5 Alternatives to the Classic White Work Shirt

When it comes to women’s work shirts, the trim and tailored white button-down is known to clock some serious mileage. As a neutral staple, it makes dressing for the office as easy as grab and go. We gravitate towards the basics for their endless mix and match value, but it’s also easy to get stuck in a uniform rut that way.

The truth is, there are tons of slight variations just as effortless and interchangeable as our tried-and-true go-to. The problem is, sometimes, we’re just too busy or stuck in our ways to notice the amazing alternatives. Who wants to be worrying about what to wear to work once you’re finally home for the day or enjoying a well-deserved weekend?


The small shift in updating your work wear can have big advantages, though. Maybe a simple wardrobe change can be just the mid-week pick-me-up you need. Or maybe a little attention to help you stand out for that new position could be good. We’re here to give you a handful of options that offer the same ease as your trusty white work shirt — with just a little twist to help you shine in the break room and beyond.

6 Women’s Work Shirts to Shake Up Your Wardrobe

The Poplin Shirt

Shop it: Women’s Poplin Harbor Popover, $49.95, L.L. Bean

Eliminating the button front altogether or working with a select few, the poplin is an updated alternative to the silhouette you’re used to. Look for a mandarin collar, pin tucked bib front or other details that help differentiate this shirt from your standard version.

The Tunic

Shop it: Cotton Stretch Tunic, $39.99, J. Jill

Play with the proportions of your work attire by teaming a slim trouser with a little bit longer length on top. Tunics provide a little bit more comfort, with the same amount of polish.

The Wrap Front Top

Shop it: Sleeveless Obi Wrap Blouse, $49, ASOS

Wrap silhouettes can be a great way to chicly change up your shape and work a coordinated accessory (the belt) into your work attire.

Silky PJ Blouse

Shop it: Who What Wear Women’s Plus Size Pajama Button Down, $27.99, Target

Nothing sounds better than pajamas in the office! Except, of course, silk pajamas in the office. This piped style is sure to smooth over your style rut.

The Boxy Linen Top

Shop it: Organic Handkerchief Linen Icon Box-Top, $89 Eileen Fisher

The natural summer alternative is a cool, linen top and this boxy iteration is an ultra-contemporary alternative to all those buttons.

The Shirt Dress

Shop it: Cotton Shirt Dress, $59 Brooks Brothers

You just can’t give up the button up, can you? It’s cool, this fits the bill. Extend your cuffed and collared love down the hem with an equally classic shirt dress. Seems like a no brainer, but you didn’t have this in your closet already, did you?


Melissa is creative communications professional with 9+ years of experience writing for the beauty and fashion industries.