54 responses

  1. Alice
    October 31, 2011

    Have you checked out Thomas Pink? Their ladies shirts are gorgeous!


  2. Mise
    October 31, 2011

    I’m not usually one for product endorsement, but I’ve found the Charles Tyrwhitt shirts you mention to be so nicely made and such tremendous value for money that I may as well say so. They wash and last beautifully too.

  3. Marie – wifeinthecity
    October 31, 2011

    I have been pondering the button front question recently myself so this is perfectly timed, thank-you! My main issue with them in general is with the ironing so the J Crew ones look to fit the bill perfectly without needing too much care. I find the other problem with a lot is the gaping around the bust. Never a good look.

  4. girltuesday
    October 31, 2011

    I am a long-time fan of Thomas Pink. Despite being sold a few years ago—an act that always seems to sound the death knell for favourite brands—I continue to have good luck with their shirts. A medium price point (about on par with BB), their sales offer some wicked deals.

  5. Marguerite
    October 31, 2011

    This may be too obvious, but Brooks Brothers shirts are nice. Glad you are transitioning back to work nicely.

  6. kathy
    October 31, 2011

    J. Crew “perfect shirts” are nice, although I don’t find them consistent in their fit. I used to wear a lot Faconnable shirts and they had two different basic styles, one with a nipped in waist. Very nice and classic patterns. I love the Liberty of London shirt, but isn’t it always such a big deal when you order from abroad about customs, etc? I tried some Eric Bompard cashmere sweaters and had to pay $85 when they were clearing customs in New Jersey. Then, I tried them, didn’t fit me well and I had to send them back. Has anyone else had this problem with customs?

  7. Jan
    October 31, 2011

    I wear button front shirts nearly every day – I just don’t button them (at least, not very often). I use them mostly as a “jacket” over a closer-fitting, scoop-necked shirt, usually a tank or camisole.

    That being said, I LOVE shirts in solid colors or with vertical stripes, so that first one is right up my alley. Prints, not so much, although I do have a few. I also look hideous in shirts gathered around or beneath my bustline, so that first white shirt is out, but I like the second one with the interesting buttons.

    That plaid thing, center in the bottom photo? No. Just…no.

  8. DaniBP
    October 31, 2011

    I adore your picks and you’ve completely studied and explained the concept of the button front shirt so well!
    Funny I’ve been buying a few of these shirts, after convincing myself that they weren’t “me” for many years. I find I like them now, tucked into pencil skirts, they are polished yet no-nonsense.

  9. quintessence
    October 31, 2011

    I love the J. Crew button down shirts. I own them in a plethora of colors in both the 3/4 and long sleeve versions. While I do agree with Kathy that they can vary in size a bit, they are a great fit (broad shoulders here as well) and that crucial third button falls in just the right place!

  10. Town and Country Mom
    October 31, 2011

    I have always loved the crispness of a well-fitting button front shirt, and have been on a bit of a kick lately, adding a Thos. Pink stipe, which I love. I also added two from Old Navy’s men’s selection in size small, slim fit. They work well for broad-shouldered, long-armed types, and the patterns and the price are great!

  11. Mardel
    October 31, 2011

    As a person who has been known to create a fuss over the differences between button-front and button-down, the opening paragraph of your post has made me smile.

    Love the stripe shirt and the liberty as well. J Crew’s perfect shirts continue to lure me in, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. I wish I either had a J Crew store near me or they would be more consistent with their fit. Oh wait, I will have a J Crew store in only a few months. huzzah!

    Love the Vivienne Westwood, but even the artsiest corner of my brain can’t quite wrap itself around the backless shirt from Acne.

  12. Jen
    October 31, 2011

    All great options for the office. Women should also have one or two of these for the office. And, of course I gravitated toward the $700 blouse…

  13. Sarah
    October 31, 2011

    Lovely collection of shirts for us ! Thank you. And agree with Alice (first comment) re THomas Pink shirts although have to say that Liberty print Brora shirt is quite gorgeous. x

  14. Jacqueline
    October 31, 2011

    I don’t tend to endorse products all over the place, but if you get a chance you must check out Pink Tartan shirts. I have two. They are simply perfect. What no photograph will convey to you is the absolute perfection of the fabric and excellent way they are made (they are made as I understand it in a men’s shirt factory and the material much more similar to men’s shirting which is really of superior quality and endurance). Perhaps a little more expensive than J. Crew but in my opinion, well worth it.

