These Are the Best Places to Shop for Gender-Neutral Wedding Attire
Toss the rules, because nothing can dictate what you wear to your wedding. Today, more folks are opting for gender-neutral formal wear as an alternative to traditional wedding attire. While you might know exactly how you want to look on your day, it might be hard to know where to start. Conversely, you may not know what you want your outfit to look like, except that a nonbinary look is the best option for you. Here, we've gathered the best tips from industry experts to help you find a great look for all of your fashion needs—plus the best places to find gender-neutral wedding attire, both in-stores and online.
In this article:
- How to Find Gender-Neutral Formal Wear
- How to Personalize Your Gender-Neutral Formal Wear
- Where to Get Gender-Neutral Formal Wear
How to Find Gender-Neutral Formal Wear
The first step to finding gender-neutral wedding attire is setting your budget. Keep in mind that while you can shop online, in-store experiences that allow you to customize your outfit will be more personalized to you—though it will come at a higher cost. "Not all suits and not all stores are created equal," says Kelly Sanders Moffat, cofounder of Kirrin Finch, a Brooklyn-based clothing company for women and nonbinary folks. "First, figure out what your budget for this outfit is going to be. That will help narrow down if you want to go ready-to-wear or custom."
What goes into the cost of custom suiting, you might wonder? It depends on what you're looking for—but experienced tailors can work with you to create a look that fits your price range. "Pricing varies depending on fabric choice, style details and other factors, but we always ask clients to provide their desired budget up front," says Sienna Burnett, showroom manager at Duchess Clothier, a Portland-based custom suiting company. "This way, we can curate offerings that will work for them. This also ensures there are no surprises when they see their total cost."
In general, the cost of custom suiting can range from $1,000 to $3,000 or more, depending on the fabric and added elements of personalization. Keep in mind that custom suiting isn't the only option, though. Some nonbinary retailers specialize in affordable ready-to-wear garments that are specifically designed for people of all body types. Once you have a budget in place, gather ideas for what you want your gender-neutral wedding attire to look like. If you want a bespoke outfit, your stylist can help guide your fashion choices. Most clothiers will have tailors available to clients to offer advice and guidance during the entire shopping experience. Even online retailers have adapted the virtual shopping experience. Experts are often available for digital consultations and phone calls to answer questions and make the online experience stress-free.
Regardless of where you're shopping, it can be helpful to have a general idea of what you want your wedding day outfit to look like before you begin. Sanders Moffatt suggests a few tried-and-true websites that can deliver serious inspiration. "Pinterest is always a great place to start planning outfits," she says. "Just because the person in the photo doesn't look like you doesn't mean that you can't hunt for that style of suit yourself. Pulling these types of images is especially helpful for folks who want to go the custom route. Instagram is another great way to see how women, nonbinary and trans folks are exploring different ways to wear suits. For example, we love accounts like @itsdoreepierre, @shedoeshim, @_alimedina_ and @daniellecooper. DapperQ is another great online resource for queer fashion."
While gender-neutral wedding attire is typically associated with menswear-inspired suits, some shoppers may want to wear something more feminine. If that's the case, professional seamstresses and clothiers can help guide you to find an outfit that best fits the look you want, whether that's a dress, a jumpsuit, a suit-and-skirt combination or something completely unique—the sky's the limit.
Once you've narrowed down the look you want, it's time to start shopping online or in a store. Working within your allotted time frame is of the utmost importance. Consider online delivery schedules and custom alteration appointments, and start shopping early so you don't find yourself scrambling to get an outfit finished at the last minute. "One thing to keep in mind is that custom suits are made just for you, so that means you need to allow yourself plenty of lead time to bring it to fruition," says Sanders Moffat. "Sometimes that means one or two fittings to adjust things to your body after waiting a month or two for the suit to be made. If you decide to go the custom route, be sure to leave yourself some wiggle room so you aren't stressed about if your outfit will arrive on time."
How to Personalize Your Gender-Neutral Formal Wear
According to the experts, wedding fashion should always reflect who you are. Once you know what to wear, consider all the ways you can personalize your outfit. For a subtle touch, embroider your monogram or your partner's initials inside your wrist cuff or under your collar. You can also incorporate part of a family member's wedding outfit into yours too; ask your tailor to sew part of a handkerchief or veil onto the inside of your jacket. Not only is this a way to honor your family history on your wedding day, but it'll also make your suit feel extra special.
