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“Bespoke Suits for Queer Ladies in DC?”

by Prince Of Petworth May 5, 2017 at 2:45 pm 31 Comments

bespoke suits lgbtq
Photo by PoPville flickr user angela n.

“Dear PoPville,

My partner and I (both ladies) are getting married this fall and my partner would really love to wear a bespoke suit – and I would love to make that happen for her. Sadly, the most obviously lady-catering, queer-friendly bespoke suit companies seem to be in NYC (namely Bindle & Keep). As we are trying to put a majority of our funds towards the wedding itself, traveling to NYC for a weekend on suit business may not be realistic.

Does anyone have suggestions or first-hand experience with any bespoke tailors in DC who are fabulous with suits for women and are also queer friendly?”

  • Evan

    I probably have enough points on Amtrak to get you there and back in a day on the Regional for your suit fitting. If you want to make the trip see if Dan can send you the email address associated with this post. Congratulations!

    • PoPOverWork

      This is amazing. Perfect for a hero posting, Dan!

    • bean

      Agreed, this is awesome.

      Congrats, OP!

    • LissyLoo

      OP here! Evan – thank you! I am so grateful and overwhelmed. And thanks to Dan, too, for posting this to the front page and contacting me directly to let me know of this extremely generous offer. I am in touch with my partner (who is at work) and will reach back out to let you know what she says. But I wanted to go ahead and say thank you for your kindness and generosity. Seriously. I’m a little verklempt over here.

      • Evan

        Glad to do it! I hope there’s somebody here that can do it (because DC should have someone who can do this and not go to NYC), but if not, you know where to find me.

  • Loves a good wedding suit!

    I think that Cheryl Lofton in Shaw was Michelle Obama’s tailor – according to her website she does custom work. I’ve used her for alterations and have been VERY pleased (and I thought her prices were reasonable). I recommend reaching out to see if she can do what you need. https://cheryllofton.com

    Good luck and most of all, congratulations!!!

    • LissyLoo

      Thank you so much – this is great information. Lofton being Michelle Obama’s tailor is an automatic tick in the plus column for us, too! And thank you for the congratulations – we are very happy and very excited! 🙂

      • Loves a good wedding suit!

        Don’t forget to share photos of your big day (and what will surely turn out to be a fabulous bespoke suit) with POPville!!!

      • dupont

        second this recommendation. She altered my wedding dress and two of my friend’s wedding dresses – and we were all really happy. I was traveling eight hours with my dress and she took great care to package it for me so that it wouldn’t wrinkle. She was great. Good luck and congrats!

  • Dennis

    There are plenty of people who work in professional costuming that can make a custom suit. Some of them even do work on the side. I personally do alterations but I don’t build suits from scratch. But keep in mind that what you are asking for is expensive. You should expect to pay at the very least $500 – $750 for labor alone and then you have the cost of materials on top of that. If you are on a budget, which is sounds like you are, my suggestion is that you find a suit that fits you as close as possible and get it altered.

    • LissyLoo

      Thanks, Dennis. We are on a budget for sure, but she has her heart on a bespoke suit, so I want to make it happen for her if we can. Plus she will wear the suit after our wedding for her job and other functions, so it’s a good investment in the long run. Just hard to make happen with costs of wedding + costs of travel in the short run and to make sure it’s a tailor who understand suits for women’s bodies and is used to tailoring for Queer people. I love the idea of getting a suit that fits well and having it tailored, though, and will keep that in my back pocket!

  • ke

    Wow, that is a very generous offer from Evan! If you end up needing a DC-based tailor, I suggest you call Bindle & Keep and see if they recommend any tailors friendly to the LGBT community in this area. Or maybe look to see who advertises in the Blade. Congratulations!

    • LissyLoo

      These are fantastic suggestions! Thank you, ke!

  • CMR

    I second Cheryl Lofton. She designed and made my wedding skirt and it was incredible working with her and her team. They seem very very down to earth, cannot verify their position on LGBTQ, but I trust them completely and they were a great value for bespoke.

    • LissyLoo

      Thank you, CMR! We’ll be doing some research on Cheryl Lofton for sure!

    • b

      Cheryl also did the alterations on my wedding dress, which was no small undertaking since it had to be sized down by quite a bit. She basically took it completely apart, put it back together, and rigged up a wonderful bustle for it. Would definitely recommend.

