flannel eye for the tiny, squishy guy
January 9, 2015 9:01 AM   Subscribe

I would like some basic, dude-styled flannel button up shirts. I'm a short, small-framed queer person who stores weight in my chest. "Men's" flannels are generally too large; "women's" often have girly details like darts and little wee pockets and dainty buttons; "boy's" would be perfect but the sleeves are invariably too short. Do you have a body like mine and a basic flannel you love? Where did you buy it?

I'm five foot one and not especially thin. I don't bind. I don't mind what section you bought it from, I wear everything if I think it will fit.

I know there's queer-friendly fashion labels that do exactly this but I'm looking more for stuff I can find on sale and in thrift stores, not spend $150 on, unfortunately.
posted by Juliet Banana to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (26 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have a body like yours, but I do have a hard to fit frame (giant tall cis dude who is not especially thin but not huge). I have found Lands End flannels to be very nice and reasonably priced. I have had very good luck with the Lands End Men's flannels in tall, sizing down one. Even if you don't have particularly long arms, this may be a good strategy. For instance, if you would typically be a men's size L, try a medium tall. They also have a "tailored fit" - a medium tall tailored fit might be worth a shot. Plus, Lands End has frequent sales and you can return their stuff to Sears.

Also, you probably know this, but it's pretty easy to take in a shirt at the waist by pulling in fabric along the seams and arms. This is usually a $10 job and almost any dry cleaner that does light alterations could do it for you.
posted by rossination at 9:15 AM on January 9, 2015

Duluth Trading might have something that would work.
posted by goggie at 9:19 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Have you tried looking for very simple women's flannels? As a cis woman I find Uniqlo's flannel shirts to be somewhat boxy and too masculine for my taste, so it might suit you. How about LL Bean's Scotch Plaid Shirt or Eddie Bauer's Expedition Plaid Shirt (has chest pockets, but they're nondescript and not necessarily a women's specific design detail)? You can also try J.Crew mens' maybe, although they run somewhat pricey (in the $60-80 range probably).

I'd look at outdoorsy retailers/brands (REI?) for women's flannels that don't have chest pockets or have chest pockets with a matching plaid print that lines up exactly with the rest of the shirt.
posted by serelliya at 9:25 AM on January 9, 2015 [5 favorites]

American Apparel?
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:25 AM on January 9, 2015

I have a size small (men's) plaid flannel shirt that I got at a clothing swap that fits me quite well. The brand name is "Dressman" which unfortunately seems to be a European company. Also, full disclosure, I think the particular shirt I have may be quite old.

I'm 5'4 and 135-40 lbs and fairly curvy (32D and I do not bind at all ever). I'm not sure if I have long arms but the sleeves on women's petites are usually too short on me. Most men's shirts' sleeves are a bit too long on me, though I find enough that aren't (in thrift stores) that I have a small collection of them. (American Eagle size XS and H&M size Small, though I don't know if either of those companies make flannels.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 9:26 AM on January 9, 2015

Haven't bought tops there myself, just jeans, but some of the stuff at Dickie's seems like it might fit your criteria.
posted by Diablevert at 9:34 AM on January 9, 2015

I second Uniqlo's womens flannel shirts, they are boxy (no darts, I think) and I am very satisfied with them. Compared to the men's shirts the fabric is a little thinner, though. I've also only had my two for a couple months so I am not sure how they hold up.
posted by anthropophagous at 9:37 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

My favorite flannels are from Lucky Brand but I found them at TJMaxx. But I like them enough that I may buy more direct from them in future. I just went to their website and they appear to call them Boyfriend flannels which surprises me because their staff and clientele in NYC seem to trend queer, but I find the actual cut and fit to be androgynous enough to feel comfortable wearing them. They're really just flannel shirts that happen to be cut to a female form (no darting just not enormous) and have two pockets instead of a male one. They're fairly basic and soft and comfortable. I am a tall-ish person so YMMV on the fit in the smaller sizes.

Google image search for lucky brand flannel for reference.
posted by edbles at 9:50 AM on January 9, 2015

I find that the men's clothing at Uniqlo, H&M, and Forever 21 is sized much smaller than in most stores, and more and more I'm heading there for menswear-styled items rather than getting those women's flannels with the dainty buttons and such (which are inevitably more expensive than the male equivalent and tend to come in only the most insipid of colors).

That said, I'm not in any way attempting to pass, and I carry weight more in my hips so generally don't have issues with button gapping.
posted by Sara C. at 9:50 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

We're a similar size (as you know) and I'm currently wearing a men's size S flannel from Target. It's not bad, the sleeves are a bit bigger (like, wider/poofier) than a women's shirt would be but i actually feel like otherwise it's a decent size. When I bought this, Target had like 2 or 3 different racks of different brands/styles of flannels in the men's section - some too big/too thick for my tastes. But this Mossimo one is okay. There are front chest pockets, which are actually real pockets and not just decoration.
posted by misskaz at 10:22 AM on January 9, 2015

Seconding Target's Mossimo brand in the men's section. Also check out Carhartt's men's and women's line.
posted by danceswithlight at 10:34 AM on January 9, 2015

Best answer: I'll second the recommendation for Duluth Trading. It sounds like we're about the same size (I'm 5'2" and have more shoulders than chest, but it tends to change shirt-sizing in similarly annoying ways). I wear the XS from Duluth and it's great. If I wanted a more boxy fit, I think a S would be ok without the sleeves being too long. No darts or any silly extras because the shirt is actually made more for work than fashion. (Look for their "relaxed fit" shirts, their "natural fit" has the hip-flare thing that is the bane of my shirting existence.) My style is pretty masculine (think "tiny, androgynous, business casual grandpa") and other than the buttons being on the wrong side, Duluth has been a good resource. It looks like many colors are currently on sale right now, so it's also in budget for you to try out.

