If you do a Google search for “lesbian wedding attire” or “butch bride” you’ll find several websites and blogs that have written about finding a butch bride suitable wedding attire. It is not a challenge for the faint of heart or the fearful of online shopping. Finding a non-dress option for a pants-wearing bride is a considerably harder than finding a wedding dress that doesn’t make you look like a cream puff, since at least with a dress you know where to start looking. There are whole stores dedicated to cream puff and non-cream puff dresses. No one, as of yet, has jumped at the opportunity to outfit pants wearing brides (Hint..hint…).
I started searching the internet and taking notes on other lesbian weddings as they would appear on wedding blogs a couple of months ago. Alaina and I talked about some options; custom suit, flowy linen, vest (!!) and I saved images we liked to my Pinterest account to get a visual idea of the look Alaina was going for. Since we’re having a relaxed, backyard wedding we knew we didn’t want anything to formal, but something that was still nice and most importantly, made Alaina feel comfortable.
There are a couple of things you need to know before you embark on a shopping excursion. First, know your size(s) in both men and women’s clothes, even European sizing could be helpful. You will also want to have measurements for your bust, waist (at the belly button), and hips. Even the most sporty and rectangular body type has more curves than their male counter part. Because of this, buy pieces that can be tailored for an accurate and flattering fit. The woman in a over-sized man’s suit look from the 1950’s is a particular style, but if that isn’t what you are going for find a good tailor to work with.
When we first started looking we were really overwhelmed by even where to begin looking. The posts by other butch bride bloggers were helpful, but what we really needed was a list of places to start browsing. So, while I know styles change and not everyone has access to the same stores I wanted to give you a list of some of the places we look and had the most success that might be able to point you in the right direction.
JCrew The JCrew store we went to in Downtown Seattle didn’t have a suit shop, which would have more vests and dress pants but we had pretty good luck since they are also the leaders in laid back men’s clothes. They had a lot of fun shirts and nice pants, though sizing was a bit of a challenge.
Club Monaco This was one of the first places we looked and Alaina fell in love with a white button down shirt. They tend to be a little on the pricey end, but they have really nice clothes.
Banana Republic We didn’t find much in the men’s department, but online in the women’s department I found and ordered a light grey pants suit and a really cute linen vest (The one pictured above). The pants and jacket are fairly basic and not overly feminine so it might be a good option, especially since they are already fitted to accommodate breasts and hips. The vest is perfect!!
Nordstrom Men’s Suit Department We had amazing service from the associates at the Downtown Seattle store. The sales associate who worked with us positively squealed when I told him we were looking for a wedding outfit for my female bodied fiancée! (He may or may not have been gay…) They were respectful and worked really hard to find Alaina something she liked. They kept reassuring her, and us, that their tailors would make it fit, no matter how huge it looked on her. In the end we decided that it just wasn’t the style we were going for, but if you are looking to wear a suit I would give Nordstrom a try.
Alaina has another shopping trip with her sister this weekend and I’m going to be shopping with one of my pants wearing Bridesmates soon too. So the saga isn’t over, but we’ll keep you posted!
Alaina really should be the one writing this since she is in fact the non-traditional, non-dress wearing bride, but she has 20 more teaching days left in the school year and we all remember what the last month of 8th grade was like, don’t we? I’ll have her recap in a couple of weeks.