Trying to look sexy while presenting as a butch or androgynous woman can be really hard. For me, and for many other butch, androgynous, or genderqueer people, gender happens day-by-day, and some days, having a bra that feels comfortable and looks attractive without radiating girliness is important. The good ol’ practical sports bra is a standby of women who exude androgynous vibes, and it can certainly be sexy, but sometimes you want to mix it up a little without tipping over into bows and frills territory.
That’s where Etsy comes in. It’s an amazing resource for handmade underwear in a variety of styles for a variety of shapes. Handmade can often be friendlier toward a wide range of gender presentations than off-the-rack, and many shops offer custom fits for very reasonable prices. So if you’re thinking about venturing into the world of lingerie, but find the lace and flowers and ruffles to be…well, a little feminine…here are few places you could look:
The Wireless Push-Up Bra from TOMgirl Apparel
If you haven’t taken off your sports bras in a while, this might be a gentle step into the world of underwear you could describe as “lingerie.” Supportive, ranging in sizes from A to G, this bra boasts that it offers “the comfort of a sports bra with the lift of a push-up.” The crossover back is a subtle but sexy detail. The company also makes cute bikini-cut undies and masculine-looking briefs that match their bras, depending on your taste.
The Summersweet Bra From On The Inside
On The Inside specializes in “comfortable lingerie, lovingly made”. Their SummerSweet Bra is made of bamboo cotton jersey with a lace trim that’s not quite as lacey as other laces–it reminds me of something an Amazon might wear. On The Inside offers made-to-measure bras and underwear in a variety of other styles that skirt the boundaries of feminine without being over the top. The one downside: most of their bras and camisoles are unlined, so these may be better in the bedroom than in the world, depending on your support needs. OnTheInside also makes some gorgeous frilly lingerie if you’re buying for a friend or significant other–but you may want to read about how to buy lingerie for someone else first!
The Kamaria Lingerie Set from Toru and Naoko
For a fancier occasion, or for particularly femme days, this set is reminiscent both of old-school garters-and-stockings lingerie as well as more macho fetish-inspired gear. Toru and Naoko’s sets tend to be very architectural-looking, which makes them less overtly feminine while still being–well, beautiful!
Toru and Naoko offers custom fits and changes to the style of the garment, so ask away! They also sell sets rather than separate garments, which is a nice touch.
These are some of the options that strike me as gender-friendly, but of course there’s many more! What androgynous lingerie styles have you noticed, and do they work for you?