The 15 Best Button-Down Shirts That May Become Your Next Favorite

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

We are all about an item of clothing that works overtime as both a casual and dressy look, and button-down shirts are exactly that. The button-down is a garment that has historically been considered a staple in workwear wardrobes, but in more recent decades, it’s become a go-to for more casual looks, and has been worn in place of an open cardigan, as a dress, and has even moonlighted as a bathing suit cover-up—not to mention all of its more formal uses, too. It’s truly one of the most adaptable pieces and something every person needs in their closet. 

“Button-downs are a timeless, classic look,” says expert Max Bonbrest. “They can be dressed up or worn casually and are a perfect fit for any occasion." Nothing how the versatility of a button-down is its biggest asset, Bonbrest says it will "secure a long-lasting place in anyone’s closet, no matter your style."

Since it is truly an icon, button-down shirts aren’t that hard to come by—but finding the best takes some work, and we put in the hours. We searched every nook and cranny of the internet to find the best button-downs for everything from formal, office-appropriate style to casual and cool.

See which styles captivated us and are our reigning bests ahead.

Meet the Expert

Best Overall: AYR The Deep End

AYR The Deep End

Amazon

Everyone needs a basic button-down shirt in their wardrobe; this is our favorite overall pick for its relaxed yet structural silhouette, chic oversized front pocket, and stunning 100 percent cotton. It’s the perfect button-down to pair with jeans but also sleek enough to pair with wide-leg pants and heels for a dressy feel.

Material: 100% cotton | Colors: White, Oxford Blue, Sesame, +more | Size Range: XS-XL | Care: Machine wash on cold with like colors, tumble dry low

Best Budget: A New Day Long Sleeve Oversized Button-Down Boyfriend Shirt

a new day long sleeve oversized button down boyfriend shirt

Target

A New Day is our go-to Target brand for chic and high-quality styles at affordable prices, and this button-down feels expensive, despite the $25 price tag. In addition to its quality, it is available in a collection of fun colors—including a gorgeous pink and purple.

Material: 98% cotton, 2% spandex | Colors: Pink, Purple, White, Black. Cream Striped +more | Size Range: XS-4X

Best on Amazon: Amazon Essentials Classic-Fit Long Sleeve Button Down Poplin Shirt

Amazon Essentials Women's Classic-Fit Long Sleeve Button Down Poplin Shirt

Amazon

For the best button-down on Amazon, we can always rely on Amazon Essentials to create something we love. This one comes top-rated from over 11,000 customers with rave reviews for its quality, length and fit, and wrinkle resistance. But, we also love it because there are so many patterns and prints to choose from, in addition to some solids, so you can easily find one that fits the occasion and season. 

Material: 100% cotton | Colors: Aqua Blue Stripe, Black, Blue Stripe, French Blue Stripe, Gingham, Indigo Stripe, Multicolor Gingham, Navy Dots, Pink Stripe, White, White Dots, Blue Floral +more | Size Range: XS-XXL | Care: Machine wash

Best Designer: Balenciaga Stripe Oversize Tie Front Crinkled Poplin Button-Down Shirt

Balenciaga Stripe Oversize Tie Front Crinkled Poplin Button-Down Shirt

Nordstrom

For our top designer button-down pick, we went with something a little more statement-making. This Balenciaga shirt is a nod to the classic button-down with its 100 percent cotton blue stripe design with an oversized relaxed fit that cinches at the waist with an attached sash. 

Material: 100% cotton | Colors: Blue stripe | Size Range: S-XL | Care: Dry clean

Best Short-Sleeve: Oak & Acorn Prayer Cotton Button-Up Shirt

Oak & Acorn Prayer Cotton Button-Up Shirt

Nordstrom

We are obsessed with the length of this short-sleeve button-down, as it offers an elevated and unique spin on a warm-weather classic. Made from 100 percent cotton, the button-down shirt features four pockets, a flattering spread collar, is 33 inches long, and would pair well with leggings or fitted denim. It would also work well as a swimsuit coverup for a casual beach day.

