13 Queer Fashion Brands with Femme-Leaning Styles
As queer fashion proliferates, society favors brands which cater to masculine-coded aesthetics.
Most of the queer brands who have really thrived sell suits (and don't get me wrong, I love each and every one of them), but this speaks volume to how our patriarchal white supremacist society functions.
We can't control the world, but we can fight sexism and white supremacy in our own community by making more space for femmes, and correcting people when they imply that femme fashion does not deserve a place in queer fashion.
Writer Jacy Topps described the transgressive nature of femme fashion in her Hi Femme! Interview on dapperQ: "My queer femme style is a subversive, political act of rejecting the patriarchy. It is the rejection that appearing queer is not attractive. It is the rejection of femininity being strictly tied to heterosexuality. And, it’s about rejecting a culture that deems femininity as little more than a product for the consumption of heterosexual men."
In the spirit of rejecting the expectations placed on femininity, here are 13 amazing queer clothing brands with femme-leaning styles!
Sizing XS – 3XL
Audio Helkuik is a queer/trans designer with an obsession with leather and an intentional disregard for traditional gender norms. Knowing each body is uniquely beautiful, every garment and leather harness is handmade according to the customer's measurements. This brand's mission is to make their customers feel powerful and brave through the act of getting dressed and accessorized.
Sizing: XS – XL
Tyler Wallach, the self-described "1988 lovechild of Keith Haring and Lisa Frank," is an innovative and independent queer artist inspired by 90s cartoons, 80s music, 70s graffiti & 60s psychedelia. Based in Harlem, Wallach's fashion line features affordable basics — tees, slip-ons and tanks — all decorated with his bold prints. In addition to his line, Tyler does custom paint jobs like this sick purse. He invites you to reach out to him for custom painting.
Rebirth Garments, founded by Sky Cubacub, creates gender non-conforming wearables and accessories for people on the full spectrum of gender, size and ability. The line creates a community where all people can confidently express their individuality and identity. Their identity is that of QueerCrip, a politicized umbrella term that encompasses queer, gender nonconforming identities, visible and invisible disabilities/ disorders—physical, mental, developmental, emotional ect. In particular, their trans* and disabled communities have very particular clothing needs that are not adequately served by mainstream clothing designers. Instead of being centered on cisgender, heterosexual, white, thin people, Rebirth Garments is centered on QueerCrip people.
Sizing: S – L/XL
Chromat is architectural swim and athletic wear designed for strong, powerful women. Chromat began in 2010 drawing from founder Becca McCharen-Tran's background in architecture.
Each Chromat collection explores the intersection of architecture, fashion, and technology; producing garments that augment and enhance the body’s performance through innovative design and cutting-edge technical fabrics.
Chromat is focused on empowering people of all shapes and sizes through perfectly fit garments for every body. Chromat swimwear, sportswear, lingerie and signature architectural cages are all made in New York City.
Sizing: One Size Fits All
Burkinabae is an online retailer of "Couture Eyewear" and accessories, independantly owned by QPOC designer Karen Emilienne (Emmi) Chatelain. They conceptualize and design all their couture eyewear and accessories in their atelier in Los Angeles, California.
Sizing:  full  curvy  lean  slim
Tilly and William is a fashion design company based in Brooklyn. The brand functions on a philosophy of transformability and gender inclusivity, with a focus on comfort and fluidity, as well as socially and environmentally responsible production. Each garment transforms to suit multiple uses, as you can see throughout their site.
Launched in 2015 by Reva Ochuba, Ifeoma is a research-based platform created to examine the social implications of sartorial systems. Ifeoma’s first collective series, AW16, touched on the expression of excess in the digital age. Presented in the home of a self-proclaimed hoarder, participants smoked, drank, and ate with self-righteous abandon. Apple’s logo flickered softly from the back of iPhones in the dimly lit apartment, shielding the audience from each performer’s showcase of self(ie)-indulgence. For its SS17 offering, Ifeoma continues this conversation, analyzing the parallels between medieval aristocracy and contemporary enterprise.
Sizing: XS –4XL
Ready to Stare is a body positive apparel and accessory brand and personal style blog of Alysse Dalessandro. Ready to Stare believes in fashion as an act of empowerment and the name itself was inspired by designer Alysse Dalessandro's own experience being fat shamed, harassed, cat-called and bullied for the way she dressed. Dalessandro wanted to create a brand that treated clothing and accessories as armor that makes you ready to face the stares and policing that come when you dress for yourself instead of following so-called rules of fashion.
Bluestockings Boutique is a lingerie and underthings boutique that began when queer-identified founder Jeanna Kadlec realized there was no lingerie boutique in the United States geared to the LGBTQIA+ community. Bluestockings' mission is to empower people who have been marginalized by the mainstream lingerie industry and to offer them an experience that reflects their identities, their bodies, and their values.
Premme was founded by Gabi Gregg and Nicolette Mason, who met nearly a decade ago, and bonded over their shared interest in fashion and feminism. Over the last 5 years, both Gabi and Nicolette have consulted for some of the world's top brands and landed design collaborations with a bevvy of plus-size retailers, but there's always been a lil' something missing; they decided it was finally time to team up and address the wide open gaps in the market - realizing the only way they could truly actualize their vision was by doing it themselves. The two now live in Los Angeles — making their sartorial dreams come true (and hopefully yours, too) as the Co-CEOs, creative directors, and designers at Premme.
Sizing: S – 5XL
Queer Supply's Mission statement:
We began with conversations about identity. We believe that the rejection of oppressive social structures can be achieved through self-love and community support. Queer Supply is about celebrating the intersectionality that strengthens us.
Crafting was a method to reconnect with and care for ourselves, and eventually grew into a community project. The work we create is designed to make space for marginalized people and our multifaceted identities. When we craft space to express ourselves, we create opportunities to connect with each other.
Each piece is a positive statement about our lives, relationships, identities, the right to love ourselves.
Sizing: S – XL/ Custom
STUDmuffin NYC, founded by Kyle Brincefield, offers one-of-a-kind customizable pieces, as a way to further share his love of urban street fashion and downtown art with the world. Each handmade piece takes on a life on their own, eluding a "look at me" vibe.
Drawing inspiration from his love of downtown street art, Kyle caught the eye of renowned fashion designer and stylist Patricia Field, who called him "one of her missing puzzle pieces" and whose legendary store on NYC's Bowery began carrying original pieces in early 2012. Now with STUDmuffin NYC growing and in high demand, Kyle has turned to building has brand globally while still appealing to his "one of a kind" customer.
Chrysalis is a lingerie brand created specifically for feminine presenting trans women. The brand says, "Chrysalis was created to help change the dehumanizing stereotypes and biases we are subjected to as a group and community. Chrysalis symbolizes the acknowledgement and diversity of our existence and provides a solution to our specific needs. Our elegant bras and panties are made with luxurious fabrics seductively designed to make you feel beautiful! Bras made to hold custom full-cup inserts and Panties that effectively tuck, hold, and smooth out for the perfect seamless look."