  15. Yulia
    October 31, 2011

    Thank you for the review! I always enjoy your posts (but this is a first attempt at commenting).
    I love shirts on and off duty and have similar preferences to yours. I also love to wear cufflinks, which narrows the choice down dramatically. In the moment most of my work shirts are either from your side of the pond – french cuffed ones Brooks Brothers, or from a swedish company called The Shirt Factory (http://www.shirtfactory.se/en/shirts/woman) – last year’s discovery. They are quite well cut and have 2 absolute winning points: collar stiffeners and quite close spaced buttons, so no gaping ever!

  16. Tabitha
    October 31, 2011

    I’ve never had a waist and have spent my life creating one, I love shirts that tailor in at the supposed waist. I have one Thomas Pink and am debating a J Crew perfect shirt as I like the look of the cut – if not taxes, shipping and a 50% mark up.

    PS. I love how you write.

  17. Susan Tiner
    October 31, 2011

    Those are a beautiful selection of button front shirts. Alas, I don’t think this kind of shirt flatters me. However, you look great in a button front shirt!

  18. mary jo
    October 31, 2011

    I love that you wrote about this Lisa, and also your picks. If only more people realized that a tailored look is much more flattering and hides any imperfections much better than loose and baggy!

    Hope all is well with your new job {so proud of you} and of course have a spooktacular day and eve!

    xo Mary Jo


  19. Tricia
    October 31, 2011

    Alice (above) beat me to it, but my go-to button shirt is Thomas Pink, particularly the Wendy “This stylish stretch cotton pique shirt is cleverly ruched around the waist for a contoured fit. Glamorous cocktail cuffs complete this modern wardrobe essential based on our Slim Fit block.” A true winner. English sizing, so two sizes up. I have broad shoulders and prefer a size 12, so size 16 in Pink. J. McLaughlin is my #2 — jmclaughlin.com (the fine gauge options are always an easy choice), and #3, the Ann Mashburn Classic, for more Liberty selections (annmashburn.com). Thanks for a fun post about my absolutely positively favorite clothing item (next to jeans)!

  20. Flo
    October 31, 2011

    Ooooo, I am blown away by the covered placket Tyrwhitt shirt, pure elegance, not a button in sight. Just in case anyone else has gone nuts like I have, the price is insane as are the range of fabrics/prints/solids/stripes in this model, this looks like a really great shirt, and available from the store in NYC:


  21. Duchesse
    October 31, 2011

    The right brand is one that fits you! And the fabric feels “nice”, you know, just… nice.

    @kathy: Any order from another country (above the gift allowance) incurs customs tax and duties. When you return to Bompard the post office will provide a US customs form you fill in, supplying required documents. Send that to them and you will get your duties refunded. (Sorry cannot be more precise, I live in Canada. I import Bompard regularly. Occasionally have to make a return, but figure it’s cheaper than a plane ticket.)

  22. RoseAG
    October 31, 2011

    You didn’t reveal whether you tuck these into your waistband or wear them out.

    I’m guilty of buying the no-iron Falconable brand from Nordstrom and wearing them, as a prior commenter suggested, as a jacket-top over a layering tank.

  23. The Preppy Princess
    October 31, 2011

    You can imagine how much I enjoyed this one, from top to bottom. (No pun intended.) As long as I have lusted after The Consort’s Tyrwhitts, you would think I own one. Nope, not yet. You definitely show some great choices, I adore the J Crew blue and white, it’s such a good look.

    Sending you a smile,

  24. vintage_mck
    October 31, 2011

    I have not tried the J Crew perfect shirts but my go to button front is the Non Iron by Brooks Brothers – There are three fits depending on your desired end result, and come in a variety of sleeve lengths – no poof either –

  25. The Cape House
    November 1, 2011

    These are always one of the hardest articles of clothing to find. They always seem hard to fit in the bust. The closest I’ve gotten is buying from J Crew and putting in extra little snaps.

    3:25 pm
    Darlene said...

