As you all know, I’ve been trying to make more conscious fashion choices (and if you didn’t know because you’re a new reader, then welcome!). This includes buying less new clothing to minimize my impact on the environment. As a result, creating fresh looks with the same old pieces in my wardrobe requires some creativity.
One clothing item that adds versatility and timelessness to your wardrobe is a button-down shirt. In this post, I’ll show you three summer-ready ways you can style one button-down to get more mileage out of this closet staple.
A couple months ago, I found a few gingham button-downs at my local Goodwill, and was extremely pleased with my foresight once gingham started trending furiously for summer. I don’t think this trend will stick around for long because the print is so seasonal, so I advocate for scouring your local thrift stores instead of buying new if you must wear gingham this summer.
I got the black and white gingham button-down that I’ll be styling in this post for $2. It’s slightly over-sized with cropped sleeves and a boxy fit.
You can also rock the following looks with any button-down! Bonus points if it’s already in your closet; if you don’t have one, the thrift store has plenty for super cheap.
look no. 1: under & over (alls)
For this first look, I layered the shirt under my favorite overalls (also thrifted). I think gingham and floral prints were just meant to go together; it’s a twist on the classic styling trick of pairing stripes and florals.
This outfit would be perfect for any summer outing: a picnic, a bike ride along the water, a music festival, or just a trip to the farmer’s market. I could also imagine button-downs paired under sundresses and flowy tanks for a pre-summer outfit (you know, when it’s not yet warm enough for summer styles but you just can’t wait).
Overalls: Consignment store
look no. 2: pull it off (the shoulder)
I’ve been seeing people style button-downs this way and I think it’s pretty cute. All you have to do is unbutton the shirt until you can just pull it off your shoulders. I tied the bottom of the shirt so that it’s not hanging weirdly since the fit is very boxy, but you can also tuck it in for more coverage.
I kept the color scheme simple with a good ol’ black fishnets and jeans combo and my black and white sneakers.
Jeans: Weekday, bought from Asos (made from recycled cotton!)
Sneakers: Nike Air Max Thea
look no. 3: sh(o/i)rt skirt
Yes, that’s the same shirt! I wore it as a skirt, paired with a crisp white button-down with boxy sleeves for a menswear-inspired look. I thought everyone would notice that I was wearing two shirts as an outfit but no one did, and I also didn’t have any wardrobe malfunctions that resulted in my flashing the good people of Seattle, so yay!
To turn your shirt into a skirt, button it around your waist as far as it’ll go, tuck the collar and top of the skirt inside against your waist, and tie the sleeves into a knot. If you have a gap between the top button and the knot like I did, pull up the lower half of the shirt and tuck it between your waist and the knot. Safety pin through the sleeve-knot and shirt to secure.
Top: Monki, bought from Asos
I hope this post gave you some fun ideas for styling your button-down shirts! Let me know which look is your favorite and what’s your favorite way to wear a button-down in the comments.