After presenting at a seminar recently, I sat down at my table ready to dive into my glass of chardonnay when the woman next to me said, “I hate to bother you, but may I ask you a styling question?” Always ready to offer style advice I naturally said, “Yes, ask away.” She looked at me with desperation in her eyes and said- “What is the one clothing item I must have in my closet?” Just as I was about to answer I noticed the 8 other women sitting at the table lean in to try and hear the answer- I replied, loud enough for everyone at the table to hear of course, “A white button down shirt”. Then everyone gave me a very puzzled look and leaned away… The woman next me replied, “Really? A white button down shirt? But that’s so, unstylish?”
Why you need a White Button Down Shirt
The poor white button down shirt- it has such a bad reputation for being frumpy, uncool and boring. When in reality it’s actually quite the opposite. The versatility of this shirt makes it a key staple in anyone’s closet. We all know it’s perfect for work, but pair it with skinny jeans and red pumps and it’s fun and sexy. Layer it under a floral dress, add boots and it’s downright chic. Not to mention, this shirt is a key ingredient for mixing and matching success!
The white button down shirt is available in various materials (cotton poplin, cotton / spandex, polyester, chiffon, etc) and fits (regular, tailored, crop, etc) so it’s perfect for any personal style.
The White Button Down Shirt and the Classic Personal Style
Classic pieces make up the classic personal style so it’s no wonder that a button down shirt is a go to item. A classic crisp cotton WBD in a traditional fit can be paired pants, jeans, a skirt, cardigan, blazer and so much more.
Poplin shirt from Talbots
The White Button Down Shirt and the Trendy Personal Style
When you think trendy you don’t think “classic pieces”. But, there is still always room of the WBD shirt in a trendsetter’s closet. Again, it’s easy to mix, match and layer, making it a key item- even for the trendy set. This crop sheer top takes the WBD shirt to the next level.
Elizabeth and James- Jeza Button Down from Saks Fifth Ave
The White Button Down Shirt and the Modern Personal Style
The modern personal style is a mix of classic and trendy. Taking classic elements and incorporating dramatic looks and flare. So, if you have a modern style the allure of the classic button down pulls you in, but you may switch it up a bit by wearing it in a pop color, a more tailored fit, or even a material other than the classic cotton.
Fitted Non-Iron Sateen Shirt from Banana Republic
The White Button Down Shirt and the Boho Chic Personal Style
Yes, the WBD shirt can even fit into the fluid and relaxed boho chic style. Comfort and natural fibers are important to the woman with a boho chic style and the WBD shirt transforms to give her just that. A tunic style top in a relaxed fit makes it prefect for this personal style.
Luna Button Down Tunic from Anthropologie
Dress it up, dress it down, tuck it in, leave it out, ½ tuck it, wrap tuck it- with so many ways to wear a white button down shirt it’s no wonder why it’s a staple in every wardrobe.
Over To You
Now I’d love to hear from you! How do you wear your white button down shirt?
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Monisha Kapur provides Moms and busy women with clear and simple ways on how to dress according to their personal style in quick, convenient and affordable ways through her company, 344PM. Monisha lives in Upstate NY with her husband and 7 year old daughter (aka her assistant buyer). Follow Monisha on Facebook,Twitter or Google+ for tips on how you can dress your style.