Material: 100% cotton | Colors: Amethyst | Size Range: XS-XL | Care: Machine wash and dry flat

Best Cropped: Toit Volant Cropped Button-Up Shirt

Toit Volant Cropped Button-Up Shirt

Toit Volant

Cropped button-downs are a great top to pair with everything from high-waisted pants to flowy high-rise skirts. We love this cotton shirt because it is the perfect mid-range crop and features ultra-fun balloon sleeves for added detail. 

Material: 100% cotton poplin | Colors: Black, White | Size Range: XS-L

Best Colorful: BDG Frankie Spliced Button-Down Shirt

bdg frankie spliced button down shirt

Urban Outfitters

There are tons of great ways to play with color when it comes to button-downs, and we love this patchwork approach. Designed with colorblock stripes in different colors, this long sleeve oversized button-down nods to the '90s. The top is also made with a bit of spandex, ensuring a comfortable fit with some stretch.

Material: 63% cotton, 33% polyester, 4% spandex | Colors: Multi, Yellow Multi | Size Range: XS-XL | Care: Machine wash

Best Utility: Banana Republic Utility Shirt

Banana Republic Utility Shirt

Banana Republic

For the perfect utility button-down shirt, look no further. Our top pick for this category is this style from Banana Republic for its mix of structural and flowy silhouettes (FYI, it runs slightly big for an oversized look). The top is designed with a point collar and button cuff sleeves, plus additional sleeve tabs for rolling and keeping them in place. It’s a great choice for out-of-office activities but is still elegant enough to wear to work. 

Material: 100% viscose twill | Colors: Black, Mallard Green, Rich Afternoon Latte, Light Ecru | Size Range: XXS-XXL | Care: Machine wash

Best for Work: Everlane The Silky Cotton Relaxed Shirt

Everlane The Silky Cotton Relaxed Shirt

Everlane

Button-downs are made for work, and while relaxed fits are appropriate for more casual office attire, a classic structured top is a staple. This Everlane button-down is made from 100 percent cotton that has a silky soft feel for maximum comfort. It’s also available in a wide collection of colors, including solids, stripes, and gingham, so you can find the perfect shirt for your work style.  

Material: 100% cotton | Colors: Black, Off-White, Pale Blue, Grey/White, Mariner Blue/White | Size Range: 00-16 | Care: Machine wash cold and tumble dry low

Best Silk: Quince Washable Stretch Silk Notch Collar Blouse

Quince Washable Stretch Silk Notch Collar Blouse

Quince

Chances are you’ll get a lot of wear out of a silk blouse, so a top that doesn’t require a trip to the dry cleaner is a bonus. This washable button-down is made of stretchy silk material with a relaxed blouse-like fit. It pairs beautifully with trousers for a dressed-up style but would also look chic with a pair of wide-leg denim for a casual look. 

Material: Mulberry silk and spandex | Colors: Ballard Blue, Navy, Ivory, Black, Coastal Pink, Burgundy, Forest Green | Size Range: XS-XL | Care: Machine wash cold

Best Linen: Uniqlo Premium Linen Long-Sleeve Shirt

uniqlo-premium-linen-long-sleeve-shirt

Uniqlo

Lightweight and breathable, this classic linen button-down from Uniqlo is a favorite of Erika Reals, Byrdie's Associate Commerce Fashion Editor. This versatile design is available in ten colors and up to size 3X, making it a great choice for both warm weather wardrobes and casual work environments. Reals sized up two sizes from her normal size to achieve that oversized look.

Material: 100% European linen | Colors: White, Light Gray, Pink, Beige, Yellow, Green, Blue, Dark Blue, Navy, Light Purple | Size Range: XXS-3X | Care: Machine wash cold or dry clean

Best Fitted: Athleta Uptown Shirt

Athleta Uptown Shirt

Athleta

The Athleta Uptown Shirt is our top choice for the fitted category, thanks to its slim silhouette, quality, and breathable material. This button-down shirt is made from post-consumer recycled water bottles and spun into polyester, making it an excellent eco-friendly choice too. It’s also super low maintenance when it comes to washing, which is a bonus for high-quality button-down shirts.

