The Shirt by Rochelle Behrens Review

the label from The Shirt

Have you heard of The Shirt by Rochelle Behrens? After years of dealing with shirts gaping at the bust and needing safety pins to keep it closed, Rochelle Behrens designed The Shirt and it soon became one of Oprah's must-have items, Behrens was profiled in the New York Times, and Inc. included her in their 30 Under 30 list. In the WO2 Community, Lisa asked about The Shirt. I decided to order two different styles of The Shirt and provide an unbiased The Shirt by Rochelle Behrens review.

For reference, I am 44 years old, 5’3” tall, a 36F chest, and in shirts and dresses, I usually wear a Large or 14, petite when available. I lift weights which gives me broader shoulders but thinned my arms from when I was a non-lifting size 14.

hand signed note from Rochelle Behrens that came with my order from The Shirt

The hand-signed note that is delivered with each order from The Shirt. Note says: After years of wearing ill-fitting button downs to work, I patented my No Gape Technology. Now I'm obsessed with designing and delivering the perfect shirt for you to enjoy. Say bye bye blouse gape, hello The Shirt.

What Makes The Shirt by Rochelle Behrens Unique?

The Shirt has a very detailed size guide; it’s a good idea to look at the chart and choose a size based on your measurements, not what size you usually wear in other brands. Based on the size chart, I wasn’t sure if I was an XXL/16 or an XL/14 so I ordered both. For this review, I ordered The Short Sleeve Shirt in Black, size XXL and The Icon Shirt in Black Floral, size XL. My order arrived promptly via UPS in a brown paper mailer, each shirt carefully folded in a cellophane bag.

fabric labels inside The Shirt

The fabric makeup, where it's made, and washing instructions of The Icon Shirt (left) and The Short Sleeve Shirt (right)

The fabric of The Shirt is excellent – a subtle sheen, tight weave, just the right hint of stretch for comfort and fit without clinging or losing a professional effect. On both shirts the buttons were black. Even with stretch, these are crisp shirts that will look polished tucked or untucked, buttoned up or the neck open, sleeves down or rolled up.

What makes The Shirt unique is the double-layer placket down the front. Between the traditional buttons, there is a smaller button that has a buttonhole only go through the bottom layer of the placket. This keeps the shirt closed even across the bust while maintaining a classic shirt effect. The Shirt patented this No-Gape Button Technology and I must say it’s pretty brilliant.

How Does The Short Sleeve Shirt Fit?

woman in black button front shirt with sleeves that end right at the elbow

Lisa specifically asked about this style of The Shirt. She noticed in the promotional photo for it that the sleeve was quite snug on the slim model. She wondered if that was styling/pinning it for a slim fit or if the shirt sleeve was truly that snug. As someone who has always had arms a bit snug in shirts, I chose to try this shirt in XXL which is a 16. The Short Sleeve Shirt in black is 75% cotton, 20% polyamide, and 5% elastin and made in Portugal.

The XXL is too big for me. It fits, but not the way it’s supposed to. The shoulder seams are dropped, the back buckles above my rear, and the front hangs practically straight from my bust making it hang away from my body like a tent. That being said, the sleeves are extremely snug at the cuff. So snug, it’s uncomfortable when I bend my arms. I doubt I’d be able to slide a smaller sized shirt over my elbows. This is unfortunate as many women who were born with large breasts have fuller upper arms; I can’t imagine this shirt, especially in larger sizes, fits well on busty people.

How does The Icon Shirt Fit?

woman in pink and orange floral button front long sleeved shirt smiling at the camera with one hand in the front pocket of her white jeans

The Icon Shirt is long-sleeved; I chose to get it in Black Floral which is more of a pink and orange floral with a hint of black peeking out between the blooms. I picked this shirt to get a good gauge of the collection and to see if the sleeves fit differently. The Icon Shirt is 97% cotton and 3% spandex and is also made in Portugal. It feels a bit heavier and stiffer than The Short Sleeve Shirt. For this shirt, I chose an XL.

I am an XL. This shirt fit far better than the Short Sleeved Shirt. The shoulders were in the right place, the back didn’t buckle, the shirt skimmed my curves showing my shape, yet it didn’t pull across the bust. That being said, the sleeves were again too slim. They were very fitted, straining when I bent my arms (thank goodness for the stretch), and downright uncomfortable when the sleeve was rolled up.

Speaking of which, as a petite woman, I found the sleeves way too long. However, the sleeves have a single button on the cuff making it easier to have The Shirt altered by a tailor. I also found the collar too high for my petite self, the edges constantly brushing my jaw.

