Style + Work

Back to Basics: The Button-Up Blouse

Whether your wardrobe is relaxed casual, business casual, or professional, a good button-up blouse is a staple.  There are many great styles and brands to choose from, but there are three that I check whenever I need a new button-up.  Here they are.

This J.Crew Factory High-Low Button-Up is a great option if you struggle to keep your shirt tucked in.  It’s also a good choice for those who like a bit more rear-view coverage.  It’s a little bit sheer, but by no means see through.  Runs XXS to 3X.

The Riley Tailored Fit Shirt is my favorite “work shirt.”  It’s heavier than most, and I don’t need a trip to the tailor for alterations. It’s also cut to hit at the hip, which is nice, and it washes well.  If you prefer silkier shirt, try their Dillon Fit (it’s sold out in some sizes right now, but they restock often).

Everything at Brooks Brothers is on sale right now.  The discounts are mad.  This Cotton Poplin Tunic costs less than a nice dinner out.  Their Non-Iron Shirts are also a good option.  And if you’re headed over their for the shirt, don’t miss their work dresses, especially this pinstripe sheath that has serious Good Wife vibes.

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  1. Susan says:

    This may be the perfect storm of the post pandemic return to work and dearth of professional clothing available to purchase (looking at you Ann Taylor!) but I am really loving Brooks Brothers lately.

    July 12, 2021/Reply
  2. Kate says:

    Any suggestions for busty girls? I can’t seem to find a button up blouse that doesn’t gap. If I go bigger, it’s far too big in the waist/shoulders/arms.

    July 13, 2021/Reply
    • Maharani says:

      I work with a personal shopper who also does alterations. Blouse gapping can be fixed by adding a snap between buttons, which I do if the blouse is one I like enough to buy as is. Gapping can be avoided by checking the placement of the top button, which has to be in the right spot to avoid gapping. The darts also have to be correctly placed for ones shape. However, in that case, you may have to reject a blouse that otherwise looks great. Custom made blouses never gap because the darts and buttons are placed correctly.

      July 13, 2021/Reply
      • Maharani says:

        Going bigger is actually a good option, but in that case you will need to have the blouse altered to fit correctly This is a problem with ready made clothes-they are averages and rarely fit correctly. I have to have everything altered. I used to make my own clothes and got used to correct fit-I dont mind paying extra to have alterations done.

        July 13, 2021/Reply
    • Brittany McNair says:

      Kate, I can relate – I’m 34DDD and have the same struggle. I also like the Riley shirt from Banana Republic. I sized up one (usually 8, went to 10) and it has the most flattering darts for shape at the waist and also does not gape at all. I’d recommend giving it a try!

      July 13, 2021/Reply