Button-up shirts are essential items that every man needs in his closet. They can be dressed up for work or special occasions, or worn casually with jeans on the weekend. While solids and basic stripes have their place, sometimes you want to make a bold statement with a unique, eye-catching pattern.
The right patterned button-up can inject personality into your look and become a signature piece. Playful prints like gingham, florals, and plaids allow you to have fun with fashion. Paired with solid bottoms and simple accessories, a patterned button-up easily becomes the focal point of your outfit.
In this post, we’ll explore the top 5 button-up shirts with stylish prints and patterns that every guy should own. You’ll discover how to choose a flattering pattern for your build, match them perfectly with pants, shoes, and accessories, and care for these statement pieces. Read on for tips, recommendations, and inspiration to elevate your style with patterned button-ups!
The Top 5 Patterned Button-Up Shirts for Men
A gingham button-up shirt is a versatile classic that every man should own. This timeless woven cotton fabric features a checked pattern in varieties of colorways. Gingham checks come in different scales – from bold buffalo plaids to smaller checks best suited for business casual outfits.
Gingham looks equally sharp buttoned up with slacks or untucked over jeans. It’s ideal for guys with broader shoulders and builds, as the balanced pattern helps add shape. For a casual weekend look, pair a blue gingham shirt with dark wash denim, loafers, and a leather watch. For the office, mix it with grey slacks, brown oxfords, and a slim briefcase.
Recommended Gingham Button-Ups:
- Brooks Brothers Extra-Slim Fit Gingham Sport Shirt
- Bonobos Riviera Short Sleeve Gingham Shirt
- J.Crew Slim Untucked Gingham Cotton Shirt
Floral button-ups are huge right now and a great way to tap into the bloom of spring and summer. Modern floral prints have moved far beyond stuffy tablecloths with bold, oversized abstract flowers and tropical motifs. Rich colors like ruby reds, bright blues, and emerald greens lend an eye-catching pop.
Floral prints pair perfectly with dark denim or neutral chinos. Keep accessories simple – some sleek suede loafers or canvas sneakers and a leather bracelet or watch. Floral shirts work well with most build types, but avoid tiny florals if you have a slender frame.
Recommended Floral Button-Ups:
- Bonobos Jetsetter Stretch Floral Shirt
- Mizzen+Main Isaac Floral Print Shirt
- Taylor Stitch The Jack in Nightbloom Floral
A striped button-up is a versatile staple every man needs. Thin pinstripes lend a touch of sophistication, while bolder stripes make more of a statement. Both vertical and horizontal stripes work well and come in a variety of accent colors.
Leaner men look great in bold wide stripes, which help add the illusion of width. Broad shoulders are complemented by thinner pinstripes or vertical stripes. Tuck your striped shirt into dark jeans or trousers and finish with some suede chukka boots for an easy weekend look.
Recommended Striped Button-Ups:
- Banana Republic Luxury Touch Stripe Shirt
- Everlane Uniform Button-Down in Stripes
- J.Crew Slim American Pima Cotton Oxford Shirt in Stripes
For a rugged, lumberjack look, you can’t go wrong with a plaid button-up. These classic checked shirts conjure up images of chopped wood and campfires in the woods. Often seen in traditional shades of black, red, green, and blue, plaid patterns vary from large buffalo checks to smaller gingham.
Plaid button-ups look right at home layered under a down vest with some dark denim and work boots. Roll up the sleeves and leave the shirt untucked for a relaxed vibe. Plaids generally suit most body types, but smaller guys will want to avoid oversized buffalo checks.
Recommended Plaid Button-Ups:
- Gap Soft Washed Button-Down Utility Shirt
- Topo Designs Plaid Ranch Shirt
- Patagonia Long-Sleeved Fjord Flannel Shirt
5. Graphic Prints
Why not have some fun with a conversational button-up featuring a bold graphic print? Think scenic landscapes, animals like tigers or pandas, and other unique designs that make a statement. Graphic print shirts add an element of playfulness to your look.
Pair these eye-catching shirts with neutral pants and simple sneakers. Wear them tucked or untucked. Lean body types can pull off bolder, full-scale graphic prints, while stocky guys should scale it back with smaller placement prints. Layer under an unstructured blazer for a stylish going-out look.
Recommended Graphic Print Button-Ups:
- Original Penguin X NASA Astronaut Button Down Shirt
- ASOS DESIGN muscle fit shirt with contrast animal print
- Etro Paisley Print Short Sleeve Shirt
Now that you know the top 5 patterned button-ups that every guy should own, let’s explore some tips for choosing the perfect print for you.
How to Choose a Patterned Button-Up Shirt
Choosing a patterned button-up is more than just picking your favorite color or print. Consider the scale, your body type, complexion, and the formality of the occasion. Follow these guidelines to select a stylish pattern that flatters your build:
Consider Your Body Type and Build
- Broad shoulders or larger build – Seek out balanced, proportional scale prints like gingham, smaller plaids, or graphical elements. Larger guys can pull off bolder prints without looking overpowering.
- Slender or lean build – Lean towards bold, oversized patterns like large florals or buffalo plaids to add the illusion of width. Avoid smaller scale prints that may get lost.
- Smaller frame – Stick to smaller, more delicate prints so you don’t get overwhelmed visually. Leave the big buffalo checks to the big guys.
Choose Colors Suited for Your Complexion
- Light or fair skin – Make a contrast with dark, muted patterns in richer tones of blue, green, burgundy, and grey. Avoid pastels.
- Medium to dark complexion – Vibrant, saturated colors pop against darker skin, so opt for brilliant reds, neon pinks, or turquoise.
Match the Formality of the Occasion
- Casual get-togethers – Break out relaxed plaids, gingham, stripes in playful colors. Keep it casual.
