From basic to fantastic: Chic ways to style a white button-down shirt

White button-down shirts don’t get a bad rep, but they’re also not the first type of clothing that comes to mind when one thinks of “fun, playful outfits.” They’re usually reserved for corporate settings and other rather formal occasions. Yawn! 

They don’t need to get reserved only for office wear, though. Here are five ways you can transform a boring basic into something fun, chic, and fantastic!

Olivia Palermo matches two basics: the button-down shirt and the LBD! (Images via instyle.com and stylecracker.com)

Olivia Palermo matches two basics: the button-down shirt and the LBD! (Images via instyle.com and stylecracker.com)

Pair your dress shirt with a dress

There’s a certain charm to pieces that marry masculine and feminine aesthetics. And that’s what pairing your shirt with a dress achieves. The combination of the tailored cut of the shirt and the soft lines of the dress exudes sophistication with just the right amount of edginess. Depending on the dress you put over it, this outfit can go from a brunch date with your girls to red-carpet-ready.

Images via theoutfit.com and laurenconrad.com

Images via theoutfit.com and laurenconrad.com

Crop it up

Wanna wear a crop top but don’t want to show your belly? Wear your button-down underneath it! Styling it this way also transforms your outfit into an interesting formal-yet-fun combination. Pair it with the right skirt or trousers, and you might even get away with wearing it to work. Or put on some denim and start running errands in style.

Images via styleelixir.com and stylepantry.com

Images via styleelixir.com and stylepantry.com

Partner crisp with comfy

Nothing says laid-back more than denim and sneakers. Take what’s usually reserved for boardrooms to the street by pairing your crisp, white shirt with your favorite jeans and your comfiest sneakers. The combination of opposite styles gives the impression that you know your shit, but you’re not stiff. Wear it on a Sunday outing or a casual date.

Images via whowhatwear.com and fashiongum.com

Images via whowhatwear.com and fashiongum.com

Under an overall

Mix nostalgic with chic by pairing your shirt with overalls. Go for a form-fitting pair instead of a loose, baggy one for a streamlined, sleeker version of your favorite ‘90s outfit. Pair it with flats for a day at the museum, or with heels for a night out with friends.

Images via theeverygirl.com and glamradar.com

Images via theeverygirl.com and glamradar.com

Play with patterns and have fun with texture

Make a plain top more interesting by combining it with busier pieces. The contrast between the crisp button-down and the ruggedness of leather makes their pairing a delight to the sight. They strike a balance between chic and offbeat. You can also pair your button-down with a patterned bottom for a girl boss on the weekend appeal. It’s the perfect way to look put-together in a non-dressy, fun kind of way.

What's your favorite way to wear your white button-downs? Will you be trying any of these news styling tips to switch up you look?