Solids have gravitas. They are your most formal dress shirts, and also your most versatile. They don't seek attention, only to shed light on what's really important: you. And they're never concerned with pattern interference, so wear them with whichever trouser, jacket, or tie you want. The four traditional solids - white, light blue, French blue, and light pink - are the foundation of the masculine shirt rack because they really do look good on every complexion. If you are a Saint who wears a dress shirt to work every day, you can even stand to have a backup or two in your favorite solid colors.
Stripes are less formal than solids but remain within the realm of business and business casual attire. Stripes speak up at meetings, catch your eye in the hallway, and send the message that you’re willing to take risks within reasonable limits. Just be careful how you pair them. The safest bet is to wear your stripes with solid pants and jacket. You can add other patterns to your look, just don’t try to get too matchy matchy: you’re patterns must vary in size. If you’re shirt has pin stripes, make sure your tie stripes are wider. A striped shirt paired with the right argyle or paisley bow tie wins the stand-out-style prize any day.
When it comes to broadening your shirt repertoire, there's one thing to know about solids and stripes: they're both winners, but it helps to know when to wear which.
Do you know what we get to do every day? We get to watch people be their most vulnerable, most proud, most honest selves. We get to hand them a suit, tie a bow around their neck, and stand back. We get to bear witness as they look in the mirror and say, “This is who I am. This is what I intend. This is how you can address me. Understand me. Know me.”
This is the nature of our privilege here at Saint Harridan: we are honored - day after day - by the great magnitude of your trust. For this we are grateful.
And we are thinking of you today. Gathered with those you love and those who love you. Maybe they are your chosen family. Maybe they are the family that drives you crazy. Maybe they know how to accept you in all the ways that make you feel good and whole and worthy. Maybe they suck at it. But whoever they are, we are thinking of you. Knowing you are showing up with your sweet potatoes, or your cranberry chutney, or whatever the hell is on your platter - you are showing up as you.
And every time you show up, you require just a little more freedom, not just for you, but for all of us. You make just a little more room for each of us to be ourselves.
So thank you for the elbow room. And for the opportunity to be part of your personal revolution.
Peace to you and those around you,
Mary, Dom, Martha, & Liz
P.S. That's Liz's cranberry chutney simmering. It's going to be some tasty!
So let’s take a look at one of the elements of the masculine suit pattern that we’ve reconstructed.
We’ve narrowed the shoulder of our Lyon Jacket, so it fits most women and transmen as intended (the shoulder seam lines up with the edge of the bone at the tip of the shoulder), but the overall effect is far from narrowing. The Lyon Jacket is still constructed with the inner layers of chest “armor” and shoulder padding found in men’s jackets; the adjusted shoulder allows our customers to fit squarely into their jackets and rock the inflated muscular look without being swallowed by it.
Step Into the Revolution!
Trust us. When you put on this jacket, you’ll know what we mean by revolution.
You can order a jacket in any of our four standard fabrics right now. Or if you’re in the market for a full two-piece suit, you can experience our fine customer service in-a-box with the Order Online Guaranteed Fit Package. Either way, it’s going to feel extraordinary.
(And don’t worry, there’s more to say about why our suits fit so well off the rack. Watch this space.)
Our Parker Shirts come in dress shirt fabrics and pinpoint Oxford fabrics.
Can you tell which are which?
If you guessed shirts 2 and 4 are Oxfords - DING! DING! - you're right!
"But wait," you say. "How can you tell? They don't have that classic Oxford button-down-collar."
Good catch. Here's the scoop:
An Oxford shirt is defined by the fabric it's made out of, not the button down. The traditional Oxford is made from regular Oxford cloth (named after Oxford the school) with a heavier weave, in order to withstand endless hours of elbow-bending toil in the library stacks. Those shirts have the button down collar and aren't meant to be worn with a suit or even a jacket.
Our Oxfords, made from Pinpoint Oxford cloth, are a giant mother-may-I step up in quality from the traditional Oxfords, but are still meant to be "work shirts." The thicker weave, combining color-died and white thread in a pinpoint pattern, stands up stronger over time and has a more casual appearance than dressier shirt fabrics like broadcloth. The two-tone thread warms the look of the shirt and is in fact warmer than dress shirt fabrics because of the heavier weave.
So how do you know when to wear an Oxford?
