I don't want to flash people!
January 27, 2012 6:43 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend me some stylish women's "button-down" shirts online?

I think I've said it another post, but I'm a small woman with DD breasts, so finding a dress shirt that
- is slimming to my waist, but
- doesn't gap between the buttons to show everyone my breasts
is a particular challenge.

I'm looking for classic shirts with collars, and mostly full length but some short sleeves. I'm mostly a solid colors kind of gal, but if your perfect shirt is patterned...
I'm trying to keep these shirts under $100, but on the nicer end of material, if possible.

I've already tried these, but apparently didn't notice that she has a gap over her boobs right there in the picture!

Yes, I could google this, but I'm really looking for your favorite shirts or opinions, ladies. Thanks!
posted by DisreputableDog to Shopping (13 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I have heard Carissa Rose button-down shirts recommended as particularly great for larger-busted women at probably almost every style/fashion blog I read.
posted by flex at 6:49 PM on January 27, 2012

Speaking as someone with your size issues, I've had good luck buying from Van Heusen-- basically, you want to look for button-downs with some spandex in them to cover the boob issue.

I have not bought from them online specifically (there's an outlet around where I live) and Van Heusen doesn't seem to have a dedicated website for shopping, but googling for Van Heusen's women's shirts seems to come up with shopping options anyway.

Might I recommend looking for Hollywood Fashion Tape (I've seen it sold at Target, some craft stores, and even an Old Navy once) for the boob issues on other shirts?
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:57 PM on January 27, 2012

Pepperberry is a division of Bravissimo which caters to the generously proportioned. They are in the U.K. so prices and shipping aren't ideal to the U.S. but my daughter loves their styles and quality.
posted by blob at 6:59 PM on January 27, 2012

This doesn't meet your criteria perfectly, but as another small woman with decent sized breasts (though not as large as yours), I have a different solution to not looking dumpy or pregnant that bypasses the need for a smaller waist than the size that fits my bust usually has: I buy silk shirts in feminized menswear cuts. The silk drapes and you can see that I am not, in fact, straight-up-and-down (or pregnant!!), especially when I move. Plus, that sort of thing is very "in" right now.

I make sure to wear slim fitting trousers or skirts with these menswear shirts, when wearing them untucked, and higher waisted skirts and pants when I want them tucked in. I know silk isn't the cheapest option, but it just looks. so. good.

These Madewell silk shirts are the most wonderful shirts I've ever owned. I've also found, as someone with Boobs, narrow cut shoulders are the secret to keeping me from looking dumpy (and a bit like a tiny, pneumatic linebacker), and are much more important than a slim fit at the waist. YMMV. Also, I'm 5' 4" and there's a button that hits right in the center between by boobs, so no one sees anything, even when I'm doing weird contortiony stretching at my desk. Uh, not that I do that. Ok yes I do.

You could also check out this blouse by J. Crew, which is the same sort of style. I haven't tried it on, though, so I can't vouch for the fit.

Both the Madewell shirts and the J. Crew shirts go on sale for less than $100 a couple times a season. I tried the madewell shirts on in-store so that I knew which size fit best, and then just stalked the sale section of their online site until they went on sale. It never takes long.
posted by JuliaIglesias at 7:16 PM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have never found a shirt that fits right off the bat so it's not exactly what you asked but there is a double sided tape that is great for fixing this sort of problem. It sells under all sorts of brand names, and as a big busted girl I find it super handy. I swear I could not go out in public without that stuff.
posted by wwax at 7:19 PM on January 27, 2012

I just bought three button downs last weekend and according to the bra ladies at Nordstrom my boobs are similar in scale to yours. I bought this and this. They don't gap, and they look really good at the waist, which is why I bought three. I will note that on the pin tuck on the first button is pretty low, but I didn't have a problem with that.
posted by annie o at 7:35 PM on January 27, 2012

Just as another alternative option you can find one that fits nicely in the boobs but is maybe a bit too big in the waist and have it taken in (or do it yourself!) - shouldn't cost too much to have a tailor do it and it's an easy fix if you want to try. I not only have biggish boobs but broad shoulders and chubby arms, so I generally avoid the whole genre. Although that just reminded me that one of my friends with a larger chest had good luck with some of the shirts from New York and Co, though you'd have to go fit since their cuts are very different from one another.
posted by brilliantine at 7:40 PM on January 27, 2012

Best answer: I have similar proportions (small ribcage, narrow waist, G cup, but taller than the average woman) and am happy with custom tailored shirts from TailorStore. Getting your measurements correct is critical to a good fit, especially in the slim fit and with an unusual body shape.
posted by thatdawnperson at 6:05 AM on January 28, 2012 [3 favorites]

I gap in any shirt, I don't know why, but I bought Brooks Brothers shirts and it isn't a problem. Semi-fitted was what was perfect for me, but I am not in the DD range.
posted by Iteki at 8:36 AM on January 28, 2012

I have to second the "have them tailored" option - I have the same issue as you (big boobs, tiny waist), and I just buy high-quality shirts that fit my top and have them taken in. It really doesn't cost much (about $40 in my neck of the woods), and is totally worth it.

For the yellowing - I do an oxyclean soak on my shirts and that takes care of it. One thing, though, is *don't* wear them multiple times without washing - it sort of "grinds" the ick in. Also, pay attention to the armpit area as well when doing the soak.
posted by dotgirl at 1:57 PM on January 28, 2012

Response by poster: Thank you everyone! I'm going to mark thatdawnperson's answer as the best, since that seems like it will give the most accurate fit. However, I'll definitely try some of those other shirts as time goes by.
posted by DisreputableDog at 4:06 PM on January 28, 2012

As long as its just gaping and not majorly pulling, I simply add a hook and eye at the bust line of my button down shirts.
posted by vespabelle at 4:44 PM on January 28, 2012

This doesn't directly answer your question, but you might consider whether you are wearing the right size bra. If you're a smaller woman, DD isn't actually that big. I'm a 30/32 F/FF/G (depending on the brand) and while I look well-endowed I definitely do not look like Dolly Parton or anything. The smaller your band is, the smaller the cups are as well.

When I was wearing an ill-fitting 36DD, I had a lot of trouble getting button-down shirts to fit properly. Once I got into the F cup, I found that everything seemed to fit better. Proper support counter-intuitively makes your breasts seem smaller. If you were fitted at a place that only carries sizes up to DD (yes, I'm talking about Victoria's Secret), you're likely in the wrong size.

If you've got this covered, then please ignore!

I have one of these shirts: Eddie Bauer and even though it looks shlumpy on the model, it looks good on me.
posted by jeoc at 5:29 PM on January 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

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