We’ve read that the late, great Karl Lagerfeld owned over 1,000 of his now-iconic Hilditch & Key white button-down shirts. Can you blame him? Once you find a white button-down that fits your body and the needs of your wardrobe, you’re committed for life. The beauty of this wardrobe staple is how it can elevate the most quotidian of outfits, from sweatpants (yes!) to jeans (obviously) to evening wear (definitely). The shirt’s status as an icon of professionalism and formality is both upheld by corporate culture the world over, and subverted by countless artists, designers, and other assorted “downtown types” (you know who you are).
Of course, to optimize this wardrobe staple for every possible outfit, the fit and functionality of your white button-down has got to be spot-on, so we’ve scoured the internet for some of the best white button-down shirts for women, including the coolest styles and hard-to-find fits so that you can look extra put-together without pinching, gapping, or exposing too much (or too little) skin. And as always, we’ve included only the examples that have earned serious accolades from vocal shoppers.
Welcome to Hype Machine, our hit-list of the top reviewed products across the web — according to a crowd of die-hard shoppers. Call this your 4-star-and-up only club, with entry granted by our devoted-to-the-goods shop editors.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
J.Crew Classic Fit Cozy Gauze Shirt
The Best Classic White Button-Down
As far as classic white button-downs go, J.Crew knows a thing or two; the preppy-cool brand has been crafting crisp oxford shirts since the 1940s. And, this cozy cotton-gauze style is no exception to its unprecedented tailoring excellence. Reviewers call it “the perfect everyday shirt” that feels like “being wrapped in a soft cloud.”
The Hype: 4.4 out of 5 stars, 55 reviews on J.Crew
What They’re Saying: “I have to add my voice to all the others saying this is the best shirt ever. I bought it in white and black (the black is slightly faded, i.e. not jet-black). Comfy and flattering. Perfect cozy shirt for warm weather, or as a coverup for hot sun. I love the long lean silhouette — and the fit and drape are beautiful. And, it is sexy despite being totally modest. A magician designed this!”
J.Crew Classic-fit cozy gauze shirt, $, available at J.Crew
Treasure & Bond Drapey Classic Shirt
The Best Drapey White Button-Down
One of the cooler ways to wear your white button-down is with the slightest hint of it not actually belonging to you. While this is descended from a heteronormative trope that we have most certainly evolved beyond, there remains an air of insouciance in sporting a dress shirt that’s ever-so-slightly oversized. We think that’s why Treasure & Bond’s Drapey Classic Shirt has such a rabid fanbase.
The Hype: 4 out of 5 stars, 128 reviews on Nordstrom
What They’re Saying: “So beautiful. I’ve been working hard on making my capsule/classic wardrobe. I have a shopping list that stays in my purse so that I can find the perfect piece that will last for years. This shirt is so divine. It feels incredible against my skin. The drapey aspect of the shirt flatters my bigger chest and apple body. It’s a little sheer, but I sized up so that it flows. I may wear a shirt underneath but I may not.”
Treasure & Bond Drapey Classic Shirt, $, available at Nordstrom
Everlane The Relaxed Linen Shirt
The Best Linen White Button-Down
If you sweat or get hot easily (but still need to look presentable), get yourself a white button-down in the naturally cooling fabric of linen.
The Hype: 4.61 out of 5 stars and 419 reviews on Everlane
What They’re Saying: “This is reasonably stiff linen that still fits, falls, and breathes nicely. I live in the Southern US, and sweat still rolls down your back (it would even if you were naked), but you don’t feel overheated or swampy. It’s linen so you get the (I think) charming wrinkles of natural fabric, and it tucks in well. This is designed to bring — and achieves — the effortlessly cool, confident look whether it’s tucked, untucked, or half-tucked. Super love this one.”
Everlane The Linen Relaxed Shirt, $, available at Everlane
Madewell White Cotton Courier Shirt
The Best Short-Sleeve White Button-Down
Oftentimes, white button-downs are reserved for formal environments. This boxy, short-sleeved version is a refreshing antidote to the fitted look. Plus, as plenty of reviewers mentioned, this top isn’t see-through, which means you can wear it with confidence in professional workplaces.
