In case you missed the memo, flirty sun dresses, Baywatch-inspired swimsuits, and French girl-approved baskets aren’t the be-all-end-all of warm-weather fashion essentials. On duty or off, nothing says summer style goddess quite like a button-down that can be tossed over a bright crocheted bikini or styled alongside distressed denim cutoffs for a casually cool look. Dare to think outside the sartorial box by rockin’ a button-down like one of the 12 Instababes below.
1. As a Cover-Up: A killer cover-up can pull a whole seaside ensemble together — but don’t reach for your signature crocheted style just yet. Take style cues from Lucy Williams and toss an everyday button-down over a bold-and-bright bathing suit for endless cool girl appeal. Added swag comes from classic Wayfarers and statement tassel earrings.
2. Cropped With Culottes: As any Cali girl can attest, it’s all about those bright colors and streamlined basics that make the transition from day to night a total cinch. This Instababe achieves the ultimate off-duty ensemble by juxtaposing trend-right culottes and hot pink kicks with a classic cropped button-down.
3. With Cutoffs and Sneakers: When you’re *over* tanks and off-the-shoulder tops, look to a trusty pajama-style blouse to inject your cutoffs with a healthy dose of street style flair. Balance out the sophisticated vibes with layered gold necklaces, suede sneakers, and a wide-brim straw hat for an afternoon spent seeking out vintage finds and sipping spicy margaritas on the terrace.
4. Layered Over a Fave Frock: Leave the leather jacket at home and add an extra layer of style to your lewk by wrapping a button-down around a sassy sundress. Do it up asymmetric style to show off those sun-kissed shoulders and rack up the double taps left and right.
5. With a Metallic Midi: Bold and bright color isn’t the only way to make an impact. Nina Schwichtenberg, the force behind the blog Fashiion Carpet, proves that a monochromatic getup can deliver just as much oomph. Her fabulously frilly top, metallic skirt, suede booties, and printed Chanel bag are ready to take on the world.
6. With Piped Shorts and Pumps: Shorts at the office? With a bit of careful styling, you can totally pull it off. Just slip ‘em on with a sleek piped blouse, ankle-strap heels, and a gold collar necklace FTW.
7. Printed With a Denim Skirt: Aloha! When you’ve got an island-ready look on your hands, you know you’re on the verge of #OOTD gold. Between her menswear Hawaiian shirt, button-front denim skirt, and bold red lip, this babe’s got the whole summer uniform thing down pat.
8. Under Overalls With Embellished Sandals: Leave it to TK Wonder to make overalls look like a million bucks. Note how the collared shirt and embellished suede pumps elevate the tomboy essential straight into ultra-glam territory.
9. Striped and Unbuttoned: Cali blogger Julie Sariñana makes a mean case for pairing a striped button down (knotted at the navel, of course) with structured culottes. Throw in a pair of slides, vintage aviators, and a mini crossbody bag for a dialed-down look that’s ready for an escape to the Amalfi Coast.
10. Oversized With a Gingham Skirt: Naturally, retro gingham skirts look ah-mazing with boxy tops and sleek ponytails. But then again, Gala Gonzalez’s style goddess status might have something to do with it.
11. Knotted With a Midi Skirt: Less is more, people! Be it Sunday morning brunch or an afternoon of errand running, nix the frumpy sweats and opt instead for this nonchalant number that’s equal parts effortless and elegant. This foolproof combo of an oversized button-down and jersey midi skirt is guaranteed to keep you looking fierce even when you can’t even.
12. With Distressed Cutoffs and Oxfords: You gotta love the ease of distressed denim shorts when styled alongside an effortless white blouse and a rattan crossbody bag — especially when paired with don’t-care hair and glitzy gold baubles.
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