The button up shirt has to be the sexiest and least sexy thing in the world. For both genders. Sexy because when styled right, it looks AH-mazing. Unsexy because when styled wrong, it can go really wrong and just look awkward. Plus, it reminds us of work which is probably the least appealing thing on the planet. Usually. So what are the best button up shirts to keep your work wardrobe stylish? Keep reading.
I fully intended to shoot this round up of the best button up shirts for you guys. However, 3 weeks of sub-zero temperatures killed all motivation to go outside in anything but a parka. So, you’re just going to have to trust me. Know that I’ve been wearing button ups since my very first interview my freshman year of college. So, I’ve got a ton of experience. I’ve broken my list into 3 categories based on price point and also included the shirts that Matt loves in case you need to pick up some button ups for your guy! I get so many questions about these I figured, why not?
First, why do you need a button up? They are a must have for any girl who works in an office. There’s a reason why it made my list of the 7 essentials for the female professional! It doesn’t matter what type of dress code is required. Whether you’re super corporate or ultra casual, you can always use a button up. It’s also good to have a good quality one on hand at all times in case you get the call for that interview you’ve been coveting.
And let’s just be clear here. I’m not talking about flannels. While they appear to be really similar to button ups, the material has no structure and therefore, they’re a challenge to style for the corporate workplace. Trust me, you can dress down a button up. However, you can’t dress up a flannel unless you are some kind of fashion wizard.
I’ve been getting a bunch of Instagram DMs from girls just starting out in their career lately. I love it. Go get ’em, ladies! When you’re just starting out, it’s really hard to build a work wardrobe. If you’ve ever read a blog post, you know I believe in finding pieces you can style for any kind of job and also the weekend. It’s tricky. I learned my lesson years ago when I opened up my closet to find I had nothing to wear out on the weekend except… button ups. I’d like to think that by now I’ve mastered that. I hope, at least.
So what do you buy when you’re just beginning and your budget is limited? There are a bunch of great options under $50 and that’s exactly where I’d start. I’d also start with the classics. One white button up and one blue one. I don’t know why 95% of the workforce wears these colors to death but they do. Luckily, they match with just about everything so they’re always good to have in your closet. Once you’re ready, throw in a little plaid or gingham.
A few years of experience.
Once you’ve got a few years (and budget) under your belt, trade up. Keep the lower priced button ups that you love but experiment with a higher tier of top. The quality and the fit will open your eyes to a whole new way of dressing. People will take note too. Here are some of my favorites.
C-Level AKA the executive.
Little excites you about going into the office on a daily basis (unless of course you love your day job). Why not treat yourself with a fancy button down? This kind of investment piece is something that will last you years if not decades. I purchased a few more expensive button downs when I was working in consulting and I still have most of them in my closet years later. The best part is that they still look great versus the lower priced ones that have collars that never seem to keep shape.
This one is a little added bonus for today’s post. You guys gave me a ton of feedback over on Instagram that you wanted to see more ideas for how to style your guy. I totally get that most men could not care less about fashion. Being the stylish gal that you are, sometimes you just want him to be on your level. These Jared Lang button downs are the ones that Matt swears by. The cuff is sometimes different than the color of the shirt so those are super stylish. They are more slim fit as well so if that sounds like your guy, give these a go. You can always look for these on sites like Gilt, Nordstrom Rack, or Hautelook. They go in and out of stock quite a bit so keep checking back every few weeks if you don’t see something of interest.
Trust me when I say, your man will look darn good in these! Even you will be impressed (with yourself because obviously you’re the one who bought them).
What did you think of this list of the best button up shirts? Was it helpful the way I broke this down?