Though the gap in gendered clothing is rapidly shrinking, it’s nothing new to the fashion world. If the shirt fits, wear it, right? Or even if it doesn’t. As proven by Audrey Hepburn, who wore a tuxedo shirt as sleepwear in the 1961 classic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Of course, people have been incorporating menswear into women’s wear for ages, with the cultivated classic being the button-down shirt.
The button-down is an incredibly adaptable piece of clothing. No matter what gender one aligns with, I’d go so far as to say that the button-down ought to be a wardrobe staple in everyone’s closet both as a clothing item and accessory. With just one item, the entire feel of a look can change. When wearing an extra long button-down shirt it can be tied off as a tunic; the sleeves can be rolled for a casual look; it can become an instant-crop top by tying up the front; suddenly, any look can go scholar-chic by pairing with a pullover; or it can give the wearer a care-free casual vibe when worn at the waist.
The style options for button-downs are nearly as endless as the ways to wear ’em—There are denim chambray button-downs, classic white (harkening to Hepburn), super-femme styles, flower-power ’70s (with darts and without), and of course, the currently trending, oh-so-essential plaid, a.k.a. the favorite flannel.
The Fashionista pictured put a twist on the shirt (literally in fact) by utilizing her own plaid essential not as a shirt, but as an accessory. The blue and red shirt she so chicly knotted around her waist contrasted not only her black swing dress and grey knee-highs with a pop of pattern ‘n’ color, but also by combining a menswear staple with her otherwise feminine clothing choices. She topped off her ensemble with a pair of combat boots, evening the look out with a 2:2 ratio of traditionally feminine and masculine pieces.
How To: To get this look, peruse your closet for your favorite plaid (or go on a flannel find in almost any retail store or thrift trip to the men’s section. It can be wrapped around your waist for an instant statement piece, or straight up style it like a shirt, roll up those sleeves, rebel gender roles and fit right in with the fashion world. Or, just go Holly Golightly and dream of Tiffany’s in a tux shirt.