9 Creative ways to wear a basic white button-down shirt

Feb 8, 2016 at 6:10 p.m. ET
Image: Pamela Greer/Moment/Getty Images

There's a good chance you have one in your closet right now — but have you thought about the many ways you could be styling your classic white button-down shirt? 

This very common wardrobe staple made a guest appearance on several spring 2016 runways. Should you choose to accept this trend, your challenge is to find inventive and contemporary ways of styling the shirt we all know and love so that it looks anything but basic.

Here are nine ideas that will get you thinking about your white shirt in brand new ways.

1. Open in all the right places

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Instead of popping a few buttons at the top, leave half of your button-down open — at the bottom — and show off a beautiful belt and pleated pants. The first look comes courtesy of Mai Style Pages fashion blog and the following look is thanks to the British fashion blog Boho Tailor.

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More: 11 Fashionable ways to wear knee-length boots

2. With a statement tie

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Wear a tie with feminine flair simply by using ribbon fabric to create a bow. Or play up the masculinity of a white shirt by sewing an extra swatch of white fabric by the collar in order to make your own cute shirt tie. Then pair it with the sweetest floral miniskirt in your closet.

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3. Prints that bring out personality

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Your white button-down doesn't have to be all white. A pattern brings out your charm and personality and instantly elevates a pair of jeans or a simple skirt.

4. Preppy flair

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Got a bright sweater and want to make it pop? Layer it over a crisp white shirt and slouchy, low-rise trousers (total spring trend) to bring a bit of preppy flair to your wardrobe.

5. A ruffled treat

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Ruffles won't ruin a classic button down. The texture and bulk will liven up any white button-down shirt and help you create an interesting look. Add jewelry for extra flair.

More: 6 Creative ways to wear gloves this season

6. Under overalls

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Sweet and prim with short sleeves and a Peter Pan collar, this adorable white shirt looks anything but plain under another big spring trend: denim overalls. This look comes courtesy of blogger and stylist, Running in Chanel.

7. With leather

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A high contrast black and white look is as simple as pairing a white shirt with edgy black shorts or pants as French blogger at The City Loves Fashion did here.

8. White shirt with a train

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There's no better way to add drama to an otherwise understated outfit of boyfriend jeans and a white button-down shirt than by adding fabric and creating the more eye candy. Throw on an incredible pair of flashy heels and you're a queen. This shirt was designed by an independent designer on Etsy.

9. Shirt as dress

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If your white shirt is long enough and your dress is short enough, the two can meet somewhere in the middle and create this sexy little look. Keep things preppy and tame by pairing them with simple loafers and no jewelry.

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