Dressing up! Difficulty level: girl who hates girly things
July 20, 2013 9:26 AM   Subscribe

I need to go to a wedding in 2 weeks. I own no clothes except jeans & shorts. I'm 25. I haven't worn a skirt or anything since I was 15, and it was awful then. But I would like to wear clothes that are awesome. I really like this pinboard, and in particular this outfit, though with less pattern & scarf. Basically I've been looking enviously at awesome lesbian wedding pictures. Where should I shop? What should I buy? I am totally at a loss.

I own grey pants that fit me. I'm 5'11, so I have some trouble buying shirts that are not too short. I tried a couple of weeks ago to go shopping and buy a shirt and a vest, but I found nothing except men's vests. Do they not sell men's clothes for women anywhere? Is this not a thing? Is this why all the clothes on that pinboard are custom made? HELP. I am probably capable of buying a shirt that fits me.

I live in Montréal, in Canada. Where can I find these things? I have a more or less unlimited amount of money, but I've never spent more than $40 on a piece of clothing.

I don't think the wedding will be super formal. They are pretty laid-back people and I think they just want people to wear clothes that they feel good in and have fun.
posted by oranger to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
There were vests for women at pretty much every store that sold classic women's suits a couple years ago but they seem to be out right now. Of course that means they are still around if you are willing to look at used clothing stores or ebay. For example.

A men's vest probably will be very boxy but I bet any store would sell it to you. You might be able to get it tailored in 2 weeks.
posted by steinwald at 9:56 AM on July 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

Hi. You're me (kinda).

Take yourself to thrift stores and try on all the men's clothes. Bring your grey pants that fit.

Buy big, buy cheap and spend the actual money on a tailor to resize the thrift clothes into your shape.

When you find a blazer or waistcoat that fits and suits, consider getting the lining replaced into something silken and snazzy (you can then wear the waistcoat open and it looks really spiffy). Extra spiffiness if you wear a cravat of the same lining!

Think about changing buttons - esp. on men's shirts

Honestly, I would then buy any accessories (scarves, shoes etc) at *women's* clothing shops to balance that slick style on your pinboards.

If all else fails, there are online retails of androgynous clothing. VEEA Androgynous Fashion are worthy a peek!
posted by Chorus at 9:58 AM on July 20, 2013 [5 favorites]

You should be able to get men's shirts tailored pretty easily, as it's mainly a matter of putting in bust darts (so getting them sliiiightly roomy is a good idea), and the length will definitely be fine. As a fellow 5'11" woman, yeah, the only women's store I ever found button-up shirts long enough was Esprit. They have some more structural (i.e. not super-short or curvy) blazers at the moment that might suit you as well.

Seconding Chorus' ideas too.
posted by fraula at 10:02 AM on July 20, 2013

Here are some more vests.
posted by steinwald at 10:03 AM on July 20, 2013

I think you will have to stick with online shopping if you don't want to fuss with tailoring.

I found this at Le Chateau but it is in the outlet, whatever that means, so am not sure you will be able to find it in store to try in person. Which is a bummer because apparently outlet items are final sale :/

The Limited ships to Canada - I actually really love the second outfit (the vest with the printed tee, skinny black pant, and bootie is super chic)

If you are US size 6, there is this at ASOS
posted by kitkatcathy at 10:06 AM on July 20, 2013

Oh, and there's also this place that sells victorian and steampunk clothing.
posted by steinwald at 10:11 AM on July 20, 2013

Chorus gave you some great, fun suggestions. Love the idea of swapping out the buttons and the vest lining for that "pop" of style.

If you're unable to find anything on short notice at a thrift shop in time to turn around the tailoring part of the task, think about buying the shirt and vest at a higher-end men's store. They usually have tailors on staff that can do quick turnarounds. It won't be cheap, but you'll come away with a quality outfit that you can wear for a long time.
posted by nacho fries at 10:24 AM on July 20, 2013

Look for a retailer that carriers Foxcroft shirts. They make nice button-down/dress shirts in nifty patterns. They seem to have plenty of 3/4 sleeves which would be easier to fit if your arms are long.
posted by vespabelle at 11:08 AM on July 20, 2013

Your pinboard reminded me a lot of Ellen Degeneres. I did some google searches about how to dress like Ellen, and there were some good ideas.

- Buy vests in from suit stores (like Brooks Brothers) in boys sizes. (Sites say that they are used to women coming in to buy boys sizes)
- There is an entire website dedicated to women who prefer men's style: Dapper Q
- Ellen even has her own mini wardrobe blog

- I didn't read this last piece of advice online; it's my own personal advice. Try a personal stylist at a high end department store. It usually doesn't cost anything to try them, and they will be able to dress for your size without you having to scour racks to try to find something. They can also give great advice about how to tailor things.
posted by frizz at 11:09 AM on July 20, 2013

For shirts you could try American Apparel. This looks like it could work. The unisex oxfords also seem nice and long. Or maybe H+M. You have to dig a bit, but they do have some androgynous stuff. My (female) partner has picked up a couple of their men's jackets.

The vest is hard. Maybe it's the time of year. Here's a linen boyfriend jacket at the Bay, in a longer length. The logo might be a bit much though.

If you go the thrift store route, try the Villages des Valeurs at Namur metro. There's a le Chateau Entrepot right there as well, so maybe you'll get lucky at one place or the other.
posted by Cuke at 12:21 PM on July 20, 2013

What size are you, because you have "model height"?

I have a more or less unlimited amount of money, but I've never spent more than $40 on a piece of clothing.

Maybe you need to go to more high end stores, and tell them to dress you. They are professionals and would love to do it for someone like you.

Good luck.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:32 PM on July 20, 2013

Thanks for all the answers so far! I went to some thrift stores today, but haven't found anything yet. Still looking!

I'm a size 8 or 10 or 12 or something. Not model sized, I think =)
posted by oranger at 9:48 PM on July 20, 2013

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