"Oh I get get it--you put the buttons closer together to get rid of the gap!" That's what most people say when I introduce them to Campbell & Kate shirts, but they're only seeing part of the story. Until I began designing the Campbell & Kate Signature Shirt, I didn't realize that there are two types of gap: the two-dimensional gap, and the three-dimensional gap.
Below is a classic example of the 2D gap. A 2D gap goes East/West or Left/Right, and it occurs when there isn't enough fabric for the bust. When there isn't enough fabric to cover a large bust, it doesn't matter how close together the buttons are. You're going to get a 2D gap--or, at the very least, 2D pulling.
That's why I love the current image on the Campbell & Kate shop page. My 32F model's pose almost always results in a 2D gap for women who wear a D cup or higher, but here there is none. We didn't use any photoshopping or pinning to reach this result. Neither did we put the model into a larger size. Her measurements call for an 8M shirt, and that is what she is wearing. There is simply enough fabric allocated for the bust.
A 3D gap, on the other hand, can be addressed with closer buttons. A 3D gap results when the top fabric panel--the one with the button holes--separates from the bottom panel to which the buttons are sewn. As you can see from the photos below, this is a universal issue for all women, not simply those with large busts.
During the design process, we discovered that no matter how perfectly the Campbell & Kate Signature Shirt covered the fit model's chest, certain movements resulted in a clear view of her bra. We had two choices:
1.Continue with traditional button spacing. This option appealed to us because our goal was to create the most classic white shirt possible. We didn't want to make any obvious accommodations for a large bust (which is why we were determined to work with darts instead of princess seams). However, we worried that customers would feel betrayed when they discovered the need to safety-pin their shirt to prevent any gapping whatsoever.
2. Space the buttons closer together. This option would result in total confidence and unhibited movement. It would allow the shirt's wearer to stand at the front of a room without any fear of giving a peep show to her audience. It would mean no frustrated attempts to line up the safety pin or double-sided tape while rushing to get out the door in the morning. We voted to go this route.
Hopefully you can now see why button spacing is only part of the reason a Campbell & Kate Signature Shirt works so well on women who want to live and work without self-consciousness. It's one example of the careful thought that has gone into creating a shirt that causes a full-busted woman to feel great about herself when she wears it.