I wear Uniqlo men's XS slim shirts (sleeves are a tiny bit long) and have found that Gustin shirting is much shorter in the torso than other men's shirts which is basically perfect for me (I also wear an XS in their shirts). If you wait for Gustin to have a "leftovers" sale, they typically have lots of XS available and for a slightly lower-than-usual price.

Also rans include: JCrew (the torso length of their shirts is strangely long), The Gap (sleeves are long, the armholes are wide, XS sizing is inconsistent if you're buying online), Target Merona (also inconsistent in sizing and availability), and Banana Republic (XS isn't available in-store, only online).
posted by komlord at 10:37 AM on January 9, 2015

Have you thought about just rolling up the cuffs on a boys shirt to disguise their length? That look is a thing. Or wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt underneath and doing the same?
posted by desjardins at 10:38 AM on January 9, 2015

Do you have a body like mine and a basic flannel you love? Where did you buy it?

I'm 5' 2" and just came here to say what desjardins said. I roll up the sleeves, wear a long sleeved t-shirt (or a thermal shirt) underneath. It's a decent look. My favorite flannel right now is just your basic Land's End one. A lot of times those preppier stores won't make the ladies' style with all the frou-frou stuff so it's worth checking and also you can get petites which mean shorter shirts and wider around the middle.
posted by jessamyn at 10:42 AM on January 9, 2015

Response by poster: Have you thought about just rolling up the cuffs on a boys shirt to disguise their length?

Oh, I have so many boys sized shirts, and I deal with the sleeves in various ways (rolling up is one of them). I will continue to buy them in thrift stores, but I'd also like some shirts that actually fit me if I'm going to be spending more than $3, y'know? It's winter in Chicago and my wrists get cold!
posted by Juliet Banana at 10:56 AM on January 9, 2015

I'm a femme cis woman, but when I'm working on stuff around the house and yard, I'm working and need stuff that will hold up (and has real pockets), and is more functional than pretty. I'm not looking to be in a fashion ad, I'm looking for something that will hold up to construction and landscaping work. I really like Duluth Trading company, both the men's and women's styles, but I've noticed they don't do S in the men's styles. Women's styles aren't too frilly though, and work for me.
posted by RogueTech at 11:04 AM on January 9, 2015

I have a couple flannels. One is Element brand and is quite boxy (I personally like a more fitted cut). I wonder in general if the skater brands like from Zumiez (their flannels) or PacSun (their flannels) would be a better fit in the women's styles. I find that many of them don't have darts or don't have as many darts. Also Obey brand is cut more square as well. Also, in general the 90s looks are coming back which means less darts in some of the flannels I've seen lately. Even Forever21 has less fitted flannels. (I'm 5'4" so I get the sleeve length thing. I think women's would obviously hit the sleeve length requirement best.)
posted by Crystalinne at 11:17 AM on January 9, 2015

I like men's style flannels too, and I have had luck buying women's shirts without any fussy details from Patagonia and Muji. I also have a couple of unisex flannel shirts from American Apparel.
posted by veids at 11:18 AM on January 9, 2015

My husband just went on a binge purchase of these Marmot flannels. He's not your size (XL), but the way it fits on him seems like it would work well for you if you got a Small.
posted by waitangi at 11:19 AM on January 9, 2015

The Woolrich women's Pemberton shirt might work for you.
posted by Corvid at 11:32 AM on January 9, 2015

nthing Uniqlo's flannels, either from the women's or men's lines. I dress pretty casual and masculine (I work in forestry in Montana) and their flannels are perfect for me - well made, don't gap across the front even though I'm super busty but don't look too boxy when I button up, no feminine details, just a nice drape, good patterns, and classic fit. My partner has a bunch of their men's flannels and his flannels are basically indistinguishable from mine, except for the size and maybe a little bit of pocket detailing.
posted by dialetheia at 12:20 PM on January 9, 2015

I'm 5'3" and I dislike women's flannel shirts. I buy men's shirts from J.Crew/J.Crew Factory and American Eagle.
posted by keep it under cover at 1:36 PM on January 9, 2015

I should add that I have this Flapjack Shirt Jac and it's my favorite thing. Basically a flannel shirt that's got quilted insulation inside so it's more like a jacket. (Get it? Shirt Jac. They're so clever.) It's super windproof and I wear it for fair-but-cold weather bike commuting. It says "princess seams" but I can't figure that out, it doesn't actually appear to have them in any obvious way.
posted by komlord at 2:11 PM on January 9, 2015

I kind of desperately want the Carhartt Hamilton or maybe the Belton or Dodson to work for you. They all have pockets and I think the colors are a little twee though so maybe not. :(
posted by Snarl Furillo at 2:42 PM on January 9, 2015

Response by poster: I don't mind twee colors! Purple flannel is the flagging color for trans dudes in hankie code :)
posted by Juliet Banana at 2:52 PM on January 9, 2015 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: I ended up buying two shirts from Duluth Trading, I'll let y'all know how they work out!
posted by Juliet Banana at 9:01 AM on January 13, 2015

« Older How best to manage this work problem   |   Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun.. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.