This is a story about how a white button-up shirt changed the way I get dressed in the morning. Yes, it's white, with buttons, and a pretty standard collar — but the bottom of the shirt flares out into a lovely wide, longish hem that ends at the widest part of my hips. Half-tucked into pants, it creates a totally new silhouette; worn over a full skirt, it can look as ladylike as a blouse. Paired with boyfriend jeans, it gives off laid-back vibes that I never get from a plain button-down. It makes cropped sweaters, simple sweatshirts, little jackets, and big cardigans all look new. I find it difficult to wear anything but this shirt each morning.
The avant-garde white button-up doesn't seem like it would be a staple, but I've found that it's become one of mine. It's not crazy enough to be distracting, yet it's special enough to upgrade everything else it's worn with. It's a statement piece that you shouldn't skip over on the racks, but like all statements, you've got to find the one that says "Y.O.U." Click through for six variations on the theme.