Queer eye for the straight(ish) girl.
March 2, 2013 9:30 AM   Subscribe

I've recently discovered that all I want out of life is to be able to dress like Jonny Lee Miller in Elementary. The trouble is, I'm a short curvy chick living in the UK. Androgynous/butch ladies (or dudes) of AskMe, can you help me achieve my dream?

Specifically, I'm looking for a place where I can find shirts like this and this in the UK (or online, with UK delivery). Everything I find is either too femme (has rhinestones glued to the front, is made out of sheer billowy material) or made for men, in which case it's totally the wrong shape. Am I looking in the wrong places? Halp.
posted by fight or flight to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Have you looked at men's shirt company's womens ranges? For instance here's one by Thomas Pink (expensive though). Could also try Charles Tyrwhitt (this one?). Amazon seems to have quite a few.
posted by crocomancer at 10:08 AM on March 2, 2013

Best answer: I'm a guy who likes to dress in a not dissimilar way - Whenever I go to muji I frequently almost buy something and then realise its a womens cut - they have some nice plain stuff on their website but usually more stuff in stores (if you are in london). Uniqlo also has nice plain checked shirts for girls. Old town do a variety of womenswear and are about as traditional as you get.

If you are looking to go more upmarket then brands you might want to look at are Margaret Howell, Oliver Spencer, Hartfords and A.P.C all of which are readily available in the UK.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 10:10 AM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: DapperQ had a post on Dress Shirts That Fit and the comments go on to suggest sources and brands, and I believe many are online with UK delivery.

They're also keeping on top of the movement for better fitting menswear for various body shapes. Androgyny is one company with international shipping that's mentioned, and they have a beautiful checked shirt. If you have time to poke around and look through some of the blogs linked and the street fashions featured, you may find more manufacturers to hunt down.
posted by peagood at 10:10 AM on March 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: My suggestion: Find yourself a thrift store with a good selection, and spend up to half an hour trying on men's & women's button-down shirts until you find something that's a) good quality material, b) not tight in the front, but c) fits in the shoulders and arms (at least by length). Spend no more than $10. Take it to a tailor or seamstress, with a picture or three of what you're going for. Now ask your tailor how you get the look you want - can they alter the shirt you've brought, or are their additional things you should be looking for in a shirt so that they can alter it economically to get what you're looking for? Either way, you're out less money and time than finding a nice new men's shirt that magically fits your lady-body.
posted by deludingmyself at 10:15 AM on March 2, 2013 [7 favorites]

Best answer: I can't guess if this price is right, and I'm not sure if I'm missing some femme styling, but what about stopping in at Brooks Brothers? They are a conservative clothing store, but they do nod to trends, like this vintage-ish print blouse or gingham print blouse?

Good luck! That look is really cute, and I hope you find what you need.
posted by bluedaisy at 11:23 AM on March 2, 2013

Response by poster: Oh man, peagood, I'm not going to lie, I took one look at that Angrogyny site and emitted a sort of dying whale noise of desire. So pretty.

All of these are great suggestions. I will investigate as many as I can. Thanks guys. :)
posted by fight or flight at 11:27 AM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Ooh. Yeah, if I had $150 to shell out on a shirt, those are pretty awesome-looking.

On the less expensive end, I've actually nabbed a few similar-looking shirts at H&M that have (to my surprise) held up really well over the past 3 years. On the other hand, every time I've had to actually buy something at an H&M the experience has been one of seemingly unending retail pain, so I'm not sure if I can recommend them on balance.
posted by deludingmyself at 1:19 PM on March 2, 2013

Best answer: I'm pretty busty with a short waist and wide hips, but if you're interested in waistcoats (or vests in the US), I've had good luck wearing unaltered men's waistcoats that I've bought second hand or stolen from my SO. I think that they must be cut fuller than men's shirts, obviously don't have shoulders (so not too big there), and are short enough so that my hips aren't a problem.
posted by jb at 1:25 PM on March 2, 2013

Best answer: The good news is that Sherlock's clothes go for a super-cute sort of "scruffy old professor who grew up on street punk" look, so I'm seconding the recommendation to take an afternoon to hit every thrift store in your area and look through the men's sections for shirts and vests you like. The bad news is, they probably won't fit correctly. Get them where they fit in the boobs and hips and are too big everywhere else. Then, yeah, take 'em to a cheap tailor. It shouldn't cost too much to have them altered-- even if the shirts are $5 a piece and the alterations are $35, you just got a custom fitted shirt for $35.

If you're like me, and have poor friends in the theater or costuming or fabric art business, you can ask them and work out a mutually beneficial arrangement where they get some much needed cash and you get some great shirts. You might even ask around at your local college's theater department if you can't find a tailor that's in your price range and that you like. And then, please, post pics! I too love how JLM dresses and would squeal to see a femme version.
posted by WidgetAlley at 6:18 PM on March 2, 2013

WidgetAlley, do you think boobs fit>shoulders fit? My default is making sure the shoulders fit first and foremost, but to be honest, that's leftover info from guy's sizing. I often find buttondowns that fit me pretty damn well, but then, I live in walkable thrifting central. (Ann Arbor! Who knew!)
posted by deludingmyself at 8:15 PM on March 2, 2013

Best answer: This place does the whole look-- suiting, vests, everything -- for women. No online retail presence yet, but they say it's in the works, so maybe signup to be notified: http://tomboytailors.com/
posted by pocketfullofrye at 8:18 PM on March 2, 2013

WidgetAlley, do you think boobs fit>shoulders fit? My default is making sure the shoulders fit first and foremost, but to be honest, that's leftover info from guy's sizing.

Hmm, I think that really depends on the build of the person. I have small boobs, so for me, shoulder fit is waaay more important, because you have more leeway taking fabric in than letting it out. So if the shoulders (and, on me, hips) fit, I can have the boobular area taken in, along with the waist. If you have a larger bustline, there's only so much leeway that a seam can give you in terms of letting it out for extra room (instead of taking it in.) On the other hand, if the shoulders are too big, that also can be difficult to fix depending on the cut of the shirt and the way the armholes are set and where it's too big.

But yes, you raise a really good point. In all honesty, if the poster has a costuming-inclined friend she could take along with an eye for what's going to be easy(ier) to alter, that would be best of all.
posted by WidgetAlley at 9:42 PM on March 2, 2013

Best answer: Oddly enough as a short and busty woman I've had good luck with Ben Sherman off-the-peg men's shirts (S), god knows how. Otherwise seconding, try a tailor.
posted by glasseyes at 2:48 AM on March 3, 2013

posted by mon-ma-tron at 10:41 AM on March 3, 2013

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