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lgbtiq style

LGBTIQ Style: What is Androgyny?

Androgyny comes up frequently in fashion and style, but its definition and characteristics are often blurred.

What Does Androgyny Mean?

The word ‘androgyny’ is a dual term: it comes from the Greek word ‘andro,’ which means man, and ‘gyny,’ which means woman. Therefore, ‘androgyny’ is a term used to describe something that has characteristics of both women and men.

Gender Ambiguity vs. Gender Identity

While correctly used to describe the way a person looks, the term ‘androgyny’ is often mistakenly used as a way to describe someone’s gender identity. However, it should be recognized that the ambiguity and identity are not interchangeable.

With gender ambiguity, it’s not immediately clear as to which gender a person identifies with. Since they have characteristics of both male and female, whether it’s their voice, facial features, or clothing choices, gender is obscured.

On the other side of the coin, gender identity is the gender that a person identifies with. It has nothing to do with physical appearance, including choices like clothing, hair styles, or occupations.

Androgyny in Fashion

Androgynous fashions can be worn by males and females alike, regardless of their gender identity. This particular style has been an answer to avoid typical gender stereotypes and allow the wearer to dress however they please.

This style has come a long way in recent decades and is now more widely available. From high-fashion bespoke suits to simple jeans and t-shirts, androgynous fashions are transforming what comfort and clothing can be and how a person’s unique styles are perceived.

At Shane Ave, we cater to the LGBTIQ community by offering tailor-made suits in the style that best fits your preferences. Whether you prefer the gender ambiguity of androgynous styles or want a non-traditional fit that just can’t be found in department stores, we’ll work with you to craft a suit that reflects your unique style.

Schedule a consultation with one of our expert designers to get started.

 

LGBTIQ Style

double brested suit

Single-Breasted Vs Double Breasted Suit Jackets: Which Is Right for You?

Suit and jacket styles are as unique as the person wearing them – that’s why there are so many options!

But when you’re new to the world of formal wear, those options can easily become daunting – even downright scary. What’s important is choosing a flattering fit that makes you feel confident in what you’re wearing.

Suit and tuxedo jackets generally come in two styles: single-breasted and double-breasted. Let’s take a look at the characteristics of each so you can make the right style statement.

Single-Breasted Jackets

Single-breasted jackets have a single row of buttons on the front (usually one to three buttons, though some jackets may have four or five). This style is usually associated with more casual wear or semi-formal events.

Suit jackets and sports coats are viable options for the single-breasted style. These jackets can be worn with either jeans or trouser, making them a popular option for almost any event.

Double-Breasted Jackets

Double-breasted jackets have two rows of buttons on the front, with six total buttons being the most common. Generally, only one button on the top row is buttoned, although you may see all rows buttoned at times.

This style is often considered to be more formal than single-breasted options. Though there are no hard and fast rules on when to wear each type, most people opt for double-breasted jackets for black-tie events or weddings.

If you choose a double-breasted style, you should know that a good fit is critical. The extra row of buttons restricts movement and makes the jacket a bit more unforgivable.

Your Jacket Goes Beyond Style

Additional features like vents and lapels can have a lot to do with how a jacket looks and feels. Exploring all your options when it comes to choosing a jacket can help you make the best style decision.

Also, keep in mind that it’s not just about how your jacket looks, but also how you feel wearing it. Schedule a consultation with one of our expert tailors and experience a style and fit that’s made for you.

 

choose formal pants

Choosing Formal Pants that Fit and Flatter: A Style Guide for you

Finding the perfect combination of pants and jackets is no easy feat for the LGBTIQ community. The myriad options for pants can easily be overwhelming, especially when you want to find a style and cut that flatters your unique body type.

Let’s take a closer look at what you should look for when choosing pants for your formal wear:

Styles

Fashion trends come and go, but a well-fitted pair of trousers should be able to withstand the ups and downs of the fashion world.

Leg Styles

When shopping for custom formal wear, leg style has a lot to do with the overall look of the suit.

