Practical for parties and our everyday lives, a good pair of jeans and a stylish button-up are essential wardrobe pieces that need to look good and fit well. Sadly, there are more body shapes than there are jeans to accommodate them, and men’s shirts rarely work with women’s curves.
That’s where Dapper Boi comes in. The California-based company is run by Vicky and Charisse Pasche and was created after Vicky had grown tired of shopping for jeans in the men’s section and suffering through the poor fit to wear clothes that made her feel like herself. “I imagined what it would be like to have men’s style clothes that could actually fit my body properly, and I realized how many other women feel the same exact way,” Vicky says.
The gender-neutral clothing company supplies happy customers with androgynous clothes for all body types. “Our goal is to make people comfortable and confident in their own skin,” says Vicky. “Not only is our clothing stylish, but we thought through all the details to make our products fit properly and functionally.”
Things as simple as real jean pockets and additional snaps on the button-up shirts—to prevent that unfortunate “chest gap”—are some of the wonderful differences you can find in Dapper Boi’s apparel. Upcoming Black Friday deals will help you bring these fantastic pieces to your closet.
“We love what we do and we absolutely love our customers,” says Vicky. “They are the reason we started this business and they are the people we keep in mind as we grow our line. We cannot wait to add new body styles and sizes as we are able to grow.”
Price: $79 – $158
It’s always great to give back during the holidays. By gifting a loved one with a t-shirt from Check It Enterprises LLC, you can do both. Around this time of year, many are celebrating with family and friends, off on vacation, or digging into a delicious meal. Unfortunately, there are others, often LGBTQ youth, in dangerous and unstable situations who fall through the cracks. Check It Enterprises was started by a group of young people who use art and fashion to raise money to sustain [themselves] and empower the LGBTQ community and friends who support.
Shirts from the local D.C. company span social justice themes such as gun violence and Colin Kaepernick’s protest, have colored print, and feature the company logo in a variety of designs. “With so many issues hitting the surface in America we decided to create the Check the Issue tee-shirt collection to address issues like homophobia, violence, racism, hate, gentrification…Our custom shirts addressing issues important to people in America and around the world,” say the organization’s founders. On Black Friday their shirts will be three for two on all designs and all white shirts will be $10.
These tops are not just printed, they are made with love in the lower level of Check It’s building and as the company grows, the founders gain hope for the community’s youth. “The unique thing about our product is we used it to help us build a social enterprise to help us help ourselves and our peers when most turned their back on us,” they say. “Buying our merchandise will have you looking stylish and support a good cause at the same time.”
Price: $20 – $35
What’s worse than your phone dying while you are on the run? Not having a wonderfully crafted timepiece to help you out when your phone is dead. Colorful, music-inspired silicon watches are among the many products offered by Note 2 Self, an apparel business created by Asha “Boomclack” Santee, a D.C. musician hailing from San Francisco.
Santee started Note 2 Self in 2007 out of necessity, but her funky designs quickly caught on. “I started painting my own shirts [at Howard University] and campus fell in love with it!” she says. The same thing happened with the colorful, eye-catching accessories. “People love the watches!” she says. “They come in many designs and colors and are perfect for everyday wear. Truly an awesome way to display people’s love for music.”
In addition to tees and watches, Note 2 Self sells bags, jewelry, patches, and even stationery. The store’s holiday sales will be announced soon, along with a new kids’ line and fanny packs. If the fusion of music and supporting LGBTQ businesses founded and owned by a woman of color is your thing, Note 2 Self is definitely a place to shop.
Just because we’re having snuggly sweater weather doesn’t mean that you can’t run away to warm sandy beaches. And even if you stay local, is it ever too early to shop for swimwear? Absolutely not. Gender neutral swimsuit company Outplay, is here to fulfill your aquatic needs.
Founder Marialexandra Garcia noticed that swimwear was a big problem while doing research for another line: the bathing suit aisle is a place where many have to compromise. Outplay became her solution. The company’s goal is to “make people feel and look as good on the outside as they do on the inside.” All of Outplay’s garments are designed to help people feel like themselves, and every piece can be mixed and matched with other pieces.
While the company makes more than just swimwear, their tops “are as close as you can get to a binder you can swim and be active in without being a binder and come with a range of compression,” Garcia says. “We created a product that fits our customers’ lifestyles. They no longer have to hide behind an ill-fitting sports bra not made for the ocean and oversized t-shirts not made for their shape. We really care about our customers and we create every product with that amazing person in mind, no matter the size, color, or sexual preference.”
“You won’t see any cleavage in any of our tops and our bottoms cover up pretty well as well,” adds Garcia. “Our board shorts are cut to fit bodies with curves but not accentuate them.” Customers love their pieces and will get to enjoy Outplay’s first sales this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Cinnamon and nutmeg aren’t the only things that could add some extra spice to your holidays. With the cold weather here to stay, you may need more than hot chocolate and tea to keep warm and unwind.
