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Aug 16, 2023

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The ultimate MVP of your closet If I had to write a love letter to one item of clothing, it would be the button-down shirt. Ask anyone who knows me, and they’ll tell you that I'm wearing one 80% of

The ultimate MVP of your closet

If I had to write a love letter to one item of clothing, it would be the button-down shirt. Ask anyone who knows me, and they’ll tell you that I'm wearing one 80% of the time—year-round. In the warmer months, I like to throw one on over light summer dresses, pair it with matching shorts, or pack it as a beach cover-up. And in the colder months, it’s the perfect layering piece, worn over thin turtlenecks and under sleek waistcoats. This wardrobe staple satisfies nearly every dress code and befits almost every occasion you can imagine, never making you feel out of place. Even some of my favorite fashion moments feature button-downs: Sharon Stone at the 1998 Academy Awards, Tom Cruise in Risky Business, Jenna Lyons at Solange’s wedding in 2014, and Zendaya at the 2022 Academy Awards.

From casual outfits to fancier looks, the button-down is the MVP of your closet. But with the plethora of button-downs available on the market, what should you be shopping for? Jessica Rawls, co-founder of Brooklyn-based brand Alice Pearl and the creator of the most perfect white linen shirt, tells us that “it all comes down to the fit and material.” She explains: “Contrary to its name, button-downs don’t have to feel or look so buttoned-up. Comfort is key, so know what kind of silhouette you prefer: slim or oversized. For every day, I love linens and crisp cotton poplins, but for evening, I like more luxurious materials like silk and sheer fabrications.”

You can truly never have too many button-down shirts. From timeless white shirts to striped iterations and breezy floral prints, shop 10 versatile styles you’ll want to wear on repeat.

Designed by an experienced fashion editor, so you can trust it to be perfect in every way. It's sustainably made with a menswear-inspired, oversized fit, and the mother-of-pearl buttons add an extra special touch. We got you: the coordinating shorts are available here.

Shades of brown have entered their main character era, stealing the spotlight as the most popular neutral. And if they come in stripes? Even better. Rich chocolate hues look gorgeous with chunky gold jewelry—we recommend keeping several buttons un-buttoned and topping it off with layers of necklaces.

This breezy floral shirt from Australian label Spell's new Flora collection should appeal to anyone with cottagecore or boho instincts. Crafted in the brand's signature 50/50 blend of Lenzing™ Ecovero™ viscose and organic cotton and featuring dropped shoulders and fabric-covered buttons, this is the ideal blend of relaxed and polished. The Flora print here features golden-hued florals framed by pastel pink squares that connect back to the checkered prints throughout the collection.

When it comes to button-downs, the best finishing touches are rolled-up sleeves and a popped collar. And when we say you need shirts in every color, we mean it. This bold red pairs beautifully with white maxi skirts and every kind of denim.

If you have a weakness for contrasting patterns and prints, this delightful mix of florals and stripes from Alémais needs to be in your shopping cart stat. Utterly unique and beautiful, this will become one of your all-time favorites. Complete the look with the matching cargo pants, here.

For your next black-tie affair (or cocktail hour) channel Sharon Stone and Zendaya with this silk shirt from Gia Studios. With the longline cut, you can easily tuck it into an embellished skirt or knot the front and make your own cropped situation. The two-button cuffs deserve their own praise.

Chic and feminine, this airy cotton chiffon top from Brooklyn-based designer Christine Alcalay is the elegant piece that will take you from day-to-night. You'll love every thoughtful detail: Peter Pan collar, puff sleeves, expert ruching at the yoke. The structured neckline makes you look put together and the relaxed body keeps you comfortable.

Sheer pieces are having a moment and this updated take on the traditional button-down from Attersee is the perfect piece for throwing on over lingerie and delicate intimates for a daring look. You'll love the dramatic, elongated sleeves.

If you want your tank top to be a little more sophisticated, a little more refined, the sleeveless button-down will get the job done. You can style this cute design from Donni. with basically anything, but wearing it with its matching pants feels particularly chic.

Come fall, you'll want thicker fabrications, and this leather wonder from By Malene Birger is the minimal must-buy of the new season. Wear it as a transitional jacket or layer with your favorite tees and tanks for an effortlessly cool uniform.

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