The Silk Button-Down

By Camille Styles

Today marks the inaugural post in our new series called “The Essential Pieces,” which is a bit of a milestone for Camille Styles as our first ever style series that stars…moi! I’ve got to admit that it’s a little intimidating to create an entire series that’s so closely tied to my own personal style, and for awhile I resisted since there are so many fashionistas out there doing it so well. But the other day as I explored the blogosphere, catching glimpses of daring and risk-taking #OOTD’s everywhere I clicked, I suddenly realized that I wasn’t finding a lot that truly inspired the way I wanted to dress on a day-to-day basis.lowres-15I’ll be the first to admit that I really don’t use clothes as my main form of creative expression: I love beautiful materials and interesting cuts, but I’m far more interested in finding pieces that flatter me as a woman and make me feel my very best than I am with scooping up the trend of the moment. Especially as I hit my late twenties, and now thirty, my focus has shifted towards building a classic wardrobe of pieces that I love, that I can wear for years, and that I know I’ll look and feel great in. So I decided to launch this series that’s all about the way I really dress — not for instagram, not for a styled shoot, and not for fashion week, but for real life when I’m meeting a friend for lunch, picking Phoebe up from preschool, or headed out for date night.  lowres-13So here’s how it’ll work: in each edition of The Essential Pieces, I’ll focus on one staple item that everyone should have in their closet and that I’m currently craving for the season. I’ll do the digging to find what I think is the best version out there right now (taking into consideration fit, material, quality, and value for the price), then show how I’m styling it. The goal is that, at the end of each season, I’ll have invested in a few beautiful pieces that will become part of my wardrobe for years to come. So, kicking off the series for Fall 2014, I set my sights on finding the perfect silk button-down. lowres-14There’s something about a silky button down that totally channels my inner Parisienne… almost no other item of clothing oozes such effortless chic, and this minimalist number (the silk spotlight shirt by madewell) is my ideal. Its long hemline is a nod to classic menswear tailoring, but the rich jewel tone and  slinky drape is all woman. It would make for a perfectly pulled-together office look tucked into slim-cut pants or a pencil skirt, but since I prefer my office to be at the Hotel Saint Cecilia (featured in all photos), I dressed the blouse down with my favorite pair of bonn jeans by mihedgy black pumps, a streamlined leopard clutch and metallic stud earrings. It’s one of those looks that I always like to keep stored away in my back pocket, since it’s as easy to throw on as sweats, and makes me feel sophisticated and feminine in a flash. lowres-12-2After considering loads of different silk button-downs, the Madewell version made the final cut because of (a) its intensely luxurious-feeling 100% silk, (b) its oversized fit which just feels so right this season and is long enough to cover my bum when I wear leggings, and (c) its extremely good price-point. It looks and feels like a super luxe designer top but is far less expensive than other versions out there of equal quality. And did I mention that it just went on sale? lowres-16Stay tuned to see how I’m styling the rest of the essentials on my wish list this season, and I’d love to hear what staples you guys are dying to add to your wardrobes as well! Don’t forget to shop the entire look below:

*all photos by Wynn Myers; location: Hotel Saint Cecilia