Meet the Butch Clothing Company: "the first clothing line aimed at butch women."
Founder Shaz Riley says she's cherished the dream of her own clothing line for more than 25 years, telling the Guardian, "All those years of having to wear men's clothes will be behind me now. BCC will make a lot of butch women happy. If they have ever had to put up with negativity from people because of being butch, my clothes will give them the confidence to hold their heads up high."
We've written before about the challenge of finding typically masculine styling that actually fits the very different proportions of a woman's body; it's not easy. Says Riley, "Butches don't want to be or look like men; we just don't want to wear female clothing," and as such, her company, which operates online and through a Brighton-based consultation room, carries bespoke tees, pants, and shorts - and of course, formalwear. Seeing as it's custom, Riley's clothes don't come cheap - but there's every chance it's just one of the first to address a yawning gap in the market. One can only hope that the concept can gain the traction to extend to more physical stores, too; Riley - as well as style sites dedicated to the subject - comment on the difficulty of dealing with hostile or simply unhelpful sales staff when shopping for menswear. And while formalwear - and competent, sympathetic staff - might be most needed in those cases, such as civil ceremonies, in which someone's more inclined to pay custom-bucks, we're guessing customers are going to want these options all the time.
We'll let the site have the last word*: "The concept of our brand is simple. Butches are women; they are women who choose to wear men's clothing. Apparel is a major part of the butch identity. We aren't reinventing the wheel, just allowing our design team to create clothing based on classic male styles and the latest fashion trends."
(And, yes, Shaz will be sporting BCC at her upcoming nuptials.)**
**Technically, this is
Suits You, Madam! The Clothes Designed For Butch Lesbians [Guardian]