7 Best Button-Down Work Shirts for Men

Work shirts are a staple of any working man’s wardrobe. A prime consideration is a functionality together with comfort and an aesthetic appeal.

Best Button-Down Work Shirts

Today’s marketplace offers a wealth of workwear and in particular work shirts for purchase, so depending on your profession and your specific needs, you’ll have quite a number of different brands and models to choose from.

Work shirts find their beginnings towards the late 1800s with laborers such as miners, railroad workers or outdoor professions. In historic Sears catalogs, one can already find work shirts at the beginning of the twentieth century, and they were decidedly different from dress shirts.

Comparison Table of Top Button-Down Shirt

ShirtsMaterialSizingStyleExtras
Dickies Long Sleeve65% polyester, 35% cottonMedium to XXLargeSpread collarTwo chest pockets, Pencil stall
Wrangler ATG 92% Polyester, 8 % spandexMedium to 4X, And Tall sizings availableSpread collarUPF 30, Vented back, Two pockets – one with zip closure
Carhartt Rugged Flex Hamilton 97% cotton, 3% spandexMedium to 4XLargeButton-down collarChest pockets, Triple seam stitching
Carhartt Lightweight Chambray cottonS-XL, XLTall, XXL-4XLButton-down collarBack pleat. To pockets
Dickies Denim Paincourtville100% cottonS, M, LDenim utility work shirtTwo chest pockets
Buck Mason Denim 100% cottonX Small to XX LargeJacket style over shirtLoose cut
Goodthreads Long Sleeve100% cottonX Small to XX Large, Standard and slim fitButton-Down with Grandad collarLeft chest pocket

Our Best Button-Down Work Shirt Choices

Best Spread Collar Button-Down Work Shirt

1. Dickies Long Sleeve Industrial Shirt

This is a cost-friendly work shirt for any working man’s wardrobe. It is a functional, durable, and exceptionally comfortable work shirt.

Made from the heavy-duty fabric combination of 65% polyester and 35% cotton, it is wrinkle-resistant and rime, and stain-resistant. The fit is comfortable but not tight.

The cuffs come with two buttons, and the shirttail features a straight hem. Two button-up chest pockets complete the look. The Dickie brand is a reputable brand known for quality.

Pros

      • Durability thanks to a heavy-duty fabric
      • Stain-resistant
      • Wrinkle-resistant
      • Allows ample range of movement
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2. Wrangler ATG Long Sleeve Button-Down Shirt

This shirt is part of the Wrangler ATG All-Terrain Gear line. This button-down shirt has a great look with several features that make it worth your consideration when buying a long sleeve work shirt.

The shirt comes with a UPF 30 for UV ray protection, increased movement range thanks to underarm panels, a loop for ease in rolling up the sleeves, pockets, and a vented back for staying cool on the job.

A functional extra is the glass cleaning fabric sewn inside the hem of the shirt.

Pros

      • Breathable
      • UPF 30 protection
      • Two pockets, one with zip closure
      • Vented back

Cons

      • Sizing considerations
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Best Button-down Work Shirt with a Button-down Collar

3. Carhartt Rugged Flex Hamilton Long Sleeve Shirt

Carhartt has been manufacturing work garments for years and has a great deal of skill and experience when making their products. This shirt is soft and comfortable.

Thanks to industrial-grade material, it is tough and durable enough for any profession. It is made with 5.5 -ounce fabric that is 97% cotton and 3% spandex. and the rugged flex technology ensures an ample range of movement. 

It also features triple seam stitching. This work shirt is strong, resistant, and made to last.  It is machine washable. It comes in three colors: navy blue, olive and brown.

Pros

      • Made to last
      • Chest pockets 
      • Button-down collar
      • Machine washable

Cons

      • Sizes can run large
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4. Carhartt Lightweight Button-Down Long Sleeve Work Shirt

If you need a shirt that looks good when you run between a worksite and the office, this Carhartt button-down shirt is a great choice. Made with Chambray cotton, it is very lightweight at 4.5 ounces.

The shirt comes with a pleated back in its design to ensure ease of movement. It has two front pockets. Both shirts and pockets feature buttons.

Pros

      • Many color options
      • Lightweight
      • Back pleat
      • Pockets

Cons

      • Sleeves may be a bit long
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Best Utility Button-Down Work Shirt

5. Dickies Denim “Paincourtville” Work Shirt

Dickies Denim Paincourtville Work Shirt

Dickies is known for manufacturing workwear that can take wear and tear on the job. If you’re in construction, Dickies is a known manufacturer for its durable attire in the most rugged situations.

This shirt comes with reinforced elbows. It uses a 100% denim twill produced in a dark rinse. It will fade through use improving its look with age.

It comes with contrasting stitching and pearly buttons. Two chest pockets with button closures complete the look. 

Pros

      • 100% cotton
      • Made to last
      • Dark blue denim

Cons

      • Sizes limited to S, M, L

Best Button-Down Work Shirt Jacket or Overshirt

6. Buck Mason Denim Field Shirt

buck-mason-washed-indigo-denim-two-pocket-field-shirt-1

American brand Buck Mason gives you a great denim shirt for every job from construction work, to machinery operators to professional trucking, and more.

It is designed as an overshirt cut loosely to enable layering and at the same time facilitate mobility and your range of movement. Prewashed for a soft lived-in fit, comfort is ensured from day one.

It is constructed with a mid-weight fabric of 100% 10-ounce cotton. The shirt can be machine washed and has two chest pockets. Sizing is from XSmall through XXLarge.

It can also be used as a light jacket in warmer climates. Metal buttons and some contrast stitching complete the look.

