Jerry Seinfeld explored the infamous shirt fastener once, saying,
The second button literally makes or breaks the shirt. Look at it, it’s too high, it’s in no-mans-land. You look like you live with your mother!
And, of course, Jerry was waxing poetic about men’s shirts and the way they show how loose or uptight a gentleman is; however, a man's second-button struggle has nothing on a girl's second-button dilemma.
For women, it’s not merely an expression of personality, but a means of not expressing her chest.
You might think to yourself: “Gee, what’s so special about that one? What singles it out from the first one or the third? Why would you pick on that one in particular?! You’re clearly just being cruel and unfair.”
Well, thank you, zealous shirt activists, for your concerns, but the second button has long been the bane of my existence since I sprouted breasts in sophomore year (more embarrassingly for me, that’s sophomore year... of college, but I’m sure it was high school for the rest of you).
Ladies with significant busts will have to agree, there is nothing more frustrating than your daily negotiations with this seemingly insignificant piece of plastic and thread.
1. There will always be a gap where the fabric stretches, giving a perfect side view of your bra.
Sitting next to you must be a sport. Attempting to avoid displaying the tops of your breasts is a struggle you can’t often win, but you and your shirt compromise with a clear side-eye view to your bra.
So long as you greet everyone head on, it isn’t a problem; however, unfortunately, we’re not entirely 2-D and your bras filter their way into everyday, water-cooler conversation.
2. You unbutton it because it looks awkward, and then you just have a mess of cleavage.
For the more brazen women who find the side-eye pocket more awkward than full-on cleavage, good luck keeping anyone’s eyes up here, mister (or miss, if we’re being honest.)
Sure, showing off your pneumatic assets might be your prerogative on a Friday evening, but even you catch yourself staring on a dreary Monday morning.
3. You’re forced to buy a larger size to accommodate your lady lumps, and then you swim in it all day.
So you start thinking ahead — trawling the stores for mediums, larges and extra-larges in an attempt to avoid the dreaded problem altogether. Your quest seems successful: Your boobs rest safely under cloth with no extraneous eyes on them.
The minor problem of the shirt not fitting anywhere else persists, though — and either you’re swimming in fabric or constantly adjusting and readjusting so you don’t look like you’re dressed in your boyfriend’s best morning-after garb.
4. You spend most of your day adjusting your shirt so you don't offer up your girls on a silver platter.
You duck into the bathroom to re-tuck. You hold your shoulders a certain way so the button strip temporarily covers the sneak peek. You pull it up, you tug it down, you throw on a sweater — anything to keep the knockers in check.
You spend half your workday wishing you wore something else and the other half talking about it. Your coworkers reciprocate with “I’M SO SORRY YOU HAVE BEAUTIFUL, BIG BREASTS” — and, yet again, no one understands your struggle.
5. At any given moment, your shirt can burst open and you might not notice… for hours.
There’s nothing better than the moment you look down to realize your shirt is wide open with little-to-no understanding of when it happened. Was it five minutes or five hours ago?! Was it while you were deep in conversation with your bestie or your boss?
And, most importantly, did it happen when you were talking to your crush from accounting? (Jury’s out if you want that to be yay or nay.)
6. You get wrinkles from where the shirt strains to keep you in.
You already understand how to work an iron; hell, if you’re like me, you use your flat iron (or shower steam, depending on just how lazy I’m feeling).
So the awkward wrinkles of a shirt strained on your boobs isn’t making your last-minute-sh*t-I-don’t-have-anything-to-wear realization any easier.
7. You automatically look like you’re just doing a slutty version of sophisticated.
It’s just like Halloween: It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to look presentable, your cleavage just makes you look like a “Slutty [insert respectable profession here].”
It’s not your fault anything form-fitting automatically takes a turn for the sexual the second you put your curves into it. Business clothes just make you look like a stripper (and sometimes you’re OK with that).
8. You're forced to wear an undershirt, even in 90-degree weather.
As if the inconsistent temperature in your office isn't already a consistent problem, throwing another layer into the mix is just about as fun as a wedding with a cash bar.
Bundling your bosom isn't ideal in any weather; it's just nice to let the ladies breathe.
9. You can't get excited about anything because moving your arms is a no-go.
You're the Aubrey Plaza of the office just because any bit of excitement, or tiny movement, in general, will have your shirt split in half.
No news is good news when you're trying to keep your clothes on at 9 am.
10. Your button has popped off more times than a "Real Housewives" episode.
You've got a ton of shirts with off-colored buttons from botched sewing jobs. Your pockets are lined with lost-shirt fasteners you promised yourself you'd re-attach.
You've launched buttons across tables and rooms with a-tad-too-enthusiastic stretching. Somehow the second button not existing doesn't solve the eternal struggle, either.
11. No matter what, at the end of the day, you look like The Hulk.
You might not be green, but the end of any given workday leaves you stressed and semi-disrobed, breathing heavily with your buttons undone.
Hey, there are worse comparisons to be made — you’re brilliant and strong and, of course — occasionally, you black out.