The Shirt by Rochelle Behrens Review

I think The Shirt by Rochelle Behrens is worth the hype. The quality of the fabric and the construction is excellent. The variety of styles, colors, and prints is perfect for a traditional as well as a creative workplace. The No-Gape Button Technology is genius and truly does keep your shirt from popping open without any visible details or need for gadgets.

However, The Shirt may not be the best choice for those who are petite. The sleeves are too long, the shirt doesn’t curve in at the back in the correct place, and the collar sits too high for a shorter neck.

The Shirt is not the best choice for those with larger upper arms. While The Icon Shirt was snug yet fit, The Short Sleeved Shirt was visibly too small and uncomfortable when the elbow was bent.

Unfortunately, The Shirt is only available in sizes 0-16 and there are no petite or tall options.  You can find The Shirt's size chart at this link.

Where To Buy The Shirt by Rochelle Behrens?

The Shirt is available at the-shirt.com. This is where you will find the largest selection of styles, colors, and prints. The-Shirt.com also has extensive customer reviews to help you find the right size and style for your figure. The Shirt is also sold at Simply Soles and Tuckernuck (this is the only affiliate link on this page; this link shares how do blogs make money).

What is The Shirt’s Return Policy?

Shipping is free on all US orders. Returns are a breeze with The Shirt as long as the shirt is in saleable condition with tags still attached. I went to the-shirt.com/returns, entered my order number and zip code, selected which items from the order to return, and a label was created that I could print out at home. To use their mailing label, $4 will be deducted from your return. Returns are processed within 2-3 days after they have received the order back.

Exchanges are easy and free; email The Shirt at hello@the-shirt.com to get the process started.

Does The Shirt Ship Internationally?

Yes, The Shirt does ship outside the United States. Shipping fees are determined by the shipping service, the weight of the package, and what country you live in.

Have you tried The Shirt? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments; please share some details about your size so your feedback can assist other Wardrobe Oxygen readers in deciding if The Shirt is right for them and what size or style may be best!

10 Comments

  1. Melissa
    July 25, 2019 / 4:42 pm

    Great review. I will never understand why some manufacturers skimp in the arms. So frustrating.

  2. Katarina Köster
    July 25, 2019 / 4:25 pm

    Have you ever checked out the Bravissimo brand dedicated to women with bra size D and above? It’s a UK company but they have a US site, just like Boden. Unfortunately, they don’t go up to plus sizing but do have some XXL items.

    https://www.bravissimo.com/us/

  3. sandra mccarthy
    July 25, 2019 / 1:51 pm

    Thanks for the review – always a struggle finding a good fitting button down shirt when larger busted and even more so for us Petites …. that being said Boden used to over on it’s shirtdresses – the no gap button system and it was wonderful – however this year I’m pretty sure they changed that up – likely in a corner cutting effort. That became the end of my Boden shirtdress obsession.

  4. Lisa Ginn
    July 24, 2019 / 11:39 pm

    How can I thank you enough!!! It won’t work for me with my arms, but I am thankful for the review. Sorry it didn’t work for you either!! Thanks for saving me money!

  5. Paige
    July 24, 2019 / 3:41 pm

    Glad it worked for you. Bought one per sizing suggestions thinking ‘this is IT, finally a shirt that will fit! I’m 5’4. 155 and 32DDD. Nope, was like a sack. Was soooo disappointed.

  6. Bette
    July 24, 2019 / 2:07 pm

    I don’t think this blouse was designed for busty women, contrary to several comments. Apparently, non-busty women have problems with blouses gaping, at least that’s the conclusion I draw from visiting their website, where I saw nothing but size 0, relatively flat-chested models.

    With that out of the way (!), I’ll say I always just stitch the blouse closed between the two offending buttons. It takes about a minute. Yes, I then have to take the blouse off over my head. It’s no big deal.

    • Téa
      July 25, 2019 / 5:07 pm

      I do the same thing!!

  7. Nebraskim
    July 24, 2019 / 11:49 am

    I had not heard of this brand but I appreciate the review. Even from the pictures, one can tell these are well-made of nicer fabrics. My problem on shirts is that I do have large upper arms but I am also very small breasted. Shirts that fit my upper arms are always too blousey in the bust. I never wear sleeveless so I purchase shirts to fit my arms and then “deal” with the blousey fit in the bodice.

  8. Melanie
    July 24, 2019 / 11:31 am

    I was so excited by this review until I got to the part about size 0-16 only. I might fit a 16, but generally order a size up because I like a looser fit. Why would you make a shirt for large-busts and not make a plus size?????

  9. Samantha P
    July 24, 2019 / 9:02 am

    I haven’t looked into the no-gape patent on this shirt, but Old Navy has been doing an inner button on their no-gape shirts for years. Obviously the quality is fairly poor with ON, but I appreciated when it was released because it really does make a difference for us bustier women!

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