If you’d ask me about staples in my wardrobe than a button down shirt would be one of my immediate answers. They are versatile, add a bit of prep or masculinity to any outfit and are easy to dress up or dress down. In other words, they are perfect for any occasion and I wear them year round, but especially in spring and fall. Since it is almost March and spring will hopefully happen sooner than later, I decided to show you how I style up a button down shirt.
The shirt I decided to use is this coral pink number with a peter pan collar. It is by H&M and this exact blouse is still available, be it in different collars. This shirt is slightly tailored. In my case that meant I had to size up quite significantly to make it fit properly. I thought I’d opt for styling up a not so standard color as a white or black shirt are so easy to combine. Instead, I wanted to take on a bit of a challenge and show you how you can even make a brighter color such as this one work no matter what. I also wore this shirt in one of my spring lookbooks from 2014. You can find that outfit in this blog post.
1.) Shirt & trousers
A classic combo that becomes less standard by playing with patterns and color. The trousers are H&M as well and have a windowpane print which I think adds a bit of edge to this outfit. For shoe options I would pair this with a pair of heels (nude or light pink) or add a black boot if you want to dress down or are trying to keep warm.
2.) Preppy collar
A high neckline sweater can be layered up by adding a button down shirt quite easily. A basic color such as this grey can be lifted slightly by adding that pop of pink underneath. The sweater is a thin, quite loose knit from Jacqueline Young for Only. I love this sweater because it allows me to wear my button down shirts all throughout winter if need be. Paired with a skirt, this combination turns a feminine outfit into a preppy one. Paired with a pair of trousers or jeans, the outfit becomes more masculine.
3.) Tuck it in a skirt
If pants aren’t really your thing or if you’re looking for an outfit that instantly makes the shirt office appropriate, tucking it into a skirt is your best option. Depending on the type of skirt you can create a look as sophisticated and classy as possible. This knit houndstooth (or pied-de-poule) print skirt is by Costes and a great basic to have. I love houndstooth print because it always adds a slightly retro vibe to any outfit. I would pair this with thick black tights and black heels to create an elongated shape. Finish it up with simple, dainty accessories and you’re all set.
4.) Dressin’ casual
To be honest this isn’t necessarily a way I wear button downs all that often, but it is most certainly an option. I sometimes wear a button down over a dress and tie it up to create that casual 90s vibe. Usually this happens on vacation, when I try to pack as little as possible and try to make the most of the wardrobe I am carrying. In case you are interested in creating a capsule wardrobe, wearing one piece multiple ways is a must, and one way to do that is to sometimes get a bit more creative with the items that you do have. The dress is H&M by the way.
5.) Smashing acid
The ultimate casual outfit: a shirt and a pair of jeans. I chose acid wash denim as the color went best with the pink of the shirt. In addition, I find that acid wash jeans always make an outfit more casual than a regular pair of jeans. The bleached effect, paired with a pair of sneakers, will turn any outfit into the ultimate casual outfit. The shirt then provides a nice clash between preppy and casual and for some reason I always enjoy these types of outfits as they always have an unexpected factor.
How would you wear a button down shirt?