I can’t stand brown buttons on button-up shirts. They give shirts a very casual look, which I don’t like at all. Call it a pet peeve. I prefer white buttons on all sport shirts, and especially on all dress shirts.
Today’s Goodwill trick: Don’t let brown buttons deter a really nice Goodwill find. If you come across a shirt with a nice set of Mother of Pearl (MOP) buttons, it is worth spending $5 on the shirt just to salvage the buttons. You will usually see these buttons on older, out of date luxury dress shirts (the one above is Zegna), or from mens stores. The best part: it doesn’t matter what size, style, or condition. As long as the buttons are good, you’ve hit the jackpot.
Keep the button sets in separate plastic bags and upgrade when necessary.