Once a power suit cliche, the classic button-down has gotten a major makeover, revealing its playful side with pretty whimsical prints and bold standout hues. Take inspiration from the stars, like Jessica Alba in Theory, or from the runways (see: Michael Kors, above) to look instantly put-together. On the hunt for your perfect piece? Keep in mind these three things when you shop and style:
1. The Outfit
For a tailored, office-appropriate look, pair with a pencil skirt and fitted blazer. On weekends, let the top go un-tucked with black leather skinnies or jeans and a statement necklace.
2. The Fit
Think slim but not tight. “You shouldn’t be able to grab more than two inches of fabric when you pull the shirt away from your body,” says Gretta Monahan, author of Style and the Successful Girl. For your shirttail to stay tucked in, the length should hit midhip. For an office shirt, pick crisp fabrics, like cotton or cotton-spandex blends, because they hold their shape.
3. The Design
Traditional patterns (read: stripes) work for 9-to-5. Want to loosen things up a bit? Try small florals (like, the blouse from Brooks Brothers above ($90; brooksbrothers.com) or colorblocking.
From gingham to pinstripes, see our favorite button-down picks below:
For more tips, pick up the February issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now.