When dressing, many people overlook subtle details that impact their outfits. Shirt buttons and shirt buttoning is such an underutilized touch of style.
Aside from the shirt buttons themselves, whether they are fashion buttons or just basic buttons, the amount of shirt buttons you use to button up your shirt leads to a social perception of style. For both men and women, the rules of engagement vary. We’ve laid out the common social characteristics of shirt buttoning for how to use and… uh hum, and how not to.
Seven to Eight - buttoned up shirt buttons (Total Button Front)
Formal: You can never go wrong with a complete buttoned up look in business unless the neck is too tight. Buttoning up to the top expresses someone who is detail oriented and organized. Tell the world you are correct, formal and wearing the garment as it was intentionally designed.
Casual: In the casual world buttoning up to the top says you are either trendy and hip with rolled up pant cuffs or should be wearing a pocket protector. Totally buttoning up your shirt is certainly acceptable and can be trendy, but if done poorly can also give off the sensation of someone who is literally rigid.
Six - buttoned up shirt buttons
Formal: Leaving the top shirt button open is one of the most common ways of wearing your formal dress shirts when not wearing a tie. It maintains every bit of office formality with a dash of “I’m here to do business, inside or outside of the office". You are serious but chill!
Casual: Understanding the structural beauty of your shirt, you are working and living not so square. Right in the neutral zone you are ready for any thing.
Five - buttoned up shirt buttons
Formal: Grab your ascot and get ready for a fine night out. Use formal wear to stay above casual while being casual. You may even be wearing designer clothing here to resonate your creative side.
Casual: You are totally relaxed and laid back. Guys and gals you like the idea of walking around the office all day on casual Fridays with an invisible beer in your hand.
Four - buttoned up shirt buttons
Formal: Guys, this is about as far as “risqué” could go for formal. You better be a celebrity, rock star, fashion designer or mobster to pull this one off. Or at least look like one. You know you are gangster by changing the status quo! Women need to proceed with caution here even though many women’s dress shirts vary in cut.
Casual: It better be summer, because you certainly think the waiter is taking too long with your piña colada. Guys you are on vacation here and gals you are ready for the weekend!
Three - buttoned up shirt buttons
Casual: International fashion model or what? Are you a stylish older man with a tan on a sailboat? No… then button it back up! You like to be hip and sexy but it’s too much. Women you get away with cute, subtle laid back styling here.
Two - buttoned up shirt buttons
Casual: Guys, we know you work out but how about you button it back up to classy. Stay that way and you will be permanently affixed to the same spot on the line into the nightclub. We know you are strong but #buttonup your shirt buttons. Whether it is a metropolitan or great outdoors expedition, either way ladies you button your shirt with style.
One - buttoned up shirt button
Casual: You either think you're Justin Bieber on the cover of a magazine or you just woke up from a night of drunken madness!! Refrain at all costs! This is only reserved for the models at Hollister. Women’s shirt styles are so different that depending on the style you can unleash some real creativity here.
No - buttoned up shirt buttons
Casual: The epitome of the sporty casual look. Wearing your casual shirt fitted gives the impression you guys pay attention to detail. Wear it too loose and you’ll look like a box cart. Pay attention to the shirt worn underneath also plays a big role with your overall look. Gals, go proportionate to the style you are trying to achieve. Here you can oversize a dress shirt look to like a dress or keep fitted for a tighter look. For the unbuttoned look the same basic rules apply, focus on the under shirt.