How to Make a Denim Button Down Shirt Look Great on a Girl

A denim button-down is a fabulous basic.

Photo: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Denim button-down shirts have been a great basic for women since men started wearing them to blue-collar jobs. Long story short, fashion-savvy girls took one look at the deep indigo color and the menswear styling and did what any self-respecting modern woman would -- stole the shirt off their mens' backs. Today, denim is back and bigger than ever and you can find button-downs in every silhouette, from fitted and cropped to knee-length tunics. All you need to make them your own is a splash of brilliant styling.


Watch your proportions. With the utilitarian chic of a denim shirt, you need to make sure your entire outfit has the right proportions to avoid looking oddly androgynous. If your shirt is fitted through the body, try a straight skirt in any length from mini to maxi, or a trouser-cut pant in a a touchable fabric, such as silk or suede. Pair skirts with a heeled boot and trousers with a platform pump. If your shirt is over-sized or tunic length, keep your bottoms slim with a fitted cropped pant, leggings or a sweet mini. If you wear a slim bottom, heels will take your outfit to the next level of fabulous.


Mix your fabrics. Though you can pair denim with denim, it's so unimaginative. However, a denim button-down paired with a suede pencil skirt and boots leaves no question about your feminine fashion skills. Even better, a fitted denim shirt over a sequin mini with metallic ballet flats or strappy sandals may bring you major mojo.


Follow the curves. If your button-down is oversized, a great way to make it feminine and sexy is with a hip-slung belt in soft leather or metal chain-link. Roll up the sleeves a turn or two and unbutton the neck as low as you dare or add a silk or lace cami underneath. No one will confuse you with the guy next door.


Accessorize wisely. The appeal of a denim shirt lies in its inherent masculinity, so when you style it, you'll want your accessories to have a bit of the femme fatale in them. Ropes of pearls, anything that sparkles or divine vintage touches, such as a velvet flower pin or flirty hat, takes your denim from basic to bombshell in seconds. Skip the clunky shoes and boots and make sure that your footwear has a bit of a heel, a bow or glam details, like sparkling beads or delicate crystals.

Tips & Tricks


If you're lucky enough to find that perfect denim shirt that you want to keep forever, give it an instant upgrade by switching out the buttons. Comb through vintage shops or craft stores to find ones that you love and ask your tailor or dry cleaner to replace the old with the new. If you're handy with a needle and thread, do it yourself and save a few bucks.


Related Videos


Add to this Article



Just for you

What type are you?

Choose your Skin Tone
or Register
Daily Look


How would you like to register?

Register with Facebook
  • It's fast, easy and hassle-free
  • One-click log-in and commenting
Register with
  • Use your email to create your account