When is a shirt not just something to hide under a jacket? When it's gussied up with fancy buttons that transform it into an important article of clothing.
But not to worry. The buttons won't get mangled in the laundry if they are the latest fad: button covers that clip onto a shirt's basic plastic buttons.
They take a variety of forms, including hearts, flowers, coins, colored stones and mirrors, cameos, cat faces and, of course, pearls. They are sold in matched or mismatched sets of six and cost from about $24 to $48.
Macy's has sold the buttons for a couple of years, but they really took off this spring, thanks to the emphasis on jewelry-like buttons by Chanel, Christian Lacroix, Todd Oldham, Gemma Kahng and Zang Toi.