The Button-down Shirt - Perfect For Any Occassion – Tenue de Nîmes

The Button-down Shirt - Perfect For Any Occassion

Thu, Apr 20, 23

To celebrate the Tenue. Ralph Oxford shirts re-stock at Tenue de Nîmes, we decided that it was time to tell you more about the story of the button-down shirt and why it's the perfect everyday garment. First of all, this shows as it was worn daily by style icons like the late Paul Newman, Miles Davis and Robert Redford. The button-down walks a very thin line between casual looks and more dressed up ones. Exactly this, is what makes it the perfect everyday shirt. Do you have a date but don’t want to look overdressed or neither too casual? Wear your button-down shirt effortlessly with a t-shirt underneath. The date went well and you're meeting the parents? The same goes for this situation, but maybe skip the t-shirt and tuck them into your jeans. There is an infinite amount of situations wherein a button-down shirt is your garment of choice. It’s perfect for any occasion at any location.

Paul newman white button-down shirt
Paul Newman sporting a white button-down shirt.
Miles Davis seen wearing a button-down shirt, via Besnard.com
Miles Davis wearing a button-down shirt. Image from 'Dreamer With a Thousand Thrills' by Patricia Bosworth; published by powerHouse Books.

Though the shirts were instantly adopted by sports players in the U.S., it wouldn’t be until around the 1950s that they would be rocketed into the mainstream. It was around this time that Ivy-league students started incorporating the shirts into their laidback, sport and leisure infused, smart-looking wardrobe. The Brooks Brothers fuelled this very smartly by producing a pink button-down shirt (unbelievable that something so simple was so revolutionary back then) which was immediately a hit with the students who very bravely wanted to rebel against their parents’ conservative white and blue shirts. Not much later, more and more people started to latch on to the Ivy-league style. 

Style icons like the aforementioned Robert Redford, Paul Newman and Miles Davis helped popularise it, but also John F. Kennedy, and many others.
 Button-down shirts could now be seen all over the world. On the other side of the pond, mods incorporated the button down-shirt into their wardrobe. Even in Japan the Miyuki-Zoku, a youth movement who were inspired by the Heibon Punch magazine, could be seen sporting this casual shirt. From that point onward, the button-down shirt had cemented itself into the world’s wardrobe. 


John F. Kennedy in an Oxford Button Down. Image by GQ BritainJohn F. Kennedy seen wearing a button-down whilst with his wife Jackie. Image through GQ Britain

Tenue. is not only a denim aficionado, but also a fan of Ivy-league style. Almost right after the brand's inception, button-down shirts were a staple in their everyday wardrobe. The Ralph is a classic men's shirt with a button-down collar and chest pocket that comes in multiple different fabrics and colours. With the Princeton, Brooklyn, Columbia and the newly added Berkeley, Tenue. stays true to tradition, producing all four in a custom, heavyweight organic cotton fabric. The fabric is so heavy that you needn’t have to bother ironing it after washing! Just make sure it's wet and hang it on a hanger, gravity will do the rest. For more contemporary styles, and in adherence to their love for denim, the brand also produces two denim shirts. The Ralph Ithaca and Nash are made from a thick, washed, denim fabric - so much so that both could easily work as an overshirt. You can shop all these perfect everyday shirts right here. 

Robert Redford Oxford shirt
Robert Redford (left) in a button-down shirt and Dustin Hoffman (right) in "All President's Men", 1976. Image through Everett Collection.

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