Napa clothing line owner Chelsea Cortese has solved one of the most annoying wardrobe malfunctions experienced by women everywhere: the button-down boob gap.
You may not be familiar with the phrase, but women are most certainly familiar with the problem: the front buttons of a shirt pulling and stretching across the chest, creating a gap and exposing your bra.
Cortese’s new clothing line, Tukked, offers a permanent solution to this button-down debacle.
Tukked shirts are made with traditional classic shirt fabrics but are sewn shut from the chest line down, Cortese explained. The top three buttons are still usable, and there’s a zipper hidden in a center back seam.
“I have completely reconstructed the shirt to fit a woman’s body perfectly and to be functional and affordable,” Cortese said.
Cortese began developing the shirt in January 2018. The design, which is patent-pending, went through several different prototypes before Cortese felt the fit and the fabric was “perfect,” she said.
The bonus of the design, Cortese said, is the shirt fits both a woman’s waist and chest.
“Before my shirts, we had to choose one or the other—a shirt that fits your waist or a shirt that fits your chest. But now we can have both,” she said.
This past August, Tukked officially launched its website, where the entire collection is available for purchase.
“I did this to keep the prices affordable for my customers,” Cortese said. “Choosing not to wholesale them to other retail stores has allowed me to pass those savings onto my customers.”
Napa Valley residents, however, can also find Tukked shirts at two local retail locations owned by Cortese: I-ELLE in Yountville and Simplicity in Sonoma.
Tukked shirts are available in sizes XXS-3X, which converts to 0-20 in U.S. sizes, Cortese said. The sleeved version costs $89 and the sleeveless is $84. The shirts are made in China.
Currently, Tukked is focused solely on button-front shirts, but Cortese said she plans to expand on the idea.
“We have shirt dresses in development, as well as a cardigan/shirt combo,” she said.
The idea for Tukked came from Cortese’s personal struggle with the boob-gap issue — a problem most women experience regardless of their size.
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Tired of dealing with the “gap and pull at the chest line,” Cortese stopped wearing button-front shirts altogether.
“They were too much of a hassle to keep them closed,” she said.
One night, the idea for Tukked came to Cortese seemingly out of nowhere.
“I saw this vision in my head exactly the solution for this problem, and the very next day I hit the ground running and haven’t looked back since,” she said.
The original name for the business was “Perfectly Tucked,” but that all changed when Cortese hired her close friend and graphic designer Matt Valine to design a logo.
“He took my vision and put it into a brand name and design that I think is absolutely perfect,” Cortese said. “Having his creative genius on my team has really taken my branding to a whole new level, and we continue to work hand in hand on expanding the aesthetic of the Tukked brand.”
Cortese said the customer response to Tukked shirts has been “fantastic.”
“Women struggle with this every time they wear a button-front shirt, no matter their size,” she said. “Women are very excited to actually have a solution that works without compromising the integrity of the classic look of the shirt itself.”
Every season, Tukked will offer new design twists, as well as new colors and fabrics, but the foundation of the shirt will stay the same, Cortese said.
“I want women to feel confident and comfortable in their Tukked shirt and that will always be my driving force,” she said.
Cortese’s roots in the fashion industry run deep.
Her Yountville clothing store, I-ELLE, was originally owned by her mother, who created the clothing and accessories boutique in the late 1970s.
Working alongside her mother for most of her life, Cortese said she gained a “wealth of knowledge and understanding of fashion” that can’t be taught in a classroom.
“I have been in the trenches with my customers listening and absorbing their feedback on how clothes fit and what does and doesn’t work for them and have taken decades of knowledge and implemented that into all my designs,” Cortese said. “I now own and operate our retail stores with a staff of women who truly understand our legacy and are incredible assets to the success of the business.”
For details, call 1-844-4TUKKED or visit tukkedshirts.com