What if Button-Up Shirts Were Sized By Body Shape Instead of Gender?

Especially if you’re a person with an ample bust or hips, finding a comfortable button-down shirt can feel impossible. But one queer-run company is working to change that, and the convention of marketing clothing specifically as “men’s” or “womens,” with shirts cut for a variety of different body types.

Gender Free World — who note that “we are not saying we want a world without gender, only that it is unfair that gender can limit and restrict your choices” — offers long- and short-sleeved shirts in three fits: Alex, for people who need extra room in the hips, Billie, for the large-busted, and Charlie, for folks whose proportions are pretty straight up and down. Next, they’ll be launching the Drew fit for people with broad shoulders.

The shirts include a hidden button to counteract gaping at the chest, and are available in sizes 0 (UK 0/US 4/XXS) through 7 (UK 22/US 18/XXL). A representative for the company said that they hope to offer larger size options in the future, though patterns for those sizes are currently out of their financial reach.

There are, of course, the basics:


1. White Shirt 2. Black Shirt

Plus contrast-cuff options for the slightly more adventurous:
1. Gingham Shirt 2. Grey Shirt 3. Dolphin Shirt 4. Light Blue Shirt

And allover graphic prints for people like yours truly:
1. Bike Shirt 2. Bee Shirt 3. Lips Shirt 4. Penguin Shirt

GFW says their shirts “are made in London by skilled craftspeople paid a fair wage,” and as such, they mostly run between $60 and $70. Though the company is based in the UK, they do ship internationally. You can see all of their styles here.

Nora is a writer and shoot producer living in Brooklyn. Send her links to weird clothing and dog videos to nora [at] autostraddle [dot] com.

Nora has written 53 articles for us.

18 Comments

  1. this is a cool idea but gosh the audacity to have the header of your site be “Our Shirts Will Fit You” and then not go above an 18…like it’s quite possible I’d barely fit into the largest size but still I’m tired of companies who tout how inclusive they are using the “it’s too expensive to make clothes for fat people” argument

      • I buy most of my flannel shirts from the men’s section of hollister and American Eagle and other teen-mall stores. I’m about a size 14 and pretty busty, but they fit fine and look great. I got a shirt from Wildfang in the largest size and it didn’t come close to buttoning. I was so disappointed because I wanted to support a queer business with better business ethics, but there’s no way I could pull it off. I’m just not sure who they are making those shirts to fit.

    • Hi Mo. Sorry we don’t have your size. We don’t charge extra for the larger shirts that we make. We make 28 sizes/shapes for each shirt – that is a lot of variants…we would love to make additional larger sizes, but we are a tiny company and launched using our savings. If we get bigger, more things are possible. How about spreading the word, help us grow so that we can offer more. x

    • Hi Al. Our shirts are made in London in small volumes. We do not get them made in far eastern factories with sweatshop conditions and we do not benefit from the wholesale discounts on fabric that large retailers can. But hey, use code: firstorder to get 10% off. 🙂

  2. These shirts looks really cool. Here’s an idea for a post: Comparing the fits of various gender-free button ups. Like, for example, Peau de Loup shirts are a little bigger in the hip area than I would like (but are probably just right for others)! I love the Wildfang house brand button ups – the neck is just right for buttoning the top button. But the Kardo brand they carry is pretty tight in the arms (I have big arms). Etc, etc.

    I mean, I’d be totally willing to post my actual measurements and the measurements of these shirts and maybe others would do the same and it could be a helpful guide! Esp when you have to pay for international shipping.

  3. Lisa From GFW Clothing here. I’d like to address a couple of the comments.

    Firstly for those larger than our largest size. We make 28 sizes/shapes for each shirt – that is a lot of variants…more than any other store. We would love to make additional larger sizes, but we are a tiny company and launched using our savings, we are doing what we can given the restrictions we face.

    Secondly – about the cost of the shirts. Our shirts are made in London in small volumes. We do not get them made in far eastern factories with sweatshop conditions and we do not benefit from the wholesale discounts on fabric that large retailers can. But hey, use code: firstorder to get 10% off. ?

    If we get bigger, more things are possible. How about spreading the word, help us grow so that we can offer even more choices. x

  4. Looking on the website, the size chart seems to still split people by gender? About 50% of female bodies and some male bodies are the Charlie fit, apparently which is… not what I was expecting from a queer clothes shop advertising genderless clothes

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