What To Wear With A White Button-Down Shirt

 What To Wear With A White Button-Down Shirt

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What To Wear With A White Button-Down Shirt

Simply put, every woman over 40 should own a white button-down shirt! A white button-down is one of the most classic and versatile wardrobe basics. They’ve been popular for many years…transcending time and trends. It’s one of the few pieces of clothing you can wear year-round and for pretty much any occasion. Proof in point…Who remembers Sharon Stone’s crisp white button-down Gap shirt at the 1998 Oscars? See what I mean…SO versatile! Today’s post is all about what to wear with a white button-down shirt featuring items you likely already have in your closet. And some fresh outfit ideas to spark inspiration.

For a few VERY unique and edgy ways to wear your white button-down (think backwards and strapless!) you can watch this video.


What To Wear With A White Button-Down Shirt

#1) White Button-Down & Jeans

One of the easiest pieces to style with a white button-down shirt is a pair of jeans. It’s just such a classic combo. Depending on how dressy or casual you want to look, you can wear your white button-down and jeans with heels, boots, booties, loafers, or sneakers. In this look, I’m wearing a looser-fitting pair of straight-leg Moussy denim and a lightweight white button-down (you’ll be seeing a LOT of this shirt throughout this post!). It’s on the sheer side so I have a white cami layered underneath but I’ve worn it with just a nude bra too…it just depends on your comfort level. I added a white belt and braided strap sandals.


#2) White Button-Down & Baggy Jeans

Baggy jeans are no longer on-trend…they’re a style staple at this point! On the left, I’m wearing a Frank & Eileen button-down with a pair of Mother wide-leg jeans. On the right, I’m wearing Cinq a Sept cuffed jeans and a fun, ruched sleeve button-down shirt by Harshman. I love how different this button-down is! If you already have your classic white button-dow shirt and want a basic-with-a-twist…this is the shirt to try. Both looks are unique, cool, and unexpected but SO simple to put together. In both looks, I’m wearing a pair of heeled booties but you can swap the shoes to make it more or less dressy, add some accessories and you’re good to go!


What To Wear With A White Button-Down ShirtWhite Button-Down & Leather Pants

#3) White Button-Down & Leather Pants

In this look, I’m wearing a crisp white button-down shirt by The Shirt with a pair of paper bag waist faux leather pants. This shirt has a more tailored fit than the Rails button-down and extra hidden buttons to prevent gaping at the bust! It fits true to size, but if you want a more relaxed fit you could always size up. This look is sophisticated enough for the office but if you unbutton a few of the top buttons and wear a pretty lace cami or bralette underneath, now you’re ready for a night out.

By the way, if you’re looking for tops for bigger busts, this post is a must-read!


White Button-Down & Chinos

#4) White Button-Down & Chinos

I actually had a really fun time styling this look! This Frank & Eileen button-down shirt is another favorite. It’s super high quality, has a beautiful fit, is very well-made, and the fabric is amazing. It has a slimmer fit and a shorter rounded hemline, both are super flattering. It’s also shorter and higher up on the sides, which makes your legs look longer. I paired it with a pair of chinos, also Frank & Eileen, that are equally as high-quality and well-made as the shirt. I added some tall boots, an unexpected pairing I love, but you could wear sandals, mules, or sneakers too.


White Button-Down & Casual ShortsWhite Button-Down & Casual Shorts

#5) White Button-Down & Casual Shorts

Another casual way to wear your white button-down is with denim shorts. This white button-down has an oversized fit and a relaxed, easy-breezy vibe. It’s on the longer side so I front-tucked it, but you could also leave it unbuttoned and wear a cami or tank underneath.

Are you looking for age-appropriate denim shorts? Make sure you check out this post next.


what to wear with a white button-down shirt

#6) White Button-Down & Faux Leather Shorts

This is another unexpected look featuring the same Rails button-down in look #1. I really love the mixed textures! The faux leather shorts paired with the gauzy button-down are relaxed, effortless…and even a bit sexy. To finish off the look, I added some bold jewelry and oversized sunglasses.

If you’re a little unsure about wearing shorts over 40, I totally get it! This post shares some tips for rocking your shorts AND feeling confident if you want to check it out after reading this one.


what to wear with a white button-down shirtcropped blazer outfit idea

#7) White Button-Down & A Blazer

This is the same oversized button-down in look #4 but this time I’m wearing it with a cropped blazer. You might be thinking that your blazer and white button-down shirts need to be saved for the office, but that’s not necessarily the case! I’d wear this to lunch with friends, a coffee date, a school function, OR a meeting. This is a fun, on-trend way of layering your button-down. And if you’ve been wanting to try a cropped blazer, this is a wonderful way to try the trend without compromising coverage.


White Button-Down & Skirt

#8) White Button-Down & Skirt

This is an older photo, but I wanted to show you how you can wear a white button-down for a more traditional office outfit too. I’m wearing a pencil skirt here, but a pleated skirt, midi skirt, or A-line maxi skirt would also look really pretty and office-appropriate. You can also add a belt for some waist definition. This is such a professional and classic look and so easy to throw together.

Even if you only have 5 minutes to get dressed, a white button-down elevates your outfit. Since there are so many versatile styling options it’s a classic heavy-hitter and perfect for travel.