Options include the following:

  • Straight leg – pants remain the same width from the thigh down
  • Tapered leg – start at a certain width at the thigh, then gradually taper toward the ankle
  • Skinny – Form fitting all the way down
  • Wide – loose leg all the way down (usually flowy and dress-like)
  • Cropped – slim fit that doesn’t reach below the ankle

Choose a leg style that flatters your form and will look good for any occasion.

Pleated vs. Plain Front

Pleats are ever-present creases that add a little formality to the pants. They bring a little more flexibility and movement to the wearer, but they also require a little extra care to maintain.

Plain front pants are associated with casual wear, but they can also be worn in formal settings. This style is ideal for tall or slender individuals because extra fabric (like with pleated pants) can make the pants appear loose fitting or bulky.

Pockets

Choosing tailor-made pants gives you the flexibility to customize your pockets. You can opt to go pocketless, add faux pockets, or select from a number of pocket styles.

A few options you might want to consider:

  • Pockets with flaps (button or no button)
  • Back patch pockets (sewn onto the outside of pants)
  • Welt pockets (pocket is attached to inside of the pants)

When choosing pockets, it’s important to consider what you might need to place in your pockets. The right size and style of pockets can reduce bulge and look more polished.

Cuffs

To cuff or not to cuff – it’s a common question we hear at Shane Ave. Most modern trousers have a small band or “cuff” at the bottom of each leg, but it’s not a requirement in any scenario. Cuffs can add a heightened level of fashion or elegance to the pants and are usually seen in formal affairs.

Cuffs can help lengthen the lifespan of your trousers by preventing fraying and damage. They also add a little extra weight to the pants to keep fabric straight and prevent billowing.

As a general rule, pleated pants usually have cuffs, while plain-front pants do not.

Need a little inspiration? Book a consultation with one of our expert stylists today and start creating the look you deserve.

 

Formal Pants

lapels-on-formal-wear

Lapels on Formal Wear

Lapels are too often considered an afterthought to a suit, but this fine detail can bring together your entire look. Let’s explore some of the lapel options for your custom suit:

Why Lapel Style Matters for LGBTIQ Formal Wear

From Gatsby to GQ, the construction of your suit matters. It’s all about the details, and your lapel style can help you make the right statement.

Lapels are the flaps of fabric on a blazer or suit jacket on each side of the opening. They sit right below the shirt collar and fold back to expose the shirt under the jacket. Lapels come in many sizes and styles, and a simple change to your lapel can ultimately change the entire look of your suit.

Types of Lapels

Lapels come in three main types: shawl, notch, and peak.

Shawl Lapels

Shawl lapels have rounded edges as opposed to crisp lines that make for a smooth appearance. This style is most common on tuxedos or attire for formal events and not usually used in professional settings.

Notch Lapels

Distinguished by a small vee in the top portion of the lapel, this small opening sits near the bottom of the shirt collar at a 75- to 90-degree angle. This type of lapel is the most common and is seen on sports jackets, blazers, and suits.

Peak Lapels

Peak lapels are usually the most expensive type of lapel because they’re more difficult to tailor. These are characterized by a sharp rise, or “peak” in the same area as notch lapels, but the “notch” is smaller and the lines are sharper. This is considered the most formal type of lapel,but they’re suitable for nearly any event or occasion.

Double-breasted suits almost always have peak lapels, but bespoke suits give you the flexibility to choose.

Lapel Width

Each type of lapel can come in different widths. Slimmer widths can accentuate a petite or feminine frame while removing much of the masculinity associated with lapels.

Width is measured at the widest horizontal part of the lapel from the outer edge to the inner edge. Slim lapels usually measure 2.25”-2.5”, while standard lapels range from 3”-3.5”. Larger frames may want to opt for wide lapels, which are 3.75”-4.5”.

Not sure which lapel type is most flattering for your figure? Come see us for a consultation and let us help you find a style you’ll love.

 

jacket-vents

Jacket Vents: Exploring Your Options to Find Your Style

Can a vent pull together the entire look of a suit? You might be surprised.

Vents are the slits you see at the bottom on the backside of a blazer or suit jacket. They originated out of pure function during military-on-horseback days to make wearing a jacket more comfortable to the rider. These splits allow for more moveability and less restriction or bunching while sitting.

