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How To Casually Style A Simple Button Down Shirt


I have always been a white button down shirt lover because they are the most versatile piece in anyone’s closet. You can literally wear it with anything and look chic and stylish. Moreover they are a great way to also add sophistication to any outfit. 

I remember visiting Spain and seeing how effortlessly they were styled and everyone looked amazing in them.

I am going to share different ways you can wear them and style tips of how you can elevate the look.

You have been thinking of wearing your white shirts, but don’t want to look too formal or just want to incorporate them in your everyday outfits because you don’t want them collecting dust in your closet. 

I wanted to share some outfit ideas and style tips that will help you achieve stylish casual style with them. If you have been searching for white shirts that are not so formal, I am also sharing some of my favorites. You can save the outfit ideas to your Pinterest so that you can check it out for your next button down shirt outfits. 

Button Down Shirt with Jeans

You would agree that this is the most effortless way you can style you jeans and still look put together and sophisticated. I love wearing a crisp white shirt with a blush jeans. There is something about. the color combination that makes it look sophisticated and yet casual. The combination creates and easy and fresh style that anyone can wear.

If you own formal white shirts, you can easily transform them into something casual with a blue jeans. So, you would not need to buy different styles of shirts.

How To Elevate The Blue Jeans and White Shirt Look?

There are a few ways you can easily elevate this outfit combination. 

  1. Tuck In Your Shirt: If you are not wearing an oversized shirt, tucking in definitely helps. This is the best style trick to elevate any look. Specially with a jeans, you look smart and this outfit also makes for a perfect Business Casual outfit if that’s what is your work attire.
  2. Add a Belt: If You are wearing a skinny jeans, this tip is specially for you. Your outfit looks chic and put together with the accessory and you create a waist definition.
  3. Add a Third Piece: This trick works if you are wearing an oversized shirt. I love adding a third piece like a jacket or a sweater vest to add some structure to the outfit. This helps you from not looking frumpy and Meh! Hahaha! And oversized shirt can make you look bulky and this trick can help avoid that for sure. 
  4. Relaxed Fit Jeans: This is not necessarily a style tip, but if you own straight leg or even wide leg jeans, they would look even better with a button down shirt. And again this can work for a great Business Casual Outfit with a white shirt.

Button Down Shirt with Skirts

Another Easy outfit combination that anyone can rock and honestly, I enjoy this combination a lot as well. While the shirt acts as a structured piece in your outfit, the skirt can bring in some feminine as well as tone down style to the look. 

And did I tell you how comfortable this style is, I love wearing this combination in the warmer months a lot. This way I look sophisticated as well as chic. 

Skirts That are Most Flattering With Shirt

While you can wear a button down shirt with any skirt and still look amazing, I wanted to point out some of my favorites that can create chic and casual outfits.

  1. Pleated Skirt: You might think that they will look more formal but I beg to differ. You can pair a colored pleated skirt instead of black and add a pair of sneakers and look casual and yet chic. This is my most favorite outfit.
  2. Denim Skirt: I always find myself obsessing over denim skirts in summer. They look chic and a great alternative to jeans in warmer months and you will look so smart in the combination.
  3. Tiered Midi Skirt: These are another favorites of mine and for a good reason. They look chic and so feminine but when combined with a button down shirt, you can easily create a more sophisticated combination for everyday looks.
  4. Floral print Skirts: This is an awesome combination for summer to add a floral print skirt, it can be mini or midi depending on what you own. You can roll the sleeves and open the first 3 buttons of the shirt to create a more relaxed and chic look. I can’t wait to do this in summer.

Shirt With Shorts

This is yet another way to create a more casual way of styling a button down shirt specially when the weather is warmer. 

This style also enables you to wear the white shirt on vacations, on the beach or near the pool. You can use your shirt as a swim cover up.

How To Elevate The Shirt and Shorts Look?

