Your Guide to Collared Shirts

If there’s a top equivalent of the pair-of-jeans staple, it’s the collared shirt. Tried, true and definitive through countless decades, it’s one of the few pieces you can adapt for office wear and a night out with friends, and has come a long way from its days as a uniform counterpart. Thus, in the spirit of collared diversity, here’s how you can break free of the safety zone and make the collared shirt your own: 

Prim and Proper

Borrowing on the season’s androgynous influence, fully buttoned collared shirts are ideal for the preppy, streamlined aesthetic that helps keep spring looking polished and freshly tailored. Worn alongside a double-breasted blazer and pleated trouser shorts, a pinstriped blouse can help dress up a borderline casual ensemble, or paired with trouser jeans and oxford flats, you can pay your homage to Annie Hall. Thanks to its formal connotations, a fully-buttoned collared shirt can also function both at the office and outside of it, anchoring any pieces you may consider risky.

Grunge Revival 

Despite what spring’s 70s obsession would have you believe, the 90s still have their place in the season, and thanks to casual looks defined by oversize vintage cotton, men’s dress shirts or even your own piece worn unconventionally, you can add edge to an outfit in need of a pick-me-up. By wearing an oversize dress shirt over a skirt and a tank “ or even worn belted over tights and with boots “ you can create a low-maintenance weekend look straight out of Singles. But if you’re not one for overt nostalgia? Pairing a short-sleeve button-up with a t-shirt and jeans can create a weekend-appropriate play on the look, while donning a button-up denim blouse with high-waisted skinny pants will take you from afternoon to night.

Conventionally Polished

Believe it or not, donning a collared shirt need not be a production: and as exemplified by stores like H&M, Zara and Urban Outfitters, pairing a basic style (whether worn in a solid shade or a floral print) with a pair of pleated shorts or your favourite jeans is the perfect way to embrace one of spring’s necessary staples. The only rule? As exemplified by most designers during their spring 2011 runway shows, even the most oversize styles should be paired with a well-fitted piece to balance it out. Thus, while an oversize shirt worn with wide-legged jeans may seem like a comfortable solution, it’ll only serve to unflatter you with its lack of structure or silhouette.

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Tags: Alexa Chung, button-up shirts, collared shirts, Fashion, H&M, preppy, spring 2011, style, Urban Outfitters, wardrobes, wearing collared shirts, Zara

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