The White Button-Down Shirt

How many white button-downs are too many? No, seriously, I'm asking. Because I need to know if I'm getting into epidemic territory.

There's something so chic about a white button-down. There's this feeling of are you coming or are you going? If you don't know what I mean, throw one on and see how you feel. Do you feel like a corporate mistress? A bohemian artisan? Or an It Girl wearing the shirt of her latest romantic fling (which started at 2 am the morning before)?


Those who subscribe to my newsletter know the white button-down to be an essential, something every woman needs in her wardrobe. To me, it is on par with the white tee. Something you can't live without. And as versatile. But more elevated. The white button-down shirt will become the workhorse of your wardrobe - if you let it - taking you from day to night and back again.


I prefer mine oversized to inspire that "I borrowed it from my husband" look. {tip: shop the men's section if this is your vibe. Yes, the buttons may be contrary to what you're used to, but I promise that no one will notice} If I'm wearing it under a blazer or in a more professional setting (think: Wall Street interview), I may opt for a more fitted look. I also prefer no pockets at the chest, but that can be hard to come by. It seems as though every white button-down has an obligatory pocket or two. Instead, take a good look in the mirror to make sure the pocket isn't adding visual bulk at the bust. And speaking of busts, button gaping is a real issue, I know. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing what buttons will do until you try it on. If the occasion allows, I opt to undo as many buttons as I am comfortable with. It gives a sexy (but not TOO sexy), low-cut look. For times when I have to be more, well, buttoned up, fabric tape or a safety pin goes a long way towards solving the issue. When it comes to sleeve length, I say go for a long sleeve version. Roll up the sleeves when you need to project a "cool girl" vibe, or it gets too warm. Short sleeve versions often give off camp counselor vibes - which, is a look unto itself.


Once you've found the perfect white button-down shirt (or two, or ten), you'll find yourself always reaching for them. As I said, a wardrobe workhorse. Over jeans with a loafer, it's a perfect running errands shirt. Thrown on with a pair of trousers and a heel, it's a great top for a night of cocktails. There is no end to the ways of styling it or how to wear it.


So, how many white button-downs are too many? The world - or at least this woman - may never know.


SHOP some of my choices for a perfect white button-down below.

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