Definition of button-down in US English:



  • 1attributive (of a collar) having points which are buttoned to the garment.

    • ‘Today, I can say that my wardrobe consists of a variety of tab, spread, point, and button-down collars.’
    • ‘Shirt styles offer straight and button-down collars, optional embroidered monogramming, and button or double cuffs.’
    • ‘It works best with wide ties made from heavy fabrics and should be worn with a tab, button-down or regular spread collar.’
    • ‘Can I wear a button-down collar with a suit and tie?’
    • ‘What he was getting at were such telling details as never wearing a button-down collar with a tie - I would go further on this point and revise it to the simpler, and fairer, never wear a button-down collar at all.’
    • ‘It sports a slightly curious design, in that there's a button-down collar which buttons down invisibly, on the inside of the collar, by means of a tiny little loop of fabric.’
    1. 1.1 (of a shirt) having a button-down collar.
      • ‘His eyes were like chips of jade gems, matching the bottle-green color of his button-down shirt worn beneath the white doctor's knee-length jacket.’
      • ‘I put on a pair of khaki pants, a blue button-down Polo oxford, and even a tie.’
      • ‘Lunchtime brings out young-ish men in khakis and button-down shirts who avoid the homeless sleeping on benches.’
      • ‘And the button-down variety always felt like they'd been dipped in starch, stiff and scratchy.’
      • ‘It was a nice white button-down shirt, with a collar and everything.’
      • ‘So if you're wearing a '60s button-down shirt with retro cuffs and a big collar, wear it with a regular suit or a cool pair of jeans.’
      • ‘The light-weight button-down shirt with banned collar and shirttail hem is designed for maximum comfort and ease of movement.’
      • ‘I even found that a good, relatively heavy, button-down shirt worked well with jeans and made a good impression on management.’
      • ‘Whether it's tight or loose-fitting, has a wide or narrow collar, get yourself at least one striped button-down shirt.’
      • ‘She was dressed in a long blue and pink flowery skirt that looked as though it was pulled out from the sixties and she also wore a plain blue, long sleeved button-down shirt with a high collar.’
    2. 1.2North American informal (of a person) conservative or unimaginative.
      • ‘She took pride in being a pioneer, part of the first wave of women fighting to be taken seriously in the bureau's male-dominated, button-down culture.’
      • ‘Unlike most news anchors, who are known for button-down decorum and a calming presence, he has been a persistently outspoken, dramatic and frequently polarizing figure.’
      • ‘I couldn't take any more of that button-down world.’
      • ‘That is not always an easy task in the button-down halls of Congress, where many aides remain closeted.’
      • ‘At the risk of looking too button-down with the sweater set, the skirt has some little sequins on it, though you can only see the sequins if you look very closely.’
      • ‘Kamikawa finds herself among a growing group of Japanese public officials who buck the convention of button-down politics.’
      • ‘And companies used to button-down management types may not be attracted to these fast-paced, open-ended methods.’
      • ‘His button-down style will accessorize Walton's tie-dyes nicely.’
      • ‘The atmosphere was far from the cool, button-down academic reserve typical of such institutions.’
      • ‘The dream she went on to pursue, once she left the button-down world of Big Five accounting, went well beyond piercing her epidermis with pigment-laden needles.’


  • A shirt with a button-down collar.

    • ‘Luka, Nathan and Wolf are far more casually-dressed than the girls: the standardised baggy jeans, t-shirts under short-sleeved button-downs or over long-sleeved shirts.’
    • ‘Denim shorts look especially great with T-shirts and short-sleeve button-downs.’
    • ‘I tuck undershirts with polos and button-downs sometimes… regardless of whether i tuck the overshirt.’
    • ‘I tend to focus on non-dress shirts for button-downs (a cotton-poly blend, or, if you want to look good, a silk shirt), and leave them untucked.’
    • ‘The week before, I'd fantasized about being this close to Hot Nerdy, our shoulders touching, our faces inches apart, his sweat dotting the collar of his button-down.’
    • ‘They lend a modern appeal to the classic accessory without inducing heat stroke - making them a perfect match for T-shirts, button-downs, or a simple dress.’
    • ‘It's warming up out there, so get a peek at the polo neck T-shirts, jeans, suits, button-downs, and shoes for spring 2004.’
    • ‘The problem is, I don't like wearing my button-downs with suits - the combination just seems so passé.’
    • ‘To me, button-downs are just too casual for a suit.’
    • ‘Made of 100% cotton, 5-oz. twill, these button-downs have fine details like double-needle stitching for added durability, patch pockets and button-down collars.’