Though horseback travel is minimal today, vents still provide the same functionality. They offer easier access to the back pockets on your pants, and as an added bonus, they also bring a heightened sense of fashion to jackets and blazers.

Let’s take a look at the different vent options and how they flatter different body types:

Single Vents

Also called center vents, a single vent is a slit in the middle of the back of a jacket. Single vents are popular options if you have a rear end that sticks out. This is because the “flap” created by a double vent can hang off your bottom and fail to lay flat, which creates gaps and makes for an uneven look.

Single vents are the more common choice. You see this option in more off-the-rack suits because they’re easy and inexpensive to make.

Double Vents

Also called side vents, double vents are two splits on the back of a blazer or jacket (one on each side of the center). Double vents are ideal for accentuating your physique. They offer a more forming fit with sleek lines and even provide an illusion of height.

They’re considered a higher-end option since they’re less common than center vents and usually require a custom tailor.

Double vents also provide more movement and less restriction, just like they did when they were first introduced centuries ago. If you plan on sitting frequently in your formalwear, double vents are usually an ideal option.

No Vents

Vents aren’t a requirement. Ventless jackets are fairly common and offer a sleek, slimming appearance.

Because movements are more restricted with ventless jackets, it’s not an ideal solution if you’re carrying a lot of extra weight. This style is usually ideal for leaner bodies that don’t mind trading a little comfort for a polished appearance.

Also, keep in mind that it’s not just about how your jacket looks, but also how you feel wearing it. Schedule a consultation with one of our expert tailors and experience a style and fit that’s made for you.

 

jacket-pocket-rules

Jacket Pocket Rules for Formal Wear

Pants aren’t your only pocket considerations when customizing your suit. Most off the rack jackets have some assortment of pockets, but going bespoke means you get to decide where those pockets should be and how big they are.

Let’s look at the top considerations for jacket pockets in LGBTIQ formalwear:

Pocket Styles

Aside from lapels and vents, pocket style can go a long way in solidify your style. Some are more formal or widely used than others, but the end result should give you a balance of look and function.

Patch Pockets

Originally the favorite for blazers, patch pockets are sewn directly onto the jacket. They offer a more casual tone and are usually large enough to be functional.

Flap Pockets

This versatile pocket offers sleek style and it seen in a variety of formal and informal settings. Designated by a flap of fabric that folds over the pocket opening, most wearers love the flexibility of style flap pocket designs offer.

Jetted Pockets

Similar to welt pockets on pants, jetted pockets are internal pockets that make the jacket look sleek and polished. They’re unobtrusive and almost undetected, which can make you look flawless and pulled together.

The Pocket Square

Breast pockets are more common than not on just about any type of suit jacket. If you opt for a breast pocket, you should consider adding a pocket square to your ensemble for certain occasions.

Pocket squares are small pieces of fabric that are partially tucked into the breast pocket. It almost looks like a small flower emerging from the pocket. You can choose a pocket square to complement or contrast your suit or tie color, depending on the event you’re attending.

Our expert stylists and designers can help you choose the right pockets and pocket square to turn your ensemble into a one-of-a-kind reflection of you. Contact us today for a consultation to discover your options.

 

custom-made-suits

Custom Made Suits Vs Off the Rack Suits

The Fashion Forward LGBTIQ: Custom Made Suits Vs. Off the Rack

The LGBTIQ community has made amazing strides in recent years in terms of equality in the workplace, legal institutions like marriage and adoption, and social settings. But there’s still plenty of work to be done, and the need for progress is highly evident in androgynous fashions, particularly when it comes to formal attire.

As more jurisdictions adopt gay marriage as a social norm and more lesbians and transgenders feel more confident in dressing how they prefer, the fashion industry should be prepared to take those same steps forward in providing androgynous clothing designed for all body shapes and sizes, regardless of gender.

But even today, this just isn’t the case.

Traditionally when it comes to suiting, buyers have two options: purchase a suit off the rack or spend a small fortune on a custom-made ensemble. Both present their share of potential issues, but investing in a custom made suit is becoming a more popular and preferable option for many buyers, and the LGBTIQ fashion industry is all the better for it.

