The Perfect Button-Down Blues…and Other Colors

I tend to avoid button-down shirts, even for the most buttoned-down of situations. They read a little more masculine than I usually want to project. But there’s no denying that a few good tailored shirts would stretch my work wardrobe quite a bit.

Since so many clothing companies advertise the “perfect” button-down shirt, I thought it would be fun to compare, and see who really deserves the superlative.

women's perfect button down shirt

  1. J. Crew Factory Perfect Shirt – 100% cotton, $54.50; Gap Perfect Shirt – 96% cotton, 4% Spandex, $49.95; Calvin Klein grosgrain & broadcloth shirt – 70% cotton 27% polyester 3% Spandex, $39.99
  2. Banana Republic Perfect Shirt – Sateen, 97% cotton, 3% Spandex, $59.50; Land’s End Perfect Stretch Shirt – 76% cotton, 19% Nylon, 5% Spandex, $50.00; Ann Taylor Perfect Shirt – 78% cotton, 19% Nylon, 3% Spandex, $68.00

What do you think? I have to say that I’m leaning toward the Calvin Klein, which is the only one that doesn’t claim to be “perfect.” Maybe I’m giving it unearned bonus points for not being such a narcissist, but I do like the tailoring and the extra-long cuffs. Otherwise, I’d probably go for the Banana Republic sateen. It’s hard to resist a little bit of shine on what can be an otherwise dreary staple.

The J. Crew will be nothing but trouble in 100% cotton. The Gap shirt looks like a slightly less tailored, more casual cut, if that’s your thing. The Land’s End and the Ann Taylor are too similar to bother picking a fave, so you might as well save a few dollars with Land’s End.