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.

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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.)

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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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