Keep it MBAchic: how to style a white button-down

you asked how to style a white-button down blouse and we showed you eight looks while recommended 12 different blouses

What comes to mind when you think of the one article that every professional woman needs in her wardrobe? How to style a white button-down blouse is a classic workwear question, because it’s a staple that can be dressed up or down, and fit into any office dress code, from the most conservative financial services firms to the most hoodie-friendly startups out there. We got the question about how to style this classic on Instagram from xoxo… (send us your work and workwear Qs, always!) After presenting a couple of looks this Workwear Wednesday, we also asked for your favorite white-button downs and where to find them, and you had a ton of recs! Let’s get into the looks and I’d highly recommend bookmarking this page for future reference, and sharing with a friend.

How to style a white-button down, regardless of where you work

Be sure to send us how to style a white button-down for your own workplace, and where you find the best white button-down blouses, and we’ll add them to the post!

Pair with a classic suit

grey jcrew suit paired with a crisp white button down
Love how a fresh white button-down looks with this J.Crew suiting. The bolder the suit (color, pattern, material), the better the crisp white looks against it. This is your classic pairing, any great white blouse will work.

Cuff with a pleated midi

@littleblondebook tucks a white button-down that has been cuffed at the elbow into a pleated faux leather midi skirt
Here @littleblondebook tucks a white button-down that has been cuffed at the elbow into a pleated faux leather midi skirt – might not be the move for a sweltering day outside but still such a casual, luxe look for the office.

Layer in a three-piece look

This look by @elizabethkeene is so fresh - it's a gorgeous bespoke three-piece suit by Christian Roche but between the buttons on the vest, the neutral tote and pop of green, it's such a fun, refreshing look.
This look by @elizabethkeene is so fresh – it’s a gorgeous, polished bespoke three-piece suit by Christian Roche but between the buttons on the vest, the crisp collar, the neutral tote and pop of a green heel, it’s still fun and refreshing.

Bring on drama via proportions

An oversized white blouse paired with a slim, cropped pant is a great way to add some drama and interest to the silhouette while keeping it professional. If it were longer, you could even belt this to cinch in the waist... in love with those whole look
An oversized white blouse (or one with huge, dramatic sleeves), paired with a slim, cropped pant is a great way to add some drama and interest to the silhouette while keeping it professional. A longer blouse you could even belt to cinch in the waist… in love with those whole look!

Embellish the neckline, dahling

An embellished neckline, whether built into the top like this, or made possible with a neck tie, scarf or bib necklace really kicks up the look a few notches. You could keep the rest of the look pretty simple. This look on @candicehuffine is by @11honore. They've got designer clothes for all sizes - check them out!
An embellished neckline, whether built into the top like this, or made possible with a neck tie, scarf or bib necklace really kicks up the look a few notches. Keep the rest of the look pretty simple to make sure the focus is on the neckline. This look on @candicehuffine is by @11honore. They’ve got designer clothes for plus sizes and are currently having a 30% off sale – check them out!

Wear it under a dress

Haven't yet tried this but have certainly seen this on stylesetter Mary Orton and want to try. Wearing a button-down under a dress is a great way to mix up your look - love how @treatingthestreetslikearunway paired her sheath with a tie-neck blouse. We've discussed in the DMs, and would style this with a sleek ponytail to ensure the focus is on that great bow.
Haven’t yet done this but certainly have seen this around and want to try. Wearing a button-down under a dress is a great way to mix up your look – love how @treatingthestreetslikearunway paired her sheath with a tie-neck blouse. As discussed in the DMs, would style this with a sleek ponytail to ensure the focus is on that great bow.

Punch it up with a bright color

Of course we are going to recommend you punch up your look with a bright color (and keep it on-brand with this pink, right?) - love how @stylepantry tucked a plain white blouse into this rich, trumpet midi, with a simple belt and nude pump. Sophisticated and stylish, while super accessible to all budgets.
Of course we are going to recommend you punch up your look with a bright color (and keep it on-brand with this pink, right?) – love how @stylepantry tucked a plain white blouse into this rich, trumpet midi, with a simple belt and nude pump. Sophisticated and stylish, while super accessible to all budgets.

Layer on top of layers and layers

Love the play on layering that @stutilicious did here - a buttoned vest worn open, or even a sweater vest, keeps this casual but cool, while still being professional. Try different fabrics based on the weather, but the biggest takeaway is that layering can take on different forms. Have fun with it!
Love the play on layering that @stutilicious did here – a buttoned vest worn open, or even a sweater vest, keeps this casual but cool, while still being professional. Try different fabrics based on the weather, but the biggest takeaway is that layering can take on different forms. Have fun with it!

