Buttoned-up shirt collars: women’s fashion trend

Forget the grungy, layered-over flannel, and tuck away your baggy, open-fronted boyfriend shirt (for now). Fashion, as fashion is wont to do, has taken a pendulum swing in the other direction, hitting on a more refined, sophisticated look. And so starting now there’s only one key way to wear your shirt: buttoned up to the very top.

The brilliant thing about the done-up collar as a 2010 fashion trend is that it’s simple, requires nothing all that new (feel like giving new life to all those old shirts in your wardrobe? Read on) and it’s trans-seasonal: start wearing it in Summer 2010 and carry it through to Fall 2010.

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buttoned up shirt
Jenni Kayne Fall 2010

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All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration
All buttoned up: fashion inspiration

Buttoned-up collars and how to wear them

The key to the buttoned-up look is that it should appear put together, collected. Just as with over the knee socks, its sexiness is rooted in its modesty and stems from an understated air of confidence.

But let’s not forget: this is an era of overt sexuality where over the knee boots and see through tops become fashion trends that leave the catwalk and make it to the streets. Naturally then, the humble, buttoned up shirt can be made overtly sexual for the coming seasons. If that sounds like your think, you can balance out the coyness and pair it with some shorts or a miniskirt.

If you’d like to keep things demure, however, on the opposite end of the spectrum you can try a crisp buttoned-up shirt with tailored high-waisted slacks (ensure tidy fits and clean lines) for sophisticated minimalism.

As for the cut of the shirt, the buttoned collar can work with sleeveless, short or long sleeved shirts. And be sure not to forget about the humble shirt dress either.

Dries Van Noten Fall 2010
Dries Van Noten Fall 2010

Types of collars

After years of hearing of boyfriend blazers, shirts and jeans, your immediate thought might be that the buttoned up shirt look is a continuation on the theme. Not so. It’s not just about men’s business shirts and a stock-standard collar. There are many, many different types of shirt collars from you to pick from. Some will work with this trend, and some will not. Experimenting is of course key, but to give you a head start here are our pointers on just a few:

  • Regent collar: what we’d consider today a standard type of shirt collar you can’t go too wrong here.
  • Button-down collars: these are pointed collars with small buttons at the ends. Not your best option – if worn without a tie they can end up looking too flat.
  • Cutaway collar: one that cuts away almost parallel to the shoulders, with a wide spread. A cutaway collar works best in high-quality fabric; perfect for doing an immaculate masculine yet feminine dandy look.
  • Contrast collar: where the collar is a different colour or fabric to the rest of the shirt (typically a white collar and a coloured body). Great if you want to add some unique and interesting detail into your buttoned-up shirt outfit, and particularly good in a navy and blue combination.
  • Club collars: a men’s softly-rounded collar that was popular in early part of the 20th century. A gentlemen would use a collar pin to fasten the collar down; you could also vary it with a brooch.
  • The Peter Pan collar: a women’s collar that’s small and rounded. So perfect for creating a cute, sixties look.
  • Tuxedo collars / winged collars: there’s no reason you can’t make a tuxedo collar work; especially as a classically glamorous evening look.

Celine Fall 2010
Celine Fall 2010

Complimentary trends

  • Pair a buttoned-up shirt with leather pieces to keep the look firmly in modern, edgy territory. You can rock up a shirt by adding a leather biker or bomber jacket, or go for chic minimalism with a crisp white shirt paired with a tan leather skirt.
  • Work a strict buttoned up shirt into an on-trend military outfit.
  • Buttoning up can also work perfectly with sportswear influences. As well as shirts you can also go for sporty buttoned-up polo shirts. For a complete contrast, pair a sporty pair of pants or shorts with a high-buttoned shirt in a sheer or silk fabric.
  • Pull on some knee high / over the knee socks. It will inject a sense of playful, girlish sexiness that’s balanced out perfectly by your geek-chic high collar.

No. 21 Fall 2010
No. 21 Fall 2010

Accessorising the high-buttoned shirt

  • A necklace, or layering of necklaces, is the perfect accompaniment. It could be a simple chain through to a bold statement piece.
  • For a variation, try and brooch or pin.
  • A ribbon wrapped around and tied either in a simple knot or a bow is an effective DIY accessory. Plus velvet is a strong option, especially for a night-time look.

One accessory we’d avoid: ties. If that’s your cup of tea look to the ribbon suggestion above or the female dandy trend. The buttoned up collar trend is above a visually uninhibited collar and a tie will be far too dominant.

Chloe Fall 2010
Chloe Fall 2010

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Some people's wardrobes are about a small selection of pieces that all fit within one aesthetic - Tania Braukamper isn't such a person. With a wardrobe that spans three different rooms, her approach to fashion is a mixture of current-season key pieces mixed with vintage finds she's sourced on innumerous shopping trips around the world's more cultured capitals. Despite a disparate approach to shopping, Tania is adamant that the key to mixing vintage with new season is to stick to key looks and colours that work for oneself. And it's a theory that she works into her writing for Fashionising.com, where she serves as the publication's Editor.