Choosing what to wear can leave you feeling like you’ve put in a whole day’s work before you even leave for the office. So follow these work-wear outfit “formulas” for three fresh ways to wear a button-up shirt and give yourself a head start on the day.

Button Up + Blazer + Trousers + Classic Shoes + Statement Jewelry

Leave your shirt untucked as shown, or do a half-tuck (with just the front tails inside the waistband) for a modern twist on a classic combination. To keep the look sharp, choose tailored pieces, such as this blazer and slim-cut trousers. As a finishing touch, add a striking piece of jewelry, perhaps a statement necklace. Shown here, it adds a pop of color under the collar. Don’t have a similar necklace? A bold bracelet, earrings or cocktail ring can also add a splash of visual interest.



Button Up + Dress + Classic Accessories

McKinney Online - Style File - June 2015

Try wearing a button-up shirt under a dress. If the buttons show through, layer a thin camisole over the shirt before adding the dress. Consider adding an accessory, such as a tortoiseshell watch to add a tiny bit of pattern play to the look, and the intricate earrings play off the collar to frame the face. Nude heels lengthen the leg line and showcase the outfit’s classic silhouette.

These looks will work just as well with a colored or patterned button up. This week, try subbing your pieces into the outfit formulas above and take a few days off from feeling like you have nothing to wear.



Button Up + Completer Piece + Skirt + Accessories

McKinney Online - Style File - June 2015

Adding any type of completer piece (such as a cardigan, jacket, blazer, etc.) instantly makes a top and bottom look more polished. For the days when the weather or air conditioning leaves you shivering, opt for layers, as shown here. On hot summer days, lose the tights and boots in favor of a fun pair of flats or heels for a new spin on this combination. Top off the look by adding a few bold accessories such as the necklace and tote.


About the author: Caitlin Skidmore is a McKinney-based writer and style coach. She is the creator of Greater Than Rubies, where she teaches people how to make the most of their closets. You can contact her at