I also wanted to share some style tips that can elevate the style of this outfit:

  1. Tuck In: Now, you don’t have to fully tuck in your shirt, though that is my favorite way of styling it. You can also do a half tuck which still looks a bit together but so stylish. I love how effortlessly awesome this way the outfit turns out.
  2. Accessorize: You can accessorize with a summer hat, Necklace, or silk scarf in your hair to look chic and stylish. This creates a more put together look and adds an extra touch that we all love. 
  3. Upgrade your Footwear: Instead of going for flip flops try going for summer slides, scrappy sandals or even espadrilles. I find espadrilles an awesome summer footwear alternative and they look so chic. I have a whole post about how you can create different looks with one pair of espadrilles. Check it our below:


Button Down Shirt & leggings

This is a new style that I have been experimenting with lately. While we tend to wear leggings more in cooler months, this can be a great Athleisure look with a white shirt. And you can wear different colors of leggings as well. 

This not only makes the outfit look fun, its also comfortable and feels fresh compared to the black leggings outfits. I am sharing some of my favorite leggings outfit inspiration on my Pinterest board dedicated to Leggings outfits.

I personally will be trying them out with colored leggings as well.

Style Tips for Your Leggings & Button Down Shirt Outfit?

  1. Oversized Shirt: This is a great way to rock all your oversized shirts, but if you don’t have any, I have some recommendations at the end of this post. But, making sure that the shirt is not super fitted and not too short. It should cover your butt.
  2. Adding a Third Layer: If your shirt is not relaxed or too long, adding a long cardigan, or an oversized blazer can be an easy way to elevate and feel comfortable in the outfit. 
  3. Fold Your Sleeves: You can do this whether you have a third layer on or not. It’s just looks casual and smart. 
  4. Footwear Choices: Rather than wearing slide ins or flip flops, you can pair converse or even ankle boots that helps create a more cohesive look. Other alternatives are ballerina flats, even pumps if you like a bit of a dressier look can change the whole outfit to a bit more put together look.

Pair a Button Down Shirt With Dresses

This is a really cool way to create more casual and yet mange to look chic with a white shirt.

And I also love doing this for vacations. If you have slip dresses or even T shirt dresses, you can add a button down white shirt as a third layer itself like a jacket. Isn’t that awesome. 

This is a great way to add a bit of layer which is not at all uncommon in California weather. You can create a tie front style that looks so casual but still not completely undone. 

Add in a pair of sneakers or summer sandal and you have casual yet chic shirt outfit. 

I also love adding some summer details like a straw hat and bag that looks perfect for beach vacation.

Staples You Need In Your Closet

You honestly don’t need a lot of shirts though if you are like me and wear them often, there is no harm if having more. Its one clothing item that will never go out of style and you will always get some wear out of it. 

But I wanted to share some of my favorite casual styles that will a great staple in your closet.

How to Identify Casual Shirts?

I wanted to share a few shopping tips on how you can find a casual white button down shirt online. Most causal shirts will have the following silhouttes:

  1. Relaxed Collars: Not as still and the shape won’t be the same as formal shirts.
  2. Sleeve Details: Some white shirts with have cuffing buckles as well. They are awesome way to keep the sleeve fold intact.
  3. Relaxed fit: You can always find the shirt more relaxed style or fit.

Oversized Shirts

This is one piece that must have in your closet, because the possibilities of styling them are endless. You can also wear them as tunics, swim coverups. If you have doubts try your husband’s shirt for a few days and see for yourself.

Short Sleeve Shirt

Short sleeve shirts are usually made to look really casual. The collars are more relaxed than regular shirts and are perfect casual piece to own. You can use them in all of the outfit ideas I have shared above but you can also wear them in fall layering with jackets and coats.

Share what is your most worn or go to casual button down shirt look is and what is one style tip you have for all of us. Don’t forget to save this post to pinterest so you can come back for more outfit inspirations.

For more on women's casual style, please read:


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About Suchi

A Techie turned Fashion blogger, I have been in your shoes. I have gone from looking like I was trying to fit into my teen clothes, to now a stylist and blogger known to be classy and elevated style. I can help you look your best without spending too much time, effort and money into your wardrobe. 

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