Better Clothing Style?
March 14, 2006 6:31 PM   Subscribe

Help dress a lesbian.

I need a new look but I don't know where to start. I'm in my early 20s, and my wardrobe has always pretty much consisted of baggy jeans, teeshirts, and sweatshirts. It's comfortable, but not very flattering.

I prefer men's clothing, but no one really makes it in my size (I'm 5'5 and 110). I've had some okay luck with American Apparel for shirts since they make XS/XXS, but other than that I have no ideas. I've tried looking into boy's clothing, but the colors and styles aren't really appealing. Any ideas on where I can get some nicer looking clothing that is both in my size and somewhat affordable?
posted by Orrorin to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
your profile says you live in santa cruz.
if you visit san francisco, stop by venus superstar on sutter st.
the owner there gets unique stuff from london and ireland. call in advance to make sure the store is open as the owner frequently travels. most of the stuff they carry is not something you see in other stores and not very feminine (though, some are). i got this military-looking jacket for under 40 bucks.

another place to check out is R.A.G in hayes valley. R.A.G stands for Residents Apparel Gallery and the store carries things made by local designers.
If you like stuff there, you should also check out stitch which also offers classes on making clothes.

you might also want to check out crossroad on market/church - that place is like a treasure box.
posted by grafholic at 6:42 PM on March 14, 2006

Do you have a Boy's Co in Santa Cruz?

The one on Robson in Vancouver has lots of small (!) sized stuff to accomodate the more gracile Asian kids. I often see women shopping for boysclothes there for themselves.

Expensive, though.

Any local designers? (ie., art/design students starting up clothing companies, &c. There are quite a few boutiques in Vancouver that sells just that, hmm - any art/design schools in your area?)
posted by PurplePorpoise at 7:12 PM on March 14, 2006

I've found both Polo type shirts and Oxford (at least pink, and white) shirts w/blue jeans pretty darn flattering on the straight and bi women I've known. Without knowing anything else about you, I'd expect them to be flattering to you, too.
posted by kimota at 7:35 PM on March 14, 2006

If you're 5'5 and 110, you're the perfect size (I'm envious) for Abercrombie & Fitch stuff. They make boys cut jeans and cargo pants for women that are super comfortable but will be slimmer fitting than what you're used to, and therefore more flattering than the baggy jean variety. And not too expensive either.
posted by meerkatty at 7:36 PM on March 14, 2006

This article came out a little over a year ago: New label throws fashion a curve: Company makes clothes for women who prefer masculine style. I don't know the prices, or how the business has fared recently, but it looks interesting. They have a minimal website - phone and email, not much else.

Ditto on the Crossroads recommendation - I'm close to your size, and they've always had men's clothing that fits me OK. I go to the one in Berkeley - don't know if the Santa Cruz one would fit your needs.
posted by expialidocious at 7:53 PM on March 14, 2006

If you make it into San Francisco, check out MAC.

I don't really know if they're still around: this was the result of a google search. But if they are, they'll suit you right up with the most amazing stuff.

I'm too old and ugly now to dress smart, but these people (Ben and Chris: a brother-sister team) know what they're doing, and it's cheaper (though not by much) and way hipper than Saks.

MAC has moved around, so I'm not sure if this is the current location (if there even is a current location). But if you can find these people, they'll do you up right.
posted by trip and a half at 8:07 PM on March 14, 2006

I have a similar build to you. Try Diesel jeans because they fit beautifully and are very flattering (though quite expensive, and may be a bit girly for you). Also, try some fitted white shirts (as opposed to t-shirts) - they look great on shortish thin people.

Maybe try Carhaart women's jeans - they have quite a masculine cut and look awesome when turned up.

You could always buy a custom made t-shirt from Neighborhoodies - they use beautiful, soft American Apparel t-shirts, and you pick a colour and size and lettering.
posted by pollystark at 5:48 AM on March 15, 2006

Best answer: Try a workingman's store that stocks Dickies, Carhartts, and Ben Davis. The smallest Ben Davis might fit you- I have a pair and I'm not much bigger than you. I like this company because some of their clothes are still cut from the original 1930's patterns, so they have a sharp, clean look to them. Also, you might try thriftstores in Salinas and Watsonville- a larger proportion of those populations go to church, and so there are more adolescent boy-sized dress clothes in the thrift stores.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:59 PM on March 15, 2006

I feel you sister.

Just today I was griping about how anything that is "womens" athletic wear has pastel colors somewhere on it - or is covered in pastel flowers. But if you buy guys its all baggy and doesn't fit right. There is a revolution to be had here - we can't wear Ani Difranco T-shirts all the time.

The best dressed lesbian I know shops at savers - which is a thrift store here in Austin. She's even shorter and smaller than you and also prefers mens clothes. By going to a thrift store she can try stuff on, doesn't spend too much and can "play" with different things to get a stylish, masculine, yet flattering look.

I advise trying the thrift stores to find a style - take a friend who understands that you don't want to be girly - but that will push you just beyond your comfort zone. Besides - shopping is more fun with others.

Good Luck!
posted by jopreacher at 9:30 PM on March 15, 2006

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