The hardest button to button

No, this isn't a Kriss Kross fashion revival-this clothing was meant to button up the back. A nod to vintage underpinnings, wearing one guarantees you'll make quite the exit.

Photograph: Roxana Marroquin

1 Dear Birthday plaid Schoolgirl blouse, $150, at

2 Alice Ritter Ginete blouse, $325, at Bond07 by Selima, 7 Bond St between Lafayette St and Broadway (212-277-8487).

3 EROS Wendy dress, $263, at Homeslice, 1030 Washington St between 10th and 11th Sts (201-963-7800).

4 Built by Wendy Peter Pan top, $132, at

5 Passiflore Virgule dress, $68, at

How to…

Wear it
Whatever you do, don’t panic—squirming only makes things worse. Simply undo the top three or four buttons and slip over your head. Unless you can’t lift your arms above your ears, you should be able to fasten the top buttons yourself—but there’s no shame in asking for help.

Alter it
An easy button switcheroo can entirely change the style of one of these pieces. (Same goes for your front-buttoning garb.) Be careful not to cut the fabric when cutting the thread that secures the old buttons. Once they’re snipped, sew on new ones—making sure that they line up with the button holes.Try mismatched colorful plastic buttons for a new take on preppy, slick metal ones to add polish or carved wooden ones if you’re feeling “green.”

Where to buy
Tender Buttons (143 E 62nd St, 212-758-7004)
Tiger Button (307 W 38th St, 212-594-0570;
M&J Trimming (1008 Sixth Ave, 800-965-8746;