Shop Your Closet: White Button-up Shirt

[When moving into either a dorm or an off-campus apartment, your wardrobe will face two major challenges: 1. A major lack of funding (to add more to it), and 2. A major lack of storage space (for all the crap you’ve got). For these two reasons, maximizing what you already own becomes essential. That’s why you need to learn to Shop Your Closet. Each week, I’ll show you how to wear 1 item 3 ways – with the stuff you most likely already own! – to get the most out of your purchases.]

Whether or not you ever wear it, you probably have a white button-up shirt in your closet. If your mom bought it for you, thinking it would be a good wardrobe foundation (she was right!) or it’s one of your go-tos for job interviews, it’s a pretty common piece to own. I know, a white oxford seems like the blandest thing in your closet that you’d only wear for something more profesh, but it’s a really classic piece that is easy to wear and easily adaptable.

Yes, you can wear one of these shirts pretty much ANYWHERE. It can be dressed up, dressed down, worn conservatively or given a little life to make it more fun. Still with me? Here are three ways to make that button-up shirt work with your wardrobe.

Outfit 1: The Standard

Shirt, Jeans, Belt, Flats.

A good, everyday look is a button up shirt and jeans. It’s super easy but still classically chic. Modernize it by adding a waist cinching belt over your shirt to give the illusion of an hourglass waist (thank you, Stacy and Clinton!). Then  slip on a bright pair of flats if it’s warm enough outside, or your favorite go-to boots. The best part about this? This look will also work if you’re stealing a boy’s shirt. Roll up the sleeves so you don’t look like you’re drowning in fabric and look chic instantly. (Note: this works best if the boy isn’t substantially taller than you.)

Outfit 2: Make it Work (For Work)

Shirt, Sweater, Jacket, Pants, Pumps, Simple Necklace, Statement Necklace.

Sometimes it’s hard to wear dress pants and a button-up shirt without feeling like a waitress. The easy solution? Layer. Put a bright colored or patterned sweater (or vest) over top your button up shirt to add some color to your otherwise basic look. Add a simple necklace underneath to add a touch of personality or, if you’re really daring, a bold statement necklace. Slip on heels or flats (depending on how your pants are hemmed), top with a trench coat and your all set for a professional environment. A boyfriend blazer would also look splendid with this.

Outfit 3: Calm, Cool, Collected

Shirt, Pants, Heels, Bracelet.

I love Alexis Bledel‘s style. Girl can pull off black pants and a white button-up without looking like she’s ready to take your drink order. I drew inspiration from her look for outfit numero three. Tuck the shirt into the pants (wide leg, jeans, riding pants, anything will do), toss on a pair of statement heels, and add a cuff! This look can work for dinner with the ‘rents, a night out with the ladies or date night with the boyf. It’s simple, classy and somehow incredibly sexy.

Find out other ways to re-work what you’ve already got stuffed in that closet of yours.

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