During my last visit to Florida, my cousin and I got hung up on a very important conversation: the age old button-down vs. button-up debate. Where did I stand? Well to be honest, I hadn't ever really considered the whole idea. Button-down has been used so frequently to describe a button-up that the two have just molded together in one big preppy twist. Well apparently to the style-conscious there's a huge difference (sorry if I'm letting down any of my fashion-friendly friends).
So here's the difference: a button-up is a dress shirt that has buttons up the front. Fair enough. A button-down, however, is a dress shirt with buttons on the sides of the collar (i.e., to button them down). I feel much better now.
[Photographed on the Lower East Side wearing a Banana Republic button-up and Old Navy overalls]