Dressed for: A Break in the Clouds

Already Pretty outfit featuring white cardigan, black and white print dress, tan belt, Corso Como Del heels, statement necklace

Cardigan – LOFT courtesy Twice
Dress – courtesy Karen Kane (no longer available) – similar-ish
Belt – from a pair of shorts – similar look
Heels – Corso Como Del
Necklace - Zara via eBay - similar look
Bracelets – Max & Chloe
Earrings – HSokol

Wore this on a day when we had alternating bouts of lovely sunshine and torrential rain, and this photo was taken during a quick break between downpours. Had I known I’d be risking a drenching every time I went outside, I might’ve worn a little less white. Serves me right for not checking the forecast. Like virtually all Minnesotans, I monitor the weather religiously during the winter months. But during our woefully brief summer, I often forget because, hey, what’s the worst that could happen? Heat? Wind? A little rain? We do get the occasional tornado but for the most part it’s calm, clear, and nothing that means I have to pile on the layers or add an extra half-hour to my drive time. My laxness means I sometimes wear white on rainy days. Good thing I remembered my nude underthings and spent most of my day inside.

My guess is that those of you who live in punishing heat and humidity are my opposite: More likely to check the weather during summer than winter. Am I right? Heat stroke and frostbite may be two sides of the same coin …


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Reader Request: Button-fronts for Ample Busts

Hi all. Once again, Disqus closed comments automatically for no reason. Looking into this. Here’s the same post, comments should be open.

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carissa rose shirts

Recently, I’ve had several readers ask about button-front options for women with bigger busts. Button-fronts make blood boil around here, I know, and although I love them for myself I am a small-busted woman with relatively average proportions so they don’t cause me many fit issues. I know from working with clients and hearing from you readers that everything from sloping shoulders to broad upper arms can make off-the-rack button-front shirts fit poorly. Bust size is a key factor, of course, since button-fronts will pull at the placket if the bust is larger than the allotted bust-room. As is the case for most garments that don’t fit off the rack, you can certainly buy a shirt that fits your bust and have it tailored everywhere else … but in the case of a woman with a large bust and smaller waist/arms/shoulders this can mean a virtual rebuild. Mall stores don’t expect us to be big in one spot. If we’re big, they expect us to be big all over. And some of us are, of course, but for those who aren’t it means that garments that fit the prominent feature are often comically oversized elsewhere. The amount of tailoring needed may surpass the cost of the shirt.

Luckily, there are a few button-front shirt options for women with large busts. I’ll share the resources that I’m aware of, and ask you to chime in with more!

Carissa Rose

Definitely my first recommendation for busty women looking for button-fronts, since the company was founded to create shirts that fit curvy women. Carissa Rose shirts aren’t cheap, but my clients love them for their quality construction and design. They’ve got a size chart that will walk you through the measurement process. Shirts are designed to fit women with larger busts and somewhat smaller waists, though all combinations of busts and waists are not available: As bust increases, so does waist though not to the extremes you’ll find in mall stores.

InStyle Essentials

Yep, brought to you by InStyle magazine. I’ve got one of these shirts in my closet and it’s a nice option. I am not the target market since I can buy my button-fronts off the rack, but I can say with certainty that these shirts are on par with a LOFT or Gap shirt. You’ll order by bra size, which can be tricky if you haven’t been professionally fitted in a while, but helpful if you are certain of your measurements. Four styles of shirts, all through 40H.


Although this Polish company focuses mainly on knits, they do offer several styles of button-front shirts. Like the InStyle offerings, shirts are sized by bust/bra size. The sizing chart features UK sizing, so be sure to double-check before ordering and take your measurements in centimeters! This company also caters to women with smallish waists, and won’t fit anyone larger than a 97 cm/38 in waist.

Tom James

A friend and client uses Tom James, a custom clothing company, exclusively for her button-fronts. She’s an investment banker and relies on this style of shirt for her work wardrobe, but is also quite tall, busty with a very small waist, and has kyphosis and very long arms. There are loads of custom clothiers out there, of course, but my client loves this one. The company will connect you with a rep who will take your measurements and help you order.

My busty clients also love Ureshii for custom knits, but the company is yet to delve into wovens. Great stuff and fully custom, but no button-fronts.

None of these options will be cheap, as I’m sure you’ll notice. But if you love this style of shirt or need the option for dress code reasons, one of these vendors could be a great solution and good investment for you. And, of course, I’m dying to know if any of you have other options to share! Are you a big-busted person who wears button-front shirts? Where do you buy or order yours? By all means, share links!

Images courtesy Carissa Rose.

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Insomniac Sale Picks: Non-black Flats

*In this late-night feature – which will run on Tuesday and Thursday of each week – I’ll gather up three fun items that are currently on sale online and share them with you! I would LOVE suggestions: Stylish wide-width pumps? Classic v-necked sweaters? Chandelier earrings? Petite dress slacks? What would you like to see featured?*

Erin requested a few picks for work-appropriate flats that aren’t black, so here we go:

born stowaway II flat

Born Stowaway II - was $129.95, now $84.90

My bronze flats are a go-to, especially during the summer, and this pair has a similar look and color. Metallic flats are a great neutral alternative to black, although you’ll want to go with a nice muted metallic like this. These also come in a lovely light gold textured metallic. Available in US sizes 6 -11. Also over on Zappos in the two metallics, black, and two snakeskin prints. Size availability varies by color. (I also own and love these Earth flats in the distressed pewter, which is MUCH less shiny in person. More of a subtly sparkly charcoal gray.)

clarks concert choir

Clarks Concert Choir - was $135, now $74.99

They’re navy, I SWEAR! And I wanted to include these because I own and adore them, and because they’re available in widths. They’re comfy and supportive as all get-out. These guys are dressy enough for office or evening, but also work great with flippy sundresses on the weekend. Available in this navy, metallic brown, black leather, and black patent in US sizes 5 – 12, including some wide and narrow widths. Size availability varies by color.

fitzwell avery

Fitzwell Avery - was $59, now $26.99

Bargain! And they’re real leather. That sweep detail across the toebox looks a little odd from this angle but great from above which is where everyone will be seeing them anyway. And they’ve got a built-in gel comfort heel pad. Available in this red, navy, camel, and black in US sizes 6 – 13, including some wide and extra wide sizes. Size availability varies by color. (By the way, if you’re looking for vegan options, Nine West has loads of colorful flats in manmade materials.)

miz mooz bindi flat

Miz Mooz Bindi - was $89.95, now $64.90

Miz Mooz shoes are comfortable and sturdy, and this elegant pointed-toe flat will undoubtedly be no exception. A bright blue flat in embellished patent might be more quirky than dressy, but these could be paired with any print that includes cobalt and look sleek and chic and perfectly office-appropriate. And they come in loads of other colors, too! Available in this blue, red, cognac, and light gold in US sizes 6 – 10. Size availability varies by color. Also over on Zappos in mint green, black, orange, and turquoise.

Other not-currently-on-sale resources for work-appropriate flats that aren’t black:

  1. Born - Between the Julianne and the Stowaway, you’ve got more than a dozen non-black, office-friendly options.
  2. Frye - They won’t be cheap, but they will be quality. And colorful! Check Nordstrom and 6pm, too, for styles like the Carson and Regina.
  3. Nine West - Some fun colors, but mostly a great source for non-black neutrals including cognac and animal print.

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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