Tie One On: How to Knot Your Button-Down Shirt

Feminine silhouettes, rejoice. The knotted button-down is back in all its waist-nipping glory.

As trends go, this one is super simple to pull off. Here’s what to keep in mind as you master the look (which you will, in no time).

Tying Your Shirt

How far up you’re unbuttoning (before you tie).
This depends entirely on the pants or skirt you’re wearing. As a rule, the knot should hit where your waistband begins. The shapely effect is lost if your knot hangs too low. And it if hits above the waistband? Well, that’s just straight-up midriff-baring. Probably not the best plan for fall.

Pull all the way.
When knotting, make sure you pull the shirt ends right up against that first fastened button. If you don’t pull them all the way, then hello, surprise peephole. The kind that showcases your stomach.

But don’t pull too tight. 
Keep the knot loose. It makes for a rumpled, textured effect. When pulled too tight, the knot will look all teeny and strained. No bueno.

Be sure the shirt is somewhat oversized.
So you have plenty of fabric to work with. That way, the knot can be looser (see above).

What about the back of the shirt? 
Personally, I prefer to roll the back hem under instead of letting it hang out. It creates a neater line.

The rules change when…
…you wear your knotted button-down over a dress. Here, keep the shirt unbuttoned. All you really need to worry about is defining your waist. By all means, show off as much of that (presumably) knock-out number underneath as possible.

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By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

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September 2, 2013