Some people have a desert island dish they can’t stop thinking about, others a curated collection of records they would save in a house fire. But for me, there are a few choice pieces in my wardrobe that I would feel naked (both figuratively and literally) without. And button-up shirts feature heavily on this list.

Anna Quan founder and designer Anna Hoang believes that while shirts might not be the star of the show, they’re certainly the quiet achievers of our wardrobes. “The ultimate silhouette is one that you get the most wear out of,” Hoang says. “For me, it’s a loosely cut style that isn’t too oversized but also not too fitted”.

But finding the Goldilocks of button-ups isn’t just about fit. Fabric plays a big part too. Cotton poplin is a classic for a reason, but more fluid materials can offer different styling options. Ana Piteira, the brains behind Blanca, lets the fabric steer the silhouette. “More structured styles, like in a cotton drill, lend themselves to being worn as a shacket or layering piece in the cooler months. But we also have quite breezy, almost sheer pieces in the collection. Looking for different fabrics allows us to offer more interesting textures and sometimes more vibrant colours,” she says.

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Whether they’re boxy and oversized or silk-cut and fluid, there’s not much that a good shirt can’t do. Styled with jeans on the weekend, half-tucked into a pair of high-waisted pants for work or worn layered over a slip dress, effortless is the word that springs to mind. These are the styles to shop now and wear for seasons to come.

E Nolan oversized shirt

$300 E Nolan oversized shirt Emily Nolan might be the queen of shirting. The brand is best-known for its bespoke suiting and the ready-to-wear range is modelled from data the designer has collected over years of fitting clients of all shapes and sizes. These shirts fit generously through the bust and across the arms – and the side seam is split, which makes it easy to half-tuck.

Lee Mathews Jose shirt

$399 Lee Mathews Jose shirt There’s something about this yellow and blue stripe combo that screams primary school uniform in the chicest way possible. Follow the Sydney brand’s styling cues and wear with wide-leg pants in a neutral colour.

Friends With Frank The Striped Rae shirt

$349 Friends With Frank The Striped Rae shirt Another striped favourite, this time in a blue and chocolate brown combo that just works. Layer it with a slip or mini skirt to play with proportions or simply style with denim.

Matteau satin shirt

$420 Matteau satin shirt This satin style adds a little more polish to the everyday staple. Pair with the brand’s Summer chino year round. And add a classic belt to finish.

Assembly Label Zander shirt

$90 Assembly Label Zander shirt A white linen shirt is no-brainer. This one is cut with a classic, slightly-relaxed fit – size up if you prefer a more oversized style. The brand also offers a good selection of striped and silk options.

Anna Quan Brooklyn shirt

$360 Anna Quan Brooklyn shirt Utility-chic is the phrase that springs to mind with this patch pocket style. The crisp point collar juxtaposes the drop-shoulder seam to create a relaxed take on a more refined silhouette. Knuckle-grazing sleeves are quintessentially Anna Quan.

Hyde & Stone Magda shirt

$440 Hyde and Stone Magda shirt A cotton and silk-blend gives this striped style an almost-sheer finish – it’s the type of fabric you want billowing about on humid days but also layers well. If you’re looking for the ultimate white style, the Sydney brand’s classic shirt (currently sold out but sign up for back-in-stock notifications) offers the perfect subtle sleeve volume.

Rebecca Vallance Pascal shirt

$349 Rebecca Vallance Pascal shirt This white silk shirt is part of Rebecca Vallance’s essentials offering. There’s something super elegant about letting a good shirt carry your outfit – simply style with black pants and golden jewellery. The thoughtfully placed buttons are worth noting here.

Arnsdorf The Classic shirt

$360 Arnsdorf The Classic shirt Speaking of timeless, Arnsdorf’s black (or white) cotton style leans into menswear cues with a spread collar and exaggerated cuffs. If you prefer a more feminine silhouette, the Carolyn shirt fits with a wrap style that cinches at the waist.

Camilla & Marc Vega shirt

$350 Camilla and Marc A removable tie-waist detail gives you a customisable fit for this longline style. Once again, there’s a borrowed-from-the-boys vibe in the details: classic collar, inverted back pleat and French cuffs.

A Emery Agnes wrap shirt

$270 A Emery Agnes wrap shirt For fans of a classic with a twist, this style is from A Emery’s debut ready-to-wear collection. The asymmetric, concealed button closures feed our quiet luxury desires in a big way.

Elka Collective Pelli shirt

$199 Elka Collective Pelli shirt A good blue shirt is hard to beat. This one is finished with a subtle pinstripe and comes in a lightweight cotton. The solid chocolate brown Luna style is another great neutral.

Avenue The Label Ines shirt

$170 Avenue The Label Ines shirt A classic work shirt blue, this style is cut from breathable cotton voile. Wear it through the summer and then layer under or over as the temperature changes. Logo embroidery on the cuff adds a preppy finish.

Jillian Boustred Jane shirt

$345 Jillian Boustred Jane shirt If you’ve had this one on your wishlist for a while, you’ll be pleased to know that (most) sizes are currently in stock. The horseshoe neckline, darted waist and pleated sleeves add feminine ease to the mix.

Scarlet and Sam Scrunched shirt

$149 Scarlet and Sam Scrunched shirt Another sell-out favourite: Scarlet and Sam’s signature scrunched shirts are due back in stock next week. These ruched silhouettes are an IYKYK wardrobe staple that come in a one-size fit, which is made from a men’s XL shirt. Set your alarm for February 7 at 6pm.

LMND Chiara shirt

$229 LMND Chiara shirt This dip-dyed iteration of LMND’s signature Chiara shirt brings a relaxed vibe to the button-up. Match it with coordinating shorts or wear with the brand’s knit pieces – the slightly loose, drop-shoulder fit adds to the effortless appeal.

Kowtow Daily shirt

$199 Kowtow Daily shirt Back to blue stripes, this boxy cut from Kowtow is another daily winner – it’s in the name after all. A slight flare through the body casts a utilitarian silhouette. It’s also made from 100 per cent certified Fairtrade organic cotton poplin.

Maggie Marilyn Signature shirt

$350 Maggie Marilyn Signature shirt Made from 100 per cent organic cotton, this silhouette is a core piece in Maggie Marilyn’s conscious collection. The bubblegum pink iteration feels very of-the-moment but you’d be surprised how versatile the hue can be.

Blanca Avena shirt

$250 Blanca Avena shirt If you’re looking to push the boat out a little more, this tie-dye floral print from Blanca is it. The abstract pattern has a distinctly summertime feel (it references freshly plucked stone fruit, according to the brand) but there’s nothing stopping you from layering this piece as the seasons change – and for many more to come.

Illio Nema Cronos shirt

$625 Illio Nema Cronos shirt Another one for the tie–dye fans. This vibrant pick is cut from silk twill that offers generous movement. Each piece is individually hand dyed in India, which accounts for some small differences and a unique fingerprint in your nine-to-five wardrobe.

Luuda Goldenhour shirt

$485 Luuda Goldenhour shirt Last but certainly not least, another statement maker. This silk and cotton-blend is awash in sunset hues. Wear it draped with swimwear now and savour the best hours of summer days. But also remember to pull it out when the skies are bleak and layer up as needed.

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