Qweary: How to Wear Androgynous Button-ups and Jackets with a Large Chest?
Anonymous asked: "I really like a lot of the looks on here that combine wardrobe elements like button downs and suit vests.
"Sort of a casual dapper aesthetic. However, my size 30E boobs make this a bit difficult. Most of the style inspirations have a much more androgynous body type than I. How do I make it work?”
For many mainstream media outlets and queer fashion blogs out there, androgynous = skinny. However, us Qwears know this is not the case, and you should never let a larger chest get in the way of your style. With some easy tips a bit of tailoring, you'll be ready to go.
Buy a button up that fits over your chest (and hips) without any pulling across the chest. Bring it to your handy friend/ neighborhood tailor, and have them fit it to you. If you want to achieve a mostly boxy look, bring the shirt in at the sides below your chest and tailor it to your body. The amount of room you prefer differs from person to person, but I'd say that most people tend to make it too tight if they've been used to tight styles in the women's department. Men's clothing is made to be comfortable and give you room to breath. If your tailor is unfamiliar with the Qwears, explain to them that you do NOT want to add darts, but rather keep it a men's style shirt. While you're there, you can adjust the sleeve length, width, and shirt length to best fit you. You'd be amazed at how bringing a sleeve up a little bit can dramatically improve the fit of the shirt. Finally, you may choose to add a hidden button or clip over your chest to further alleviate openings.
By the way, if you can afford it, queer companies like Saint Harridan, Kipper Clothiers, Bindle & Keep, Androgyny, and Sharpe Suiting are specialists in creating masculine or androgynous clothing for queer bodies. Saint Harridan in particular celebrates body diversity as part of their company values. I've also had good experiences with Ratio Clothing, Blank Label, and Indochino.
Next for the suit jacket. Pick out a suit jacket that doesn't create any tugging over your chest. I'd recommend a jacket with at least two buttons. Most men's suit vests have buttons below the chest. Have a tailor or handy friend move the button up to create the least amount of awkwardness around your chest. (Thanks for the idea, Daniel/ Bindle & Keep!) When you wear it, make sure you cut the vent in the back (many people don't know this) and leave the bottom button UNBUTTONED. Not only is this the custom across the board, but it will prevent extra pulling at the hips and keep your androgynous needs in mind.
See related articles under tailoring.