The white button-down shirt is a staple in any fashion-savvy individual’s wardrobe. Its versatility and clean look make it a go-to for anything from a casual day out to a formal event. But have you ever stopped to wonder where this iconic shirt came from? The white button-down shirt has a long and storied history for women, dating back to the 18th century. Marie Antoinette wore a ruffled cotton robe de gaulle in a 1783 portrait, causing quite a scandal at the time. It later gained popularity among the elite due to its crisp, clean look. Over the years, the white button-down shirt has undergone many style iterations, but its classic silhouette remains largely unchanged. So next time you reach for your trusty white button-down, take a moment to appreciate its timeless design.

I’ve broken down a few categories for the white button down shirt. Keep scrolling to check out the white button down tops with added details like ruffles, pleats and bows. As well as tops that come in plus, petite and tall sizes. 

The Classic White button down

When shopping for a white button-down shirt, there are several things to keep in mind in order to find the right fit. First, pay attention to the shoulder seams. They should fall at the edge of your shoulder, not hanging off or bunching up. Next, look at the sleeve length. The shirt should hit at the wrist, with enough room to comfortably move your arms. The body of the traditional shirt should also have a tailored fit. Finally, choose a fabric that is breathable and doesn’t wrinkle easily. Cotton is always a good option, but there are also many synthetic fabrics that work well for button-downs. 

Caring For Your White Button Down Shirt

To wash your shirt, start by checking the care label. Most white shirts should be washed in cool water on the delicate cycle. Here is the detergent I use for everyday wash. If your shirt is particularly dirty or stained, you may need to pre-treat it with a stain remover before washing. I pretreat with this one for tough stains, or use this dye-free oxi-boost in the wash along with detergent. Once it’s time to dry your shirt, hang it on a hanger or lay it flat to prevent wrinkles.

If you want a crisp, polished look, starching your shirt is a good option. To starch your shirt, try a firm finish spray like this one. I always spot test a section before doing the full shirt if it’s the first time. Then spray it working in small sections because the starch drys quickly as you iron. Be sure to allow the shirt to dry completely before wearing it.

Marie Antoinette's impact on fashion

The white button-down shirt has been a wardrobe staple for centuries. Its simple design and versatility make it ideal for both formal and casual occasions. But where did this essential piece of clothing come from? Surprisingly, its origins can be traced back to Marie Antoinette. In the 18th century, the French queen was known for her lavish fashion sense. She often wore extravagant gowns with intricate details, such as ruffles and lace. However, she also favored a more relaxed style when she was at home. Marie Antoinette is believed to be the first woman to wear a white button-down shirt for a portrait. This portrait caused a commotion among the court, but it also started the craze for cotton among the aristocracy. Today, the white button-down shirt is still associated with style and sophistication. In part and thanks to Marie Antoinette, this timeless garment has become a wardrobe staple for women all over the world.

The White button down: plus sizes

The white button-down shirt has been a staple in Hollywood since the 1940s, when actresses like Lauren Bacall and Barbara Stanwyck popularized the look. The shirt became synonymous with femininity and sophistication, and it remains an iconic fashion choice for many female celebrities today. The shirt is often associated with classic Hollywood glamour as it was embraced by Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and many others.

In recent years, the white button-down has undergone a revitalization, thanks to celebrities like Carolyn Basette Kennedy, Rihanna and Victoria Beckham who have put their own spin on the classic style. Whether worn with jeans or a ballgown, the white button-down shirt continues to be a timeless fashion choice for Hollywood’s leading ladies.

White Button Down: Maternity

The White button down: petite & Tall Sizes