The White Button-Down—Your Most Versatile Style Basic

The most versatile piece of clothing, next to your favorite pair of denim, hangs your white button-down. Whether your button-down is oversize or off-the-shoulder, linen or cotton, it is essential in every wardrobe.

To get the most out of your button-down, try these styling tips.

1—Off-the-shoulder. First, button the shirt halfway down from the collar. Tie one end of the shirt through the opening between buttons and knot with the other end. Then, fold the upper half of the shirt over (the same width as the collar). To complete the look, pair it with high-waisted pants or a skirt.

2—Classic tie. Knot the button-down through the opening of the buttons for added security or loosely since the two ends together (like tying your shoes). As with any cropped shirt, a tied button-down is best paired with high-waisted pants or a skirt.

3—Backwards. Wearing a button-down backward can be done two ways. First, flip the shirt around and begin buttoning at the collar, then leave a couple of buttons open at the bottom to expose some of your back. Low-rise skinny jeans are your best friend with this one. On the contrary, you can also start buttoning from the bottom, leaving the top loose and casual. For a slightly more polished look, tuck the shirt into high-waisted pants or a skirt.

4—Bandeau top. Button the shirt as you normally would, leaving your arms out of the sleeves. Next, wrap the sleeves to the front of the shirt and knot or tuck them into the top of the bandeau. This can also be done with one sleeve for a one-shoulder look.

The button-down is not only a style basic for its functionality but its versatility for every style. For a more feminine look, Fashionistas pair it with an A-line skirt. However, the same shirt tied differently with a pair of high-waisted denim edges it up a bit. An oversize white button-down is perfect for a more relaxed look while a fitted button-down makes for a workwear essential. Choose to wear it buttoned to the top or loose and casual. No matter how you wear it, it’s sure to be your next wardrobe staple.

What’s your favorite way to wear a button-down? Tag your photos @cfashionista!