The humble shirt remains a reliable item in any woman’s wardrobe. Be it the relaxed linen variety (the ultimate seaside throw-on), or the crisp poplin, puff-sleeve style, which has seen many an iteration in modern fashion, such is its versatility, it can quite literally take you from beach to bar – and desk to disco in a flash. It all just comes down to canny styling and little texture play.

So how does one reinvent their plain ol’ shirt? With a little button-up behaviour, of course. Traditionally, when it comes to shirting, you button your shirt starting from the bottom and working your way up. Aside from deliberate open shirting (aka over the top of bikinis or in the place of outerwear), most will leave one or two buttons undone at the top, and the rest done up. Or for those risqué amongst us, three of four, depending on how sexy you want your look. But not Bella Hadid. She buttons her shirt starting from the top, leaving the bottom buttons undone to reveal her midriff. She even repeats the procedure with cardigans. Spotted last month in Manhattan, Bella shunned classic winter codes wearing a black cardigan completely open from the breast bone down (despite her beanie saying, “it’s cold!”, her exposed tummy most definitely said it’s not). While a night out in New York also saw Hadid doing the one-clip-wonder with a white cardi open save for a single clasp.


Then just last week, gal pal Hailey Bieber did the same, wearing a relaxed silk suit out in LA with a pair of Vans. While her streetwear spin on formal suiting was impressive, the way she styled her shirt was even more remarkable: all but but one strategic button around her bosom was done up. Tailoring with a sexy twist.

Model Elsa Hosk stormed the streets of Paris in an open long-line cardigan, flashing a hint of ab alongside Bottega Veneta’s quilted mule and Prada’s bucket hat.

While local fashion blogger, Carmen Hamilton, swears by a little button-up, forever flaunting her midriff and fastening her top buttons tight like in this geometric Paco Rabanne delight.

So if you’re feeling gusty enough to show your guts, change up your shirt / cardigan routine and button up instead of down. It’s a quick, it-girl approved styling hack that can change any old shirt or cardigan.