I like my work wear to have a twist…within reason.
There are times when a good old-fashioned button-down shirt is one of the best and surprisingly versatile items in your work wardrobe. Honestly, because I am a bit of classic lover with my style, I have a lot of “classic” items in my wardrobe, which includes a fair few button-down shirts in a wide variety of styles. Many of them were chosen because they have ruffles, surprising additions for a girl who swears she isn’t girlie, and a fair few chosen because of a unique cuff detail. In fact, sometimes when I am looking for a new button-down I feel a little like interior designer Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen. If it has ruffles, crazy cuffs or some outrageous print, it has my name on it and I simply MUST own it! Perhaps I was a pirate in a previous life??
You would have seen a couple of my button-downs with ruffles in earlier posts. Here I just wanted to share a couple of others for those of you who prefer a cleaner line. Not to mention, if you work in a slightly more conservative environment, you may want to see some options more appropriate. Plus, you’ve already seen the others so how about something new, we are only 1/3 of the way throughout this no-shopping experiment so no need to be recycling yet!
Button-down with a twist (an orange twist) – Remember back when we were talking about tangerine tango and I mentioned my lifetime love of orange and purple? Well this is where that love continues to be an inspiration. I love wearing this look for many reasons…the unexpected combination, the lean lines make me feel lean and the overall look is very business like but the color makes it fun. It is hard to tell in the photo but the shirt is a white background with two different shades of purple pin-stripes. The skirt is obviously orange and just in case there isn’t enough of those two colors I add in the orange belt, handbag and wrap watch, plus a purple jade pendant and bangle. The leopard print shoes are thrown in when I am feeling more professional or if I need to wear a pair of stockings because the white of my legs is at the day-glow stage! If it is summer and I have a bit of colour on the old pins, I wear a pair of orange wedges.
Button-down, Here to Serve – I found this black and white button-down while shopping in Hong Kong. It’s a bit funny shopping there because I am giant there. I’m heaps smaller than I used to be. Wear an Australian size 10 (US 8), but in HK the sales girls like to tell me that things won’t fit because I am too big! And they are not shy about saying just that! Anyway, I was drawn to this shirt because of the cuffs, they fold back to show a wide black contrasting band. However, I liked the mandarin style collar with the black banding too. And the overall look reminded me a bit of the uniform look that was a little popular at the time. It was a HK XL so I was pretty sure it would fit…it’s at the bust where I have the “biggest” (pun intended) issues when shopping in Hong Kong. The sales girl didn’t think it would fit and probably thought I would rip it like the Incredible Hulk if I tried it on. I was determined to try it on and I was right. It was a perfect fit. Then the sales girl wanted to bring me all kinds of shirts to try on but I took this one and another short-sleeved white one that I liked and that was it!
Soooo, back to the look. I have matched the shirt up with a skirt I had made by a tailor, also in Hong Kong. Simpson & Sons, they do great tailored pieces, really high quality. They aren’t the cheapest but you get what you pay for and it’s far cheaper than buying designer off the rack. The skirt is a light-weight boucle’, black background with white and nude coloured threads. I’ve added in a pair of nude heels with a black platform and a brown and tan clutch plus a great necklace with an oriental theme to the beads and hardware.
Button-down, Black & Blue – Two things caught my attention with this shirt. I loved the turquoise blue and the little round silver ball buttons. Don’t worry, there are a couple of close-ups to show them off. The trouble with this shirt. I don’t have anything else the right colour to wear with it, so it tends to end up with black or white and a mix of the few turquoise pieces I do have. I still think it makes a nice look and whenever I wear this Tommy Hilfiger shirt, I get lots of compliments. For this look I have put the shirt with a pair of black Ralph Lauren wide-leg trousers, Prada patent-leather loafers, the old Target patent handbag and a bit of turquoise jewelry. This is my designer look for less, in that all the designer pieces were purchased at various outlet shops in either Australia or the US. I think the turquoise in the shirt keeps this from being too boring.
Even though no one can see the contrasting plaid inside the collar when the shirt is being worn, I still love knowing that it is there and love the colour.
The jewelry, earrings and bangles are in turquoise, gold and brown but work okay with the look because they are just accents.
Even though I could go on forever with work looks, I think we’ll move on to work accessories and vintage then head into the next big thing!
- Look of the Day: Unbuttoned (fabsugar.com)
- Shopping Hong Kong: Day Two Highlights (Kowloon) (beso.com)
- Celebrity Lookbook: 15 Awesome Iterations of the Classic Button-Down (fabsugar.com)
- Juicy and Hot – Tangerine Tango (astimegoesbuy.wordpress.com)