The white cotton-poplin blouse. Is there anything more classic?
The black silk blouse. Is there anything more demure?
The deep navy with white stars chiffon blouse. Is there anything more cool?
Think Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy… A white dress shirt with a fishtail black skirt at a gala. Simple and eternally chic.
Think Carine Roitfeld… A black silk shirt with a tight leather pencil skirt en route to a Paris summer fashion show. Demure and smartly sexy.
Think Mrs. Mia Wallace… A white dress shirt (don’t forget French cuffs!), black slacks, and no shoes. Powerful and relaxed.
Think of the dress shirt: the women’s blouse.
Button down blouses are SO much more than just for those sophisticated women. And they are so not just for office hours.
Un-botton one more button than you normally would and your shirt is ready for after-hours.
Rolled up sleeves and a pair of destroyed denim shorts and you’re Alexa Chung running to and from ballet class in Soho.
A button down shirt brings a touch of class to denim shorts.
Just the shirt? You’re Kate Moss on a beach in Thailand using her boyfriend’s white dress shirt as a coverup.
Skinny jeans that are cuffed, a blouse with one button less than you’d think you would be able to get away with, and a pair of high-heel sandals? Who are you, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley?
It’s relaxed. It’s so comfortable. It’s versatile.
What Makes the Best Button Down Shirt for Women?
- Its ability to hold shape
When you roll up your sleeves, it holds the rolls up. No constant adjustments.
- Ideally you don’t have to wear a bra underneath.
Rumor has it that’s why Equipment blouses have two front pockets — to hide any shadows poking through.
- Wrinkle-free material
Unless you’re into a wrinkled look, it should be made out of a material that won’t need constant ironing or starching.
- You should be able to comfortably lift your arms over your head
This is especially important if you hate doing up buttons all the time… Just pop it on and off each time! Also this test will eliminate that “gape” that some women get from button down shirts.
A few I dig…
The only thing that should be stiff is your collar.
Above all, and like most clothing, you should feel comfortable in it.