Street Style Ways to Breathe New Life Into the Classic Button-Down

When it comes to fashion, we’re often drawn to trends. Everything from feathered hems to chain details to patches and saturated colors. But there are a few wardrobe essentials you need in your closet that’ll last longer than any craze. Button-down shirts are one of those must-have building blocks that every fashion fanatic has in their wardrobe. During the recent Spring 2020 shows, the street style set demonstrated the countless ways to fashionably rework the classic silhouette. The usually strictly business shirts may not be the most captivating pieces on their own, but they provide the perfect backdrop for the more camp pieces in your fashion arsenal. Need a little outfit inspo? See the infinite ways to style traditional button-downs.

The Clash

Don’t be afraid to mix a striped shirt with another pattern. In this case, the preppy vibe and similar scale of the prints stop the outfit from coming across as over the top. The shorter hemline also helps.

Come Undone

How you button a button-down can totally refresh your look. There’s a real athleisure feel to this pale yellow shirt with scrunched sleeves and open neckline with exposed strap. Note the striped cuffs just visible under the sleeves.

Rework Workwear

A blazer and soft-colored button-down is the ultimate work pairing. Make it work off the clock by layering the combo with a barely visible skirt or pair of bike shorts.

Tie One On

A leopard midi skirt is a modern wardrobe must-have so pairing it with a classic white button-down is fitting. Tie the hem of the shirt into a knot and leave the button-down unbuttoned to reveal a hint of bra — or bandeau — to add some sultriness. Don’t forget to work in a pair of square-toe shoes.

Show Those Stripes

Give your go-to striped shirt new life by wearing it over a faded denim midi skirt. Work in a raffia bag and stark sandals for serious street style vibes.

Cozy Chic

Take the tailored style of the button-down in a bohemian direction with wide-leg trousers and a coordinated oversized scarf (or blanket coat) draped over your shoulders.

Perfect Pairing

A striped shirt plus a vest equals one winning combo. Add in a snakeskin miniskirt, a beret and ankle-strap pumps to bring it all together.

Shine All the Time

Make a sexy patent miniskirt work in daytime with a fanny pack worn crossbody over a white button-down. Don’t be afraid to rock the shirt slightly rumpled with rolled sleeves.

To the Max

Embrace your inner maximalist by piling on the layers and contrasting patterns. An asymmetrical scarf print skirt, white T-shirt and statement belt bag are great starting points.

Preppy 2.0

Lean into the preppy vibe by pairing a crisp button-down with white skinny jeans. Throw on a belted trench and colorful heels for a supremely chic finish.

Off-Duty Layers

Combining a button-down with jeans on the weekend is nothing new, but the ensemble instantly becomes more striking by adding in a dark turtleneck. Patent boots, a colorful bag and trendy sunglasses make the look extra.

A Study in Contrast

This mix-and-match ensemble shows how to upgrade a button-down by showing off your bra. There are lots of opposing elements, but the blue and black color palette keeps everything unified. Play around with the type of bra and the number of open buttons on your shirt.

Dress It Up

Use a basic white button-down to rein in statement pieces, like a patchwork trench, scalloped skirt, glittery bag or all three. Slip on opaque black tights to give the outfit more mileage.

Borrowed From the Boys

Keep it comfy by teaming an oversized blue button-down with high-waisted, slightly baggy jeans. Balance out the look with a crop top, statement earrings and sparkly sneakers.

Images: Imaxtree