White Button-Down Cover Up

#9) White Button-Down Cover Up

Have you ever thought of wearing your white button-down with your swimsuit? When I’m packing for a trip and have limited luggage space, I love wearing it as a cover-up. It’s one of my favorite beach vacation packing tips. For this look, you’ll want to go with an oversized or longer button-down if you want more coverage in the back. You can also just size up one from your usual size to get a roomier fit.


Outfits to Wear With a White Button-Down ShirtWhite Button-Down As A Third Layer

7 Outfits to Wear With a White Button-Down Shirt

Now that we’ve covered some of the wardrobe staples you can wear with your white button-down, I wanted to share a few outfit ideas for some added inspiration and fun. Fashion after all IS supposed to be fun! You can likely create these outfit combinations with items you already have in your closet. For these outfits, I solicited the help of some of my favorite 40+ fashion bloggers (thank you, ladies!). I’m also sharing some street-style images below with some elevated ideas! For more of our favorite 40+ bloggers you should be following, make sure you check out this post next.

#10) White Button-Down As A Third Layer

This look is brought to you by fellow blogger and my gorgeous friend, Melissa Meyers, @MelissaMeyers. She’s wearing a white button-down with a graphic tee, on-trend loose-fit jeans, sneakers, and a fabulous handbag and sunnies. She’s wearing the button-down unbuttoned like a jacket…a lightweight 3rd layer. This is such a cool yet easy look for shopping, running errands, or a travel day. You could also tie the shirt around your waist or over your shoulders if you get warm.


White Button-Down Monochromatic Outfit | what to wear with a white button-down shirtWhite Monochromatic Outfit

#11) White Button-Down Monochromatic Outfit

Another sweet blogger friend of mine, Samantha Stewart from @StyleofSam expertly styles her white button-down in an all-white monochromatic outfit. She’s wearing super on-trend baggy trousers, but you could also wear white denim if that’s more your speed. Let’s talk about how stylish Sam wrap-tucked her white button-down for a minute! To achieve this, just leave a few of the buttons at the bottom of the shirt open. Then tuck the left shirt tail into the right side of your pants or trousers and the right shirt tail over to the left side. Add an oversized bag, some bold sunnies and jewelry, and a pair of heels, and voila…this super chic look can take you to the office or out to dinner.

You can read more about Sam AND monochromatic dressing in this post.


outfits with a white button downwhite button down over 40

#12) White Button-Down, Jeans & Flats

If you’ll be running around but still want to look sophisticated and wear something a bit more elevated than sneakers, Susie Wright from @Susie.Wright has this chic solution. Susie is a former Nordstrom buyer and stylist and she really knows her stuff. She effortlessly combines inspiring looks that are practical but always chic. If you’re not already following her, you should! Here she’s wearing a plain white, crewneck tank under the same Rails button-down featured in the looks above (remember I said you’d be seeing a lot of it!) and an elevated pair of flats. I love how she paired her edgy ripped jeans with the feminine, embellished flats…her mixing of styles really takes this look to the next level.


White Button-Down Under A Slip Dress
Photo Credit: whaelse.com, Jacqueline Zelwis

#13) White Button-Down Under A Slip Dress

More proof that your white button-down is even more versatile than you might think! Layering it under a slip dress is a great way to start wearing a sleeveless, spring dress when it’s still pretty chilly outside. I love this layered look. You could also wear the shirt over the dress!


White Button-Down and A Maxi Skirt
Photo Credit: stylepantry.com

#14) White Button-Down and A Maxi Skirt

Wearing your white button-down shirt with a maxi skirt is a classic and chic look. If your button-down is more oversized, you can tie it in a knot to create some waist definition OR go with a front tuck, side tuck, wrap tuck, or even a back tuck! So many options. Depending on the fabric of the skirt, this could be a very casual OR very dressy outfit…referring again to Sharon Stone’s Oscar look.


what to wear with a white button-down shirt

#15) White Button-Down and a Chunky Sweater

Layering your white button-down under a chunky sweater with the hem and cuffs peeking out is also another fun way to wear it. This sweater is actually a 2-in-1 sweater by Brochu Walker, so the white blouse looks like a separate piece but isn’t! But, you get the idea…To achieve this look with a white button-down, you’ll want one that is a bit more fitted so as not to add too much bulk under the sweater.

Use code ‘BUSBEESTYLE15’ for 15% off your Brochu Walker purchase…including this gorgeous sweater!


White Button-Down Under a Sweater Vest
Photo Credit: Instagram @ashbegash

#16) White Button-Down Under a Sweater Vest

This is another great layering option for your plain white button-down. The sweater vest helps define the waist when layered over the shirt. Similar to the cropped blazer look above, you’re able to take advantage of the cropped trend but with some coverage so you don’t have to show your exposed waistline…unless you want to!


In addition to there being so many tucking options to change up the look of your white button-down, there are sleeve options too! Rolling the sleeves up looks effortless and cool. Cuffing them once has that high-fashion vibe and leaving them unrolled is clean and structured.

Do you have any special ways you love to style your favorite white button-down? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. To receive blog posts (like this one!) directly to your inbox along with other exclusive style content, be sure to sign up for our newsletter here. If your style needs a refresh, you can check out my new course Style Made Simple with a roadmap to discovering, or rediscovering, your style at any age. Thanks for stopping by!

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