Last week, I worked on pulling shopping selections for a client with ‘coastal grandmother’ style. This client is in fact a grandmother, aged 74, and let’s just say coastal-adjacent. The funny part is, she had no idea her desired style had a name. As she was describing it to me, I said, “So, your style is coastal grandmother,” as I image searched and screen shared my screen during our Zoom session.
Perhaps I’ll do a post on coastal grandmother style in the future, which is rooted in oceanside minimalist ( think Diane Keaton in the movie Something’s Gotta Give). For now, the reason I bring this story up is that any coastal grandmother look will invariably include a blue and white striped oxford or button-up shirt, a style that is everywhere this season. In fact, there were so many options that I could present to my client that when I sent her her wardrobe board of shopping selections, I added one to her general pulls and then several more alternative styles to consider if the first one didn’t work.
Yet, the blue and white striped button-up, button-down, or oxford isn’t limited to coastal grandmother style nor do you have to desire to look like the waitstaff at your local favorite family-friendly restaurant (suspenders with flair, anyone?). While the terms button-up and button-down are used quite interchangeably, historically, a button-up is a shirt that buttons all the way up the front of the body. A button-down is a shirt that has buttons on the collar points that button down. Over time, however, people began calling all shirts with buttons down the front both names. At this point, both terms work. Oxford, on the other hand, refers to the Oxford cloth that is used, which is a type of cloth originally made in Scotland and has a heavier basketweave that holds its shape nicely.
BLUE AND WHITE BUTTON-UP SHIRTS: OUTFITS FOR WORK
Whatever you call these shirts, what makes the blue and white striped button-up so versatile is how easily it adds a chic finish to any type of look, even professional ones. In today’s post, I’m putting five work looks together using a blue and white striped button-up
I love Everlane’s relaxed Oxford shirt. I own this style and it’s incredibly perfect. The collar pops beautifully, it’s the perfect amount of relaxed without being boxy, and I’ve worn it underneath my Quince cotton fisherman sweater with jeans, untucked, half-tucked, and under blazers. Also, having a large chest, I appreciate that I never gape at the bustline.
A striped oxford under a navy blazer is a modern classic that will never go out of style. For the summer workplace, I styled this linen-blend Veronica Beard blazer with a striped oxford that has a bias-cut pocket from Rag & Bone. The look was completed with a pair of white bootcut pants from Alice + Olivia, navy pumps, silver herringbone chain, and geometric drop earrings.
Blue and white striped button-downs also lend themselves very well to that classic Diane Keaton, Annie Hall look when styled with tailored wide-leg pants, like these from Boden that I styled with this striped Frank & Eileen shirt. Pop the collar, roll up the sleeves, done. I finished the look with oatmeal loafers from M.Gemi and a belt from Banana Republic, and added a horn bracelet and earrings.
The cool thing about blue and white striped button-up shirts is how well they work with prints. The prints they work best with are usually not linear or geometric. In order for pattern mixing to work, the two prints either have to be different in scale or one needs to be linear and the other organic. I have a very old post on this topic.
Lastly, for something simple but not boring, this blue and white striped tunic shirt from Rails is easy to throw on with a pair of slim-leg pants from MM. Lafleur. To give the outfit some interest, I used these hot pink ballerina mules from Margaux, added simple hoops, and this printed scarf from Echo.
SHOP FOR BLUE AND WHITE STRIPED BUTTON-UPS, BUTTON-DOWNS, AND OXFORDS
You will definitely find your fair share of blue and white striped button-ups this season. If you need some help deciding, here are a few more styles to consider.