Classic and work appropriate, a button down blouse is a wardrobe staple for many women. However, finding this top can be a challenge. Some tops are too wide and boxy, obscuring a feminine figure. Others are so tight they leave no room for the bust, leading to the gaping effect. And even more are so sheer they are inappropriate for an office setting. Having test driven these tops on a variety of body types, I can say with confidence these button down tops are the best around.
Hugo Boss Bashina Top, $195
The Bashina top from Hugo Boss is my all-time favorite for three reasons. First, it has a faux placket so those with larger busts can enjoy this top. Second, it has side zippers for a flattering, feminine sillhouette. And finally, it is machine washable. It is a slim fit top, so while it runs true to size, some prefer sizing up in this one.
Burberry Stretch Poplin Shirt, $250
Honestly, it would be irresponsible to talk classic wardrobe pieces without bringing a little Burberry into the mix. Their stretch poplin shirt is flattering, machine washable, and long enough for taller ladies. The collar is lined with Burberry plaid, which does peek out a bit when you wear it. Some love this element, but if obvious branding bothers you, skip this one. It runs slightly large. I recommend trying both your normal size and one down to see which you prefer.
J. Crew Perfect Shirt, $69.50
J. Crew is home to wardrobe basics, and their "Perfect Shirt" is a must-have for the athletically shaped woman. I find their button down tops work best on women who are A- C cups. It is machine washable with a hint of stretch. This top runs true to size.
Theory Tenia Stretch Cotton Top, $245
Like J. Crew, Theory's button downs lend themselves best to women with A-C cup sizes. Their Tenia Cotton Blend blouse is prized for its relaxed styling and lowkey sexy neckline. The way it opens makes this blouse perfect for showcasing your favorite necklaces. This top runs true to size. If you want a more of a boy-ish fit, order one size up.
Ann Taylor Perfect Shirt, $69.50
Another great brand for workwear basics, Ann Taylor does not disappoint with its own version of a "Perfect Shirt". Machine washable, breathable, and fitted, this is a true closet staple. It looks best tucked into work pants and skirts. It is available in petites and runs true to size.
NJDJ Pleat Back Button Down, $88
For a more casual option, NYDJ's Pleat Back Button Down is both flattering and comfortable. It can be worn untucked with ponte pants or skinny jeans. It also looks very polished tucked into a pencil skirt. The lighter colors are very sheer, so avoid those if you don't like the look of an obvious cami. Available in petite sizes too, I recommend sizing down for this one.
Lauren Classic Non-Iron Shirt, $69.50
The Lauren by Ralph Lauren Aaron Classic Non-Iron Shirt is also machine washable, while being incredibly affordable. It works as well with a pair of jeans as it does under a suit. This top runs large, try one size down.
Speaking of affordability, this flounce sleeve top from Talbot's is practically free. It is available in plus, petite, and plus petite. Have I confessed my love for Talbot's yet? It's a great store for basics and the occasional piece with a hint of flair, like this top.
While these tops are among the best you'll find, they are still mass produced and will not fit everyone. If you have a cup size larger than E, or a large discrepancy in the proportions of your waist and chest, you will probably still need to visit the tailor to get that perfect fit. Buy the top in the size that fits your largest part, and tailor it down everywhere else. I always tell my clients, "no one can see the size on your tag; everyone can see how great you look."
I'm Jaquelyn Wahidi. I'm a personal fashion stylist, writer, and entrepreneur in San Diego. I help women organize their closets, define their style, and shop with intention. My style blog features practical fashion advice for women everywhere. Addicted to blazers since 2004.