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Androgynous formalwear for teen

(18 Posts)
Saracen Fri 28-Nov-14 23:23:25

My daughter is going to a friend's 16th birthday party, to be held at home in the evening. The invitation specifies "formal": friend has always loved dressing-up, and what better excuse to get glamorous!! I expect she and the other girls will be wearing evening dresses. Dd has been thinking about gender identity and conformity and has said that for some years now she has felt very uncomfortable and "not herself" in a dress, especially a formal one. Last party (smart but not formal), she crept off to the loo halfway through and changed from her dress back into jeans and baggy t-shirt, and felt embarrassed about having done so.

I observed that for certain occasions (e.g. if you're a bridesmaid who is asked to wear a particular outfit) you just have to suck it up and conform in order to please your host, but this doesn't seem to be such an occasion. Dd says that the birthday girl is unlikely to be offended no matter what dd wears, so long as she makes a good faith effort. Her friends are all quite cool, and I don't anticipate anybody would make a fuss unless dd turned up in ancient jeans because she couldn't be bothered to dress up.

So this could be a good opportunity for dd to be herself, but it's tricky. I suggested a tux, but that didn't appeal. 1) She doesn't want to look like a man either. She dislikes the polarisation of gender roles. 2) I suppose it's difficult to buy a tux that would fit her curves?

Any ideas?

ClearlyMoo Fri 28-Nov-14 23:30:56

What about black trousers and a "Chinese" style shirt with black collar... Kind of what you see waiting staff at posh events wear... (And beauty therapists), but I've seen both men and women dressed that way and it would bring out her natural beauty/handsomeness as I think they can be rather flattering. Plus a bit different without being garish or flamboyant.

ClearlyMoo Fri 28-Nov-14 23:40:57

A bit of googling

with embroidery

beauty therapist

Mens Casual Formal Single Cuffs Low Asian Style Grandad Collar Shirt UK SIZE grandad collar shirt

TheAwfulDaughter Fri 28-Nov-14 23:43:57

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

TweeAintMee Fri 28-Nov-14 23:46:30

So if she's curvy - how about high waisted long trousers with wide bell bottoms (pref with turn up). Maybe braces, over a smart silk or white or gold green but definitely plain shirt. Jazzy bits might include cool cufflink style buttons.

Very cool flats on the feet.

Go for chic elegance with some subtle pazzazz.

TheAwfulDaughter Fri 28-Nov-14 23:46:46

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Lucked Sat 29-Nov-14 00:15:05

Although it's not something a boy could wear some of the jumpsuits around at the moment have masculine lines. I also think it won't be out of place with girls wearing dresses.

Have a look a next they do a tux jumpsuit.

Saracen Sat 29-Nov-14 00:21:30

Thanks guys, some great ideas there!!! I think she might well go for the Chinese shirt. She was eyeing up something similar (but less fancy) in the charity shop today while I successfully refrained from saying she'd look like a waiter!! The beautician's tunic looks appealing too.

Dd's male cousin wore something similar to a formal event a few years ago. Personally I did think he looked like a waiter, but dd has better fashion sense and would do a good job of glamming it up with jewelry or some sparkly shoes.

I'll show her tomorrow.

Saracen Sat 29-Nov-14 00:27:51

Oo yes Lucked, the tuxedo jumpsuits look promising. She'd like that if she could find one which is not too low-cut. She's quite modest, and showing off cleavage is a bugbear of hers.

myotherusernameisbetter Sat 29-Nov-14 00:30:30

I'd go for a fitted black trouser suit but with only underwear under the jacket to give it a feminine look.

something like this (2nd picture in):

or maybe like this:

or something like this would be stunning with fitted black trousers or even jeans or loose floaty trousers:

dalekanium Sat 29-Nov-14 00:32:45

Love this thread.

I'm 40 but hate dresses. I got invites to a couple of formal work events, and felt really uncomfortable in a ballgown.

I think if I go to this kind of think in future I might opt for something similar.

Thanks OP And OPs daughter!

catsofa Sat 29-Nov-14 00:34:19

A suit might be a good investment, I'm thinking something like they do in Next or similar, which you might wear to a job interview?

The jacket could be worn with jeans for a less formal but still cool and made-an-effort look, or with the matching trousers and a shirt for formal occasions and actual job interviews, or with the trousers, a coloured top and some funky beads for something in-between like maybe this party.

A cut like this would be easy enough to wear and could be worn with the kind of shoes she might go for - not high heels but something practical and smart, e.g. Kickers or Doc Martens or something?

burnishedsilver Sat 29-Nov-14 01:01:27

Mint Velvet isn't a brand you'd usually pick for a 16 year old but it might work.

Superherosidekick Sat 29-Nov-14 09:37:05

New look have a wrap front jumpsuit in black it's not too low at front but she could always wear a cami top underneath. It's £35

EduCated Sat 29-Nov-14 09:42:53

River Island 1

Ruver Island 2

EduCated Sat 29-Nov-14 09:47:05

Too much cleavage?

ClearlyMoo Sat 29-Nov-14 12:19:51

Times Magazine today... Is all about the Lady Tuxes!

Saracen Mon 01-Dec-14 21:13:39

Thanks for all the fabulous links! She's intrigued and feeling less at sea now.

The Chinese shirts hit the spot and I think she'll go with those, if not for this occasion then for another time. She's delighted to find something really smart which isn't super low-cut.

I think I'll leave it with her now.

You've all been fantastic.

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