I am going for an interview at quite a conservative organisation. I have a navy skirt suit and was going to wear a white button up shirt. Do I need to button up all the buttons up to the top?
I have an immediate, initial gut reaction here — but I’m curious if the readers agree. Before we start, note that the WSJ just discussed this very topic for men’s attire; in the past we’ve talked about whether shirt collars should be tucked into a blazer or splayed on top, as well as where to get the best button-front blouses. Here’s my gut reaction $.02:
NO! Don’t button it all the way to the top! That would look weird, and fussy, and… and… I’m thinking of a hitman in a movie but can’t quite put my finger on which movie. (Also: Rainman.) I dug up a few pictures for inspiration, though, and my opinions shifted as I studied it. So I’m really curious to hear what readers say. Here are some notes:
Buttoned all the way to the top:
Personally, this is my least favorite look. It looks very severe to me; I’m surprised to see so many models styled this way. I’d say this is the dominant way I saw things styled online, which was a surprise.
When I started writing this post, I also would have said this was WAY too high. It still isn’t my favorite look, and personally I would want more of a V-neck effect. (Note that my personal preference here has ALWAYS been affected by the fact that I am busty and a V-neck is much more flattering on me than a closed-neck top — so add that grain of salt to the, uh, other grains of salt.) That said, it is a classic, very buttoned-up look.
Unbuttoned and Open:
Think “top 2 buttons undone,” so there’s a bit of clavicle showing. Honestly, this is how I’ve always worn a button-front blouse, and how most people I know have styled it in real life, whether accidentally or on purpose. (I have even adjusted the opening so it purposely lays a bit open, with the collar still tucked inside the jacket.) But you can barely find any pictures with it styled as such online.
Hi yo! Please do not wear this look to an interview or to work (at least not without a serious layer beneath it… like a turtleneck.) J.Crew is the big offender, here, and to me it’s one of their little styling quirks. Admittedly, a lot of their styling quirks have become trendy (the half-tuck, the J.Crew roll, the disheveled ponytail), but I’d stay away from the blouse half-undone look.
Ladies, how do YOU wear your blouses with suit jackets: buttoned all the way to the top, slightly unbuttoned, unbuttoned and open, or very open?
N.B. These substantive posts are intended to be a source of community comment on a particular topic, which readers can browse through without having to sift out a lot of unrelated comments. And so, although of course we highly value all comments by our readers, we’re going to ask you to please keep your comments on topic; threadjacks will be deleted at our sole discretion and convenience. Thank you for your understanding!