Everyone wants to have fun and feel good when they’re picking out their wedding attire. When you’re trans, non-binary, or otherwise gender non-conforming, though, layers of complications accumulate. What fabric and fit will be most gender affirming? Will you find a designer who understands what feels good for you whether or not it fits traditional wedding norms? As a queer designer, I’m sharing some tips to help you create the custom wedding suit of your dreams.
5 Tips for Getting Your Custom Wedding Suit
1 Make sure it feels “wedding.”
When you get a custom wedding suit, it should look elegant. It can be unique to you and reflect your tastes while still feeling “wedding.” You can achieve this in surprising ways. For example, you can add bridal buttons in unexpected places. Try putting a line of them down the side of modern cut pants or on the cuffs. The effect can be unique and affirming while still feeling true to wedding attire.
2 Give lace a chance.
Sometimes people are hesitant to embrace lace for a custom wedding suit because they’re worried it will be too scratchy or hyper-femme. I understand wanting to find a fabric that feels good on your wedding day. As for being too feminine, though, the truth is that lace isn’t gendered. I very intentionally source laces that are less feminine and more interesting than what you usually see in wedding wear.
Like any other part of your custom wedding suit, the lace should be about what works for you. I once had a client who was a writer getting an MFA. Knowing how important this was to my client, I looked up the Greek muse of writing and found a photo with stripes and flowers. I found a striped floral lace and showed it to my client. The flowers on top of the stripes were like words on a page. The client absolutely loved the aesthetic and the meaning behind it. It’s possible to find lace that adds a layer of meaning to your suit.
3 Try a white-on-white print.
Do you live in prints? All the solid gray, blue, and white wedding suits out there might give you the impression that prints aren’t “wedding.” They definitely can be! Layering whites and contrasting textures is a great strategy for giving you a more interesting but subtle look.
Some fabrics work especially well for juxtaposing whites. Once I made a client a pair of pants using striped chiffon that I used to create a chevron pattern. It created visual interest with the unexpected chevron shape. The layers of off-white also contrasted subtly with one another and felt right for a wedding.
4 Keep an open mind.
I advise all of my clients to stay open to the exact details of their custom wedding suit. Even if you go in knowing exactly what you want, play with lots of fabrics and looks. You never know what might be a game changer or just a nice detail to level up your look.
A good designer can help you turn what you already really like into a “wedding” look. Pick your favorite three outfits out of your closet. Spend time figuring out why you like them. Communicate that to a designer who makes you feel comfortable. That way you’re more likely to stay on the same page and get what you actually want.
5 Find a designer who can refine all your ideas into an amazing custom wedding suit.
Sometimes people don’t know where to start with custom design. You might be like many of my clients who feel like they actually have “too many” ideas. A good designer can take all that inspiration and refine it into a cohesive piece. Finding someone with experience doing that for trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people is so important.
As I mentioned before, communication really is key when it comes to finding a designer to help you navigate all of your ideas. You’ll need to share your initial ideas but also collaborate throughout the custom design process. When you’re picking a designer, remember that results aren’t the only thing worth looking at. You can interview them on their process. Ask them how they include clients, so you can feel confident you’ll get the custom wedding suit of your dreams.
Are you interested in working with me on your custom wedding attire? Reach out to me