Read on to learn all the stylish ways to wear a button-down to work, dinner, dates, and everywhere in between. Getting dressed is about to get so much easier.
Tie It Into a Crop Top
Tucked in and buttoned up, this outfit is ready for the boardroom; unbuttoned and tied up, it's ready for a night out. If you need an outfit that will transition easily from day to night, this is it.
Go Oversize and Accessorise
If you want to make your classic shirt more exciting, focus your efforts on accessorising. Think funky sunglasses, statement shoes, and a handbag that adds a pop of colour. For a high-fashion feel, opt for a loose, slouchy style like the one above.
Layer It Under a Summer Dress
As the seasons begin to change, we tend to forget just how easy it is to repurpose our summer wardrobes by layering them with other items. Make your slip dress office-appropriate and cool weather–friendly with a button-down underneath.
Let It Hang Off Your Shoulders
Another easy way to make a button-down feel fun in the evening is by undoing the top buttons and sliding it off your shoulders. Do a half-tuck into your favourite pair of jeans and call it a night. And there's also the added bonus of forgoing a bra when styled this way.
Pair It With a Pantsuit
A pantsuit is the oxford shirt's natural habitat. Paired with a plaid matching set, it will feel more modern and stylish but just as crisp, making it ideal for conservative and creative offices alike.
Give It a High-Fashion Upgrade
If you've been wearing out your favourite classic oxford and feel ready to throw in another to the mix, consider investing in a high-fashion alternative. Look for one that features some of the classic features with an interesting twist, like colour-blocking or exaggerated sleeves. Pair it with some simple wide-leg slacks, block heels, and a top-handle bag and never look back.
Play With Shape to Give It an Edge
We love how this outfit takes all the classic pieces and gives them a quirky, bold edge. The pants feature a classic fit, but the floral embroidery makes them fresh and playful; the mules step things up a notch with a bold fuchsia hue; and the unbuttoned styling gives the oxford shirt an edgier silhouette.
Leave It Open and Belt It
If you thrifted an oversize oxford shirt and it falls within that awkward length between a shirt and dress, consider layering it with a denim skirt of the same wash. Embrace the slouchy fit while giving it a little more shape with a bumbag or a simple belt.
Mix It With Fun Prints
A pinstripe button-down is one of the easiest things to experiment with when it comes to print-mixing. This is because the pattern is so classic and simple that it adds just enough contrast without clashing or feeling too wild. Pola-dots? Yes. Animal print? Absolutely. Plaid? Of course. A wrap skirt is a good way to give the outfit more movement, too.
Keep Things Classic and Clean
Tailored, simple, and clean, a button-down and blue jean combo is the perfect for canvas for just about any occasion. Add some personality with layered necklaces, bangles, and rings.
Tuck Into a High-Waist
For a tailored and put-together look, simply opt for high-waisted bottoms and then tuck your button-down all the way in. Though still loose and comfortable, it looks more form-fitting and allows you to show off the stylish details of your high-waisted bottoms rather than covering them up with your top.
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