Along with the plain white tee, a classic white button-down shirt is a staple in any stylish man’s wardrobe. And while you may associate the piece with bankers and the upper class, elevated renditions from an uncountable number of fashion brands have receded this elitist essence to something that stands its own as both formal and casual wear, with smart options by everyone from Uniqlo to Thom Browne.
From quality materials to more avant-garde constructions, interesting prints, and design flourishes that make them pop, the latest influx of white shirts prove just how exciting this essential piece can be. No longer is the white shirt destined to hide behind more design-led sweaters, but take center stage as the star of your smarter get-up.
To help you pin down the perfect white shirt, we tapped some of Highsnobiety’s steeziest staffers across its Berlin and New York offices, for insights into some of their favorite fancy button-downs.
So, without further do, we’ll let the HS gang give you the lowdown.
Daniel W. Fletcher Contrast Stitch Shirt
“Shirts from British designer Daniel W. Fletcher are always well-made, offering a perfect relaxed fit for people with tall, long frames such as myself. I also appreciate the subtle contrast stitching, which differentiates it from your standard plain white shirt.” — Max Grobe, associate fashion editor
Jacquemus Simon Striped Shirt
“Jacquemus’ recent menswear debut doesn’t disappoint — this shirt is a great example of the designer’s relaxed take on the classics.” — Jian DeLeon, editorial director
Our Legacy Silk Shirt
“Our Legacy’s classic silk shirt has just enough excitement to stand out and be my go-to white shirt over others. The raw silk adds an element of texture that makes the shirt chameleon-like, working for both casual and refined settings.” — Noah Thomas, editorial assistant
Thom Browne Oxford Shirt
“It’s difficult for brands to re-do the white shirt. After all, the Oxford shirt is a classic that shouldn’t be altered too much. This Thom Browne piece has subtle red, white and blue signature branding on the sleeves that can be tied back or let loose to add some fashion-forward appeal. When paired with short shorts, you step into Browne’s world (or look like a failed attempt at pulling off Timothée Chalamet’s look in Call Me By Your Name).” — Christopher Morency, editor-at-large
Jacquemus Pinstriped Shirt
“This Jacquemus staple is perfect for the SLP aesthetic I’m looking to rock all summer. I love the relaxed, slightly boxy fit that’ll surely look amazing with the brand’s Le Gadjo neck pouch that’s been sitting on my wishlist for a minute now.” — Aaron Toumazou, e-commerce editor
Ralph Lauren Oxford Shirt
“This was my favorite shirt until I lost it at a lake in the summer. I still have no idea where it went. Just look at the heavy cotton, the billowing yet sharp fit, the embroidered player… this shirt is always a winner.” — Jack Drummond, head of branded content
Thom Browne Swimmer Shirt
“Who said button-up shirts need to have long sleeves? This Thom Browne shirt is a fun take on the classic white button-up, with the swimmer graphic giving it a summery vibe. You could wear it with shorts, but also open over a T-shirt just or with a blazer and some more formal footwear for a fancier night-out.” — Fabian Gorsler, footwear staff writer
Uniqlo x JW Anderson Shirt
“I actually just bought a few of these Uniqlo x JW Anderson shirts from this season. The patchwork sleeves remind me of a CDG shirt.” — Jian DeLeon, editorial director