Material: Recycled polyester | Colors: Bright white | Size Range: XXS-3X | Care: Machine wash and dry

Best Oversized: Something Navy Classic Button Up

Something Navy Classic Button Up

Revolve

For those wanting to break into the button-down style but don’t feel like it’s a good fit for you, an oversized unbuttoned option is a great place to start. We are obsessed with this one from Something Navy, which takes design inspiration from the classic button-down silhouette but with a slightly oversized feel. It’s also available in a range of happy shades, making it a great way to pull more color into your wardrobe

Material: 100% cotton | Colors: White, Yellow, Light Blue, Purple | Size Range: XXS-XXL | Care: Wash cold or dry clean, do not tumble dry

Best Denim: Good American Boyfriend Denim Button-Up Shirt

Good American Boyfriend Denim Button-Up Shirt

Good American

Everyone needs a denim button-down in their closet, and, in our opinion, one with a more unisex fit is the way to go. Made of a high-quality organic cotton blend, this boyfriend-fit denim button-down from Good American has a timeless silhouette that will withstand the test of time. 

Material: 40% cotton, 30% organic cotton, 30% lyocell | Colors: Indigo | Size Range: XS-5X | Care: Machine wash and tumble dry

What to Look for in a Button-Down Shirt

Fit

One of the most important things to consider is how a button-down fits. “A classic silhouette in a great button-down will stand the test of time,” Bonbrest notes. Before investing in a good button-down, think about how you want the shirt to fit—do you want that classic fit or something loose and oversized? 

Quality 

“Prioritize quality,” says Arielle Charnas. “Does the fabric feel nice? How do the buttons look? Are you looking for structured or slouchy? It depends on what look you’re going for,” she adds, noting how she goes for a crisp, structured button-down.

FAQ
  • How do you style a button-down shirt?

    “I love a half-tuck into a great mini skirt or pair of shorts—the oversized proportion is super flattering,” says Bonbrest, adding that you can also wear a button-down untucked with your favorite pair of jeans or even elevate a pair of sweatpants. “It’s the perfect mix of casual and comfy while also looking and feeling put together."

    Charnas is also a big fan of wearing jeans and a button-down, but she prefers to tuck the shirt into the pants. “I also love throwing one over a bathing suit,” she says.

  • Can you wear a button-down shirt untucked?

    You can absolutely wear a button-down shirt untucked. “The button-down has become a universally versatile item—it’s a great way to pull an outfit together, throw it on unbuttoned and untucked over jeans and a tank, or as a cover-up overtop a dress,” says Bonbrest. 

    “A button-down untucked can be very chic if styled properly,” says Charnas. “If you’re opting for an untucked look, I recommend styling it with a pair of leggings, a trouser, or over swim."

  • How to dress down a button-down shirt?

    To dress down a button-down, you can start by leaving it untucked and unbuttoned. Additionally, you can “pair it with a matching short or layer it over your favorite slinky top,” says Bonbrest. since "layering is both practical and gives off the perfect laid-back vibe with intention."

    “I don’t really consider button-downs as a dressed-up look,” Charnas explains. “You can, of course, do both, but pairing it with a pair of jeans and sneakers or loafers is a great casual everyday look."

Why Trust Byrdie 

Contributing writer Jessie Quinn has a bachelor's degree in fashion journalism. From working in the fashion closet and interviewing designers at NYLON Magazine to now writing about the best style trends for various publications, Jessie researches and sources the best fashion finds. When researching the best button-down shirts, Jessie used her background in fashion to source styles with comfortability, fabric quality, and purpose in mind. As a result, she put together a list of button-down shirts for every occasion. 

Related Stories