[Disclosure: DD Atelier generously provided this shirt for review. I was not compensated for this post, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.]
I’ve never really NEEDED a white button-down shirt in my life, despite its reputation as a wardrobe staple. I usually don’t like wearing white, and then for most of my adulthood I was either a student, an actor, or an assistant, so I could pretty much wear whatever I wanted. Knowing that my full-bust body + button-down shirt was not always a winning combination, I steered clear of this traditional style, gravitating instead toward knits, shell tops, or other styles that didn’t involve closures.
Fast-forward a few years, and I’ve now spent five weeks in a new job, and I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am to have, of all things, a white button-down shirt in my wardrobe. New Job involves more responsibility, more engagement, more movement, and even some travel and presenting at events, and furthermore it’s in a field that in some areas is still male-dominated (happily in my firm this department is delightfully diverse and welcoming and awesome). While challenging me to pick up new skill sets and knowledge bases extremely quickly, New Job has made me reevaluate my wardrobe with a highly critical eye. Size changes have allowed me to start wearing some older pieces from my wardrobe, but I’m finding that they suit who I was 5-10 years ago better than they suit me now. I want to slowly build up a slightly more chic (and more corporate, not gonna lie) wardrobe, and this crisp white button-down from DD Atelier? IT IS MOST WELCOME.
As I mentioned in my round-up post of button-down shirts for fuller busts, DD Atelier is a Russian clothing brand that makes clothes designed to fit people with smaller band sizes and fuller cup sizes. I had the pleasure of reviewing two of DD Atelier’s dresses in the Fall, and they were kind enough to send me a new-and-improved version of their classic button-down shirt, now available online in a variety of colors.
Most button-down shirts designed with full busts in mind feature princess seams that extend vertically from the arms or shoulders all the way down the front of the shirt, but the DD Basics shirt merely features vertical seams under the bust to nip in the waist and subtle horizontal seams for shaping. I love this construction: the overall look is crisp and sleek. The collar and cuffs are somewhat narrow, and the cuffs feature two buttons so you can adjust the fit to your liking. The front fastens with a concealed button placket for a sharp finish. The fabric is a bright, clean white cotton with some elastene for stretch and comfort. Like many white shirts it’s a bit sheer, so I’d recommend wearing a bra that’s close in color to your skin tone; I’m wearing my Panache Envy bra in these photos.
I wasn’t quite sure which size to choose, so I sent my measurements to DD Atelier, and they sent me a shirt in size 85F to try. I was pleasantly surprised by how well it fit through the shoulders, and by how great the length feels (it hits right at my hips). The bust fits PERFECTLY, like it was made for me, although my waist and tummy are slightly larger than DD Atelier’s 85 size, so the shirt pulls a bit across my lower abdomen (in my experience DD Atelier’s size chart is one of the most accurate around). I really appreciate that, wearing a 32GG bra and thus 85F shirt, I wear the middle “curviness” size DD Atelier offers; those who wear fuller cup sizes than I do still have the option to try the H sizes. For comparison, I recently tried a Pepperberry button-down in 14 Super Curvy; the waist and bust fit fine, but the sleeves were too short, the shoulders too narrow, and the princess seams down the front puckered and didn’t lie flat. The shirt felt sloppy, and anyone wearing a fuller cup size than mine would have to size up in the body, since Super Curvy is the fullest bust size Pepperberry offers. From an appearance point of view the DD Atelier shirt is more polished, and from a fit point of view it’s much less constricting.
This shirt is extremely easy to wear. It’s lightweight and breathable thanks to the cotton, the slight stretch of the fabric allows for ease of movement, and the buttons do not gape or pull. At all. Absolutely no windows to my bra here, no siree. As I mentioned above, my waist measurement is larger than DD Atelier’s size chart, and since the shirt is so fitted I do find it can pull or bunch a little bit across my lower abdomen (I’m sucking in my stomach to varying degrees in pretty much every photo of me you see on this blog, sorry about that, the patriarchy?), but if I’m wearing the shirt tucked into a skirt it’s pretty much perfect. As a tall girl with long arms and broad shoulders I wish the sleeves were sliiiightly longer and the collar sliiiiightly deeper, but those are personal nitpicks– I think for the average person who wears DD Atelier these won’t be issues. Most of all I love being able to stand and sit up nice and straight without worrying that my buttons are gaping (or worse, coming unfastened). I’m so used to adjusting my posture to help my clothes fit; having clothes that fit your body, rather than the other way around, is a VERY welcome change of pace.
I’ve found myself reaching for this shirt far more frequently than I expected to. Yes, it needs to be laundered and ironed before every wear, and yes I know I said I don’t like to wear white a lot, but this shirt has proved to be such a valuable addition to my wardrobe. It looks fantastic paired with a pencil skirt, I like wearing it buttoned all the way up with a bold necklace, it lies super smoothly under cardigans and sweaters, and I had fun styling it a little edgier for this post with some (vegan) leather leggings and killer heels. From a personal point of view I’d love for DD Atelier to become a big enough company that they could maybe add one larger size to their lineup, so I could get a more comfortable fit through my ribcage and tummy, but I recommend them in a heartbeat to those who wear up to a US size 10 or 12, depending on your build.
Note: DD Atelier are currently running a promo on all DD-Basics shirts! If you buy three you save €5 on each.
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Shirt: DD-Basics Shirt by DD Atelier (c/o), 65-85 D, F, H, $61.
Leggings: Anthropologie (note to my fellow long-legged peeps: I’m wearing the Tall version, which sadly appears to be sold out)
Shoes: Vince Camuto (old)
Photos: Studio Rezin