See pictures of this shirt in the 2 posts below.
If your cup size is A-DD (and maybe even DDD), Rebecca & Drew (“R&D”) shirts might be for you. If you’ve given them a try, I’d love to hear from you!
The Basics. Originally, R&D shirts were sized by band width, cup size and height (women 5’5″ and under wear “Regular”; women 5’6″ and taller wear “Long”). R&D has since added a body shape component: “soft and smooth” or “strong and confident”. According to the saleswoman who helped me, most women are “strong and confident,” although broad-shouldered women tend to be “soft and smooth”. Once you’ve determined your size by bra size, height and body type, you’re ready to choose between two styles: Slim Fit (princess seams) and Traditional Fit (no princess seams).
My Experience. The first time I tried R&D shirts in 2007, I was disappointed to find that their largest bra size shirt, 38DD, pulled at my bust line. However, when I went back this past fall, a combination of weight loss on my part and the “strong and confident” body shape on their part allowed me to fit a 36DD Regular Slim Fit. I paid $195 and walked out the door with what I thought was going to be my favorite shirt.
It hasn’t turned out to be my favorite, but I do like its classic style and quality 100% cotton fabric (although I hate ironing). I also like the unnecessary little detail of a heart sewn into the bottom of each side seam. But most important, because R&D accounts for height in its sizing, there’s no extra fabric puffing out in the back.
It took a few wearings to discover, but one of the shirt’s shortcomings is that it’s too short. Every time I tuck it in, it comes untucked within 5 minutes. Unfortunately, it’s too full in the waist to wear out. I tried, but I just looked like I was taking the day off after eating an enormous meal. Definitely not the professional look I paid $195 for. When you look at the side view picture of me wearing this shirt, I promise I’m not pregnant. It’s just the extra fabric.
Unlike Eris Apparel, which spaces its buttons closely but evenly throughout the length of the shirt, R&D adds two extra buttons at the bustline area. Perhaps the goal is to identify it as a R&D shirt. To me, however, it simply comes across as random, although I don’t think it’s noticeable enough to merit not purchasing the shirt. There’s one other detail that surprised me–the yoke in back has a seam down the middle. Let me know if it’s just my inexperience talking, but I have generally seen yokes in whole pieces, and it makes me wonder if they were trying to cut back on fabric waste. Again, not enough to reject the shirt entirely.
Finally, tell me if you think I’m imagining things, but the apex of the shirt seems to be slightly above the apex of my bustline. It was much worse before I bought my new bras, so be sure to wear a good-fitting bra when you try one of these shirts on. In the meantime, I have to think about the implications of this for the shirt I’m designing.
Summary. I like this shirt. If it stayed tucked in and weren’t baggy around the middle, I would consider buying a few more as staples in my closet, especially if it came in non-iron fabric. As it is, I’ll only wear my one shirt when I forget how frustrating it is to always have to be tucking it in or when it’s the only shirt left in my closet. I’ll make another trip to R&D some day to see if the “soft and smooth” shirts are less baggy around the middle and if there’s any chance a “long” will fit me proportionally while staying put.