Any top or blouse with a stiff collar could easily be mistaken as a “formal top” or a “corporate top” and could thus be discarded when choosing options for more casual occasions, say, if you'r going to the mall or spending a day at the beach. Well, we’re here to debunk that notion for you. Think of a collared shirt as one of your wardrobe’s building blocks, just like your perfect-fitting pair of jeans and your go-to little black dress.
The formality that a collar exudes shouldn’t limit your style but should serve as a gateway for experimentation: maybe you could pop it up; maybe you could tie that button-down around your waist; or maybe you could layer as you please. To put it plainly, let the collared shirt be a top-of-mind option for whatever occasion. Here are some ways you could play around with it the Preview way:
1. Opt for Oversized.
If you’re used to button-down shirts with a slim fit, then you might want to grab one in a size (or two) larger. The great thing about oversized shirts is you (literally) get more room to be adventurous with your outfits.
Check out how these street style stars below curated their looks: They wore theirs with loose trousers tapered at the end and finished their looks with a belt to cinch the waist. The pointed black boots give an extra edge, too.
Here’s one we’re totally dying to cop ASAP. There’s a preconceived notion that button-downs typically come (and are typically worn) in neutral colors, but street style says otherwise. Go crazy by layering bold hues and don’t be afraid to play with a different silhouette!
2. Go garçon.
For those who don’t know, garçon is French for boy. As we’ve seen in multiple outfits by fashionphiles, there seems to be a trend oriented towards that French tomboyish look. Read: nonchalant jeans or trousers, a crisp white button-down top, and a just-as-insouciant muted blazer for good measure.
The look below is proof that you can adorn and prettify your garçon look to your heart’s content. Add a sleek black necktie for a sensuous touch or a mini handbag to keep just the essentials—because hey, keeping it lean is very French, right?
Leandra Medine shows us how it’s done: Here, she accessorizes an otherwise somber-toned outfit by wearing Dorothy Gale-esque ruby heels for a much needed color.
3. Try it with slim shorts
If your fashion history is still in check, then you’ll recall how the women wore short-sleeved button-downs with hot pants (shorts that cinched the waist and slightly flared out). How do we update this trend into 2019? Go low-waisted, go slim.
You probably know that cycling shorts are all the rage right now. This sportswear item gives you the opportunity to dress up a casual outfit—Georgina Wilson does so through a monochromatic look instead of the typical B&W route.
4. Play with prints, please.
We’ve scoured the 'gram for some colorful collared confections and here’s the lowdown: The ‘80s are still in full swing. Whether you like your prints short-sleeved or long and oversized, a crazy printed blouse adds a good dose of retro zest.
In the outfit below, the first thing that will catch your eye would most likely be the prints; but look closely and you’ll see that another button-down is used as a waist-cincher (it adds volume, too). Obviously, two collared shirts are better than one—even for a chill day out!
5. Dare to don a low V.
Given our country’s bipolar weather conditions, it’s always great to have a piece that can easily go from hot to really hot. In this case, the button-down allows you to bare some skin—like a really deep V-neckline—if you’re gutsy enough to leave most buttons undone.
These two looks prove that such a neckline is best paired with high-waisted anything, plus layered necklaces to accentuate the décolletage area. Now, who said long sleeves only combat the cold?
6. Lounge in pique polos.
Sports collars aren’t just for the tennis court or golf course. Bring the ease and comfort of pique polos into your everyday attire by pairing it with your usual casual pieces—the polo elevates your outfit by adding a nostalgic vibe (the long-sleeved tops as seen below were a big hit in the ‘80s) as well as an androgynous touch when worn with other masculine pieces.
Bea Marin’s look is proof that we never really outgrow our childhood.
Renee de Guzman puts a luxe spin to her billowy top with gold accessories and a trendy body bag.
7. Layer, layer, layer!
If there’s anything that this age of democratized fashion has taught us, then it’s this: Anything goes. Bloggers to everyday fashion folk remind us that at the end of the day, clothes are supposed to be fun and not constricting. And so, if you can wear your collared shirt unbuttoned on a sunny day, you could wear a short-sleeved version with a turtleneck underneath or maybe even a camisole. And you would look just as chic.
Kaila Estrada makes a breezy linen buttondown a cool girl staple via a black turtleneck—wear this when the permits, we guess.
Leave it to Jess Connelly to curate a color combination such as this one: vivid violet and bright red. It’s a sight for sartorial eyes.
8. Denim can do no wrong.
Even the most skilled stylephiles have their off days—sometimes you just run out of inspiration. When all else fails, opt for ol’ reliable denim for a classic look that wouldn’t hurt a fly.
If you gravitate towards light washed denims or indigo ones, then you might want to try a dark wash for a change. It’s a refreshing and modern update for any outfit, especially when worn with a dressy button-down.
9. Suit up.
Blazers are one thing, but a pantsuit is another. For a high impact outfit with minimum effort, put on a bright pantsuit in any color of your choice or go for a Canadian tux if denim is your second skin, as seen in the look below.
Double the impact by matching with your best fashion friend. Another thing to note: Tiny handbags worn close to the body are so now.
10. Swathe yourself in silk.
Collared shirts can either be structured and crisp or loose and flowy. And what better way to cop the latter than by wearing luxurious silk blouses? These lend a very retro feel to any outfit while amplifying your look’s sophistication.
Remember that you don’t have to wait for the next formal shindig to wear a collared silk blouse. Pair it with linen shorts or trousers for any occasion—wear it to the office, on a date night, or to a girls’ night out.
That ends our talk on the many ways you could style collared shirts! Now that we’ve broadened your horizons, we hope it won’t be the last thing on your list of sartorial options.