Of all the trials and tribulations being a queer and/or trans person with a large chest, shopping for affirming shirts can be its own kind of hell. The trendy “androgynous” brands cost more than your car insurance. The best thrift stores never have fitting rooms. And supporting fast fashion sends you into an existential crisis about ethical consumption under capitalism and whatever else pretentious people talk about on Twitter.
All the while, you’re naked. Maybe in your binder. Trying to find some damn clothes to wear to your Kate Bush tribute night or whatever queer event is on your schedule. You want clothes that fit. Clothes that feel good physically and emotionally. Outfits make you feel a little bit more like yourself, and hopefully don’t make you want to jump in the Arctic Ocean.
While shopping for button-up shirts for large chests comes with hurdles, it also comes with community. Sure, in this moment, you may be literally alone in the Gap in your hometown, feverishly looking for a top that doesn’t make you look like you’re wearing a sexy librarian Halloween costume. But in the bigger picture, you aren’t alone in trying to find “men’s” wear or general “androgynous” clothes for larger chests. You have me, for one. And my friends (both actual and randos on Instagram) whom I heckled into giving me quotes for this article. And if you need some extra inspiration, you have #transstyle on Instagram , which is worth the follow.
While we aren’t literally with you in the store, know that we’re with you in spirit. Telling you that you deserve to feel good in your body. That clothes do not have to be a punishment. And that so often, the answer is just going up a size and figuring out some sort of cool-guy half-tuck situation. That, or leaving the store to go buy a hot pretzel and listen to SOPHIE.
Though it feels like finding a genderless needle in a haystack, I promise there are shirts for large chests out there. And if you’re in the market for a button-up shirt that doesn’t make your arms feel like stuffed sausages, doesn’t billow over you like a high-low dress from 2016 or do the damn button gap thing, I talked to some queer and/or trans people about their favorite places to shop for shirts and rounded up some fun options for you.
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