Dressing Tip: Wear Your Workshirt Off the Shoulder
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Button down shirts: never old, never new.

Personally, I like to wear them oversize — boxy and kind of thick (so they don’t stick to my stomach) but casual too because I hate when they retain frustratingly rigid collars. My husband loves these because, and I quote, “they hold my neck up.” And here I thought bodies were supposed to do that!

I roll up the sleeves (often using a hugely handy cuffing trick from the ineffable Jenna Lyons) and like to tuck the shirt into high waist skinny pants. They provide the illusion that my lower stomach is either smaller than it actually is or accentuates the fact that though I look like I could be, I am not pregnant. This disparity tends to depend on what I ate for breakfast that morning.

I let the shirt peek out over my pants which makes me look vaguely disproportionate in a way that I really appreciate and then I live my life.

Or so I think I’m living my life — never have I felt as emasculated by the way in which I thought I had perfected the art of the oversize button down shirt as I did when I came upon this image, from New York Fashion Week, of a girl unbeknownst to me, giving the hot shoulder like no one has ever known warmth or clavicle bones before.

Will I try it? Yes. Probably simply by approximating this method — so that’s: unbutton the first, let’s say three, buttons of the shirt, pull it down from my back, unbutton the bottom three buttons, tie them together and pair with something high waist.

Will you? Here are some fancy shirts for your creative juice. The oldies from J. Crew should work just fine, too, though.

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  • Charlotte Fassler

    I LOVE HER SO MUCH <3 <3

  • ee_by_cc

    “Giving the hot shoulder” is my new favorite phrase. Currently crafting ways to sneak it into conversation for the remainder of the week.


  • andrea raymer

    I saw this girl in person and have been wanting to try this ever since.

  • My mom had a very 1992 impression of the white collar workforce in NYC, and she gave me more button down shirts than I ever needed. I actually wore a lot of them to my college bookstore job because I felt customers took me more seriously. (It’s amazing how many people will doubt your ability to check whether or not a book is in stock if you’re a 20 year old female…)

    Now these collared shirts serve as an easy work outfit if I overslept. I’ve since lost about 50 pounds since I acquired most of them, which adds to the “boyfriend shirt” look with my skinny jeans.

  • Tessa

    Genius. But do we tuck in the collar that is now at our backs? I would imagine so, but I want to nail this.

  • Belinda_Buttercup

    That’s Claire from http://www.cestclairette.com :)! She runs an amazing blog and has such a great sense of style!

  • I vaguely remember another effortless woman doing this a couple of seasons ago, “outside the shows.” It was terribly cool and so is this girl’s rendition. Today would have been the perfect day to try it actually, as it was quite warm. I know I would end up looking like an idiot, though. I’d think that everyone mumbling around me would be mumbling about how I put my shirt on improperly until I’d remember that no one really gives a damn as you pass them on the street. We’re all busy humans.

    Also worth noting: Her hair length in conjunction with shirt. Gotta show off those collar bones when you can. One of my favorite parts of the body.

  • I adore this look! Gonna have to try it soon!

    — Michelle | MXP STYLE

  • Daphne Blunt

    How has no one thought of this before! Genius!



  • Zola

    I would’ve never guessed she was wearing just wearing a simple button-down shirt! Kudos to you stylish lady 🙂

  • I love this idea, I will definitely try it, in the meantime I would love it if you would check out my blog http://www.modeography.com

  • Hi Leandra, the unknown girl is me – thanks for picking this picture, feeling honored!! – and I’m the same Claire who has been trying to reach out for an interview with you for a German newspaper (ask Charlotte and Amelia, I met them at NYFW). Please let me know if you’re still interested – would be awesome 🙂

    • Mikhaelacj

      Cllaaire! What did you do with the collar at the back?

  • lavieenliz
  • love the look!

  • Kandeel

    Leandra you already caught on this with a button up cardigan in this post!! http://www.manrepeller.com/2014/03/mastering-the-art-of-repurposed-sweaters.html

  • Emily

    This is great!! I love my shoulders but sometimes am quite iffy about my arms so this is a great tip! http://meowemily.blogspot.com

  • Loving the ‘buttoned shirt got caught in the dryer with girl inside, girl so insouciantly beautiful she just marched straight out into public’ look. I fear I’d just look fumbly if I tried it though…


  • Joyce

    I like this style, especially the shirts.


  • Ronnie

    Juhu! Amazing look, amazing Claire. The shirt is WOOD WOOD, http://www.mytheresa.com/euro_en/juliette-striped-cotton-shirt-344998.html

  • I love this idea!


  • Tracy

    I’ll try this trend, looks so cool!

  • Yep. Doing this asap.


  • girlinmenswear

    I love a good masculine shirt, but prefer mine buttoned up to the top and then skimming my knees – like a massive tent, or parachute type thing.

    The hot shoulder look is pretty fly, but I worry about the inability to scratch one’s head and what are you supposed to do with the collar?
    Need a proper step-by-step manual for the look please!


  • Katinka
  • Your thoughts on your lower stomach are my thoughts on my lower stomach. Feeling a bit better and a bit less like a freak all the time.

    Warm Regards,

  • Diane

    That hair length is just perfect for this look. I love bare shoulders for any season!

  • Bunmi Afuye

    love the colour of the skirt! fab outfit hun


  • suzia

    you go, girl @ claire. berlin keeps watching you in NYC! smart export.

  • this is PERFECT.. i have the prettiest pink Wilfred top that i haven’t worn in a while that’ll look even better off the shoulder! thanks for the inspo xox!


  • Brianna Rape

    “in a way that I really appreciate and then I live my life” I could re-read this article every day for the rest of my life. Probably not, but still obsessed with your writing!