As a girl who’s relatively, let’s say, “chesty,” but otherwise not huge, shopping can sometimes present some serious hurdles.
Exhibit A: Bras. Never fun, as bra designers seem to be unable to grasp the concept that if you’re a D+ you are not necessarily fat. Usually I get sent to the “full-figured” bras, whose bands start at 38” (these are often lovely in their styling: straps over an inch wide, about four hook and eye closures in the back, available in varying shades of Old Lady, Nun and Ugly) . So in order to get one that’s 34” or less, I have to go to a specialty store and pay more money for what is actually less fabric than the “full-figured” options.
Exhibit B: Dresses. Finding a dress that fits in the bust and isn’t massively large everywhere else? A mighty difficult task. My seamstress is my best friend.
Exhibit C: Button-down blouses. Not unlike dresses, to find a button-down that doesn’t gape/bunch/buckle at the chest or, conversely, drown the rest of my body while fitting the girls is a tall task.
Thus, you can imagine my total and utter delight when I first heard about Rebecca and Drew, an American company that created a sizing system for blouses and shirt dresses based on women’s bra sizes and height. Your size in their button-downs in the same as your bra size, and then you just choose regular (if you’re under 5’6”) or tall (if you’re over 5’6”) length. In theory, at least…
I’ve kept my eye on this line for quite awhile, but have been deterred by their fairly high prices. But, on a day back in late September, I was lucky enough to stumble across a blue, pin tucked, bib-front button-down (no photo available anymore) during a one day sale at Neiman Marcus. It was marked down from $195.00 to $54.00. Only one problem: they didn’t have it left in my cup size with a 34” circumference, only in a 36”. So I went for it, and figured that if nothing else it would give me some extra room. I got the long length, as I’m 5’10”. Then I sat back and anxiously stepped into my vestibule every day after work hoping to find it resting on my doormat.
Finally it arrived. I tried it on and noticed it was a little snug through the chest. ‘No worries,’ I thought. I figured that since I was wearing a molded cup bra at the time, I would just be sure to wear it with a soft cup bra. I thought it seemed a little short, but I didn’t really give it a second thought.
Cut to this morning: after spending quite awhile ironing the damn annoying fabric last night, I was excited to wear the blouse to the office this morning. Made sure I was wearing aforementioned soft cup bra, buttoned up shirt, was displeased with image in mirror, but decided I was being too picky.
It is now 3:56 p.m. and after a whole day wearing the shirt, I have come to the conclusion that I hate it for the following reasons:
(1) I’m concerned that if I take too deep a breath I will cause a button to fly off. Seriously. I kid you not. Keep in mind, I bought this size thinking it would be big. It definitely isn’t.
(2) From the back, it’s tight enough that you can see the outline of my bra. Thoroughly unattractive.
(3) Remember how I bought the long length because I’m tall? Yeah, well, to be honest, this shirt is shorter than every other button-down I own, all of which I bought in normal lengths. I couldn’t tuck this shirt in if I wanted to, it would come untucked as soon as I sat down or raised my arm.
(4) Flying buttons (due to deep breathing) are serious health hazards. Some one could lose an eye. And that’s never funny.
- Always keep your original shipping package and packing slip.
- My seamstress is still my best friend
- Buy these cheaper shirts from Banana Republic instead (note how it says “roomier through the bust”)