You’ve heard it a hundred times, and for good reason: Everybody needs a basic white button-down shirt. You can dress it up or down, you can wear it to work and on the weekends, it flatters practically every shape, size and age. Though it can be paired with work trousers, pencil skirts and a relaxed pair of shorts, there’s nothing more classic than a white oxford and a pair of jeans. But classic doesn’t have to mean boring, thanks to simple tweaks that take your average white button-down shirt and jeans ensemble to a new level of style.


Wear Dress Shoes

Perhaps the simplest way to step up your basic outfit combo of a white button-down and denim is by pairing it with a statement pump, for ladies, or dressy leather loafers, for men, rather than wearing it with typical flats, sandals, slip-ons or sneakers. By complementing the look with a dressier shoe, you can wear the outfit everywhere from the casual workplace to a nice evening out.


A Base for Accessorizing

Jeans and a white oxford make a neutral outfit, so think of it as a palette for showing off outfit-making accessories, such as jewelry, scarves and bags. Women can dress up the look in a snap by adding a statement necklace or rolling up the shirt’s sleeves to show off an armful of beautiful bangles. Both men and women can add a solid or patterned scarf in the winter to give the look extra dimension.


Add Layers on Top

Come cooler weather, jeans and an oxford combine for an outfit that pairs well with additional layers, so use it as a chance to show off your best coats, blazers, vests, printed sweaters and slouchy cardigans. Button the oxford up completely and throw a knit sweater on over it for a layered look that reads preppy but cool. Ladies can belt an oversized cardigan on top for a boho-chic outfit that’s effortless yet sophisticated. For guys, a polished blazer instantly elevates the traditional look.


Go for Denim Diversity

While a basic blue is the most classic denim jean to pair with a white button-down, mixing up the denim style can dress up the look. Try a pair of distressed, boyfriend or cropped jeans for a more relaxed look; all of these pair especially well with flats and loafers. You can also try switching up the color of your denim by going for a white-on-white look that’s sleek for any season, or a white-on-black look that’s dressy enough for the office or a night out.