The Elements of Legal Style: The Classic White Shirt

It’s no big secret that the legal profession is ultra conservative, but dressing for the office doesn’t need to be boring.  Welcome to The Elements of Legal Style, where The Law Babe will highlight the chicest office-appropriate style options, so that you can dress like a partner even on an associate budget. 

The law babe (6)

Hey, Law Babe!  Today we are going to chat about one of my all time favorite wardrobe items.  The classic white button down shirt is an absolute staple, for work or for play.  Pair it with literally anything: suit pants, a pencil skirt, or jeans on a casual Friday and you are going to look classically chic and sophisticated.   In the winter, layer your classic white shirt under a shift dress.   With the instant ability to make you look polished and sharp, this shirt is one of the true heroes in any Law Babe’s capsule wardrobe.


There are a lot of really pricey classic white button downs out there.  I’m certain they are all beautiful, but for my own wardrobe, I prefer to purchase my white shirts on the more inexpensive side.  First of all, it’s a big world out there, which means there are tons of options available to you… and quite frankly, I dare someone to tell me they can really tell that me the difference between my $60 button down and a $260 one.  I vote we save our money for the real big ticket items: suits, classic pumps, great highlights, a killer bag, or whatever else floats your boat.  Second, let’s be honest.  I can only speak for myself here, but white clothing inevitably does not remain white.  There’s makeup, nervous sweat, the inevitable coffee spill, the time you accidentally throw a brand new red shirt into your white laundry, and the myriad other threats to my white clothing that come as a result of me being a closeted slob.

I usually rotate through 2-3 white classic shirts at a time.  As soon as they start to look a little dingy, I bid them adieu (guilt free) and thank them for their service (thanks, Marie Kondu).   As for fit, I recommend sizing up for a comfortable, but tailored fit.

In any event, I’d be hard-pressed to think of anything quite as classic, or as necessary, as a white button down shirt.   Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite options:


Gap New Fitted Boyfriend Oxford Shirt ($49.95)


Everlane The Relaxed Soft Cotton Shirt ($68)


Banana Republic Dillon Classic-Fit Oxford Pocket Shirt ($68)


Treasure & Bond Drapey Classic Shirt ($69)


Madewell Drapey Oversize Boyshirt ($72)

What are the staple pieces in your wardrobe?  Have you discovered any must-have classic white button downs that all of your fellow Law Babes need to know about?!

Stay Smart, Law Babe!


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