12 Cute Ways to Wear a Button-Down Shirt in Summer

A white button-down shirt is one of those pieces that I tend to wear on repeat and I thought I’d let you in on some of the ways that I like to style it. Here, I'll take you through 12 cute ways to wear a button-down shirt in summer, for all types of weather and occasions. Let's get started.

White button-down shirt with pleated pants

1. Pleated pants

Here, I am going for everyday chic with my classic navy pleated pants. The slightly loose fit of the pants with the classic button-down shirt feels stylish, effortless, and polished but understated at the same time.

I’ve added in a couple of tan details with my belt and the sandals. Depending on the weather, I’d finish off the outfit with a straw hat.

White button-down shirt with jeans

2. Elevated evening wear

I love styling something as simple as a button-down shirt for the evening. We often feel the need to really dress up if we’re going out and forget the joy of classic pieces such as these. Sometimes that simplicity can be an interesting twist in itself for your evening outfits.

I’ve kept this outfit understated and haven’t added any jewelry, but let the bag and heels bring some sparkle.

White button-down shirt with flared pants

3. Fabulous flares

These flared paper-bag pants in a rich caramel color give off a vintage feel and are a perfect accompaniment to the white shirt. The loose fit of the pants and the shirt are harmonized by the tie waist, which adds definition to the silhouette.

White button-down shirt with a silk maxi skirt

4. Sumptuous silk

Here, I’m wearing a beautiful crepe silk maxi skirt. When wearing a maxi skirt, make sure that you get the proportional contrast right.

This skirt is high-waisted, and I didn’t want to lose that by letting the shirt fall below the waistline. Instead, I tied it in a knot at the waistband to draw the eye to the waist area. 

White button-down shirt with a trench coat

5. Trench trendy

I’m addicted to jeans; whatever the weather, I will always have a pair to hand. I just love the versatility of denim. Here, I’ve added some khaki into the mix with the colored trench coat, and my sandals and sunnies make the outfit feel more put together. 

White button-down shirt with loungewear

6. Beautiful in blush

I love this blush shade and I find that it can really soften my outfits. Here, I’ve taken the button-down shirt in a whole different direction by juxtaposing the crispness of the shirt against the far more floaty pants.

It also takes the pants from feeling somewhat loungewear to more everyday, giving me more ways to wear these pants, which is never a bad thing.  

White button-down shirt with a dress

7. Impress with a dress

One thing I tend to do throughout summer is a little layering, particularly with my dresses. With this particular dress, the addition of the knotted shirt helps to define my waist. I’ve also left quite a few buttons open, so you get the contrast of the white against the navy.

White button-down shirt with white pants

8. White wonder

As Vogue quite rightly pointed out, “the allure of head-to-toe white is impossible to resist,” and that’s especially true through summer. It’s that easy, inexpensive, and stylish trick that never fails to elevate a look.

Here, I’ve left my shirt loose and out of my pants for a more laidback look. I finished the outfit with gold sandals and added a little texture with a straw bag.

White button-down shirt with a vest

9. Light layers

Another layering idea is to leave your button-down shirt open and wear a vest or t-shirt underneath. It gives you an extra layer if needed, while instantly adding a more laidback vibe to your look.

I’m wearing it with these relaxed-fit summer pants. This layering trick is handy if the weather is temperamental.

White button-down shirt with a Breton top

10. Breton blend

I’m dipping into Parisian style by layering my Breton top underneath the shirt. I tied in the navy tone of the stripes with my pants, then opted for camel flats and a handbag.

I’ve left the shirt unbuttoned and held it together with the knot-tie at the front, rolling the sleeves back so that you get a little touch of that stripe popping out from underneath. 

White button-down shirt with denim shorts

11. Sophisticated shorts

Adding a classic white shirt to a pair of denim shorts helps to balance out their very laidback feel. The shirt is a nice elegant touch in contrast to the very chilled, distressed shorts.

To elevate the outfit even more, I’ve layered an oversized and relaxed fitting blazer over the top, which I think works nicely.

White button-down shirt with a tailored blazer

12. Structured silhouette

If you want to go for a more tailored blazer, pair it with some straight-cut jeans and a white shirt. A leather bag and a pair of large sunglasses make a powerful impact for an altogether strong, structured, and sophisticated look.

Cut ways to wear a button-down shirt

Those are my 12 ways to wear a button-down shirt. I hope they inspired you, and you’re able to incorporate some of them into your everyday wear. Which of these styles was your favorite?

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Join the conversation
  • Leslie Leslie on Aug 21, 2021

    Kudos to you. You are one of the few people I see on this site that can put together a look VERY well. Thank you for that skill.

  • Lucía Lucía on Apr 17, 2022

    I like it, but your Summer is different from mine. I live in the Mexican Caribean, and I will use your ideas in my Winter. LOL.