- Going out – Make a sleek statement with a bold floral or graphic print. Add some edge.
- Business casual office – Stay professional with small-scale check or pinstripe shirts. Muted colors only.
Pair with Solid Bottoms and Simple Accessories
- A patterned button-up is the star of the show, so keep the rest of your look simple.
- Solid colored pants in grey, tan, navy, or black allow the shirt print to shine.
- Minimal accessories like a sleek watch, leather bracelet, or sunglasses accent without overpowering your shirt.
- Avoid matching loud patterns like plaid pants with a plaid shirt. Scale it back.
Mind the Fit
An ill-fitting button-up can ruin the look of any pattern. Watch for:
- Too tight – Pulling and gaping at the buttons means it’s too small. Size up.
- Too loose – Billowy and boxy shirts look sloppy. Seek out tailored slim or athletic fits.
- Sleeves too long – Only an inch of cuff should show beyond your jacket. Get sleeves shortened if needed.
With these tips in mind, you’re ready to confidently shop for and choose winning patterned button-ups. Next let’s explore how to care for these statement pieces.
How to Wear and Care for Patterned Button-Ups
You invested in some trendy patterned button-ups, so care for them properly to keep them looking sharp. Here are some tips for wearing and caring for printed shirts:
Tips for Wearing
- Half unbutton a floral shirt for a relaxed, vacation vibe.
- Fully unbutton a gingham shirt layered over a t-shirt for a streetstyle look.
Layer & Roll
- Layer patterned button-ups under crews, sweaters, denim jackets.
- Roll up sleeves for a casual finish. Show off some arm tattoos.
Pop Your Collar
- Pop the collar on a plaid shirt to complete the lumberjack look.
Advice for Washing/Drying
Read Care Labels
- Always check fabric care instructions first.
- Wash in cold water on a delicate cycle to prevent fading.
- Line dry or tumble dry low to avoid heat damage.
Lightly Iron While Damp
- Remove shirts from dryer just before fully dry.
- Iron lightly on medium heat while still damp.
- Never iron directly over buttons.
Stain Removal Tips
Treat Stains ASAP
- Blot stains immediately – don’t rub, which can spread stain.
- Pre-treat with mild detergent or stain stick.
- Rinse thoroughly before washing as normal.
- For tough stains, repeat process as needed.
Hang Properly Between Wears
- Store shirts on heavy duty hangers to maintain shape.
- Button shirts before hanging to reduce collar and placket strain.
- Place cedar blocks or strips in drawers to absorb moisture.
- Use cedar hangers to absorb dampness and repel moths.
Now that you know how to care for those prized patterned button-ups, let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
FAQs About Patterned Button-Up Shirts
What patterns work best for tall or short men?
For tall men, avoid small scale prints, which can look dwarfed. Go for bold stripes and large floral and graphic prints to suit your stature.
For short men, stick with smaller prints like gingham and narrow pinstripes. Big buffalo plaids will overpower a smaller frame.
Should I tuck or untuck patterned button-ups?
It depends on the formality. For work or dressier occasions, keep patterned shirts tucked in. With casual wear like jeans, untuck shirts for a relaxed vibe. Floral prints look great untucked with slim chinos.
How do I prevent gapping between the buttons?
Gapping means the shirt is too tight across the chest and pulling at the buttons. Choose slim or modern fit shirts with stretch to avoid gaping. If already gaping, size up or avoid super skinny fits. An undershirt also helps minimize gaping.
What sleeve length should I look for?
Ideally, shirt sleeves should end just above where your thumb knuckle meets your wrist bone when arms are extended and relaxed. Standard sleeve lengths are:
- Short – show 1⁄2 inch of cuff
- Regular – show 1 inch of cuff
- Long – show 11⁄2 inch of cuff
Should I dry clean or hand wash patterned shirts?
Always check fabric care tags first. Most 100% cotton button-ups can be machine washed cold and line dried. Dry clean shirts are typically poly or silk blends.
How can I prevent shrinking?
Wash patterned button-ups in cold water on a delicate cycle. Never use hot water. Line or flat dry – never over dry. Avoid overloading washer or dryer.
What fabrics hold up best?
100% cotton offers durability and crisp structure. Cotton/poly or nylon blends resist wrinkles and add stretch. Linen and rayon are lightweight but wrinkle easier. Stay away from 100% polyester.
How do I get rid of deodorant stains?
Rub a bar soap directly on the stains before washing. Rinse and let soak 30 minutes in a mix of 1-part vinegar to 3-parts water. For severe stains, apply baking soda paste and rinse thoroughly before washing.
How often should patterned shirts be washed?
Button-ups worn against the skin should be washed after 1-2 light wears. Shirts worn over undershirts may go 3-4 wears. Spot clean stains/pits between full washes. Excess washing accelerates fading.
Where can I buy affordable patterned button-ups?
Check out these places for great deals on unique patterned shirts:
- H&M – Trendy prints at fast fashion prices
- ASOS – Bold graphic and floral shirts under $50
- Zara – Modern gingham, plaid, and pinstripe button-ups
- Uniqlo – High quality basics with cool motifs
- J.Crew Factory – Classic patterns marked way down
Make a Bold Statement With Patterned Button-Ups
As you can see, button-ups with unique, eye-catching patterns offer an easy way to refresh your style. The right floral, graphic, plaid, or check shirt becomes a signature look when paired with simple, solid bottoms and accessories.
Use the tips in this post to shop for printed button-ups that perfectly match your build, complexion, and personal style. When cared for properly, these versatile statement pieces will keep you looking stylish for seasons to come.
So next time you shop for shirts, grab that graphic floral or buffalo plaid number you’ve had your eye on. Then get ready to turn heads!