An ode to a wardrobe essential as told by five Brooks Brothers associates

The navy blazer. The khaki chinos. The oxford button-down shirt. Menswear definitely has its icons. For women’s wear, though, it’s a slightly different story. Aside from the little black dress, few things have full-fledged “essential” status—perhaps due in part to the sheer variety and constant evolution of women’s fashion. One thing remains, however—versatility, comfort and style reign supreme. If there’s one item that checks all these boxes (and then some), it’s the white non-iron fitted dress shirt. Like our men’s non-iron, this dress shirt is so beloved that its flawless simplicity is sometimes overlooked. It’s the rare piece that’s entirely functional yet effortlessly chic. To attest to the true range of this shirt, we cast five Brooks Brothers corporate employees to show (and tell) why they love this button-up favorite. They left no stone unturned—discussing everything from their unique approaches to styling to their love of its easy-care finish.

Chaya, Marketing

When you work in marketing, a tight deadline is always looming and time is of the essence. For Chaya, part of the appeal of the non-iron shirt is its “fuss-free” finish that allows her to get out the door quickly every morning. “It’s great any day of the week—it’s the foundation of my wardrobe, and the time I save not ironing allows me to concentrate on important things, like styling it!” Her preferred look? “I love wearing it with sleeves rolled, untucked—with a pair of dark wash denim. It’s a confidence booster.”

Caroline, Brand Content

Working in brand communications, you have to be ready for last-minute meetings with executives and business leaders throughout the company. For Caroline, the non-iron is a “suit of armor”—it’s crisp and polished and stays that way throughout the day. “Every professional woman should own a non-iron. It’s a wardrobe staple for any event that requires you to look put together.” As someone who goes to offsite conferences and seminars regularly, Caroline knows that dress codes can sometimes be vague. “If I’m attending several events within a day, the non-iron is the way to go…. It allows me to look polished without being overdone.”

Stacy, Stylist

When your profession involves styling others, having your own signature style is somewhat of a must. While Stacy appreciates the simplicity and appropriateness of the non-iron shirt, she likes to mix it up in her own way. “It is the perfect blank slate, and it balances everything else out. A white shirt elevates ripped jeans and heels and tones down an elegant evening skirt. How many things can you say that about?”

Angelina, Graphic Design

As someone who likes to toe the line between preppy and edgy, Angelina finds the non-iron to be the great unifier. “It goes with everything and always looks great. I love to wear it with a skirt and pearls.” With side gigs as an actor and singer, going from work to after-work demands adaptability, and the shirt has that in spades. “It conveys professionalism and polish, but I can dress it down for a relaxed, casual look once I leave the office.”

Mayu, Merchandising

For Mayu, part of the allure of the non-iron is its seemingly endless styling potential. “I love to play with the shirt by rolling up the sleeves, tying it at the front, playing with patterns and accessorizing it with bold jewelry.” Layering possibilities are a piece of cake with the shirt as well. “I love the way it looks under a sweater when it peeks out through the bottom.”