Butch Style

The Butch Clothing Company: Stylish Suits for Every Butch
June 30, 2010, 10:03 am
Filed under: articles | Tags: , , , ,
Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi for the Guardian

If you haven’t already heard, the holy grail of butch fashion just opened up in England. Shaz Riley, a self-identified butch woman and newcomer to the fashion scene, recently started a company catering to the clothing needs of her butch sisters. The Butch Clothing Company, based in Brighton, makes classic men’s suits, shirts, and trousers, but cuts them to fit a woman’s body – specifically, each client’s body.


I had the chance to interview Shaz about her new business. She talked to me about her current and future goals, inspirations, and even how those of us not lucky enough to live in Brighton might get our hands on a custom-made suit.


How long have you been working in fashion, and what got you involved?
I have only been in the fashion industry for this past 12 months. The idea for the company and consequent training and company formation was born from the vision I had had for many years to create a bespoke clothing company for Butch women. The House of Butch we like to say!


How did you get the idea to start the Butch Clothing Company?
The idea was purely born from my own experience. I know, being a butch all my life, how difficult it is to safely, enjoyably and successfully purchase a suit that fits perfectly.


What makes your clothing unique?
We have taken classic male fashions, styles and designs and stayed true to them, because that’s what Butch women want As I always say, we aren’t reinventing the wheel. But through a process of deconstruction and then reconstruction we have worked out how to fit a suit perfectly to any butch women no matter their height or weight.


How has the response been, from the lesbian community and otherwise?
Well there have been a couple of negative – dare I say rude – comments about me (which I find actually very amusing), but I have to say the rest of the world has embraced the idea , the company and me. As a company we are thrilled and excited by the positive responses from every corner of the globe, from well wishers and perspective buyers.


What are your future plans and goals for your company?
We hope to continue to grow as a global company while remaining  committed to our responsible business practice and our partnership with our ethical manufacturer. We are committed to developing a world wide client database. As for  our designs, we will consistently offer stylish, classic bespoke suits of the highest quality. And who knows, we may even consider a casual range for The BCC brand. Wouldn’t that be cool!


How would you describe your personal style?
I have many styles from casual to formal. I have an eclectic taste. I have however, having entered into a very loving relationship and given up smoking in the last 2.5 years put on considerable weight which I am currently in the process of dropping. Ask me the same question in 6 months!


Is there any hope of buying your clothing for women not in the UK?
Yes, we are very happy to consider overseas clients. What we intend to do is catalogue the interest around the world and try and map out where the main interest is. In the USA, for example, we have alot of interest in New York. So when we have a list of clients stateside in NY or willing to travel there, we will arrange a consultation room and offer the same service we do in Brighton. Clients will pre book an appointment, and we will charge an upfront reservation fee to ensure the clients will keep their appointments. Then we will meet; discuss the clients design; choose the fabrics, linings and detailing; and then measure up for the suit. When the suit is ready we will return for the final fitting.

3 Comments so far
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Hey, any chance we could do some sort of affiliation with our site and yours maybe ?

and also our forum at butchfemmeuniverse.com
we are also on Facebook and youtube.

love the idea of your service, I contacted you a few months back for prices, but am in Devon and can’t get down for fitting…but I PROMISE you , It will be you I will be coming to when I get married !

I would really like to support what you are doing for Butches everywhere, and put your ad or link on our site. ( I already hit you up on our facebook site ) Could we nuzzle in somewhere on yours ? 🙂

Great stuff Shaz…can’t wait to have the money, the time and the woman to come get one of your suits for myself !!!!

Best Wishes ,


Comment by Jack

Really great interview! Congrats to you Shaz for taking your dream and making it a reality. I’ll put the details of your company on my blog.


Comment by lesbianfashion

[…] | Tags: butch clothing company, suits Maybe you remember the Butch Clothing Company from an interview with the owner a while back? Well, if you got excited about it like I did and then realized that you live […]

Pingback by Butch Clothing Company Fittings « Butch Style

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