If you answered "yes" to one or two of these questions, then you should have a few Parker Pinpoint Oxfords in your closet. If you answered "yes" to three or more, then you should have a closet FULL of Parker Pinpoint Oxfords. And don't forget, when you order a Saint Harridan Parker Shirt you are getting a quasi-custom garment made to fit your neck, chest, and sleeve measurement. So it's going to fit you exactly the way you want it to. It will be your shirt. And you will have no choice but to look and feel your best when you wear it.
How fun! Lea DeLaria had very kind words to say about her Saint Harridan tux (and other great suits) from Saint Harridan. "I've never felt so good in a suit in my life. It fits me like no other suit does." We can't wait to see 'Ms. DeLaria's Wardrobe by Saint Harridan' in the credits after her next OITNB awards appearance. :)
Recorded at the Saint Harridan Pop-Up Shop in Oakland CA - Dec. 2013.
A note straight from Saint Harridan Founder Mary Going ... to your closet:
In the spirit of fine suiting, Saint Harridan's "ready to wear" pants come unhemmed, and our jacket sleeves unfinished. This way, you can finalize an absolute perfect fit at a local tailor.
But here's the catch: you have to do it!
If you don't (and I've heard from several of you who have not) you'll end up with a sensational suit hanging in your closet, while you try to make your khakis and flannel look fresh for the holiday dinner party.
Don't let this be you.
1. Open a new tab in your browser right now. (Yes. I mean, right now.) Go to yelp.com - then type in the name of your city and the word "alteration."
By LK WEISS
When I got the email from Anita Dolce Vita about DapperQ inviting me to walk down a catwalk as part of New York Fashion week, I basically wrote back and said “Thank you, but no thank you. I’ll pass.”
I never considered myself to be “beautiful” or worthy of being part of an event dedicated to idolizing beauty, perfection, forefront fashion, and attitude. Heck, I grew up as one of the ‘ugly’ kids, with teen acne so bad it scared children into hiding behind their parents as they passed me on the sidewalk. How could I possibly have the confidence and conviction it takes to strut down a red carpet in front of hundreds of onlookers with all the attention on me?
Immediate Onset Regret
Within minutes of saying “No thank you,” I felt regret. This could be an opportunity to reflect the mission of Jack Tar 207 (my style photography business), which is that beauty exists in all shapes, sizes, colors, styles, and genders. This could be an opportunity to be queer, be recognized, be proud of who I am and what I look like and say “Fuck you!” to all the boys that wouldn’t go out with me in middle school because I was too tall, too tomboy, too quiet.
So I called Mary Going at Saint Harridan. I asked her if she would let me strut in a Saint Harridan suit at the DapperQ fashion show as part of New York Fashion Week. After all, if I was going to show some style in NYC, the only thing I’d want to wear is a suit from Saint Harridan. Much to my delight, she agreed.
Fast forward to September 7. In the basement (dressing room) of the venue, TnT, I suited up in my custom freshly-tailored suit and immediately felt like a million bucks. The suit was perfect, everything I dreamed of. I tied my J. Crew tie in a double Windsor knot, slipped on the jacket, and it felt like a new me had just entered the room. I got to know some of the other models—some were busy perfecting in the mirror, but a few stragglers, like myself, stood quietly in a corner waiting for instructions on what to do next. One model I met, Nyx, had just found out the day before that ze would be walking in this show. Nyx, among others, was just like me—never modeled before, never catwalked or posed. I wasn’t alone, and was comforted by the vulnerability many of us were feeling as first-timers.
We were put into position, a single file line organized by brand. Represented at this show were Original Tomboy, Androgyny, Saint Harridan, Fourteen, Charlieboy, Kreuzback10, and Ambiance Couture—some awesome stuff. Looking down the line-up of models, I couldn’t help but smile and feel so proud to be part of a group of groundbreaking queers walking in New York Fashion Week. Wow.
The line moved quickly, models walked, came back downstairs for a quick change into a new outfit, and then rushed back into line. Then it was my turn. Enter stage. Pose for audience. Turn 180 degrees, pose for photographer. Turn back around, walk to end of catwalk, pose. Walk midway down red carpet, pose. Walk to end of catwalk, pose (here I took off the jacket and slung it over my shoulder). Walk back to center stage, pose. Walk off and get back into end of line to re-enter stage as a group.
