How to style a button-up shirt

How to style a button-up shirt

It’s no secret: button-ups are probably the biggest staple of my wardrobe. Well, next to crewneck tees. So what’s so great about them? Why is it that when I was in college, I hated them and felt like a businesswoman with a pickle stuck up her you-know-what—and now, they’re the bread and butter of my style? Well, I just painted an interesting picture. Leeeet’s get to it.

I think I hated button-ups because I hadn’t been buying the right ones.

I had been buying fast-fashion tops that were designed to be tight, but that gapped at the boob making them wholly impractical. I’d bought button-ups that had a built-in V, meaning they couldn’t button to the collar—cutting their versatility in half. I went for peplum styles, or ones that were too short to be tucked in. Basically, I was a hot mess.

Over the past year, through choosing ethical brands I’ve built a strong love for button-ups.

They’re well-made, button all the way to the collar but still look great relaxed. They can tuck in, or stay untucked. They can tie at the waist, or be worn unbuttoned and look stellar as a jacket. They don’t pop open at the boobs. I wear button-ups so often now, that my coworkers will say, “Hey, I’m wearing a Sara outfit!” when they walk in wearing a button-up.

All you really need to know is: the ethical garment industry is doing button-ups REALLY right.

Today I’m so thrilled to chat about a brand that’s absolutely killing it with this ultimate wardrobe staple. I’m so proud to say they’re Canadian too, which is something that’s always been a struggle to find.

The brand? Power Of My People.

Things to know about Power Of My People

  • They’re Canadian brand based out of Vancouver
  • They produce in small batches, minimizing fabric waste
  • Jessica and Kyle used to sew each shirt themselves, and they took 18 hours to make!
  • Now, each top is made by skilled technicians in Richmond, BC
  • All fabrics are natural fibres sourced from ethical suppliers in the USA, France and Australia

About their fits

They offer 3 styles of fit—and if you’ve ever wondered about some of these terms, your wondering is over! Here it is, from their site:

  1. Women’s Proper Fit: A Classic straight fit with refined proportions.
  2. Men’s Proper Fit: A standard fit that bridges the gap between casual and office appropriate.
  3. Wayward Fit: A loose fit with dropped shoulders and added length, made in both long and short sleeve options.

Jessica has generously offered 20% off any Power of My People purchase with my special code PETRAALEXANDRA until May 30, 2019, if you are in the market for a good-quality piece

Links in this article are affiliate-based, and I make a small commission from any purchases with the code above. It makes it possible to keep doing what I love here! Thanks so much for your support.

My favourite ways to style a button-up

Fully tucked

The reason I love this style? Low maintenance, nice and casual. Easily dressed up with a slim belt and a pair of heels.

Fully tucked, buttoned collar

For the days when I want to stay warm or have full coverage, this is it. I love a fully-buttoned look for times when I know I’ll be running around working and don’t have time to be fussing with necklines.

Tied at the waist

The fabric of this top ties beautifully! Casual, light, and the unexpected pairing with lighter bottoms gives this a fresh vibe for spring.

Top layer

As the weather gets warmer, I’m enjoying experimenting with button-ups as jackets or top layers. The length of this one makes it a beautiful top layer without being too bulky.

Bottom layer

My winter staple! A great hack for those itchy sweaters, because the button-up protects your skin while adding an extra something to an otherwise simple sweatshirt.


With a light, flexible top, the half-tuck can be a fun way to switch up to a more casual, carefree look. I love it in the summer, with some sneakers for an easy-breezy outfit. Secret to this look? Make sure you tuck the side WITHOUT the buttons. And make sure enough buttons are undone so it settles without crinkling.

Want to see more? Shop the full collection here. PETRAALEXANDRA is valid for 20% off until May 30!

I also had the lovely opportunity to speak with Jessica a little more about her brand – click here to read the interview <3



9 thoughts on “How to style a button-up shirt”

  • “Bottom Layer look ” is that your aunt’s shrunk sweater ? it’s a nice color. I notice you modelled a t-shirt similar color, where is it from ?
    I’m on my second order from Kotn. Taking advantage of their 40% off sale.

  • Please tell me all about this “fully tucked button collar look”. Which shirt is this from Powwr Of My People, what’s the top layer, what jeans are these. I basically need to buy the whole outfit!

  • Love the way you styled the button up! And Power of My People has THE best selection of buttons ups. Do you have any camisole brands you’d recommend to wear under more sheer and light colored button ups? Thank you!

  • Awesome post, super useful as I’m so clueless about styling button ups. The interview was an excellent bonus, it really helps to get to know the business owners.

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