Beauty & Fashion

10 Ways To Wear A White Button Down Shirt

A white shirt is included in most wardrobe essentials lists, but the truth is, it’s not every woman’s cup of tea. If they’re not your style, you could substitute a blouse or shirt of any color for these 10 ways to wear a white shirt. A classic white shirt or blouse can act as a great chameleon in your wardrobe. Whether fitted, loose, soft and flowy, crisp cotton or silk…a white shirt is a tried and true way to create a casually chic outfit.

10 Ways To Wear A White Shirt

#1 Tied at the Waist

WEARING – ALL SAINTS CROSSBOdY BAG / ATHLETA EVERLASTING SHIRT size S on sale / EILEEN FISHER STRETCH CREPE LANTERN SKIRT size S / LIQUID METAL BRACELET / SIMILAR SANDALS / OURA RING

I often tie the bottom of my white button-down. It adds waist definition, creating a flattering silhouette without the formality of tucking in your shirt. It works over a dress, pants, shorts, you name it. This is perfect for creating a relaxed yet polished look. Tuck the button side over the one with the buttonholes to cinch the bottom closed and prevent gaps. Here, I’ve tied my Athleta white shirt over a lantern-shaped Eileen Fisher skirt with EF sandals that I’ve had for many years. The skirt has an elastic waistband, which I prefer to cover, so tying my shirt works perfectly.

#2 With White Pants

WEARING – ORGANIC LINEN CARDIGAN size S / WASHABLE IVORY SILK BLOUSE size M / TILE WHITE JEANS size 29 / ALABASTER WOVEN TOTE / WHITE GOLD ECCO SANDALS

Pairing a white shirt with white pants creates a column of color that’s not only slimming but helps elongate your look. Here, I’m pairing my Quince ivory silk blouse with Madewell off-white jeans and Ecco sandals. I topped it with a soft pop of color with this Eileen Fisher knee -length linen cardigan. Skipping a belt allows the eye to travel up and down, which helps me look taller.

Style Tip– wearing an outer third layer open over a column of color conceals the sides of your body outline so the focus is in the center which helps you look slimmer.

#3 As an Outer Layer

LINEN TANK TOP / SIMILAR WHITE JEANS / SIMILAR DRESS WORN OPEN AS TOPPER / MUNRO SANDALS / MADEWELL WOVEN TOTE BAG / IPPOLITA EARRINGS / LAGOS NECKLACE / FRAMES / SIMILAR CUFF BRACELET

I often wear a white shirt, open as an outer layer. This look is perfect for transitioning between seasons or in the middle of summer when it’s too warm for a jacket or cardigan, but you still want to cover your arms. Here, I’m wearing an organic linen white top and pants with a black cotton tank and comfy Munro sandals.

WEARING – ATHLETA EVERLASTING WHITE SHIRT size S / STRIPED TANK TOP / AG ANKLE JEANS / WOVEN TOTE BAG / PACKABLE HAT / WATER ESPADRILLES

This is the same Athleta white shirt I styled above, tied over the black skirt. It’s selling out fast, so I hope they will bring this style back because it’s my favorite travel shirt.

#4 Oversized

SIMILAR WHITE SHIRT / WASHABLE STRETCH CREPE PANTS / JACK ROGERS SANDALS  / TOTE BAG IN PINK / TOTE BAG IN OTHER COLORS

Wear an oversized, long, and loose white tunic shirt over your favorite slim jeans or narrow pants. I know many women like to wear leggings, and this is one way to do so. The tunic’s larger silhouette contrasts the bottom half of the outfit to look proportional.

jennifer connolly wearing oversized white poplin shirt and eileen fisher pants with birdies leopard shoes
SIMILAR WHITE SHIRT / SLIM PANTS / BIRDIES LEOPARD PRINT FLATS / SIMILAR NECKLACE

Here, I’m pairing an oversized white shirt over my slim Eileen Fisher stretch crepe pants. These are slim enough that I prefer to cover my crotch and backside, and an oversized white shirt works perfectly. I added Leopard flats for some interest and a chunky statement necklace.

#5 Tucked In

SIMILAR DOTTED WHITE SHIRT – STRAIGHT LEG JEANS / ECCO SOFT 7 SLIP-ON SNEAKER – CONVERTIBLE TRAVEL BAG – LIQUID METAL BRACELET – HOOP EARRINGS

While it may seem simple, wearing your white shirt tucked into jeans, pants, or skirts can make a world of difference in how your outfit looks. Go for a full or half-tuck, depending on how full the shirt is and the amount of fabric you’re dealing with. Tucking your shirt does not make your waist look larger; it shows definition and is slimming.

#6 Under a Sweater

fashion blogger jennifer connolly wearing a white shirt under pullover

White shirts look great worn under a pullover sweater, either tucked or untucked, for a classic preppy look. Leaving it untucked offers a more relaxed and casual vibe, with the shirt’s hem peeking out beneath the sweater.

More Ways to Style a White Shirt:

#7 Bathing Suit Cover-Up

styling a white whirt over bathing suit for beach or pool
OUTFIT DETAILS

A long or oversized white shirt works beautifully as a bathing suit cover-up for the beach or pool. The longer the shirt, the better this looks. Look for sheer or opaque white shirst are a great option for this.

#8 Belted over slim pants

Soft or crisp white shirts can be belted over narrow pants, skirts, or leggings to slim your silhouette and give it some shape.

#9. Under a long or short vest or a sleeveless dress

WOMAN WALKING IN BLACK VEST, WHITE SHIRT AND WHITE JEAN

#10 With a Ballgown skirt à la Sharon Stone or Carolina Herrera

Tuck a tailored, high-quality white button-down shirt into a voluminous ball gown skirt for a striking contrast between the structured, casual top and a flowing, dressy bottom. It’s a look made famous by both Carolina Herrera and Sharon Stone.

How to Remove Stains from Your White Shirts

No-stain technology is terrific these days, but invariably, they’ll get stains. The Spruce recommends a vinegar and baking soda paste. Cleanipedia suggests a vinegar and salt combo. I swear by my trusty Tide Pen and never travel without one.

How To Prevent Gaping in White Shirts

Gaping between buttons is a common problem with even the finest white shirts. First, look for shirts with a button that is directly level with the broadest part of your bustline. If that isn’t enough, gaping is easily prevented with this fashion tape. I love this stuff. Every woman should have this in her arsenal. Carry one in your bag, keep one in your glove box, and give one to your best friend. It solves a multitude of problems invisibly.

Best White Shirts For Travel

Knits are the best way to go for wrinkle-free travel, but I’ve also discovered some no-iron crisp white shirts travel beautifully. This crisp white shirt comes out of the commercial dryer, looking as fresh as it did going in. This one is by Talbots, and I also have two no-iron white shirts from Chico’s. They come out of your bag, looking almost as smooth as they went in. It’s easy to steam out any residual wrinkles with a quick steam in the bathroom. I’ve also given mine a little swish with hand soap in the hotel sink and hung it to dry.

MORE WHITE SHIRTS

What’s your favorite way to wear a white shirt?

Thanks for reading, and be sure to wear what makes you feel confident.

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