The Problems with Buying Off the Rack Suits and Shirts for Lesbians, Transgenders, and Non-Binaries

Traditionally, LGBTIQ people craving a polished, androgynous suit have one option: menswear stores.

This experience isn’t just unsatisfactory for both the wearer and the shop owner – it can also be intimidating and frustrating.

Men’s suits are not made for all bodies. But women’s suits don’t come in the same varieties and styles as men. Vests, lapels, ties, pockets, and matching hats aren’t typical of off the rack women’s suits. There’s also no “middle ground” that fuses both feminine and masculine elements in a single ensemble.

The most common alternative is to purchase a men’s style and have it drastically altered, but this drives up the cost of your investment. In addition, this option almost always results in a lower quality and craftsmanship because the original stitching is no longer in place.

As a result, buyers are forced to choose: buy for the silhouette or buy for the sense of self.

Are Custom Made Bespoke Suits a Better Alternative?

Dashing, sophisticated, and polished, bespoke suits offer a high level of confidence to the wearer and visual appeal to all who see it. Each suit is custom made for the individual, tailored to your body type and style preferences to give you the look and feel you want in a suit.

It sounds like a dream, and for frustrated, fashion-forward buyers, it is. Before you invest in either option, consider the following to make an informed decision:

Jargon

For starters, the world of bespoke fashion is often complicated by its unique lexicon. Terms like ‘vents’, ‘lapel’, and ‘pleat’ can leave buyers confused and conflicted as to how they want their final version to look.

Trying on similar styles in an off the rack suit can provide a starting point, but a suit tailored to your body often looks much different and some features simply won’t translate.

At times, you might feel like you need a handbook to navigate the options.

The best way to combat this confusion is by partnering with a company that can guide you through the various options simply and thoroughly so you can make informed decisions about how you want to look in your suit. Good tailors should be able to make recommendations and walk you through the process step by step. They also know that you won’t always know the right questions to ask, so they should step up as the authority to give you the best experience possible.

Price

Given the cost of a tailor-made suit, you want to get the right style and look the first time so your investment will last for years to come.

Tailors take your measurements and craft your suit to your specifications. In some cases, the cost of these measurements will be built into your final price of the suit. At Shane Ave, we charge $120 for the consultation, but fully refund that cost with the purchase of the suit.

When comparing a custom-made experience to an off the rack purchase, tailor-made attire may cost more up front. However, the personalized service, attention to detail, and made-for-you clothing far outweigh the difference in cost.

Private Experience

Though coming out as a member of LGBTIQ isn’t as rare as it used to be, it can still be a daunting experience to go shopping for clothing. Trying on suits in a conventional store isn’t as comforting as it should be. Gender norms still expect us to shop in specific departments. Public pressure and scrutiny can turn what should be a pleasant shopping trip into a nightmare for many.

Getting a custom-tailored suit eliminates these public fears and others by adding privacy and respect to your experience. Whether you’re suiting up for a walk down the aisle or have a big event to prepare for, you deserve to feel confident and empowered in whatever style you choose.

The Biggest Upside for Custom Made Bespoke Suits The biggest difference between off the rack and custom bespoke suits is also the biggest upside for the latter:

The suit is 100% you.

Not all lesbians and non-binary folk want a masculine fit in their clothing. Not all transgender individuals are slight-figured, nor do they want the loose fit of a men’s suit.

This is your chance to be your own stylist and design your suit from the shoulders to the bottom hem. Professional designers don’t always know what their wearers want in a suit, so this is your best chance to create a look that’s as unique as you are.

And, you can rest assured that no one else will have a suit to match.

Bottom Line: Androgynous Suits and Shirts Shouldn’t Be Hard to Come By

At Shane Ave, we believe that no one should ever have to choose between their silhouette and their sense of self.

Getting the suit of your dreams shouldn’t have to be complicated. No matter where you live in the LGBTIQ community – we welcome you.

Come and take a walk with us down Shane Ave and together we’ll create the best style and the best fit that you’ll be able to wear with confidence.

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