The crowd erupted, elated with not just the style, but the confidence, and queer pride exuding from the stage. The entire place was packed full of people, right up to the edge of the stage—people standing on chairs for a better view, people shoulder to shoulder celebrating the amazing DapperQ fashion show they had just witnessed. At this point my knees were shaking and I could hardly breathe, from both excitement and terror.
All in all, the event was a blast. I’ve never felt more supported and celebrated for the way I look than I did in the very moment I took to the catwalk. Flashes on cameras were popping left and right, people were clapping and whistling— like a symphony of pride. The suit gave me the confidence that other clothing fails to deliver. I was grateful for Mary’s willingness to let me represent in NYC, and thankful that the event was so professionally coordinated by Anita Dolce Vita and Susan Herr, both of DapperQ. Being the old fart grampa Mainer I am, I left the party as soon as the show was over at about 1am, although the event continued until 4am. I regret missing some of the debauchery that ensued as the party went on, but was also grateful to return to my home state of Maine and see all the amazingly beautiful queers here.
Thank you, Mary and Anita, for such an awesome opportunity and experience. I will never forget it.
A Truly Revolutionary Shopping Experience
Stop for a minute and imagine. Imagine a store where you are the expected customer. Where the clothes are made to fit you. In a style that feels like you. Where you are greeted with respect, assisted by people who live to see you look your best, and revered like the Saint that you are.
That's what our Pop-Up Shop was all about. Creating a space by and for Saints. Where you - a butch woman, a trans man, a stud, a boi - can walk in, take an impeccably made men's style suit off the rack, and have it fit.
It's not just a dream. We're making it happen. Here's what it looked like in Oakland.
Photos by LK Weiss, The Portland Designer
Saint Harridan Gala: We love you Oakland!
"Protect your threads, Saints!"
Now that our Kickstarter backers have their fine Saint Harridan suits, and the next batch of orders will go out in October, our Sartorial Saint, Sheree Ross, wants to make sure you know how to care for your threads. How often should you dry clean? What should you do if you get caught in the rain? Sheree's got some great tips, so please: read on. (Photo: 2011©NorysRodriguez-Ray AllRightsReserved www.behance.net/NorysRodriguez-Ray)
Saint Harridan's fashion adviser, Sheree L. Ross (aka http://preppybaba.com/) answers your sartorial questions in a monthly column. Ever wanted to know whether you can still wear that hat, or if there's hope for your beloved but haggard cowboy boots? Send in your questions and let's get to the bottom of your fashion quandaries. Oh, and please send her your love and relationship questions too, of course. Sheree knows all! Post questions for The Sartorial Saint on our Facebook page or in our comment section below.
Re-introducing: LK Weiss. You may remember LK as one of the first faces of Saint Harridan when she helped us out by staring down the camera in some fantastically dapper photos to promote our model contest. We know you couldn't forget this shot.
What you may not know is: LK is more than just a handsome face! She's also our graphic designer. You know those kick-ass Saint T-shirts, and patches y'all look so sharp in? You have LK to thank for making them worthy of your wearing.
LK founded her company, The Portland Designer in 2010, and has since designed for L.L.Bean Signature, trans comedian Ian Harvie, Melissa Ferrick, Mainers United for Equality and Couture Motion Pictures, to name a few. In an attempt to merge her love for preppy/dapper/queer fashion with the classic, vintage, nautical style of her design, she founded Jack Tar 207 - Maine Style a photo blog about style in Maine. Jack Tar 207 focuses on the folks you rarely see photographed or featured in mainstream style and fashion media including queer, trans, big, small, allies, tattooed, poor, rich, imperfect and everything in between. Jack Tar brings out the confidence that its models never thought they had, and the whole world gets to see it.
We asked LK a few questions about her work for Saint Harridan and Jack Tar. Here's what she had to say:
People feel a connection to what we do because they can relate to the faces and bodies in our photos, whereas a quick browse on any fashion website might make you feel like a total outcast. Our shots bring out the confidence in a female bodied person wearing clothes assigned to Men—no more embarrassment, low self esteem, or self doubt. Total acceptance and strength to keep being the person you are and want to be. We showcase that, we celebrate that. It's so important.
SH: What excites you about working with Saint Harridan?