Components of my spring uniform, part 1: Striped button-downs

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I love a striped shirt above almost all other garments: they’re crisp, versatile, easy to wear, and even kind of sexy (though I might be in the minority in thinking that). I wear them mostly with jeans, but they’re snappy in an entirely polished way with trousers too. I think this Etoile Isabel Marant number is very nearly perfect—nice and slouchy, with a winning combination of hues. Here is something strikingly similar but cheaper.

Everlane’s silk shirt with micro-stripes is really luxe, but doesn’t come with a fancy price.

I just think the colors on this iteration of Madewell’s popular Central shirt are adorable.

The covered buttons on this breezy linen shirt are a nice touch.

I like the slightly shrunken boy cut here.

Zoom in and check out the white stripes on this Vince shirt; they’ve got a cool textured thing going on.

The tonal stripes here are so appealingly barely-there.

A very sweet, summery option.

I am always a sucker for a good rainbow stripe, and this one, from Xirena, is quite excellent. I don’t know why the colors all make sense together, but somehow they do.

And finally: I am in love with the lightning bolt embroidery on this shirt from the stripe mavens at Kule.

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24 Thoughts on Components of my spring uniform, part 1: Striped button-downs
    Kathi
    10 Apr 2019
    2:23pm

    The Xirena is glorious!!

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    Mimi
    10 Apr 2019
    12:52pm

    Nice selection! I’d be interested in comments on the concept of a uniform. Yes, it makes getting dressed easier and it shows allegiance to personal style, but does it ever get boring and feel like the closet’s full of new versions of same old same old? An acquaintance with the mind of a 1950’s housewife once asked me if my husband didn’t object to my buying so many clothes, Uh, no, he wouldn’t dare, but also he doesn’t recognize many things as new because my uniforms and stye are pretty consistent. Is that a good thing?

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      Mae
      10 Apr 2019
      3:03pm

      In my experience, men don’t care one whit how you dress as long as you’re comfortable and relaxed and smiling and willing to have sex with them, regardless of your age and body type. If a girl makes her own money to buy stuff with, that’s a bonus. Men are very practical.

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        Mae
        11 Apr 2019
        1:35pm

        …boringly so, I must add. Dress for yourselves, ladies! A uniform with accessories is the way to go, I agree. Love, Mae

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      Kim France
      11 Apr 2019
      9:34am

      The women I know who have most successfully mastered the art of uniform dressing do so by accessorizing interestingly.

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        Mamavalveeta03
        16 Apr 2019
        2:28am

        Truth! Just look at the French women – It’s all about the right accessories and great basics.

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        Mimi
        11 Apr 2019
        10:41am

        Good point. Thanks. Come to think of it belts are my jewelry, with the power to elevate a uniform. And varied shoe choices can make a difference too.

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    EW
    10 Apr 2019
    11:51am

    Love these. I have the everlane and Madewll ones they are winners. Love the marant one. Ooooh let me check my budget : )

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    Rae
    10 Apr 2019
    9:36am

    Great round-up Kim, there is nothing better in my book than a striped linen button down. The offerings from Kule are so tempting to me — I love that Margot Tennenbaum styling. Has anyone tried their clothes? Worth the money quality wise?

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      Lori
      10 Apr 2019
      10:24pm

      I have this t-shirt (men’s, because I’m 5’11” with a long torso and really dislike the short-top trend), which I ordered last year with a promo code after much hemming and hawing — and no regrets! The colors are vibrant, the fabric is soft, and it’s worn like iron through many washings. Definitely a warm-weekend go-to!
      https://www.kule.com/collections/mens/products/the-modern-mister-blue-red

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      Mamavalveeta03
      16 Apr 2019
      2:30am

      I won a contest where I got to pick out a PILE of KULE shirts and I think the quality is exceptional!

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    Mary
    10 Apr 2019
    9:59am

    I’ve seen the Vince one in person – I love it!

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    MarieP
    10 Apr 2019
    8:57am

    So few button-down shirts can accommodate boobs. Mine aren’t even that big but the button-gape seems inevitable. It seems so simple to put one more button in the line-up, as Tradlands has done, and solve the problem. Then there’s the issue of sleeves that aren’t offered in petite lengths….

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      Kate
      11 Apr 2019
      6:13am

      Speak it, sis. Speak it!

      The shirt will fit everywhere except the chest. So I go up a size wishing that it would fit my chest and maybe give me that cool, slouchy look. Nope. I look like I’m wearing my mommy’s shirt. No amount of sleeve rolling and hem tucking can save me.

      It’s taken me a long time to figure it out. I’m short waisted and my boobs are relatively close to my shoulders. Short shoulder to boob length. Ha. Short arms. Broad shoulders, but not deep. It’s so complicated.

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      MaryAlice
      10 Apr 2019
      6:03pm

      I have the same issue, so I just either take a few stitches along the placket where it gaps, or use this product https://www.amazon.com/Hollywood-Fashion-Secrets-Checklane-Upright/dp/B01FWDHKPC/ref=sr_1_7?keywords=fashion+tape&qid=1554933749&s=gateway&sr=8-7

      Works like a charm!

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        Kate K.
        10 Apr 2019
        11:26pm

        I use that fashion tape too! Works great for me, but I have relatively small boobs.

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        Viajera
        11 Apr 2019
        12:01pm

        Just for clarity … you are sewing the shirt shut, and then you just put it on over your head after that?

        I never thought of that.

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      Keirele
      10 Apr 2019
      12:16pm

      Yep. Button-downs are so unflattering on me unless they’re fitted at the waist and have an extra button. It’s a hard style to get right.

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    Rebecca
    10 Apr 2019
    8:50am

    My closet is organized by colour… except for “striped shirt” section. Somehow I always feel more polished in a striped shirt….
    Love the white on white version above!

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    Mamavalveeta03
    16 Apr 2019
    2:35am

    The striped linen shirt from AYR is just a perfect look, in my book. I wonder if the jeans are AYR, also?

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    Tiffany Sollog
    11 Apr 2019
    9:05pm

    I’m admiring the black & white ones, and then the one that gives me a “Fruit Stripe Gum” vibe.

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    Casey
    12 Apr 2019
    9:37am

    Do you tuck these in? A half tuck? A loose tuck? So curious about styling!

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      Kim France
      12 Apr 2019
      2:08pm

      I’m still partial to the half-tuck.

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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