Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
The striped, button-up dress shirt traditionally worn by office-dwelling men has actually looked great on women for decades. Just like blazers and suits, the piece has become part of the women’s work uniform too, with great versions made by everyone from Ralph Lauren to H&M.
But this season, we’ve seen those stuffy striped shirts take a sharp left turn out of business territory. Now the same stripes and hefty cotton are being worked into daring, skin-baring tops with funky construction and detailing. The workwear association makes the look that much more unexpected and fun, while the crisp cotton material lends polish to pieces that might otherwise feel too skimpy.
We’ve pulled together our favorite examples in a range of prices, from an asymmetric top by Zara to a strapless number that incorporates traditional long-sleeves in a clever way by N Nicholas. Wear them for a night out, a first date, or for a day in the sun — but probably not to work.
You can keep the collar — or half of it — with this one-shoulder top from Zara. Zara striped asymmetric top, $26
N Nicholas’s version goes literal, with tie-front detailing that mimics the look of shirt sleeves tied around your waist. N Nicholas striped strapless top, $195 (from $325)
Volume and draping take the button-down to a completely new place. Johanna Ortiz cotton striped one sleeve shirt, $965
Depending on your office, you might actually be able to get away with wearing this one to work — but we like it even better paired with white shorts for the weekend. Zara striped top with low cut back, $36
Rendered in silk, MSGM’s striped, asymmetric top might take more inspiration from men’s ties than the dress shirt. MSGM striped one shoulder top, $457
Shoulder cut outs, a cropped hem, and flouncy sleeves make this ultra-feminine top from Peter Pilotto extra fun. Peter Pilotto Aria crop top, $322 (from $805)
This season’s off-shoulder trend shows no signs of letting up. This puff-sleeve version nods to the pinstripe work shirt with henley button-down detailing. Caroline Constas striped Bardot top, $295
Preppy red, white, and blue stripes sweeten up this swingy halter top. Tularosa striped halter top, $108