Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: The No Gape Shirt

Recently, I’ve received several “Ask Belle” entries about shirts that gape.  While my small bust eliminates this problem for me, I’ve seen first hand what an issue it can be for other Hill Staffers.  Luckily, a local fashion designer has the solution for ill fitting button ups and their lumpy plackets.

“The Shirt,” as it is called, promises to eliminate the gape with a dual button technology that keeps the placket firmly in place.  Keep your lingerie hidden and your modesty intact, no safety pin required. 

No wonder Fred Segal is obsessed with Rochelle Behrens and The Shirt.


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  1. EE says:

    Or you could just buy fashion tape and stick it between the buttons.

    I'm using some today to keep the excess tab of my leather waist belt from flying around (there's no loop after the buckle). It's stuck all day, on leather.

    November 9, 2010/Reply
  2. N says:

    This is not the first shirt company to do this, I'm a little surprised they're trying to patent it. I wish I could remember where I bought my shirt that has a hidden button in between the other buttons…

    November 9, 2010/Reply
  3. K says:

    I've given up on button shirts. It's pointless and I'm tired of tinkering with them. Most men's professional wear translates just fine into female styles, but not these. Even if I had the money for fancy tailoring and special order shirts, it makes no sense to pretend it's reasonable to hold a shirt on my body by putting buttons down the front.

    November 9, 2010/Reply
  4. HB says:

    Umm extra buttons for $80? Revolutionary.

    November 9, 2010/Reply
  5. Anne says:

    I just discovered Hollywood fashion tape and started using it this week. AMAZING. It's been life changing…and much cheaper than these “magic” shirts.

    November 10, 2010/Reply
  6. Belle says:

    I guess I don't understand the disdain. If the idea is so pedestrian, why isn't every retailer double buttoning their shirts? It obviously fixes the problem. And $80 is not that much more than you would pay for a J.Crew or Brooks Brothers button up, so why the hate?

    If you prefer to use fashion tape, fine. But I don't see what't unreasonable about buttons on a shirt.

    November 10, 2010/Reply
  7. Marie-Christine says:

    I haven't had a gape in decades since I figured out a simple sewing rule: first button placed goes exactly at nipple level. Other buttons get placed wherever is needed to make pleasing intervals. End of problem. If you don't sew, only buy shirts that have a button properly placed, and you won't gape either. Adding a button, even if it's the same button, is very jarring to the eye (which can detect gaps of 1/1000″) I really don't recommend it, try an internal snap instead.

    November 10, 2010/Reply
  8. Ana says:

    How is it unreasonable to have buttons on a shirt? I don't understand.

    November 10, 2010/Reply
  9. K says:

    I am so jealous of the people who don't understand why buttons down the front of a shirt are a problem. It's a huge clothing design flaw for many women's bodies.

    November 10, 2010/Reply
  10. Jill says:

    Whatever works gets my vote. I have such a long list of gripes about women's shirts — placement of buttons so that one button is too high and the next button is too low to leave unbuttoned, shirts that are too short and don't stay tucked in, shirts that are cut like billowing sails, cheap fabric that washes badly (chronic problem with a stretchy cotton shirt as sold at Banana Republic), etc. I envy men who seem to have endless options of nice quality shirts.

    November 10, 2010/Reply
  11. Natasha says:

    I'm not opposed to the no gape shirt, but I agree with Jill completely that this article of clothing has too many issues to start with. I gave up on wearing button up shirts by themselves because of the gaping and not wanting to be forced to wear a cami under them. I save them all for winter and throw a sweater over them instead. I have found buying a size up and creating or taking in back darts helps with the fit.

    November 11, 2010/Reply
  12. Jaime says:

    This is a great idea! I currently have a closet full of button-ups peppered with safety pins, and I actually think $80 is very reasonable for a high quality button-up shirt.

    November 12, 2010/Reply