Business Casual Superstar: Button Downs and V-Necks

by HumaR | June 3rd, 2011   

By Huma Rashid

I’m one of those girls that loves menswear-inspired looks, but I have to remember to find a way to make sure the ensemble still looks feminine. Not that there’s anything wrong with dressing like a man, or in a masculine fashion, but it’s not my own personal style, and when I notice that my look isn’t as feminine as my style often is, I get self-conscious about it.

In terms of convenience and comfort, I like to wear short-sleeve button downs under v-neck sweaters. If it’s too cold in the office, I’ve got the sweater. If it’s too warm, I can always take it off and still have a work-appropriate top underneath. Plus, it’s a menswear-inspired look. Here’s how I balance it out with my feminine style:

huma rashid business casual superstar june 2 Business Casual Superstar: Button Downs and V Necks

Croft & Barrow Floral Shirt in Red ………. $24.99

Marled V-Neck Sweater ………. $14.99

Black Straight Leg Trousers ………. $15

Rampage Nikki Pumps in Black ………. $24.95

Royal Slam Earrings ………. $15

I went with black pants, which is what I most commonly wear anyway. Black pants go with just about everything, so I have two or three pairs, just for convenience. I paired them with an oatmeal colored sweater, fuzzy and warm, with a deep v-neck. Well, not too deep, but still. Under that, I opted for a printed shirt in a color like red, one of my favorites. I’d also go with pink or purple, which are more feminine colors, traditionally, to balance out my feminine flair with this button-down-and-sweater combo.

And, to keep everything nice and simple, I went with a pair of black leather heels. With an outfit like this, I might leave my hair down, maybe pinned to the side, for a softer, more girly look, or I might put it up in a high, sleek ponytail and add dangly earrings, like these red ones.

By paying a little more attention to color and accessories (and heels!) it’s very, very easy to add a touch of your normal feminine style to a more traditionally masculine ensemble. (Although, of course, there’s nothing wrong with dressing in a more masculine fashion if that’s your style. This post was a little more personal, and my personal style is pretty feminine, with the exception of the occasional sweater vest or men’s watch or oxford shoes, since I do like menswear-inspired pieces.)


Hi Huma, Anne here, community manager intern at Livefyre. I like what you've picked out here -- feminine, appropriate, and cute. I like J Crew's approach to menswear-inspired looks, and you can snatch up some great basic pieces on sale...usually. :)