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Jeans, pants, shorts or any sort of bottoms are some of my favorite pieces of clothing to seek out. But tops, on the other hand, have always been hard for me. So, when I find a style that I actually love and feel confident wearing, I practically start a collection.
Enter: the button-up shirt.
Button-up tops are taking over my summer wardrobe (dare I say, even replacing my graphic tees) — and for good reason.
Button-Up Shirts: The Summer Tops Replacing My Graphic Tees
They’re incredibly versatile, look great tucked in or left out loose, and can be worn buttoned all the way up or kept open over a fitted top. You can even just loop one button or two — my personal fave — which allows for a hint of extra skin that calls out for some flirty summer sun.
Button-ups work great as beach cover-ups, can be used as a light layer over a dress when it’s too warm for a proper jacket, and can even suit-up for the office. I mean..the list certainly is impressive.
While linen and cotton gauze are some of my most-worn styles, I’ve recently been feeling very drawn to a menswear-inspired, crisp cotton top for when I want a look that is a bit more structured and chic.
Shop More Classic Button-Up Shirts
I scooped up this 100% cotton, pinstripe button-up from & Other Stories, and it’s amazing. My true size, medium, is naturally oversized, which is just how I wanted it (but you could size down if you prefer something more fitted). The top is lightweight (hello, warm weather) and crisp for easy rolling of the sleeves and tucking, yet creates minimal noise (almost zero) compared with other crisp-style tops, and is still very soft.
A blue pinstripe looks especially good with one of my favorite summer wardrobe staples: white jeans.
Not to mention, the blue just begs to be paired with an Aperol spritz on the beach (cue coastal Italian summer dreams). This borrowed-from-the-boys top looks perfectly beachy when worn with warm-weather wardrobe pieces, and it’s my personal favorite alternative to a summer dress.
2 Cute Summer Outfits Ft. A Crisp, Cotton Button-Up Shirt
While the options to style a button-up shirt really do feel endless, here are two ways I’ll be wearing them on repeat all spring and summer long.
1. A Cotton Button-Up With Denim Shorts & Ballet Flats
I went through a (long) phase where I hated all denim shorts, and it recently dawned on me that it’s because they can easily make me feel like a child wearing them. Maybe it was because I was raised in the ’90s, but I couldn’t escape the juvenile essence denim shorts gave off until I realized that how I style them can make all the difference.
Switching from graphic tees to button-up tops has made a huge difference with how I feel in denim shorts (other tricks that have helped: fitted tanks, high-quality cardigans draped over the top, and finding clean, non-distressed denim). AGOLDE heard my cries this season; it released a new line of Parker shorts in washes free from the over-distressed elements they’e have been known for in the past — and they’re stunning (here are a few more blue washes and a coastal-perfect white wash).
Adding ballet flats gives a feminine twist to the otherwise masculine button-up shirt. This pair from Vagabond caught my eye immediately with the squared toe (my preference over the rounded ballet flats), and I love how the strap over the top makes the shoe look, well, pretty.
2. A Cotton Button-Up Top With White Jeans & Flip-Flops
To feel a little less preppy and a little more undone (always my goal), I like to keep a button-up mostly unbuttoned, and slip into casual flip-flop (this pair is just as comfortable it is chic).
GOOD white jeans can actually be hard to find, but leave it to MOTHER to make these perfect-fitting jeans in a gloriously bright white (super-stretchy, super-soft and magically not see-through). My true size in the Rambler Ankle Straight-Leg Jeans are spot-on.
This look is sexy and summery. It can easily take you from a morning stroll at the market all the way to sipping mai tai’s seaside, or even to a meal in the backyard where you slip out of your sandals and the kids run around in the sprinklers (ahhh, can you tell I’m ready for summertime?!).
Thank you Nordstrom for sponsoring this post! You’re making summertime look mighty good with all the amazing shorts and sandals in your collection right now. And thank you so, so much to our readers for your continued support — love you guys!!
Let’s be friends on Instagram! Sharing life from a California beach town, daily style & beauty faves, and never-ending Gilmore Girl binge-athons — all with a good dose of adorable toddler content too.