From Coffee to Cocktails: Dapper Ways to Accessorize that Crisp White Shirt

The white button-down shirt: It’s a classic that can take you anywhere, from casual coffee with friends to client meetings to a fancy dinner date. With the right accessories, you can change your look to match the occasion — and your personality.

white shirt cover

The Boys Are Back… in White

Most men have at least one or two white button-downs in their wardrobe; it’s an office-wear staple. But just because it’s de rigueur doesn’t mean it has to be boring.

Coffee
Worn casually, the white button-down shirt can make you look sophisticated and pulled together. Wear it tucked in or out of jeans and roll up the sleeves. Accessorize with a fedora or flat cap and Converse-style shoes, then add a leather cuff to your wrist or a custom buckle to your belt.

Client Meeting
Trade your casual wear for something a little more office-appropriate. Wear your white shirt with loafers and flat-front trousers (or dark wash jeans for a more office-casual environment). Let your personality shine through with a quirky printed tie and a pullover or button-down sweater instead of a stuffy suit jacket.

Dinner Date
For an evening out, pair your shirt with dark-colored pants and dress shoes. Cuff-links can show off your elegant but wild side with super hero, steampunk, and geeky motifs. Pull on a striped, checked, or plaid waistcoat (that’s a vest, to you US chaps) and don’t forget a spritz of your nicest cologne.

mens

Ladies Can Play Dress-up, Too

Of course, guys don’t have a monopoly on the white button-down; the gals can pull off the same classic looks with a feminine twist.

Coffee
Meet your friends at the cafe in a tunic-style white shirt belted over colored skinny jeans. Top off with big earrings and a fedora or cloche in natural fibers or funky patterns, then slip into a pair of comfy ballet flats. Oh, so Audrey!

Client Meeting
Tuck your shirt into a pencil skirt or pencil-leg pant and run to your next meetup. Pull your outfit together with a colorful belt with cutout details, a photo print scarf, and brightly-colored heels or flats. Don’t forget a coordinating bag for your files.

Dinner Date
Pair your shirt with a high-waisted flowing skirt in a seasonal color and a metallic belt. Pin up your hair in a romantic style and add some sparkly earrings and a stunning cuff bracelet. Dark-colored heels and an envelope clutch complete the look.

womens

There are many other ways to accessorize your white shirt. Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to infuse your personality into your outfit!

Guys’ Shopping Guide:
flat cap: Nordstrom
cufflinks: Amazon
tie: The Tie Bar
vest: Nordstrom
shoes: Converse

Gals’ Shopping Guide:
cloche: Target
cuff: Wendy Edsall-Kerwin
belt: GAP
earrings: Megan Auman
scarf: Urban Outfitters
skirt: Urban Outfitters

From Coffee to Cocktails: Dapper Ways to Accessorize that Crisp White Shirt

Ciaran Keast

Ciaran Keast loves art, semicolons, books, cats -- and all the tea, ever. When they're not posting tea photos on social media, you'll catch them at almost every Plum Deluxe event.

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