We all like button-down shirts – they are irreplaceable in the office dress code, perfect for a casual night out with the girls at the bar, and a great option when you wonder what to wear to a business networking event. Yes, they can be chic, modern or casual. Yet sadly, most of us with big boobs have had some problems with button-down shirts.
Yes, I’ve been there, too; the so-called button gap has made me put my shirts back in the wardrobe way too many times. My temporary solution was to simply put on a basic top under the shirt and wear it only buttoned halfway. But another problem arose – how can I show my beautiful collar necklaces like that?
So, I started researching possible solutions and, ladies, rejoice and be happy, because it turns out well-endowed women can rock button-down shirts too.
Here’s the good news: those of us with curvy, hourglass shapes can worry about the button-down boob gap no more!
Choose the Right Bra
Before putting on the shirt, you need to pick the right undergarments. A push-up bra is perhaps not the best choice when you need to wear it under a button-down shirt. What I’d recommend is a sheer bra with the right support so that it gives a nice form of your breasts. Actually, this is true for whatever clothes you choose to wear – you’re fighting a losing battle if you don’t wear a decent bra.
Many conventional clothing and lingerie stores don’t sell any bras larger than a D cup, and shirts are not made for women with large breasts. While great DD+ cup size bras are hard to find, that’s why this site exists! So, try finding the right bra for you because it can not only make your boobs look great, but it can also improve your posture.
Being busty is not some problem you’ve been cursed to live with. It’s a gift of femininity that should be celebrated rather than being hidden.
Try a Different Type of Bra
If you’re still struggling with the bra though, perhaps you should try reducing the size a bit (without making it hard to breathe of course!). When boobs meet buttons, what you get is “peek-a-boob”, but that can be avoided with a Spandex tank top or a great sports bra.
If that’s not enough for you, here’s what Ashleigh “Bing” Bingham, who is a fashion blogger, recommends: “Sometimes you need to pull out the big guns and go for a chest binder (if you are so determined). I bind in order to avoid hulking out at any minute and enjoy the way it makes my body look in my shirts”.
Perhaps the fastest solution to the button gap is using Topstick (it’s also a pretty temporary solution). Topstick, whether cut off of a roll or in strips, is a godsend for the gap that happens when a badly placed button interferes with the curve of the bust.
Yes, this can happen whether you are an A cup or a DDD cup, depending on the arrangement of the buttons on a blouse. Just stick and go – it only takes seconds to keep everyone from knowing the color of your bra.
Snaps Are Your Best Friends
The fashion industry is not really kind to people needing larger sizes of bras and clothes in general. But learning to adapt is key when it comes to our fashion style (or really to life at all). One other idea you can try is putting snaps in button-down shirts so they don’t pucker.
A more permanent but easy to do way is to simply sew a small snap between the buttons, bridging the gap between them and this way hiding the sight of your bra.
Upgrade Your Shirts
If reducing your breasts with a sports bra is not your style, then it’s time to get down with the needle and the thread. The part of the shirt where the buttons are sewn on to, usually has two layers of fabric. This means you can sew a smaller button on the inside of the button panel and make a hole for it on the other. This hides the button while giving extra support to those around it.
This is the bit more complex way than using snaps, but it’s definitely a more permanent way to put an end to button-down boob gap.
If you’re really brave though, you can perform a “sewing surgery” or “The Gapectomy”. This is what the fashion blogger Lilli Pascuzzi did here. (P.S. You’re going to need a sewing machine).
Go for Oversized Button-Down Shirts
Buying a shirt a size or two bigger than the one you need can be a great option. Meghan Blalock has been struggling with how to wear a button-down shirt forever, because she wants to “wear the on-trend look just as much as the next girl”. For her, the solution is an oversized blouse.
What Tamara Abraham who is an editor at the Dailymail.com, says about her favorite way to rock a button-down is “an oversized silk button-down with skinny jeans or leather leggings is a staple office look because I love the androgynous look and the contrasting proportions remind people I have a figure.”
Use a Concealed Zipper
Wherever there is a problem, a solution must be provided. This is what Bryan Davis, founder of Teddy Stratford shirt company, must have thought. His brand makes one-of-a-kind concealed zipper design for shirts. The shirts are originally aimed at men but it turns out the gapping is actually a bigger problem for women.
“Ever since we started developing the shirt my female friends have been asking me to do a woman’s version,” says Brian. Give it a try and see if you like the way the shirt looks. If you’re not digging the Teddy Stratford shirts, why don’t you steal the idea and ask your tailor to add tiny zippers to the shirts you already own?
Shop for Curvy Figures
As unbelievable as it may sound, there are actually brands out there which are aware of the button gaping problem.
If you get a top from The Shirt, your button-down will come with their patented “No Gape Button Technology”. So high-tech, right?! “We know from our own experience it’s empowering women to perform better because they’re not worrying about whether they’re flashing their chest to their colleagues or anyone else,” says Rochelle Behrens who is the creator of The Shirt. Bye-bye, blouse gape!
Some other idea you can give some thought to is buying shirts with buttons starting at the bust, not the collar.
What to Avoid When It Comes to Button-Down Shirts
Pockets, wide collars, and frills are a solid no-go. “Boxy cuts, too, can make you look like you’re wearing a tent,” says Lila Smith. Something else that would look terrible is a short-sleeve shirt with sleeves that stop at the same height as your bust.
When it comes to fabric, you might want to avoid shiny materials, satin and silk, because they draw extra attention to your bust. Trust the cotton.
However you choose to tackle this issue, remember that you don’t need to be ashamed of your body. Large breasts are a sign of femininity and you should take pride in that. Don’t hide them away!If you enjoyed this article, then we're probably very similar. I'm Victoria Melo, and I know what it’s like to be busty and struggle finding the perfect bra. Not long ago, I was just another girl wearing the wrong bra size. When I finally discovered my real size and found great bras for my busty figure, it felt like a miracle. Now, I'm a bra fitter helping hundreds of women like you find their own miracle. Click here to read my lists of my favorite bras for you.