A simple fitted button down shirt is hard to find. A couple months ago, I was reading an article about an MIT grad who made the company Third Love and the “perfect fit bra.” In the article, the CEO talked about how many parts go into making a bra, when making a shirt only has four pieces of fabric. She was not talking about a simple fitted button down shirt.
I use the term “simple” loosely. A mark of good editing is when you don’t see all the effort and time that goes into the final product. Fashion is no different. So why is it so hard for a woman to find a simple fitted button down shirt?
Prepare to be unsurprised.
The Simple Fitted Button Down Shirt was created for men over 100 years ago
With the now common intermingling of work and life balance, women in the workforce, and minimalism, the simple fitted button down shirt is now a staple everyday garment for women. It wasn’t always this way. Even though the simple fitted button down shirt seems like it’s style has been around forever. Now that it’s here, we simply haven’t updated the design to meet our needs.
After a long time searching for the right shirt, I simply gave up and decided to make my own. This was the start of Bottle Thread, which is doing pretty well so far. I wanted to make something that would address these issues and was frankly surprised that none of this has been addressed before now.
1. Cotton is Actually the Worst
During my last reincarnation, I was the female equivalent of a Super Eagle Scout and spent a lot of time camping. One of the universal gear tips is that cotton = death. I’m a fan of cotton clothing, but not for garments you wear often, especially outside.
Non-cotton shirts have to be done the right way, which is why insisted on higher quality fabric. It just so happens to be made out of recycled bottles.
2. Stretch is not a priority
Again, the simple fitted button down shirt was made for men to work in an office. It was not made for women, and not made for the everyday activities that we are using them for today.
Cotton, by nature, doesn’t stretch much. Some shirts have the elaborate bunching and folding systems in the back that gives the shirt a little bit more give. Overall, though it doesn’t work well. The beauty of wearing high-quality
3. Lazy Sizing
When I first was pitching my idea for Bottle Thread, I had a vastly different reaction based on the gender of my potential investor. Men were dismissive while the women were ecstatic. The Simple Fitted Button Down Shirt was created for men. Men don’t er, have large chests and smaller stomachs.
Most button down shirts for women are basically unflattering tents. The only way to solve this is through using a better fabric and a different sizing system. When I was meeting with one of my advisors, they made an off the cuff comment about using bra sizes instead of the unreliable S-M-L scale.
While I would love it for people to buy more of my shirts, I know this is a big problem that a majority of women face. I would like to see more of my fellow fashion designers solving problems instead of just creating designs for the sake of getting more attention to their brand.
In an industry where attention is the primary metric for profit, maybe doing something a little bit more practical will start to cause a change.
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