Style Hacks: 4 Techniques to Make Your Button-Down Look Less Boring

A whole lotta “meh.” We can do better!

Ah, the collared, button-down blouse. Almost all of us own one. But quite frankly, it can end up looking pretty “meh” on us ladies. So why is that, anyway?

Echoing the look of menswear, button-down shirts are often cut very straight. Not the greatest look for a shapely silhouette. The long sleeves add a lot of fabric to the feminine figure. On their own, these shirts can make us women look weighed down, unstyled, and just plain boring.

So let’s change that! To enhance the look of your button-down and look more styled, fashionable, and up-to-date, you’ll want to try to create a little more shape, structure, and style (with the help of some accessories). I’ll show you how to do this with a very simple, classic white shirt with long sleeves.

4 Steps to Styling Your Button-Down:

1. Roll up the sleeves. This takes away a lot of the shirt’s bulk, and also gives you a new canvas for accessories. (More on that later.)

How to style a plain white button-down shirt

We’ve only used one technique so far, but can you already see the difference? Let’s keep going!

2. Create a waist. This is especially useful if your shirt doesn’t have any darts (those vertical seams that help create a little shape through the midsection). You might want to try a half-tuck (it looks more styled than tucking all the way in), or in a more casual section, tying a knot. (You don’t have to go bare-midriff with this – just keep it loose and floating around the waistline of your trousers.)

How to style a plain white button-down shirt
How to style a plain white button-down shirt

Now things are shaping up (literally)! Next, we have fun with jewelry…

3. Accessorize. Now that wrists are on display, we can now show off bracelets and watches. A necklace is great, too! You can experiment with how many buttons you want to keep open. Just make sure to pop a pretty cami underneath your shirt if you decide on a lower neckline.

How to style a plain white button-down shirt
Sporting the half-tuck here.

4. Pop up the collar. Make sure you’ve ironed it well, and maybe use a little starch on lightweight fabrics to give it some staying power. I sometimes like to put my hair up with this look, to show off the collar and draw the eye up.

How to style a plain white button-down shirt

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Now it’s YOUR turn…

Using just one of these four tricks will instantly elevate the look of that ho-hum button-down. Or you can use a combination of them, or all of them!

Which one will you try first? Let me know in the comments.

Get the Look

Luxe Microfiber Women’s Button-Down on

Rose Gold Cuff Bangle on

Women’s Essential Skinny Jeans on

P.S. – Looking for a personal stylist in the Charlottesville area? I am a certified image consultant who has been styling women in our area since 2012. Check out my client testimonials and learn what my services can do for you.

Miss my last post? Catch up here and get inspired with summer looks to wear to your next outdoor event.





One response to “Style Hacks: 4 Techniques to Make Your Button-Down Look Less Boring”

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