How to Royally Style a Button-Down, with Tips from a Meghan Markle-Approved Designer
Flashback to life pre-Archie, when Meghan Markle famously wore a perfectly fitted button-down while on tour in Australia with Prince Harry. (It bloused effortlessly! It covered her bum! It was so casual but cool!) In our pursuit to recreate Markle's look, we got in touch with Audrey McLoghlin, the woman behind the duchess's Frank & Eileen shirt. And the designer says the secret to wearing a button-down like a royal comes down to one major thing: how you style it. That’s why we asked McLoghlin, who is also the founder of women’s shirt brand Grayson (famous for its hero silhouette), to demo the details that matter most when reaching for a crisp cotton poplin.
How to Choose the Right Size and Fit
Before you get into styling, you need to make sure you’re starting with a strong foundation: Finding the right shirt that compliments your frame. Here are McLoghlin's four notes on finding your best blouse yet:
1. Check the bust. There will be no boob-gap if the fit is correct. In other words, there should be enough room for “the girls,” but the silhouette is still figure-flattering.
2. Consider the top button placement. You don’t want it to be too low or too high. McLoghlin recommends that you move around a lot in the shirt when you try it on—stand up, sit down, etc.—to really assess any potential for gapping or flashing.
3. Invest in pre-washed fabric. This way, your shirt will always fit the way you bought it—and get better with wear.
4. Don’t discount the length. The ideal length of a well-sized shirt is one that covers your bum.
Step #1: The Sleeve Roll
Tissue cotton fabric has a topside (which is pretty) and a bottom-side (that’s not so pretty), so when you roll a sleeve up like a doughnut, you’re letting the world see the underside of the fabric—that is, if it actually stays rolled up for longer than a minute!
Try This Trick:
1. Unbutton the cuff and pull the sleeve back over your elbow, stopping at the middle of your bicep.
2. Take your thumb and forefingers and do a messy tuck (i.e., it’s not totally even) with the fabric between your elbow and the cuff.
3. Flick the top of the cuff forward over the sleeve roll.
4. You’re done! Don’t worry about getting this roll to look absolutely perfect—the messier it is, the chicer it looks.
Step #2: The French Tuck
The French Tuck is a casual way to show off the front of your jeans while making your bottom half look slimmer. (Also, shout-out to Tan France of Queer Eye, for making this styling trick a total mainstay.)
Try This Trick:
1. Take only the front of the shirt and tuck it into your waistband from hip bone to hip bone.
2. Then, pull an ample amount of fabric up (but not entirely out of your jeans!) so that it slightly drapes over the top band of the jeans.
3. Leave the back untucked and casually draped.
Step #3: The Collar
A popped collar is just what you need to completely change the look/vibe of a button-down. Why? Because you look instantly styled versus having just thrown something on.
Try This Trick:
1. Pop the collar up.
2. Wet your hands just a bit and scrunch the fabric closest to your neck. (This way it doesn’t look too perfect and it molds to your body throughout the day.)
...And just like that: You’re looking more royal already!