The Hype: 4.1 out of 5 stars and 243 reviews on Madewell
What They’re Saying: “I have always loved Madewell’s courier shirts. They work super well for tiny people, especially those with small frames and short torsos. I particularly like this one because it is so essential to have a nice white shirt. It’s loose enough that it doesn’t look like a waitress shirt but still is designed for small shoulders so it doesn’t look like you are a 5-year-old dressing up.
Another important thing about this particular shirt is that it is super thick. No see-through here. I teach so it’s important that my professional shirts don’t allow my bra to be seen. I love this shirt and I’m pretty sure my students think I live in it.”
Madewell White Cotton Courier Shirt, $, available at Madewell
Amazon Essentials Classic-Fit Button-Down Poplin Shirt
Best Amazon White Button-Down
Over 6,000 Amazon reviewers rave about this very affordable button-down’s classic tailoring, comfortable fit, and wrinkle resistance.
The Hype: 4.3 out of 5 stars and 6,219 reviews on Amazon
What They’re Saying: “I have both the Amazon Essentials classic fit button-down Oxford and the Amazon Essentials classic fit button-down poplin shirts. I absolutely love both. This shirt, the poplin, is lighter weight and wrinkles much less straight from the dryer. Both shirts have a men’s style fit, with no darts to nip in the waist. The length is just below the bottom. The cuff is crisp and has a double button to make turning the cuff once or twice secure and tidy. This style is best for layering, as it is light and cool. The black gingham is pure, classic preppy. I rarely buy items before they go on sale, but I wanted this pattern and would pay full price again. Perfect.”
Amazon Essentials Classic-Fit Long Sleeve Button Down Poplin Shirt, $, available at Amazon
H&M White Cotton Shirt
The Best Oversized White Button-Down
This 100%-cotton style features a straight-cut silhouette with dropped shoulders, a double-layered yoke, slightly front-facing shoulder seams, a box pleat, and a rounded hem with short side slits. Since it’s oversized, many reviewers opted to size down for a more streamlined fit while others stuck with their normal sizes for more of a shirt-dress look.
The Hype: 4.2 out of 5 stars and 178 reviews on H&M
What They’re Saying: “Love love this shirt. In reading many of the reviews, most sized down. I decided to stay with my size and I’m glad I did. It is oversized but it’s just the right amount due to the fact that I have long arms and legs even though I’m 5’4 I look taller. The shirt is a little thin which is good during the summer months. Love the color and it compliments the split jeans that I paired them with…got so many compliments. I highly recommend buying.”
H&M Cotton Shirt, $, available at H&M
Universal Thread Women’s Raglan Long Sleeve Button-Down Shirt
The Best Relax-Fit White Button-Down
As previously stated, the classic white button-down will go with anything — especially when it’s a style featuring a relaxed fit that’s designed to look casually elegant. Best of all? This one’s only $20.
The Hype: 4.4 out of 5 stars and 45 reviews on Target
What They’re Saying: “This shirt is perfect, soft, and very comfy. It replaces one that I had for several years that developed frays and holes in the sleeves because I wore it so much. This one is taking its place and I am so happy with it so far.”
Universal Thread Women’s Raglan Long Sleeve Button-Down Shirt, $, available at Target
Alex Mill Kit Shirt in Paper Poplin
The Best Peter Pan Collar White Button-Down
Talk about charming! This button-down has a cute peter pan collar, adorable sleeves that are slightly puffed, and a gathered detail at the cuffs and back. Super unique and non-boring to say the least.
The Hype: 4 out of 5 stars and 8 reviews on Alexmill
What They’re Saying: “Reminds me of a French painter’s shirt but more stylish. This is nicely oversized and comfortable. Goes with a lot of items already in my closet. Can be easily dressed up or down. Plan to purchase a couple more colors as it’s really hard to find a woman’s shirt that fits this nice with unique sleeves and collar. Like the buttons too.”
Alex Mill Kit Shirt in Paper Poplin, $, available at Alex Mill
Quince Washable Stretch Silk Notch Collar Blouse
The Best Washable Silk White Button-Down
If you want a more elevated Oxford, a silky white button-down goes a long way. Put one on and you’ll automatically look more luxe, more professional, and more evening-ready.
The Hype: 4.7 out of 5 stars and 119 reviews on Quince
What They’re Saying: “I’ve spent years looking for a silk button-up. Cotton ones tend to be too stiff on my frame (petite with curves) but silk tops have always been towards the $100 range, which is unrealistic for me. My search for this top is how I found Quince in the first place. Really happy to fill out my wardrobe for work/events/daily life with this staple piece!”
