There’s No Such Thing as Owning Too Many Button-Downs

Lindsey Lanquist
There’s No Such Thing as Owning Too Many Button-Downs
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Photo: Allison Kahler.

I’m thoroughly convinced that button-downs have been unfairly maligned over the years. They’ve been relegated to the land of pantsuits and treated like office-appropriate pieces we wear because we have to—not because we want to.

Say the term button-down and words like crispstructured and proper come to mind. Words that evoke a kind of sterility—a workspace that’s all productivity and no fun.

MORE: Silk Satin Pieces Are the Easiest Way to Vary a Heavy Fall Wardrobe

The thing is, these words don’t capture the true essence of button-downs—at all. Button-downs are stylistic and interesting and versatile. Some are fun statement-makers that steal the sartorial show. Others are sleek staples that pull looks together, acting as a kind of glue that unites disparate pieces into fashion harmony.

Either way, they serve a purpose, and that purpose is usually as fun as it is functional.

A quick glimpse at my closet would reveal that I love button-downs. Let’s be real—I’m obsessed. They’re the clothing item I’m most apt to stock up on; I routinely have to remove button-downs from my mental wishlist because I want so many, and space is a finite resource. (If my closet were an ever-expanding thing, at least one-third of it would be dedicated to button-downs. Not one-third of the tops, mind you—one-third of the whole damn thing.)

MORE: A Comprehensive Guide to Velvet Mini Dress Shopping

Button-downs are the one clothing item I’ve never regretted buying. Not just because they’re timeless and (typically) high-quality, but because they’re incredibly versatile.

A single button-down can take you from job interview to date night to casual weekend errand running—all within the same week. The potential for styling button-downs is nearly unending, which is particularly exciting for someone who loves outfit assembly as much as I do.

It’s a shame we’ve historically typed these incredible pieces as “strictly for officewear.” Because that assumption is myopic, at best. But we can right this wrong—by shopping the hell out of the chicest button-downs on the market right now.

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STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
PS by Paul Smith Button-Down Shirt

Paul Smith makes the case for coloring directly on the lines.

PS by Paul Smith button-down shirt, $214 at Farfetch

Photo: Farfetch.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Oversized Shirt

Somehow simple, bold and versatile at the same damn time.

Oversized shirt, $45 at ASOS

Photo: ASOS.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Balenciaga Oversized Paneled Shirt

Who said your button-down's collar had to fold down?

Balenciaga oversized paneled shirt, $1,190 at Net-a-Porter

Photo: Net-a-Porter.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Julianna Bass Lanny Blouse

The ultimate statement-maker.

Julianna Bass Lanny blouse, $790 at Shopbop

Photo: Shopbop.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Sacai Oversized Paneled Shirt

It looks like Sacai deconstructed the button-down and haphazardly reassembled it. But we're into the result.

Sacai oversized paneled shirt, $855 at Net-a-Porter

Photo: Net-a-Porter.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Lazy Oaf Colorblock Corduroy Jacket

A button-down you can wear as a jacket. (Or a jacket you can wear as a button-down? We'll never know.)

Lazy Oaf colorblock corduroy jacket, $129 at Urban Outfitters

Photo: Urban Outfitters.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Gucci Silk Shirt

Proof that frilly and bold aren't mutually exclusive.

Gucci silk shirt, $1,400 at Neiman Marcus

Photo: Neiman Marcus.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Striped Shirt

Excellent on its own. Even better in its matching set.

Striped shirt, $40 at Zara

Photo: Zara.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Dries Van Noten Raffia Long-Sleeve Blouse

Texture is totally on the table.

Dries Van Noten raffia long-sleeve blouse, $1,055 at Neiman Marcus

Photo: Neiman Marcus.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Kenzo Floral Silk Pocket Shirt

An elevated take on your dad's go-to Hawaiian shirt.

Kenzo floral silk pocket shirt, $259 at Neiman Marcus

Photo: Neiman Marcus.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Palmer//Harding Asymmetric Shirt

With a hemline this dramatic, you're sure to turn heads.

Palmer//Harding asymmetric shirt, $685 at Neiman Marcus

Photo: Neiman Marcus.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Ports 1961 Metallic Button-Down Shirt

The most literal application of Rihanna's "shine bright like a diamond" lyrics.

Ports 1961 metallic button-down shirt, $815 at Farfetch

Photo: Farfetch.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Sabatia Button-Down

So cute we're tempted to put it on and never take it off.

Sabatia button-down, $218 at Anthropologie

Photo: Anthropologie.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Asymmetric Poplin Shirt

Button-downs don't have to go straight down.

Asymmetric poplin shirt, $125 at Topshop

Photo: Topshop.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Pointed-Collar Silk Shirt

So sleek you'll want to wear it with everything. So versatile you actually could.

Pointed-collar silk shirt, $119 at & Other Stories

Photo: & Other Stories.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Patchwork Chain-Print Blouse

Take styling cues from your favorite scarf.

Patchwork chain-print blouse, $40 at Zara

Photo: Zara.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Striped Twill Button-Down Shirt

This looks like the kind of thing you'd be ecstatic to find in a thrift shop bin. (If you know us, you know that's a serious compliment.)

Striped twill button-down shirt, $54 at Urban Outfitters

Photo: Urban Outfitters.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Metallic Colored Shirt

Equal parts sleek and cozy. (Talk about a win-win.)

Metallic colored shirt, $40 at Zara

Photo: Zara.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
WHIT Dada Silk Blouse

Bright, graphic, colorful—an unstoppable combination.

WHIT Dada silk blouse, $398 at Anthropologie

Photo: Anthropologie.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Dakota Shine Button-Down

Because button-downs are more fun when they're covered in sparkles.

Dakota shine button-down, $189 at Anthropologie

Photo: Anthropologie.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Line & Dot Skylar Shirt

Proof a bold element can go a long way.

Line & Dot Skylar shirt, $83 at Revolve

Photo: Revolve.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
L'Academie the Classic Shirt

A velvet button-down—need we say more?

L'Academie the Classic shirt, $148 at Revolve

Photo: Revolve.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
White Blouse

Not your average white blouse.

White blouse, $90 at ASOS

Photo: ASOS.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Striped Twill Button-Down Shirt

Cozy up in this colorful button-down over the weekend and prepare to turn heads everywhere you go.

Striped twill button-down shirt, $54 at Urban Outfitters

Photo: Urban Outfitters.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
3.1 Phillip Lim Oversized Shirt

Part scarf, part button-down—all cool.

3.1 Phillip Lim oversized shirt, $795 at Net-a-Porter

Photo: Net-a-Porter.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Double Rainbouu Hawaiian Shirt

The coolest way to wear a button-down on vacation.

Double Rainbouu Hawaiian shirt, $99 at Revolve

Photo: Revolve.
STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
Citizen of Humanity Kayla Button-Down Shirt

Let's not beat around the bush here: Oversized pinstripe button-downs are a must-have in any closet.

Citizens of Humanity Kayla button-down shirt, $150 at Anthropologie

Photo: Anthropologie.

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  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs
  • STYLECASTER | There's No Such Thing As Owning Too Many Button-Downs

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