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Classic White Button Down for $20

Ever since I was a young girl, I loved the look of a classic white button-down. I remember seeing Carolina Herrera for the first time on T.V., gracefully walking out from behind the curtain of one of her fashion shows, in her tailored black pants and perfect white shirt.

I never saw anyone so elegant.

She immediately became my north star of style.

But it’s only been over the last few years that I’ve felt “grown-up” enough to feel comfortable in it.
These days, having a few simple outfit combinations that feel polished but not overdone has helped me stay productive while managing work and the current chaos of home life.

Classic White Button Down

Classic White Button Down for $20

Classic White Button Down, $21

Today, I’m all about a classic cut, not boxy, not overly fitted. And I don’t want to spend a small fortune. A white button-down is a lot like a white tee shirt. In my opinion, there’s no rhyme or reason to pricing, and quality is rarely reflected in the cost. 

In my pursuit of a shirt that fits well and works for my budget and lifestyle, I tried dozens of brands. Imagine my surprise and delight when out of everything, the one I like the most came from Amazon Essentials for $21.00.

I’m wearing the medium; it runs true, with sizing starting at XS – XXL. 

It’s not sheer, the fit is excellent, and it washes well. 

I picked up several, so I always have some on hand. Here, I paired it with a pair of dark skinny jeans. Of course, you can wear them with a straight leg for the same look. And I’m wearing my favorite Rothy’s that have turned into a slipper alternative.

General Fit and Care

Remember, not all pieces work universally. Button downs are tricky for many when it comes to fit. If you have a full bust, it’s not always worth the alterations you would need to do to get the fit right. (It usually involves sizing up and altering down or having something custom made.) 

But if they work for you, they can be a polished and ladylike staple in your classic wardrobe. Especially 

I wear mine half tucked in the front – a trick that helps minimize your midsection. Doing so creates a chic, casual vibe like you’re Diane Keaton in any move she’s ever been in. 

What’s the best way to keep them white? Well, Carolina Herrera herself once said, “A bar of dove soap and warm water.” Works beautifully. Just scrub around the color, cuff, and under the arms to keep them from turning yellow, rinse, and throw it in the dryer on low.


Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

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Classic White Button Down for $20

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Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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Thursday 16th of April 2020

This is an inexplicable gap in my wardrobe. Fixing that today!


Thursday 16th of April 2020

I love the look of a classic white shirt but I have given up on buttoned shirts. No matter what size I try, they gap between the buttons, revealing the center of my bra. Or the shoulders don’t fit. Or the sleeves are too long or too short. Or it looks like I slept in it after five minutes of wear (and 15 minutes of ironing). I don’t want one badly enough to have one custom made - or two, because I would spill something on it. I’ll just look at you all looking classy in your white shirts!!


Thursday 16th of April 2020

Bravissimo makes a button down for large busted ladies, but I haven't bought one yet.

Kelly Beck```

Thursday 16th of April 2020

Thank you for this post! I find it so hard to find a nice button down shirt that is comfortable.

Elizabeth Knox

Thursday 16th of April 2020

Yes, that is indeed a great look! Dark jeans, white button down and leopard print! Megan, did you know that Bobbie Brown created a lipstick in homage to Carolina Herrera? It is a perfect, versatile color that likely works for all skin tones. I buy it regularly. The color name is: Carolina.


Thursday 16th of April 2020

Would you be able to recommend a button down shirt made for -ahem- bustier ladies? I've been looking for one but the only ones I've found are way too big in the mid section if they button flat on the bust. Thanks!

Megan Kristel

Thursday 16th of April 2020

Unfortunately, I don't have a recommendation for on that comes right off the rack like that. Like I mentioned in the article, the best way to make these fit for full busts is to buy a size or two up and alter down. Which, at least right now, felt like an unreasonable recommendation. But, if you found a few that fit your bust, and there is extra fullness in the mid section, you could have that fullness taken out by a tailor. There just really isn't a good quality option (that isn't cheaply made or see-through) that I would stand behind at the moment.