We’re back to fill your closet with the best wardrobe basics the internet has to offer. Here, to go with all of your white tees, jeans (and jeans for petites), work pants, and elastic-waist pants, we’ve reached out to real women to learn about the best white button-down shirts for women.
“As a celebrity stylist, I’ve scoured every inch of the internet, department stores, and boutiques looking for the perfect white button-down to complete my clients’ wardrobes. My ultimate favorite is the ‘Signature’ Silk Shirt by Equipment. Not only is this a must-have, but when you’ve worn yours around town too many times, you’ll always find it in stock. It perfectly flatters the bodice with its slim cut, all while giving off a look of professionalism. The silk fabric adds a touch of chic-ness, which amplifies this already classic staple.” — Jasmine Caccamo, celebrity stylist [Note: We’ve actually written about the excellence of this shirt before. Read more here.]
“The best white button-down is anything that takes a twist on the classic style. Any kind of contrast detail, exaggerated sleeve, or colorful buttons will do the trick. I like two: one from Zara that has an almost barely visible trim and then a more traditional, slightly oversize one from the Gap.” — Kelly Edmonson, style director, Ban.do
“I’m obsessed with a white button-down from MPG called the Milano shirt. It has all the benefits of a go-to white button-down: It’s crisp, structured, and ready for anything. But what’s cool is its technical specs. It’s moisture-wicking, flexible (with a great back pleat), and breathable. It completely blurs the line between ready-to-wear and athleisure, and at only $48, it’s a real game changer.” — Caitlin Shockley, founder, the Creative
“I think the key to a white shirt for women is the fit, or in the styling. Not very many women can actually wear and look and feel good in a straight-cut men’s white button-down shirt. But it is a classic, chic look that never goes out of style and looks appropriate in almost every sartorial scenario. For fall, I am liking the romanticism of the balloon-sleeve blouse from Los Angeles designer Black Crane. It has voluminous sleeves and soft gathering at the neck. It looks equally good tucked in or worn loose. It is oversize, but drapes beautifully and flows with the movement of the body. I also like that it’s a bit nontraditional in that it is a softer cream instead of a stark white.” — Jennifer Mankins, owner, Bird
“I have the Theory Macina Luxe that I love. It’s long, looks amazing with baggy jeans or tailored trousers, and makes you look ‘put-together,’ even when you were literally just elbows deep in a game of Paw Patrol. It’s currently sold out in most places, though, so here’s a similar one called the Tenia Luxe Stretch Cotton Top.” — Michelle Kennedy, co-founder and CEO, Peanut
“I borrow from the boys. Everlane has a lightweight men’s button-down that’s won the spot for my favorite white top. It’s big enough to be slightly oversize and have a drop in the shoulders, but tailored enough to still look neat tucked into jeans. I usually have two or three on rotation in my closet.” — Biz Lindsay, director of public relations, Outdoor Voices
“I’m always on the hunt for the perfect button-down shirt. It’s a wardrobe essential to pair with all of my statement pieces and RTR Unlimited rentals, no matter what time of year. This season, I found perfection in the MiH oversize cotton shirt. I look for 100 percent cotton poplin with a fold-over collar. It’s the perfect weight for wearing alone or layering underneath knits, and holds lots of styling potential. I like a shirt with full-length sleeves that can be worn down or rolled up, and this has optional tabs to scrunch up the sleeves for a more casual look. I also love the longer hem, where it can be either tucked in or out and looks perfectly matched with a pair of jeans or a dressier trouser.” — Sarah Tam, head of fashion, Rent the Runway
“This white button-down shirt from L’Agence hits all the marks for me — it has a slightly relaxed fit, so I can move freely in it, and the sheer fabric is perfect for layering. The weather in San Francisco can be unpredictable, so it’s great to have a versatile piece that can go under a sweater or jacket, but also stand alone on those rare sunny days.” — Shanna Tellerman, founder and CEO, Modsy
“Who doesn’t love a good white blouse with jeans? At the same time, what’s more annoying than having to re-tuck-in your shirt all day in order for it to actually be considered a ‘good’ white blouse. Luckily for us, bodysuits were invented to solve this problem. My favorite white blouse is this ivory silk shirt by Alexander Wang. It’s not a traditional button-down, but gives the appearance of one. It’s the perfect ready-to-wear addition to a simple, but trendy, day-to-night outfit.” — Sonia Young, celebrity stylist
“I love the feminine take on the classic white shirt by Alexander McQueen. I think it adds a certain individual flair to any classic pencil skirt, trouser, or jean. It’s definitely expensive, though, so I pulled this one from Ann Taylor that has a similar sleeve for about $800 less.” — Leesa Evans, celebrity stylist
“A classic white button-down blouse is a wardrobe staple, but I love one that has some flare. The smocked-cuff blouse from By. Bonnie Young is gorgeous and versatile enough to wear with anything. I love the little details. They make the outfit.” — Suzanne Miglucci, CEO and president of Charles & Colvard
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