I am a firm believer in investing in clothing basics; they’re classics that I will reach for time and time again. I can spend less money on trendy items at Forever 21 or H&M that I know won’t be as timeless but with basics or staples, I’m usually more picky. One such basic that I usually take my time on are button down shirts, specifically, the perennial gingham shirt. I love button down shirts…they’re versatility in all seasons make them a great investment when building a wardrobe. Here in the rocky mountain state, layering is essential as the weather can change several times in one day and gingham shirts give a layered outfit a more fun and interesting look.
Since the gingham pattern is of a preppy style origin, who else can do it better than J. Crew? And with most JC things, other retailers are quick to create dups to keep up with the trendsetter. In the last few months, I’ve seen several incarnations of the gingham button down shirt…it’s a popular item with leading fashion bloggers and I’m sure that helps boosts its popularity. I dare say, the gingham shirt is now an iconic staple in most fashionable womens’ closets.
But which one to pick up? Here are just a few of the shirts I picked up from the most popular and accessible retailers, all of which are still available in store and/or online. They range from downright cheap to reasonably priced for the value.
The verdict? [Links available below, under each photo] My first pick would be from Joe Fresh at JC Penney’s. The fit and quality is worth more than its $19 price tag; it’s not as soft as the other brands but I like its structured feel. A close second would be the J.Crew perfect shirt, IF you don’t mind spending more or waiting for a sale (the Factory version is also a great alternative). The Old Navy is a great buy…the quality is not as nice as the Joe Fresh version but the fit is nicer than the Gap; it has a soft almost seersucker feel to it, and for $15, it’s a great back-up. Lastly, the Gap shirt is really nicely made, very soft, great quality (usually a cheaper version of what their sister store Old Navy carries) but as usual, it’s too long for me in the torso and sleeves and at $50 (regular price), it’s not worth it. If it goes on sale, I might pick it up in a color I don’t already have.
Final word….I’ll be returning the Gap version and keeping the rest, or I might exchange it for another button down shirt in one of their fun Spring prints. Hope this helps if you’ve been on the hunt for a gingham shirt.
Joe Fresh at JC Penney $19 (sold out online, available in store)