    @The Cape House, I would love for you to try a Campbell & Kate shirt. I adore button front shirts but always ran into the bust issue, so I finally created the shirt I wanted to find.

    8:48 am
    Lisa said...

    Hi Darlene. Just FYI, if you wanted to do a giveaway for readers here, I’m on board. Giveaways and sidebar ads are the only commercialization I’m doing, so just let me know if that works in your plans.

  26. Rachel
    November 1, 2011

    My mum just bought me that CT shirt for work. In fact, all of my work shirts are from there I think, they are excellent quality, wash well, hold their colour and are not too expensive.

  27. MAZL
    November 1, 2011

    Loving the grey striped shirt. I buy Charles Tyrwhitt shirts for my OH on line and they are good quality. You can very often pick them up reasonabley cheaper on line than in the stores. Also if you can look at Marks and Spencer on line, they often have a range of shirts. The boys’ ones may fit you smaller ladies.

  28. metscan
    November 1, 2011

    I´m glad I´m not working in an office, if shirts are acquired.
    A shirt is definitely something I would never wear. If a jacket is required, a smart T under, is more to my taste.
    P.S. I have nothing against someone else wearing shirts, men in special ; )

  29. Allison
    November 1, 2011

    One wonders what is the point of that backless shirt? Under what circumstance would that be appropriate, or comfortable? Button front shirts were the bane of my working life; as I, too, have the broad shoulders. In the winter, I wore the close fitting T with a flannel shirt over, called it my professional lumberjack look. Paired with a fleece vest, it was very comfortable, of course that’s a pretty specific Seattle look….

  30. Patsy
    November 1, 2011

    OK, since when does button down, not mean button down collar? This is giving me a headache….I may have to walk up to Thomas Pink and buy something….

  31. Ruth
    November 1, 2011

    I love the blue flower Liberty print–but the cut gives me hives! It was poorly done in an otherwise nice shirt. The print has two lines going sideways down the front. This kind of print is not good for a ready made shirt where someone doesn’t take the time to line things up–a more random print would be much better. Am I just being too picky?

  32. Bonnie
    November 1, 2011

    I wish I could print this and put it in everyone’s mailboxes at work. So many women need to know this. I wish that more people understood the value of a well-fitting shirt.

    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  33. Queen of the Clean Up Parade
    November 4, 2011

    Did you check our Rebecca & Drew custom ladies shirts? You order via bra size for a no-gap bust and custom fit. http://www.rebeccaanddrew.com/ I have a gift certificate from The Sister Who Does Everything Right but yet to use it. Fab post. I see you’ve copied my long white hair. That’s okay, so has Emmylou Harris. Rock on.
    Queen of the Clean Up Parade

  34. Englishvers
    November 5, 2011

    Nice selection. I fancy the first.
    I adore shirts. My favourites are from Workshop London on the Kings Road.

  35. Lisa
    November 5, 2011

    Alice – Yes absolutely. I pinned one of the Thomas Pink’s to the Pinterest board.

    Mise – Well that’s good know. Since ordering them from here is probably going to require annoying customs stuff.

    Marie – I got the suckered shirt. Really lovely fabric.

    girltuesday – They were sold? Interesting.

    Marguerite – Yes. I like Brooks, and own one of theirs. For this job I’m looking for one step edgier, I believe. But I’m keeping my eye on Brooks.

    kathy – I am dreading the Brora customs kerfuffle.

    Jan – What, you don’t like Pirate Couture? :)

  36. Lisa
    November 5, 2011

    DaniBP – Thank you so much. I think they look better on us as we get a little older. kind of like something we have to grow into.

    quintessence – I just got another one:). I love the lightweight fabrics they have best of all.

    T&C – Old Navy? Wonderful!. I will certainly take a gander.

    Mardel – Glad you share pickiness on these sorts of things. If I were 22 I’d wear that Acne shirt to a gallery opening. Opening indeed.

    Jen – As one does:).

    Sarah – My pleasure! We’ve got a Thomas Pink store here. Of course I will also look at my friend Naracamicie:).

    Jacqueline – Interesting. Had never heard of them. Thanks. I appreciate that you share your endorsements here.

