Formal wear has always been an obstacle for me. I like the idea of dressing up, but I’ve never, ever felt comfortable doing it. It’s because I never, ever found fancy clothes that matched my expression.
For my entire life, I’ve lived in the comfortable space of androgyny. I feel exponentially more content donning clothes on the masculine side of the spectrum. But, the problem is that men’s clothing typically fits horribly over my very feminine, curvy body. Button-down shirts feel good over the shoulders, but my bust literally busts out at the chest, and that last button rarely has a shot of hanging on over my hips. Dress pants bunch and balloon at weird places. So, although I felt more comfortable in men’s garb, I didn’t really feel good wearing it.
That is, until now.
I always knew that in order to get dress clothes to look good on me, I’d have to get them tailored. I was planning on just going into a local place for measurements, when a friend with fantastic fashion sense warned me against doing so. Instead, she recommended Bindle & Keep, a place that celebrates the possibility of androgynous style. Even more awesome – despite the fact that they’re based in Brooklyn, they offer remote fittings!
I joined a Zoom call with the tailor, Piotr, who supervised Ligeia taking my measurements. I wanted dress pants, a vest, and decided on two nice shirts. Being in Florida, I would rarely need a suit jacket, so I avoided adding that to my order. Once all the inches of my arms, waist, hips, chest, and neck were recorded, I was told to expect an email with links to the different fabrics from which I could choose.
Like selecting a meal from a non-vegan restaurant, my choices were quite limited when it came to the suit material. Most suit fabrics are made from wool, and that’s a no-go for me. Bindle & Keep, however, does have a line of vegan-friendly material, so color was the only decision I had to make.
I opted for grey, because I figured it would go with most shirt colors. And that’s when it got interesting! Most, if not all, of their shirts are vegan-friendly. That made it feel like I was eating at a vegan restaurant, and I was overwhelmed with choice. Although challenging, and rather time-consuming, I eventually went for a royal blue and a light purple.
When my new formal wear was delivered, I was super excited to try it all on. The fit? Perfect.
Now I just need somewhere to wear it. I suppose that might become its own memory, but for now, this memory is accomplished!