You told us your favorite blouses and where to find them:

"RAVELLA hands down. Expensive but worth an investment," @g_pow recommended
RAVELLA hands down. Expensive but worth an investment,” @g_pow recommended
LandsEnd was recommended by @marle_and_me - this one is on sale for just under $30! Use code: STRIPES
Lands End was recommended by @marle_and_methis one is on sale for just under $30! Use code: STRIPES
@marle_and_me also recommended Ann Taylor (which got some yes votes as well as some no votes. We love a bit of stretch in a button-down and at 40% off, it's worth a shot! Use code: SUMMERTIME
@marle_and_me also said Ann Taylor (which got yes votes as well as some no’s. We love stretch in a button-down and at 40% off, it’s worth a shot! Use code: SUMMERTIME
We love mixing high and low, and this blouse by H&M spotted by @jennthefurr is crisp, professional and easy on the budget (and generous in the chest).
We love mixing high and low, and this blouse by H&M spotted by @jennthefurr is crisp, professional and easy on the budget (and generous in the chest).
Less formal than the typical office button-down, this tie-sleeve blouse is light and breezy, and according to @finance_goddess, super comfy.
Less formal than the typical office button-down, this tie-sleeve blouse by Michael Stars is light and breezy, and according to @finance_goddess, super comfy.
A great rec by @finance_goddess regarding blouses is to consider your build/look... she recs Ralph Lauren for broader shoulders, and we love this Broadcloth Tuxedo top (which happens to be 40% off!). Use code: MEMDAY
A great rec by @finance_goddess regarding blouses is to consider your build/look… she recs Ralph Lauren for broader shoulders, and we love this Broadcloth Tuxedo top (which happens to be 40% off!). Use code: MEMDAY
If you're looking for a more mature look, we and @finance_goddess like Brooks Brothers (they too are having a major sale). This non-iron fitted shirt is part of the 4 for $199 sale (and an online clearance of 70% off plus an additional 25% off).
For a more mature look (just make sure the shape isn’t boxy), we, @katieinlilly and @finance_goddess like Brooks Brothers (they too are having a major sale). This non-iron fitted shirt is part of the 4 for $199 sale (plus their online clearance of 70% off plus an additional 25% off). Use code: MEMDAY
Not sure if this is the exact blouse, but @jennyfromthuhblock recommended NY&Company for button-downs like these, because they even have a little snap to fill the boob gap (which is so necessary!)
Not sure if this is the exact** blouse, but @jennyfromthuhblock recommended New York & Company for button-downs like these, because they even have a little snap to fill the boob gap (which is so necessary!) Love the sleeves on this Eva Mendes top, and it’s under $30 on major sale. Go for it!

**Here is the actual blouse @jennyfromthuhblock recommended. It’s on a major sale, don’t miss it!

Love anything BOSS. It's so elegant and their pieces last for *years* - @contapsocial recommended and we found that they're having a massive 40% off sale for women's clothing (30% off men's). Don't miss the chance to shop!
Love anything BOSS. It’s so elegant and their pieces last for *years* – @contapsocial recommended and in exchange for your email address, they’re having a massive 40% off sale for women’s (30% off men’s). Don’t miss this sale!
This top by Universal Standard (love a size-inclusive brand like this!) was recommended by @contapsocial for the non-gaping cut, which, let's be real, we cannot emphasize enough.
This top by Universal Standard (love a size-inclusive brand like this!) was recommended by @contapsocial for the non-gaping cut, which, let’s be real, we cannot emphasize enough.
Tried and true, we can't forget Banana Republic. This Riley tailored-fit super-stretch shirt is on massive 40% sale and a perfect addition to your wardrobe. Great recommendation by @xoxofinancehoe.
Tried and true, we can’t forget Banana Republic. This Riley tailored-fit super-stretch shirt is on massive 40% sale and a perfect addition to your wardrobe. Great recommendation by @xoxofinancehoe.
Can we really recommend white blouses without mentioning MBAchic staple J.Crew? This slim stretch perfect shirt is 40% off all weekend and you need it in your life.
Can we really recommend white blouses without mentioning the MBAchic standby J.Crew? This slim stretch perfect shirt is 40% off all weekend and you need it in your life. Use code: WEEKEND

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