  37. Lisa
    November 5, 2011

    Yulia – Welcome to the comments! Shirt Factory, Their stuff looks good. I am all for Swedish goods.

    Tabitha – Who needs a waist when they have mile-long British legs? The stumpy among us have to persevere:). And thank you. I feel the same way about you.

    Susan – Thank you my dear!

    Mary Jo – Aw. I do enjoy this mutual support community. I’m now committed to more and more of my shirts falling AWAY from the body.

    Tricia – Oh thank you for these recommendations! You sound like a true expert, and I so appreciate the sharing. I had seen Ann Mashburn somewhere or other and then forgotten. I’ve pinned her to Pinterest however, so will be reminded from now on.

    Flo – They have a store in NYC? Oh boy oh boy oh boy.

    Duchesse – I agree, the fabric is key if you are buying in multiples. I have ordered a Brora sweater and am dreading the customs dance.

  38. Lisa
    November 5, 2011

    RoseAG – It depends on the shirt and trousers that go with. The gray striped, for example, I’d probably wear tucked in, and the J. Crew lightweight suckered blue stripe, tucked out. I might have layered shirts in the old days, but now I fear it would turn me into quite the amorphous mass.

    TPP – And turns out the J. Crew is very lightweight. Like an old lawn slip. Lovely. Smiles back to you.

    Vince_Mck – Agree. My Brooks Brothers served me well.

    The Cape House – I have never had trouble with gaping – shoulders always trumped the bustline.

    Rachel – Good work mom! I just like that slightly wider stripe, and the gray and white together. Next level of polish IMO.

    MAZL – Marks and Spencer. Sigh. At least we have Old Navy, I suppose.

    metscan – I like to wear shirts under a v-neck sweater. If I’m wearing a jacket, I’ll wear a tee.

  39. Lisa
    November 5, 2011

    Allison – Just an intellectual reference, I think. Certainly not practically wearable.

    Patsy – It’s the best solution.

    Ruth – I didn’t even notice that! Thank you.

    Bonnie – My pleasure. We live to serve:).

    Queen of the Clean Up Parade – Those shirts must be really useful for women where where bustline trumps shoulders. Thank you.

    English Vers – I’d love to see what you do with a classic button front shirt.

  40. omelio
    November 6, 2011

    ikhh Very Nice collectioN..:*

  41. Laura
    November 6, 2011

    My husband wears Charles Tyrwhitt. No idea they made womenswear. Swooning first, then shopping.

    8:46 am
    Lisa said...

    I’m still thinking about the gray striped one. Had to do a check on my UK sizing.

  42. Andrea
    November 6, 2011

    I have a closet full of lovely shirts: Charles Tyrwhitt and Thomas Pink, J. Crew and Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers and some custom made jobs. They’re all Beautiful, all beloved, and every morning when I open my closet I admire them and wish I had more occasion to wear them. But apart from a few weeks a year, I don’t. The modern office seems to be so cold that in winter I can’t even stand to have cotton next to my skin; a thermostat set in the sixties, where it’s comfortable for men, freezes my blood, and I need a knit to keep from shivering. Yes, even when I wear a thick wool jacket over the cotton shirt.

    It’s now November, and I usually wear some kind of knit top–a jewel-neck cashmere, silk-cashmere, or merino sweater–under a wool jacket that I hope gives me whatever authority the sweater takes away. I can’t have any authority if I’m vibrating in the blast of air conditioning all summer and inadequate heating all winter. If we’re all supposed to be saving energy, why is the air in every office building set to freeze a side of beef?

    8:47 am
    Lisa said...

    I hear you. On the days I wear the button front shirts I tend to wear a cashmere v-neck over, without a jacket. In the extreme casual of my current office, it’s a good solution.

  43. Anna
    August 12, 2012

    Thank you for the very good tips on shirts. I got some ideas.

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  47. Pole Crastina
    June 14, 2016

    It’s nice and I loved your collections. As you have mentioned that you have explored from Barney’s to J Crew and then after that you’re presenting these all show pieces. And from them I really liked the one from Charles Tyrwhitt. Actually, I’m a big fan of Tyrwhitt collections.

    7:46 am
    Lisa said...

    I haven’t looked them up in ages, thanks for the reminder to try again.

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