I'm opining on my love for the classic button up shirt today. As you can see in the graphic to the left, I have a collection.
A few years back due to a heady combination of menopause, stress, and asthma medications, I gained a significant amount of weight. I talk about this in my new book. I spent most of my life being very thin. When I had my daughter at 34 and gained 50 pounds. I lost that weight through diet and exercise, and stayed slim until hitting my late 40s. Then defying diet and exercise and all efforts to combat it, the weight came back. I have tried to lose the weight again, but it's been a challenge. Therefore, I am learning to embrace myself at this new size. Dressing my new body has proved challenging. Many of the styles that worked for me at size 2 and 4 and 6 and 8 don't work as well at size 10 and sometimes 12.
Enter the button up shirt.
As you can see in the graphic above, I have a lot of them.
There are more than what you see in this photo. You can get the scoop on them in my newest YouTube video, Stylish Crap I Found at Thrift Stores. It's funny. Watch it. Just click the arrow to play and enjoy. I'll meet you back here.
I like the button up shirt because it's stylish, comfortable, cool, and easy to dress up or dress down. The button up shirt is surprisingly slimming, particularly in the upper arm area. Button up shirts come in an infinite variety of colors, fabrics, and patterns. I didn't realize this had become a Madge style staple until I opened the door to my closet recently and saw the gathering of button up shirts staring back at me.
Wait, what? When did this happen?
I think they're multiplying in there when I'm sleeping.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
However, I will say, the button up shirt presents a plethora of style options. Wear it open with a tank top underneath, or button it all the way up and add a chunky necklace, tie it up at your waist and add a fit and flare skirt and strappy sandals, wear it untucked with a pair of capris and some ballet flats for an Audrey Hepburn appeal. I'm also fond of buttoning the first few buttons and leaving the bottom open.
This may be ill advised but it's my life and I will wear what I please.
Button up shirts are also fabulous with leggings.
I write about my love of leggings extensively in my new book.
Did I mention I have a new book? I wasn't sure if you'd heard. I highly recommend it, and not just because I wrote it. But mostly because I wrote it. It's actually pretty good if I do say so myself...which I just did.
But I digress, we were talking about button up shirts. I find them to be effortlessly chic. I find them endlessly applicable. You may like them too. Or not, but it's worth a try. You can find them by the bushel at your local thrift shop for a few dollars each or at stores like Gap, Old Navy, J Crew, and Land's End. Take one out for a spin. Look for button up shirts that fit you without being too baggy or so tightly fitted that they gap between the buttons. I prefer women's shirts to men's shirts, because the little tailored details accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. Men's shirts are so boxy, they're more like tents. I do like an oversize men's shirt for a beach cover-up or belted and worn as a dress. If you're a busty gal, button up shirts may not work for you, although you may find if they're worn open with a tank top or tied around the waist they look fabulous.
You never know until you try.
If you decide to try a button up shirt or you already own and love them, let me know in the comments! And for the record, I would never, ever tell a woman what to wear or what not to wear. We should all wear what makes us happy and allow others the breathing room to do the same. Period. I'm just sharing what works for me in the hope that it might inspire you to find what works for you.