Liberate the button up with some contemporary styling
Words: Max Dylan Lazarus | Photography: Bevan Davis | Styling: Robin-Jade Carolus
I never ever used to like wearing shirts. Everything about them bothered me as a kid, and it took me a long time to shake that feeling as an adult. Button-ups belonged to school uniforms and boring hours spent at church, and felt like tight collars and uptight occasions, enforced tuck-ins and stuck up people. I really hated shirts.
But that’s less to do with the object, and all to do with the occasion. The older generation were big into rules and formality, and unfortunately the button-up top got caught up as an accessory to their bullshit. So let’s liberate the design from its unbearable tucked-in chinos and Toughies history. Here are 5 ways to dress smart, feel comfortable, and look incredible, all with some buttons and a collar.
Nights out in a zip-up shirt
Add a chic finish to your athluxe look with a crisp white cotton shirt. There’s a fine line between on-trend and Italian football hooligan, and if you’re looking to rock the head-to-toe tracky look, you’d do well to add a refined edge to your outside. Just be sure to make your colours complementary, keep that collar tucked under, and head on out to make a night of it.
Casual Fridays in short sleeves
Now this is what we’ve been begging for all this time: casual cool. Whether you’re pairing a short-sleeved shirt with jeans, chinos or even shorts, a rolled hem is your friend. The result: it doesn’t matter what event springs up after work drinks, you can rock up dressed like this and you’ll never get turned away at the door.
First date in a crisp white shirt
The original and best, useful for weddings, funerals and job interviews, not to mention when you need to make mom happy and dress up nice “for once”: we all know the deal when it comes to the plain white shirt. What we want to do, though, is change this piece from an object of obligation for events you have to attend, to an object of opportunity. You know – for dates? Make sure your crisp cotton shirt has a slim fit, a length that comfortably goes below your belt at rest, and then wear it with all buttons done. You’ll be finding love in no time.
Mazaltov! It's party-time in a black-tipped formal shirt
Prepare to horrify all ballies everywhere when you rock up at the wedding or dance looking like this. You’re a scourge of traditional values, everywhere, aren’t you? Well thank goodness, the age of everyone all dressing like the cast of March of the Penguins is long gone. The blazer and fitted trousers remain of course, but sneakers, socks and clever layering mean that even in the fanciest of gatherings, you’ll be sticking out like a 10.
First Thursdays in the black button-up
Finally, we can wear black shirts and not look like Mafia goons! Ideal for galleries, gigs, and other cultural happenings, this shirt really adds credence to the “black is slimming” motto. Texture is your friend in an all-black ensemble, otherwise the look is too flat, so pair up with denim, leather, faux fur and shearling.