There’s a story about the lace chest binder.
Around the time we were first starting this company, maybe late 2014 or early 2015, a popular post went around Transmasc Tumblr™️ that I’ve never forgotten. It led with a selfie, a dapper young man wearing a long skirt which he’d gathered in one hand to show the camera, pointing at the fabric with a raised eyebrow.
The text went something like, “What’s that!? It’s ya boy Rob, wearing a skirt!! Does this make him less of a boy? No! Are his pronouns still he/him? Fuck yeah! Is gender on clothing kinda bullshit? Yeah it is!”
Or something like it. I’m paraphrasing. There was probably more caps, and more exclamation points.
Anyway, it stuck with me. I was making chest binders, a very specific kind of gendered and gendering garment, and I was putting colors on them, which at the time was so weird and Out There already that I was a little scared to go farther. But what was that fear about, anyway? Random dudes grouching at me on the internet? If someone younger than me could just put on a skirt and yell about it, what excuse did I have to hold myself back?
The only time I’d voluntarily worn lace, up to that point, was as an overlay on the cuffs of the wild, so-long-in-back-it-had-a-train jacket I’d made to wear for my wedding. It was a piratical, multiply-gendered, red-and-glittery-black garment that took me ages to sew and I was so proud of it. The cuffs were red silk under black lace. They look so good in the photos.
A week or so after that post crossed my dash, I went into Spandex Lab and picked out the stretch lace I’d been eyeing. Listed it on the store, with just a picture of the lace. Someone bought one almost immediately. We sold about four or five, and then someone specifically emailed us to thank us for having them up. They felt seen, just by the existence of a lacy binder.
A couple years later someone ordered one to wear for their wedding. When that order came in, you’d better believe I cried about it.
This sale is dedicated to our boy Rob.