women's business shirt

Women’s Business Shirt Style Guide

A well-fitted women’s business shirt is an important element of a professional look no matter what you do for work, or where you live. Unassuming and reliable in any situation, a dress shirt has the ability to elevate your look and accentuate your confidence when you walk into a room.

This style guide will help you to understand all the nuances that define a good women’s business shirt and will hopefully make the selection process of the perfect shirt more hit than miss.

What is a women’s business shirt?

Women’s business shirts are long-sleeved button ups appropriate for the workplace. These shirts have collar and cuffs and come in a range of colours, patterns and textures to complement every outfit.

Thanks to their versatility, women’s business shirts don’t need to be confined to just being worn to the office and are easy to wear for other events like dinner or get together with friends.

Proper business shirt is fitted

Finding a button-up shirt isn’t difficult but finding one that actually fits is a different story. A proper women’s business shirt should be fitted and never boxy. A well-fitted shirt follows the contours of your figure while having enough room to breathe and move. It creates a trim appearance, compliments your physique in all the right places and always looks flattering.

The three key areas to pay attention to, to ensure you look your best in your business shirt are the sleeve length, the torso and the shirt length.

In terms of length, the shirt cuff should come down just below your wrist and be able to peek out from the sleeve of a blazer. Any longer or shorter and the shirt will appear ill-fitting.

White shirt for women

One of the most important parts to making sure your business shirt fits is evaluating the bust area. The button placement should allow room for your bust, even if you are quite busty, without creating a gap or causing you to size up from your regular size. A flatteringly designed shirt also has darts at the waist and the bust to create a streamlined silhouette.

Any shirt that strains and puckers at the bust or the waist or, on the contrary, is big and baggy is certainly unfit for business but most probably also for any other purpose.

The proper dress shirt length is long enough for the shirt to stay tucked in when you sit or when you raise your arms. When untucked, the hem should end around mid-hip and fit comfortably without pulling around your hips.

white shirt fabric

Best Fabric for the Women’s Business Shirt

Business shirt fabric is an important consideration. It defines the garment’s breathability, durability, and the overall look and feel against your body.

For these reasons, if you are looking for a good quality business shirt, you should look for one that is constructed from 100% pure, finely woven, 2-ply cotton (this means that two cotton yarns are twisted together to make a single thread that is then woven into the fabric).

Another number to watch out for is the thread count that refers to how many yards of thread are in one pound of material. The higher the thread count, generally, the finer and better the fabric will be. 

Choosing the colours and patterns

The traditional colour for women’s business shirts is, of course, white but there are so many other beautiful and classy patterns and colours to choose from. And today’s workwear definitely allows you to have a little more personal flare. So, don’t be shy and try some gingham checks, stripes and colours like light blue, pink, navy or black. Because of their versatility, business shirts of all colours and patterns will give you a wide variety of styling options with the rest of your wardrobe.

For some inspiration, take a look at the 5 women’s business shirts for each day of the week.

What to wear with the women’s business shirt?

A perfect business shirt classes up almost every look and is easy to wear for most professional working environments. A tailored suit paired with a business shirt is one of the most classic outfits, but the shirt also works perfectly with blazers, tailored pants and pencil skirts. In a less formal business environment jeans may also be an acceptable option that works well with a button-up.  

What about the accessories?

Accessories complete the look. They add just the right touch of glam to your business shirts and will make them come to life.

When you are wearing a monochrome outfit, you can transform your entire outfit with a stylish, silky scar. A vibrant scarf in blue, yellow or orange can go a long way in perking up your outfit.

White business shirt for women

Cufflinks are another great way to add personality to your look in an instant. However, if you want to wear cufflinks, you need to make sure that your business shirt has cuff holes. Look for a either a French cuff shirt or one with convertible cuffs.

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Ella Hopfeldt is a dress shirt brand for women. Our blog is an expression of our passion for women’s classic style, dress shirts, stories and ideas. Sit back and enjoy our mix of information and inspiration. 

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