  • Anon

    I’m a female who prefers the look of men’s suits, and I went to Alton Lane in Dupont. They were perfectly nice, if a little bland. They did not specifically say “queer friendly” but I’m pretty sure they did not fail to notice my super obvious gayness and it did not cause any issues.

    • LissyLoo

      Thanks for this recommendation! We’ll have to look into Alton Lane, too. I would think Dupont shops would actually expect “super obvious gayness”… 🙂

  • ymous

    Congrats!

    I have had wonderful experiences with the woman at Bespoke Tailors in the lobby of 1100 New York Ave NW. I don’t know specifically if she is LGBTQ friendly, but she is very friendly generally. She has tailored suits for me (a woman) and also built a belt for my wedding dress from scratch. She is currently weaving (yes, weaving) a repair of a hole in one of my pairs of suit pants.

  • APRO

    I’ve never had an issue at suit supply.

    • Liz

      I was going to suggest suit supply in Georgetown! I have seen women shopping for themselves there too 🙂 They offer a custom suit option and tailoring + cost is reasonable, around $600ish. Great fabric options and really lovely customer service – ask for Anju Roy, she’s our favorite!

  • Cc5000

    Bindle&keep briefly had a D.C. outpost that I used in the fall of 2015 as a queer female-bodied human. If you contact them they may have more info about what happened to it and if there would be anyway to work out the fitting with a tailor they know.

  • Anon

    Michael Andrews Bespoke is based in NYC but has a shop in Dupont. We’ve had a wonderful experience working with them and their clothes fit like a glove.

  • Congratulations on the wedding. And while I totally embrace sartorial freedom, I am curious about why a suit?

    I’ve always felt kind of sorry for men who have to wear them since they don’t seem very comfortable and don’t offer a lot of ways to be creative. If we all lived in a perfect world embracing gender neutral/friendly/flexible lives – would anyone actually wear a suit? (Except maybe James Bond?) Maybe a topic for another time – I’m sure your wedding will be wonderful.

    • Anon

      This question seems odd to me. Do you question why straight women wear dresses?

      • Anon

        I get where Victoria is coming from- my wife wants me to take her shopping for work suits and I was trying to talk her out of it! I think they usually look good on guys but are unflattering on most women (especially hourglass-shaped petite women like us) and often look sloppy and unprofessional. But who cares– if these ladies enjoy wearing suits then they should channel their inner HIllary Clinton and wear them with pride!

  • SBinDC

    This is the most relevant thread to my life ever. I am getting married in June and had my suit made by Kipper Clothiers in SF, which was really only possible b/c my partner is from Santa Cruz so it was easy to swing up during visits home. That said, for alterations, I went to JC Lofton (Cheryl Lofton’s brother) on U street and had a good experience–no hemming (heh) and hawing about what to do with my jacket or unnecessary/awkward explaining of the way I wanted the suit to look. Congratulations! And thanks for asking this–sometimes I wish there was an LGBT-specific subthread or section of PoPville for exactly these kinds of things.

  • bespoke

    Hi – congrats! – I triple or quadruple the recommendations for Cheryl Lofton and even more so for her brother, Eddie (of JC Lofton on U St.). Cheryl did my wife’s wedding dress and her everyday workwear. I go to Eddie for all my suits (including my wedding suits) and nearly had him make me a custom dinner jacket once. He does a lot of custom work and I can’t say enough about them both. The Lofton’s have been in the tailoring game for generations. I’ve also had suits made at Alton Lane (do not recommend) and at Suit Supply (which I do recommend, and think that could be a great value for you, relative to the competition and level of quality). Suit Supply’s custom shop is in NYC but I did everything from the Georgetown store and it worked great.

  • Liz

    Definitely go see Cheri at Blank Label downtown! She caters to a lot of women looking for a more androgynous suit.

  • Beebs

    Bindle and Keep does pop ups in DC every so often – that’s how I got my first suit probably 4 or 5 years ago. I picked their middle range, which I think ended up being about $1,200 all in. I then took that suit to a tailor who copied the sizing/fit and has made me a bunch of suits for (much, much) less since then. Keep in in mind that you’ll need to do an initial session where you do measurements, pick the fabric and options, etc, and then at least one other fitting to get everything perfect. Make sure to leave enough time before the wedding for both steps, and not just the initial couple months it takes to get the suit made! Also, I’m happy to share my tailor’s info if you’re looking for a suit in the $300-400 range. He’s based in Thailand but comes to DC a handful of times a year, and will be here next weekend.

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