Pros

      • 100% cotton
      • Loose cut and fit making it ideal for an overshirt
      • Machine washable
      • Two chest pockets

Cons

      • No pockets for hands 

Best Button-Down Work Shirt with a Band Collar

7. Goodthreads Long Sleeve Denim Band-Collar Men’s Work Shirt

This is a real budget buy, and we couldn’t resist including it because of the reasonable price.  This is a good solid basic band collar grandad shirt offered in a variety of blues and greys.

It’s produced in 100% cotton of medium weight and can be worn year-round with some clever layering. The back has a pleat for a range of movement and a left chest pocket.

Buttons are vintage in style. Made in India, it is machine washable. The shirttail hem is rounded. It comes in both slim and standard fit. Sizes range from XSmall to XXLarge.

Pros

      • Budget buy
      • 100% cotton
      • Back pleat

Cons

      • Small sizing
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Differences Between Dress Shirts and Work Shirts

One of the principal differences that you may find between work shirts, and dress shirts may be in the fabric used in the shirt’s construction.

Work shirts are often made in fabrics such as cotton canvas, cotton flannel, cotton chambray, denim, polyester, polyester-cotton combinations, or flannel chamois. These fabrics tend to be more resistant and durable than perhaps more delicate materials used in dress shirts. 

Work shirts are usually conceived with the idea of offering protection from stains, soot, dirt, grime, and much more.

Top 10 Best Shirts for Construction Workers

Dress shirts are usually softer to the touch, often made in cotton twill or poplin in a lighter, tighter weave and with a smoother finish. They are not designed for heavy-duty work or to resist exposure o dirt, the elements, or even to wick perspiration like a work shirt.

If you place a work shirt next to a dress shirt, some characteristics will be immediately evident. Work shirts may normally feature two chest pockets often with button closures or pencil stalls.

Work shirt buttons may be larger and heavier or thicker than the smaller more elegant buttons of a dress shirt. The weight of the fabric in a work shirt will probably be heavier for insulation purposes and for durability. Some work shirts may also have a small percentage of elastane to assist in the ease of movement while at work.

How Should Work Shirts Fit

Fit Is Everything

The most important aspect of a work shirt is fit. You should be able to sit, stand and move easily and comfortably in your work shirt.

A work shirt may feature a shorter shirttail than a dress shirt because it is often worn outside of the pants as opposed to being tucked in. The shirt may have a relaxed fit, but it should not be baggy especially if you are going to be working with or around heavy machinery.

It should also not be a tight fit making you uncomfortable during a long work shift. Sleeve cuffs may be banded with softer interfacing allowing the sleeves to be rolled up easily.

Depending on the sizing of the shirt, some manufacturers suggest that the work shirt might be one size larger than your dress shirts. Again, this will depend on the manufacturer’s sizing methods.

The great thing about today’s work shirts is that they are often a stylish alternative for after-work or weekend casual activities and that they are available in a wide range of patterns and colors.

A great work shirt should afford you comfort while on the job, versatility as to when and where you can wear it, good value for your money, and functionality when at work.

See also: Best Moisture-Wicking Work Shirts to Keep You Dry ALL Day

Variations on the Button-Down Work Shirt

Button-down shirts are available in many different options. Let’s consider what’s available in terms of style.

Work shirts with spread collars: In this type of shirt the points of the collar spread away from the placket in the center. They tend to point down at an angle of about 90 degrees.

They may also come in various widths. A typical distance between the two points of the collar will be about five inches. This is a traditionally styled shirt that can also be worn with a tie, should the need arise.

Work shirts with Button-down collars: These shirts feature a collar that is secured on both sides by a button or even a snap. The idea of collar points with buttons originated in England with polo players in order to secure their collars during a polo match.

These shirts can be worn with or without a tie, with the buttons fastened or unfastened, and some even have hidden buttons making them appear as though they are spread collars.

The Utility Work Shirt: Utility shirts have existed in some form for many years and can find their origins in military shirts or historical work shirts dating to the Industrial Revolution.

Some utility shirts will be characterized by metal buttons, pockets with details, and perhaps some form of epaulets on the shoulders.

Pockets, usually two, will be designed for carrying accessories, documents, tools or pencils, and pens. Sleeve lengths are long for protection and collars are often button-down to avoid any flipping during physical work activities.

The Work Shirt Jacket or Overshirt: This type of work shirt is somewhat of a hybrid with a boxier cut in order that it can be worn over a t-shirt or Henley shirt.

The material used may be a bit heavier and it can function as an alternative to a sweater. It may feature zippers, snaps, or larger buttons and perhaps more pockets.

The Work Shirt with a Band Collar: In the 1920s, shirts with detachable collars were born. The band collar shirt is a direct descendant.

It may be referred to as a band collar shirt, a collarless shirt, or even as a grandad shirt. The neckband will lay flat against your skin and not stand up. This is a great work shirt for hot weather.

Cost of Work Shirt

The price tag is a consideration, especially in today’s economy. You also may need to purchase more than one shirt, so budget limitations may be front and center when purchasing.

If you have a limited budget, it’s not necessarily in your interest to buy the cheapest work shirt. Consider buying the best quality shirts you can afford to ensure durability.

While you won’t want to take out a loan or run up your credit card debt for your wardrobe consider what features you really need. Evaluate the connection between the quality and the cost.

If a more expensive shirt meets your work needs and offers long-lasting durability, it may be well worth the expense and you could also buy a lesser number of shirts, to begin with.

Last Thoughts

Button-down shirts may be a staple in your professional wardrobe. Much may depend on your profession.

Then if you have after-work engagements or activities, the button-down shirt will serve you equally as well. A classic shirt for both on and off the job.