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The Button-Up Shirt I Want as My Queer Girl Uniform

A subtle, wearable ode to gay pride.

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A model wearing a pink shirt that says Girls Girls Girls on the chest
Barney Cools Girls Girls Girls Button-Up ($79)

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My closet has alway been bountiful in button-ups. I love how easily they complete an outfit — a button-up shirt worn with jeans will never look sloppy like a T-shirt and jeans can, because a button-up has a collar, and collars are fancy.

I love the range of possibility in fabric and form. In my closet I have a flannel section, an oversized chambray and linen section, and a silk section in the event that I someday become the elegant lady with lunch dates I had in mind when I bought them.

I also have approximately a thousand and one short-sleeved button-up shirts in various kooky patterns and colors, because for a while, this type of shirt was all I wanted to wear.

Men’s short-sleeved shirts, specifically, are a gateway drug for many a newly-out gay girl shopper. The year I came out, they provided an easy but familiar way to queer-ify my wardrobe. Wear one with joggers, Vans, and a beanie, and you’re going to look pretty gay, and for a while that was the No. 1 thing I wanted in an outfit.

Eventually my obsession subsided, and my wardrobe more or less returned to the same old standbys. But every so often, I am struck by a perfect short-sleeved button-up, and this millennial pink Barney Cools shirt is a perfect short-sleeved button-up.

On a dude, a baby pink shirt that says “girls, girls, girls” is like, *eyeroll.* On a queer woman, it’s extremely cool. That’s just how it is! I always want to buy things that say “GAY” all over them, but I refrain when I remember I’m 30. This shirt provides a subtler, more wearable ode to gay pride. Plus it’s just the cutest color ever.