Let’s face it: not all women love dresses. That makes getting snazzed up for the big day a bit difficult. Whether a woman identifies as the masculine partner in a same-sex marriage, is an extreme tomboy, or just plain doesn’t like dresses, finding women’s wear that is more like menswear can be a pain.
Wearing a suit made for a man rarely works well, as those suits are not made to accommodate breasts or other natural differences in women’s bodies. Plus, for small women, most men’s suits will be far too large. For these women, wearing boys’ clothing can be an option, but not a great one. Just like men’s suits, boys’ suits were not made for women and can be very ill fitting indeed.
So where’s a girl to go? Over the past few years, a few specialized clothiers have popped up, catering to the many women who would prefer a suit to a dress. Tomboy Tailors in San Francisco is one, started by Zel Anders after years of being frustrated by the lackluster options offered to masculine women.
“There are, I suspect, hundreds of thousands of women like me who prefer to wear men’s suits,” she said, according to a NY Times blog. Tomboy Tailors is joined by several other new brands born of the same movement. Labels like Fourteen, Marimacho, and the Butch Clothing Company are now helping masculine-inclined women dress well and feel comfortable.
“What masculine-identified women don’t want is a suit with darts in it, that’s all very feminine and cut in with that hourglass,” said Shaz Riley of the Butch Clothing Company. “They want to look like David Beckham looks in his suits.”
As the world changes and becomes more accepting of people who may not fit into mainstream culture, it’s encouraging to see more options pop up. The movement to offer more options for masculine women is empowering, and one that says, “Be comfortable. Be you.”
Photos by Megan Clouse and Zee Amador of ZShots