Quince Washable Stretch Silk Notch Collar Blouse, $, available at Quince
Columbia Bahama L/S Shirt
The Best Sport/Outdoor Wear White Button-Down for Sporting
So, technically, this is a fishing shirt — but it also has a mind-boggling, perfect 5-star rating from 430+ reviews. Obviously, that warranted a closer look. As it turns out, this white button-down is perfect for all kinds of outdoor activities. With strategic cooling features and quick-dry fabrication, this is a great style for warmer days or for travel.
The Hype: 5 out of 5 stars and 434 reviews on Zappos
What They’re Saying: “I absolutely love the cool comfort of these PFG shirts. Although I don’t fish, I like the extra pockets for storage and the way you can roll up the sleeves and keep them up. They are also very cool in the hot sun and come in great colors. I now have 3 of them and will be on the hunt for a few more. I have to buy a size up as they are narrow through the bust so if you have C/D plus [bust size], then just go up a size.”
Columbia Bahama™ L/S Shirt, $, available at Zappos
Express Lace Inset Button-Up Shirt
The Best White Lace Button-Down
After a while, white button-downs all tend to look the same, don’t they? This one with gorgeous lace details dares to be unique while still staying on assignment.
The Hype: 4 out of 5 stars and 3 reviews on Express
What They’re Saying: “Beautiful top. Fits perfectly. I love the feminine look, great quality. LOVE!!”
Express Lace Inset Button-Up Shirt, $, available at Express
Banana Republic Classic-Fit Poplin Shirt
The Best Fitted White Button-Down
Classic in all the ways and tailored for easy tuck-ins. This particular Oxford is also made from 100% cotton, which means you can just throw it in the wash for that back-to-crisp reset.
The Hype: 5 out of 5 stars and 7 reviews on Banana Republic
What They’re Saying: “My go-to button-up shirt. The material feels so crisp and light on my skin. Love it.”
Banana Republic Classic-Fit Poplin Shirt, $, available at Banana Republic
Riders by Lee Indigo Women’s Easy Care Three-Quarter Sleeve Woven Shirt
The Plus-Size White Button-Down For Larger Busts
There’s no greater fit enemy than the dreaded gap, which can be the scourge of any cup size in an ill-fitting button-down. That being said, it certainly plagues our bigger-busted sisters more regularly, so we sought out the most gap-reducing style tailored for larger chests.
The Hype: 4.3 out of 5 stars, 12,281 reviews on Amazon
What They’re Saying: “I have owned several of these shirts. They fit great and are made for big-busted women. They have 2 buttons at the bustline so they don’t gap. I just heard all of the amply endowed women of the world cheer! Yes!!! I have owned 2 white, 1 purple, and 1 peach of these blouses over the past 4 years. They are still the same great wonderful blouses!” – D. D., Amazon.com review
Lee Jeans Riders by Lee Indigo Bella Easy Care Woven Shirt, $, available at Amazon
Ann Taylor Petite Essential Shirt
The Best White Button-Down For Petites
A near-unanimous declaration of perfection is rare, but Ann Taylor’s Petite Essential Shirt has an almost flawless rating, and we can see why. With a silky fabrication and a dipped neckline, this shirt has the sought-after ability to transition from day to night, and elevate pretty much any outfit.
The Hype: 4.7 out of 5 stars, 93 reviews on Ann Taylor
What They’re Saying: “Lightweight and versatile!!!! I am normally a PS (5’1, 124, 36C) but went with the PM to ensure no gapping.”
Ann Taylor Petite Essential Shirt, $, available at Ann Taylor
LYSSÉ Schiffer Shirt
The Best Tall-Fit White Button-Down
Whether you’ve got a longer torso or simply want to wear a tunic-length button-down, this menswear-inspired style from LYSSÉ offers the coverage you seek.
The Hype: 4.1 out of 5 stars and 54 reviews on Nordstrom
What They’re Saying: “Love the material of this shirt and the longer length. It is a bit oversized, so I took an extra small even though I typically wear a small in button-down shirts to have enough room in the bust. The slight stretch makes this very comfy. Will wear this tucked in for a more formal look, but also will look great with leggings and even unbuttoned as a layering piece.”
Lysse Schiffer Shirt, $, available at Nordstrom
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