9 White Shirts That Are More Interesting Than a Button-down

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Photo: Imaxtree

Figuring out what to wear to work shouldn’t be a bore. To make your weekdays easier, welcome to Business Casual. Every Wednesday, we’ll highlight the best office-appropriate clothes, whether it’s for the job you have or the one you want.

Whenever anyone rattles off a list of closet staples, it usually sounds like this: the perfect pair of jeans, a white T-shirt that is just loose enough around the body, and a classic button-down, preferably also in white. That last basic is undeniably the one piece that gets the most wear between the office and the weekend. But while white button-downs are great at making you feel properly businesslike, they can get a little stale. Consider adding to your weekday rotation a crisp, cotton poplin top in the same color.

Cotton poplin is the same fabric found in your button-down, so these shirts offer the same unwrinkled, polished appearance. It’s the cut that lets you go as conservative or wild as you want. If you’re looking for something more classic, Carven and COS both offer options around $100. Should you want a little more flair — a big sleeve, a ruffle, pearls — your choices are endless. Scroll down to see our current favorites.

The One That’ll Impress Your Stylish Co-Worker

Stelen Shrine Top
$58, Need Supply

The high neck and big bell sleeves give this a fashion-y touch that you can really amp up by adding awkward pants and dangly earrings.

The Trendy One

Farrow Aurora Top
$65, Need Supply

If you were into the billowy-sleeved top featured in That’s a Good Look but couldn’t justify the price tag, here’s an affordable version.

A Not-Too-Crazy Runway-Inspired Style

& Other Stories Puff Sleeve Peplum Blouse
$85, & Other Stories

Jacquemus, Rejina Pyo, and J.W. Anderson all included similar big sleeves in their spring collections. This one isn’t quite as poufy but still offers a dramatic effect.

The Lunch-Friendly One

NEED Lane Top
$110, Need Supply

On days when you’d rather skip the sad desk salad for a Chipotle burrito, pick a shirt with an elastic waist and a gentle ruffle.

The Classic Option

Carven poplin blouse
Sale Price: $116 (60 percent off) Outnet

If you don’t want to stray too far from your favorite button up, this version features a smattering of buttons and a bib front like a tuxedo shirt.
Original Price: $290

The One You Want to Wear During a Heat Wave

Nehera Bip Shirt
Sale Price: $144 (70 percent off) The Line

Yes, it’s almost mid-August but hot weather doesn’t stop just because the calendar says it’s Labor Day. Keep this one on hand for those freakish 90-plus days in September.
Original Price: $480

The Fancy Designer Option on Sale

Marni Cotton Poplin Top
Sale Price: $292 (57 percent off) The Outnet

Consuelo Castiglioni might not be at Marni, but her beloved designs are still available and on discount, too.
Original Price: $680

The Pretty Splurge

3.1 Phillip Lim White Pearl Chain Gathered Blouse
$350, SSENSE

Three delicate pearls dot each sleeve of this top, giving it a special touch that doesn’t feel too ostentatious for the office.

The Lazy One

COS Elasticated Edged Shirt
$79, COS

If you’re looking for a plain top that you literally can throw over your head in the morning, you can’t get any more basic than this.

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9 White Shirts That Are More Interesting Than a Button-down