Tips For Transitioning Your Fave Button-Down Into Spring & Summer

The transitional seasons are some of our favorites. Fall brings the start of cozy season, harkening in hot chocolate, pumpkin-flavored everything, and flannels galore. Spring marks the beginning of new growth as everything wakes up from a long winter's sleep, ourselves included. But if you find the transitional seasons a bit harder to dress for, you're not alone. During spring in particular, it's typical to wake up to a chilly morning that eventually gives way to a warmer afternoon. When you're dealing with spring's (and summer's) fickle weather, take advantage of one of our favorite transitional pieces: the classic button-down.

You probably already have a button-down or two (or several) in your fall and winter wardrobes, so why not adapt them to the warmer months? Button-down shirts make great transitional pieces — they're versatile enough to keep you warm during cooler mornings and nights, and you can easily switch up their style, so you won't find yourself baking in the afternoon. Want to take your favorite button-down shirts into spring? Here are some of our favorite ways to make this classic wardrobe staple suitable for the warmer months.

Wear it over a tank

If you're a big fan of spring and summer apparel, you probably can't wait to don your favorite elevated basic ribbed tank again. Even if it's not yet hot where you live, you can still break out the tank tops — just wear your favorite button-down over them. A button-down is a great way to cover your shoulders when it's still a bit nippy outside, and as long as you leave it unbuttoned, your tank top will still have room to shine. 

Get a tropical print

There's no easier way to dress for the warmer months than by adopting a tropical print. Subtle tropical prints, like the one above that uses a dark background and simple leaf design, are versatile enough to wear in all seasons, and make transitioning the top between seasons particularly easy. Accessorize with large gold leaf-shaped earrings to emphasize the print on your button-down. 

Wear it with a mini skirt

Sometimes, you really don't need to do much to take your button-down into spring and summer, particularly if your climate doesn't get boiling hot. Varying up the rest of your outfit could be all you need to make use of this transitional piece. When you want to keep your standard button-down look but still show some skin, why not pair it with a mini skirt? This stylish ensemble will make it clear that you're ready for the summer months, but you're still keeping it professional all season long.

Let it fall off one shoulder

If you want a more casual, I'm-going-to-grab-a-cocktail-at-the-beach-bar look, wear a loose button-down and let it fall off one shoulder. This 'fit gives a fun, flirty vibe that tells everyone you're ready for a good time, especially when you pair it with a cute crop top and your favorite floppy straw hat or style it with a bucket hat

Find a white one

Sometimes, all you need to take a top from winter to spring is the right color. Lighter colors are great for warmer months — not only do they aesthetically match the seasons, but they also reflect the heat brought on by the summer sun, helping you stay cooler than darker colors would. Find a white button-down to effortlessly wear with nearly any outfit during the warmer months, and for bonus points, pair it with some white denim, too.

Get one with short sleeves

Of course, one of the simplest ways to ensure you don't get hot in your summer button-down is by grabbing one with short sleeves. A short-sleeved button-down is still great to layer over your favorite summer pieces, but it's also lovely buttoned up and worn on its own. For an extra put-together look, wear your favorite short-sleeved button-down tucked into your favorite pair of summer shorts. 

Wear over your favorite summer dress

Want to dress down a summer dress or just make sure you stay warm while wearing it? Wear a bright button-down over it! We're obsessed with the above example because of the bright button-down that's a near-perfect match to one of the colors in the dress. It adds a casual flair to what could otherwise be a super dressy 'fit and makes it perfect for a casual brunch or a day walking around town.

Find your favorite summery color

A bright, spring or summer color will do plenty to take your button-down into the warmer seasons. Brighter colors can often be daunting — after all, will they even match what you already have in your closet? When you're trying to style bright button-downs, rely on your favorite blue denim pieces. Neutral trousers also offer a great pairing option when you want your button-down to really pop.

Wear a cropped blouse

Showing some skin in the warmer months is one of the easiest ways to stay cool, so when you want to wear a warm-weather button-down, go ahead and make it cropped. You could buy an already cropped button-down, or if you want to DIY it, take a button-down you already have, cut it slightly longer than a cropped length, and sew a hem at the bottom (or leave it loose for a rougher look).

Denim is a great transitional fabric

We've already mentioned denim, but it can't be overstated — denim is one of the most versatile fabrics out there. A lighter-weight denim button-down could be worn with nearly anything, and you could even capitalize on the double denim trend by pairing a denim button-down with denim shorts. Worried about looking too casual? Dress up your denim by accessorizing with big earrings and a small jeweled necklace. 

Get it as a vest

Yes, there's still a way to wear a button-down even when you want to go sleeveless with it, and that's where button-down vests come into play. We love a good button-down vest because it offers a perfectly put-together look all on its own, or you could give it a more casual vibe by wearing it unbuttoned over your favorite tank top or the tank alternative tube top.

Cover up in an oversized blouse

If you play it right, your favorite blouse doesn't even really have to be part of your ensemble at all. Looking forward to a fun day at the beach or the pool? Throw on your favorite bathing suit, then cover it with your favorite oversized button-down blouse. An oversized button-down makes for a great, casual cover-up option. Pack a pair of denim shorts for those days when you want to go straight from the pool to a restaurant or other indoor location.

Roll up the sleeves

You probably already have this trick in your arsenal, but a reminder can't hurt. When you want to wear your favorite winter button-down in the spring, just roll up the sleeves! Cuffing the sleeves of your button-down is a great way to keep cool when the sun starts to come out, and the best part is, you can just roll them back down if you get a bit too chilly. That's what we like to call a win-win.

Opt for a sheer fabric

Last but certainly not least, sheer fabrics can offer a lot of visual interest to your button-down outfit. This is a piece you wear when you want minimal coverage — it's a bit sexy without being too revealing and is a great opportunity to let the shirt underneath shine. Pair with a brightly colored tank top when you want the blouse to be subtle, or wear a top of the same color if you want to emphasize it.