As someone with a larger chest, buying button-down shirts is a hassle. I often find myself having to buy them one to two sizes larger than what I’d typically wear just so that darn middle button actually stays closed.
Sure, there are ways around this. You can wear a sports bra or binder that compresses your breasts, secure the gaping section with a safety pin, or use some overpriced double-sided clothing tape, which may help to hold your shirt together but has never worked for more than 10 minutes for me. But why should you be forced to do that? Why aren’t there button downs made for people with larger chests?
After some research, I’ve uncovered seven companies that specialize in button-downs, suits, and other professional attire for people who have more volume up top.
"Is it too much to ask for a button up without boob gap?" Certainly not, especially when you come to this Portland-based company. Wildfang has button-downs and more, including blazers, bottoms, tees, and accessories. All of its clothes embrace all aspects of the gender spectrum—whether it be masculine, feminine, or, well, everything else. Wildfang offers fashionable short-sleeve, long-sleeve, and sleeveless button-down tops—and in a variety of sizes ranging from XS to XXL!
The brand has donated more than $500,000 since its 2013 launch to causes such as ACLU, Planned Parenthood, New Avenues for Youth, Tegan & Sara Foundation, RAICES, Girls Inc, Q Center, and IAmThatGirl.
2. Dapper Boi
Dapper Boi’s mission is to make individuals feel confident and comfortable in their identities by offering high quality, gender-inclusive fashion to fit a wide variety of body types and sizes. One of its founders, Vicky Pasche, preferred men’s clothing, but was “tired of shopping in the men’s section for clothes that just didn’t adhere to her body’s shape.” So, her and her wife Charisse founded Dapper Boi, to help people like Vicky have a place to shop for affordable androgynous clothing. Aside from a variety of clothing including jeans, jackets, joggers, and swimwear, Dapper Boi specializes in button-downs—or, as its referred to on their site, "button-ups."
The shirts have hidden snaps on the button placket to ensure there is no chest gap—no more safety pins or double-sided tape required. Available in sizes XXS to 4XL, the shirts also include more space in the waist (and hips!) to fit your body and flatter its shape. Revolutionary.
3. Kirrin Finch
Founded by Brooklyn couple Laura and Kelly Sanders Moffat, Kirrin Finch got its name from the iconic fictional tomboys Georgina Kirrin from "The Famous Five" series and Scout Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird. Many of the brand's shirts are named for other well-known characters, too.
Kirrin Finch puts a lot of work into making sure the retailer's clothing is the highest quality. The brand is dedicated to preventing people from experiencing "ill-fitting menswear or overly frilly womenswear" ever again. Each of the brand's button-down shirts has extra buttons to prevent gaping, a structured collar that renders a tie unnecessary, and fun pops of color in the cuffs and collar. The shirts, which lack back pleats so they lie flat and seamless, come in sizes 0 to 24.
4. Androgynous Fox
As for button-downs, Androgynous Fox designs them long enough that you can tuck them in, but also short enough that you can leave them untucked. They have a straight cut across the front and back—to de-emphasize the appearance of the breasts. Sizes range from XS to 4XL, and you can reference the sizing guide to determine the best size for you based on your body length and chest circumference.
5. Gender Free World
Gender Free World (GFW) is out to change the standard of fashion sizing. The brand understands that everyone is different and not all women fit into standard women’s sizes, and same for men’s sizes. So to accommodate that, GFW designed shirts to fit individuals' body shape through gender-inclusive style choices.
After extensive research, GFW created four body-shape templates: Alex, Billie, Charlie, and Drew. They each have their own proportions that should be able to cover customers without gendering them “male” or “female” cuts. For example, "Alex" is for wider hips, "Billie" is for larger busts, "Charlie" is for shoulders and hips that are of similar proportions, and "Drew" is for broad shoulders, narrow hips, and a longer torso. These styles definitely don’t encapsulate everyone, but it’s a step in the right direction, allowing you to shop for clothes based on size and shape rather than gender.
6. Peau De Loup
Peau De Loup (PDL) sells gender neutral clothing that is designed for bodies with curves. The brand specializes in high quality button-down shirts for bodies with curves. Each shirt has a removable pleat in the back—if you have a seam ripper, that is—for an extra 1.5 inches in the chest, to prevent any boob gap. All of the shirts include a hidden inside pocket over the left breast, which is big enough for your cash, cards, and even your phone. With sizes ranging from 2 to 20, what more could you ask for?
7. Haute Butch
In an effort to create more masculine clothing designed to fit curvier bodies, Karen Roberts and Danette Sheppard-Vaughn founded Haute Butch. This QBIPOC brand is a go-to for masc, butch, and gender-nonconforming fashion. If you prefer masculine clothing or a good-looking suit but don’t want to sacrifice fit for style, Haute Butch has got you covered.
From tailored vests to suits, and so much more, there’s a wide variety to choose from. With sizes ranging from XS to 6XL and a detailed guide on how to take your measurements, Haute Butch has options for nearly everyone.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.