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As a former Virginian this might be a blasphemous thing to say, but I am not a warm-weather girl. Sure, if it’s JUST the right temperature outside with zero humidity and a nice light breeze and occasional cloud cover to keep the sun from migraine-inducing brightness and you don’t have to go to work but can instead go to the park/to the beach/on a hike/to your friend’s pool etc. etc., then summer is okay by me. Usually, however, as soon as the temperature skyrockets and the subway stations become furnaces and my cats run away from me because they’re scared of the air conditioner (my cats might be super neurotic, y’all), I’m done. Go away, hot weather, I do not care for you.
So even though it’s still August, and it’s still quite warm, Fall clothes are showing up in stores and I am SO HAPPY. I love Fall clothes. Give me layers and stockings and richer textiles and deeper, bolder colors and longer skirts and jackets and all sorts of fun accessories we couldn’t bear to think about in July. I also love the general back-to-school feeling about this time of year; some people make resolutions around New Year’s Day, but I tend to do more personal reflecting in September (possibly because it’s my birth month). The new season makes me think about fresh starts, new beginnings, stocking up on new supplies, and, of course, re-evaluating my wardrobe.
In New York City my Fall, Winter, and Spring wardrobes blend together, so any piece of clothing I buy for these seasons gets a lot of play. As my size has been changing over the last year and a half, I’ve discovered that I don’t own a well-fitting button-down shirt. I’ve never particularly yearned for one– I don’t usually love how I look in white, for one thing, and I know I’d instantly spill chocolate/tomatoes/vinegar/wine down the front, but as skirts, jackets, sweaters, and pants from my older wardrobe start to fit again, I’ve realized it would be really wonderful to have some professional tops to mix and match with my other wardrobe pieces. The button-down shirts I do own are extremely relaxed and casual in cut and fabric weight, and I’d love a more fitted, formal option that feels crisp and polished.
Fortunately, we full-bust folks now have lots of options available to us in the button-down department! No more gaping buttons, no more sizing up to fit your boobs only for your waist to swim in extra fabric. Here are some of my favorite button-down tops currently available for purchase from manufacturers who specialize in dressing D+ figures.
[click each image to be taken straight to a retailer with the item in stock]
It seems only right to start with Pepperberry, since they’re the sister company to Bravissimo, the D+ retailer who opened my eyes to the world of full-bust bras. Pepperberry doesn’t always appeal to my personal fashion sense, but I do generally like their Autumn collections, and they currently have a LOVELY range of tops and blouses designed to fit and flatter fuller-boobs.
Pepperberry clothes are available in two size ranges: 8-18 Curvy, Really Curvy, and Super Curvy, and 8-18 Curvy/Really Curvy and Really Curvy/Super Curvy. UK sizes 8-18 roughly translate to US sizes 4-14, although I strongly recommend consulting their size guide to find your best fit.
I’ve had friends who are teachers, who work in offices, or who have professional “uniforms” all reach out to me to ask about classic button down shirts, and I highly recommend Pepperberry’s quality and customer service. Do bear in mind that you will have to allow time for shipments to arrive from the UK, and return postage is often…not cheap.
That said, the selection is unbeatable. Beyond variations on the classic white button down (short sleeves, textured fabric, etc.), there are blouses with creative necklines in seasonal colors to blend in seamlessly with your wardrobe.
I’ve got my eye on a few of these for this season; I just want to wait another month or two until my body settles a little more.
Moving on from the UK to Russia, a D+ retailer that’s been on my radar for a while now is DD Atelier, which has the advantage over Pepperberry in that they have a US-based returns center for US and Canada customers! Like Pepperberry, each garment is available in three different bust sizes, and I’ll note that their sizes skew a touch smaller than some of the other brands in this round-up. DD Atelier has a distinct aesthetic, and usually every season at least one or two of their pieces (especially dresses!) really catch my eye.
Obviously the collection includes a classic white shirt, but there’s more! Patterns:
Non-button-down blouses too!
Word of warning: I’ve noticed that many DD Atelier pieces sell out very quickly, so if you see something you like and your budget allows, I’ll just gently nudge you and tell you to get on it pronto.
Polish brand Biu Biu is another well-known name in the full-bust community. While the button-down selection is smaller than either Pepperberry or DD Atelier, be sure to look at the stretch tops, dresses, jackets, and, best of all, maternity tops for more curve-friendly designs!
Classic white shirt in the house!
I really, REALLY love this sweeter take on the classic white shirt. It still looks crisp and polished, but it feels a little softer.
Those of us who don’t care for white are in luck– there’s this pretty blue version too! There are many other shirts available in a range of colors, but some of them only have a few sizes left in stock– if one catches your eye, snap it up!
Like Biu Biu, the final brand on this list, Urkye, is based in Poland (whence also cometh Ewa Michalak, Comexim, Anna Pardal, and Samanta). As with the other brands in this post, items are available in three different bust sizes (or two, where fabrics with stretch are used), but Urkye, to me, feels a little more relaxed and casual. DD Atelier and Pepperberry succeed best at workwear, I think, while I could see Biu Biu and Urkye forming the backbone of a curvy girl’s more casual wardrobe. That said, we’re here for the button-downs today, and Urkye does not disappoint. Here’s your classic white shirt:
Here are your short sleeves:
And here is one of your non-white options:
All the shirts featured here are only a small selection of each retailer’s collections; if none of these strike your fancy, be sure to explore each site in case another piece catches your eye! I’ll close by mentioning that while a well-fitting, comfortable bra changes how ANY item of clothing fits, with shirts like these, designed by companies who are deeply familiar with bras and bra fitting, I strongly recommend making sure you have a bra that gives you the lift, projection, and support you want in order to get the best fit out of your full-bust-friendly shirt.
I tried to focus this round-up on companies who currently have items in stock and have excellent reputations– are there any I missed? Let us know in the comments!