the button-down

I’m finally starting to curate a better collection of office appropriate, 9-to-5 chic clothing alongside what seems like piles of Lululemon leggings and Nike shorts. I deem it easier for me to put together work outfits as I usually tend to pick pieces, for my everyday closet, that are classic and refined as opposed to something more trendy. I think one of the most important pieces in a work closet is the button down. Classic, chic and elegant, though not the proper fitting or material can really hinder an entire ensemble. And so I share with you my tips on what to look out for for a proper, fitted button down.


Though button downs come in an assortment of materials, the main material to look out for is cotton. Picking something between 90% cotton and 10% elastane is fine if you are unable to come across something that is fully cotton. Cotton is breathable making it easy to wear for long periods of time, whilst its tight-knitting makes it look starched and ironed the entire day. Personally, I prefer the button-downs of Jones New York as they are non-Iron and the perfect blend of cotton and elastane.


Most people fail to actually scrutinize the collar when shopping. Pick a shirt that has a multi-ply collar. Meaning it is a thicker material than the rest of the shirt. A proper set collar will enhance the look of the shoulder and make it look well-fitted. It should not be a material that you are required to iron.

{thread count}

Various thread counts is seen among mens’ dress shirts and are becoming popular among women’s too. The higher the thread count means a smoother and silkier material. Thread counts go up to the 200s, which is a reference to the yarn size. Something in the mid-100s ensure good quality. Though remember than thread count is not always as important as the material and ply.


{in the office : the button down shirt} via chevrons & éclairs

{buttoned-up versus v-neck}

A friend of mine asked me for help when it came to work clothes recently. She works in a very conservative field and black suits and button-downs are the best option, though she is bustier than her colleagues and feels uncomfortable in button-downs. This is a similar case for me. Instead of finding a button down that buttons all the way up to the collar, I pick one that buttons above my chest and is in a shape of a V. This also makes it easier for me to determine how high or low I should be buttoning.


Anywhere from elbow length to three-quarter sleeve is fine, but the classic touch is long sleeve. You want something, when it sits perfectly at your shoulders, to hit right at your wrist. This is important as blazers should be able to cover your sleeves when wearing a suit.


Since women are not flat or straight figured, we need to not only fit our figure and curves, but also make it look professional. I prefer shirts that have a darts stitch. This helps pinch the waist and give the body an hourglass shape whilst fitting well.

{c&é’s favorite button-downs}

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{photographs by chevrons & éclairs}
  • Sarah

    Order now from Jones New York. I too am a bit busty and I never realized a v-neck button-down would do the trick. I’m assuming it’s because the design is cognizant of that attribute.

    I’m also loving this series! I always shop at JCrew and Ann Taylor, but never even tried Jones New York!

  • NMP

    how did you know?!!?!?!? I’m starting a job at a corporate PR firm and this series is right on my radar. thanks supal! Will check out Jones NY.

  • Katherine L.

    Great post! I hate how conservative many fields still are; you should be able to express your style without having to look stuffy and neutral!


  • Alyssa

    Love this post! I swear by Brooks brothers button downs.