RodeoH is a gender and size inclusive harness, FTM and female underwear, toy, and accessory company created by Jennifer “Tater Tot” Weaver in 2011. Weaver was looking for work in San Francisco, California and was told that they needed something on their resume that stood out. They tried a few other start-ups but, as Weaver puts it, “this harness idea, seemed more my jam. I loved the idea of cultivating a queer product in a queer community.”
With the help of their mom, Weaver has done just that. “We specifically design everyday wear around community needs and proactively create solutions based on the requests we receive,” they say. “It makes our day when a customer takes the time to email about their experience on a very personal level or how one of our products has, quite literally, changed their lives.”
“Plus, our gear is vegan and airport friendly!” Weaver says. And if getting through TSA without incident isn’t awesome enough, RodeoH products range from sizes XXXS to 3X. Join their email list to receive holiday savings.
Price range: $9.99-$59.99
No outfit is right without a comfortable and stylish pair of shoes to complete it. Finding footwear that are also your size and compatible with your gender identity and fashion is not always easy. Nik Kacy was very familiar with this problem. “While starting my company and designing shoes for masculine-presenting identities for female born bodies, as a gender non-conforming individual, I realized that ALL people should have the opportunity to decide for themselves what they want to wear,” Kacy says.
Whether your feet are tiny or long, there is something for you here. Shoes range from sizes U.S. Women’s 4 to Men’s 14 and are created on a unisex last, the normally gendered mold used to mold footwear. “So creating a last that fits all gender spectrums comfortably was the most important factor to begin with,” says Kacy. “As they say, start with the last, first.”
Once the two-dimensional pattern is tested on a 3D model, Kacy and trusted friends rigorously test the shoes in a variety of conditions and circumstances to ensure their comfort and durability.
This season, smaller sizes from the Fortune collection are on sale and the Georgios, the first design from Kacy’s new Destiny Collection, are available for pre-order.
“My philosophy is this: shoes are not the accessories to your outfit… they make your outfit,” says Kacy. “They are the only item on your body that helps support your entire body’s weight and pressure of walking and standing on a daily basis… I’m blessed to be able to do what I love and help make a positive impact while doing it.”
Price Range: $300-$400
What could be more luxurious than a tailored suit? One made with your lifestyle, experiences, struggles, and identity in mind. Whether it’s for a fancy gala or the office, Bindle and Keep will have you feeling comfortable and looking sharp in one of their unique cuts.
The New York-based company has provided this service since 2011 and some customers have described their experience as life changing. Once you schedule your appointment, founder Daniel Freidman recommends that you scour the internet, newspapers, and magazines to get an idea of what you want. Once there, the two hour initial fitting begins and the journey to the suit of your dreams takes off. You will never have to worry about finding your size, shape, gender identity and presentation, and height thanks to this thorough process.
“We believe that everyone has the right to feel comfortable in their clothing. Whether you are cis, or trans, male or female, big or small, clothing has the ability to lift you up and make your feel confident,” says Freidman. “We want to provide a service that allows a person to look at themselves in the mirror and see the person inside of them reflected back at them.”
The innovativeness of Bindle and Keep’s designs goes beyond being gender-inclusive. If the decadence of shoulder to ankle custom design isn’t enough for you, hidden phone and change pockets, triple layer sweat shields, and handcrafted collars with leaf-turned edges might pique your interest.
Price Range: $790-$1,195
If you won’t be escaping to warmer climates this holiday season, you will probably need an extra layer or two. If you do, why not grab one that is made with love, is bold, and just plain stylish? STUZO Clothing is your place to shop!
Founded by Stoney Michelli and Uzo Ejikeme in 2010, the duo created a place for those who veer away from gendered clothing. “Our mission is to create a space in the fashion world where all are welcome without judgment,” says Michelli and Ejikeme. “STUZO Clothing is a genderless clothing company designed to invoke thought and emotion. Our brand is for the non-conforming and bold at heart.”
You won’t find a traditional and mono-chrome pea coat here. Their incredible jackets are handcrafted and all made in Los Angeles. With a combination of hard shapes and soft fabrics, this particular layer will both feel and look good on everyone, regardless of gender identity and presentation. “Most of our pieces are unisex or genderless, as we prefer to call them, because clothes don’t have any organs last time we checked. “Men” wear “women’s” clothes and “women” wear “men’s” clothes. Get over it! We are inspired by love, people, and life. Whatever shape or form you choose to exist in, we celebrate that!”
Current customers love their products, especially the Floral Dream Print Jacket, and soon shoppers can enjoy their holiday sales once the deals are announced.
STUZO wants everyone to live their truth and hold their heads high with confidence. Having clothes that are good and unique, that fit your style, and match you who are inside and out definitely helps. “Our pieces stand out because we design for the bold at heart, for the fearless sheros and heroes of the world. [For the] people living unapologetically!” says the duo.
“Wearing STUZO is like deciding what to wear with your crown today. What will you choose?”
Price Range: $25-$395