The Classic White Shirt, Updated

There’s a reason the classic white button-down has reached iconic status: you’d be hard-pressed to find something in your closet that’s as versatile. The quintessential wardrobe staple has a history of working in a multitude of ways: timeless and tailored (1940s Katharine Hepburn); relaxed with rolled sleeves and a lifted collar (1950s Audrey Hepburn); androgynous, downtown cool (1975 Patti Smith); refined enough for the Oscars when paired with a formal skirt (1998 Sharon Stone); and, of course, flirty and borrowed-from-your-boyfriend (Carrie Bradshaw, early 2000s); all of which would look just as modern today. It’s a wear-anywhere, any season garment. The newest renditions—shown here—are less staid than the original. So hang on to your tried-and-true and add one of these to the mix, or go ahead and get them all. No matter the vibe, they’re the fastest way to chic.


1. Fitted

Akris Punto Ruched-Front Fitted Blouse in Cream, $495 at Halls on Grand

A perfect, slim silhouette that’s both sultry and sophisticated, this pairs beautifully with slacks, pencil skirts and midi skirts.



2. Edgy

House of Sunny Up Shirt in Clean White, $85 at Anaphora in Prairiefire

A chunky zipper and subtle, graphic layers emanate a modern vibe that’s sleek and edgy with slim slacks and skirts; or relaxed and effortless with this season’s fuller cut trousers.

SP_Shirt4_2_AL08163. Feminine

Pouf Sleeve Shirt, $595 at Asiatica in Westwood

Partially puffed sleeves and a small collar soften and romanticize the crisp classic; top-notch Japanese cotton feels silky. For a playful, exaggerated pouf, push the sleeves up.


4. Relaxed

Baldwin Delphine Shirt in Off-white, $165 at Standard Style

The traditional button-down’s cool cousin: the tapered just-past-the-elbow sleeves and roomy shape are at home with distressed denim.


5. A-Line

Comfy U.S.A. A-Line Blouse, $140 at Webster House in the Crossroads

An easy, billowy take on the original; we like it with skinny jeans or slim, cropped trousers.