20 Stylish Alternatives to the Standard Office Shirt
Just when you feel like you’ve gotten your winter work style down to a T — BAM — it’s spring. With so much on your plate, pulling together fresh-feeling work outfits day after day can be exhausting, and the whole button-down-and-trouser thing can get old fast. Instead of surrendering to your wear-to-work woes, explore some alternatives to that blazer + suit and give your on-the-job wardrobe a major facelift with this one simple trick: Swap out standard collared shirts for blouses, tees and toppers with big personality. Iconic as they might be, button-downs aren’t the only route to a polished on-duty look. Here, we’ve curated a collection of 20 chic tops that will solve this all-too-common style dilemma stat.
1. Zara Knot Blouse ($50): Who says tie-front tops can’t kick it in the workplace? The sunny yellow hue and super sophisticated style will kickstart your creativity, and keep the Monday blues at bay. It’s a win-win all around.
2. Front Row Shop Pajama Shirt in Colorful Stripes ($45): Go ahead, hit snooze one more time. This silky PJ top is stylish enough to slip under HR’s watchful eye, especially when paired with tailored trousers and sleek menswear-inspired loafers. #lazygirlsforthewin
3. COS Top With Collapsing Sleeve ($99): Forget black — embrace the power pink look from here on out. This boxy geometric top packs all the confidence you need to #girlboss your way through that 9am meeting. Add a swipe of dark pink lipstick to kick any outstanding jitters to the curb.
4. Topshop Colour Block Sweatshirt ($90): A sweatshirt has never looked so boardroom appropriate. The color block panels and structured silhouette could replace your most versatile button-down like that.
5. H&M Striped Jersey Top ($35): Meet the t-shirt that’s about to take your workweek wardrobe by storm. The stand-up collar and rib knit make it feel dressier than your standard cotton tee, especially worn with a leather-look blazer or paper bag trousers.
6. ASOS Obi Band Wrap Blouse ($55): A designer suit isn’t the only way to snag most-stylish-employee status. This elegant white kimono will definitely do the trick.
7. Banana Republic Layered Ruffle Top ($78): Whether you pair it with a graphic pencil skirt or leather-look culottes and ankle boots, this ruffled number is the key to desk-to-dinner dressing success.
8. Hutch Jana Tee ($78): Check this out. Comfy yet designed for a sharp look, this refined tee makes dressing like a professional an effortless exercise. Another selling point? It looks as good with your go-to pair of denim as it does with a pencil skirt and pumps.
9. J.Crew Collection Lace-Up Back Suede Top ($398): We think you’ll be persueded to part ways with conventional collared shirts after laying eyes on this pretty pink top. Soft suede and a lace-up back? Swoon.
10. Ann Taylor Flounce Blouse ($80): Bye-bye, stuffy boardroom blouse. This ruffled top gets the job done while adding to your style cred. Dress it up with statement drop earrings and a killer cat eye.
11. Warehouse Lace Up Tunic ($69): Toss-on-and-go style isn’t just for the weekend — it applies to your nine-to-five too. This lace-up tunic offers the professional polish of a classic Oxford, but its fuss-free edge is way more your speed.
12. Vila High Neck Top ($38): One sleeveless top = endless outfit opportunities. For an ensemble that exudes right-now appeal, style it under a plunge-neck midi dress and mules.
13. Urban Renewal Remade Button My Back Tunic Top ($59): Not just restricted to weekend chillin’, this soft flannel top can be paired with smart slacks for a look that’s as comfy as it is on-the-job appropriate. Finish with a statement necklace and Oxford flats.
14. Nasty Gal Fly By Cape Blouse ($58): Combine the polish of a button-down and blazer into one simple piece: a dramatic red blouse with an unexpected cape overlay. It’s a clever choice when the temps start to creep up and layering becomes too hot to handle.
15. Ann Taylor Striped Fluid Tee ($70): For every button-down in your closet, there should be an equally elegant tee. With bold stripes and dramatic colors, this wear-with-anything top deserves a place of prestige in your workweek rotation. Tuck it into a pleated midi skirt or layer it over cigarette pants and OTK boots.
16. Ayr Drape Top ($225): Nothing balances out sharp tailoring quite like soft silky fabric and a free-wheelin’ silhouette on an anytime-appropriate tee. Just one more fantastic reason to work weekend basics into your nine-to-five grind.
17. Loft Lace Bib Poet Blouse ($60): Feminine florals and subtle stripes feel sophisticated enough to wear with your sharpest suits, but are versatile enough to style with more dressed-down office separates, like silky joggers and colorful chinos.
18. & Other Stories Striped Linen Blouse ($85): Stressful day on the horizon? Let the good vibes flow with a loose, light and airy linen blouse. Corporate-world woes don’t stand a chance when you accessorize it with a punchy red lip and a sleek bar ring.
19. French Connection Tapir Wave Pleated Back Blouse ($128): This lightweight blouse is a triple threat, with an abstract animal print, zip detailing and a pleated chiffon back. It’ll take you from day to night with nothing more than a switch in shoes.
20. Whistles Zip Front Shirt ($180): Clean and modern with a front zip, this ivory shirt is flipping the script on the classic polo shirt‘s preppy reputation. Channel a throwback look with a leather pencil skirt and sassy pointed-toe boots.
What’s your favorite alternative to the standard Oxford shirt? Follow us on Pinterest for more up-and-coming trends + style inspo.