How to Dress Up the Button-Down Shirt

The button-down shirt hangs in everyone’s closet these days. For guys, it’s standard dress in many offices, and it’s a staple in nearly every woman’s wardrobe. Little boys wear a button-down with a tie on dress-up occasions, and little girls may wear one under a dressy jumper or with a skirt.

1

Draw the classic Lady Blouse.

Sketch a light drawing of a woman’s top half. Draw a curve for the neckline. Add two small inverted triangles for the collar. Draw a slightly off-center line that goes down the front.

Extend the curve and collar around the back of the neck to create a sense of depth. Put the line for the shirt’s front opening a little to the right of center, because the buttons will go on the left side of the line.

For the armhole seams, draw slight curves from the underarms to the shoulders. For each side seam, draw a line that follows the side of her torso and finishes by her hip. Draw sleeves for each arm and add cuffs. Finish the shirt by adding buttons on the left side of the center front opening and topstitching at the hem.

2

Draw a men’s button-down shirt.

Draw the top half of a guy. Map in the curve of the neckline and a V shape. You get a V shape because the top button is undone.

Place buttons down the center front and draw a line left of the buttons. Follow the body as you draw shoulder, armhole, and side seams. Draw a line that connects the points of the collar to the curved neckline, creating a triangle shape on each side.

Add sleeves and a bottom hem. Finish with cuffs, another seam line next to the buttons, and topstitching. Include a pocket on the front of the shirt if you like. You can also add a top button to the left and a buttonhole on the right.

3

Draw the plaid flannel shirt for a boy.

Draw the top half of a young boy. Map out the shirt, beginning with the neck hole, and add two triangles for a collar. Draw loose fitting sleeves over the boy’s arms. Even though flannel shirts are made of a casual fabric, they have the structure of a dress shirt, so remember to add the cuffs.

Draw in two long rectangles for the front of the shirt. If your model is wearing his flannel shirt over a T-shirt, you can leave a bit of space between the rectangles to make the flannel shirt appear open. If he has the shirt buttoned, draw the rectangles so they’re touching at the center front line.

Add buttons and use the side of your pencil to draw the plaid pattern. If the shirt is open, draw the buttons on the right side of the right rectangle. If the shirt is buttoned, draw the buttons to the right of the center front line.

Many times, the plaid pattern on shirt pockets doesn’t line up with the pattern on the main body of the shirt. Designers often have fun and turn the plaid on an angle for a twist!

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