Sanders Moffat often encourages clients to experiment with bold colors and patterns as a way to personalize their look. "At Kirrin Finch, we love to play with fun pops of color and unique details," she says. "For example, find a funky shirt that will help you stand out and pair it with a more subtle suit jacket to keep it appropriate for a wedding. Bold jacket linings are a great place to experiment with style and show off your unique personality, while still having a suit that can be paired with different shirts for different looks. Plaid suits are another fun way to show off a unique style." Regardless of your personal style, nonbinary suit designers and retailers are dedicated to helping clients find the perfect outfit in a comfortable environment.
"Custom clothing can be a vulnerable pursuit, because it involves the experience of being seen and celebrated for who you really are," says Burnett. "Because of this, our team puts care into making sure our clients feel safe and assured they can trust us. You don't need to change yourself or your body to have well-fitting clothes. Our process ensures that the garments shift and orient themselves to the wearer, not the other way around."
Ultimately, the most important thing is that you feel great in the outfit you have. "People always look their best when they feel authentic," Sanders Moffat says. "Fit can make or break an outfit. Luckily, if you are starting with a suit that is made to fit your body type, a local dry cleaner can help make minor adjustments like hemming the pants so they hit your shoe at the right spot. This minor adjustment will go a long way in the style game."
Where to Get Gender-Neutral Formal Wear
Whether you shop in a store or online, nonbinary retailers are committed to providing an empowering shopping experience. So, where are the best places to shop for nonbinary wedding attire? We've got you covered.
Bindle & Keep offers a customized, in-person shopping experience. Clients can visit the brand's Brooklyn store to meet with clothiers and build a bespoke outfit from scratch, or work it out via Zoom. And in addition to one-on-one time with stylists, the alterations process is highly collaborative. This unique shopping experience gives clients the ability to further customize their outfit so that it fits their exact vision. The store offers a variety of packages to help satisfy every formalwear need—and it can also create suit skirts and feminine suits to fit a range of preferences.
This online bridesmaid dress retailer also has a line of inclusive wedding suits. In 2021, Birdy Grey collaborated with SuitShop to release a collection of three wedding tuxedos. "Traditional men's suits can sometimes look boxy and unflattering," says Grace Lee, co-founder and CEO of Birdy Grey. "Our tuxedos are tailored to perfection, so everyone can look sharp on the big day. The jackets are fully-lined with a double back vent, while the pants are tapered and available in three different inseam lengths." The new collection isn't just for those saying "I do," either—they also work for wedding party members or guests. Adds SuitShop co-founder Diana Ganz: "With wedding parties becoming more unique in their composition, it's important that individuals have options for attire that they're excited to wear and feel confident in." It's important to note that, while nonbinary formal suiting is generally designed to be androgynous, these suits skew traditionally feminine. Keep this detail in mind when shopping online for gender-neutral formal wear.
Duchess Clothier is a Portland-based company that specializes in custom suits, separates, shoes and accessories. All garments are made-to-order, and fittings take place in its Portland store. A variety of suit collections allows customers to find a look that best suits them—or they can create their own custom look by piecing together separates and accessories. "We understand that investing in custom clothing can feel daunting, but the benefits of having a small team of experts devoted to your project from day one heavily outweigh the cost of trying to achieve a custom fit with retail garments that weren't crafted for you," says Burnett. "We want clients to understand that they don't have to sacrifice fit anywhere. It's all made for them."
Kirrin Finch was inspired by Sanders Moffat's own wedding shopping experience. As she and her now-wife, Laura, searched for wedding suits, they found a need for clothing brands that specialize in gender-neutral attire designed for a range of body types. "We started Kirrin Finch to give ourselves and others the opportunity to have a wardrobe that allows them to express themselves," Sanders Moffat says. The Brooklyn store is a place where shoppers can try on different styles and silhouettes in a safe space. "We have a showroom in our office where folks can come try stuff, see things in person and figure out their size," Sanders Moffat explains. "It is a place where someone asking you your preferred pronouns is the norm, and that can be really liberating for folks." In addition to its in-store experience, Kirrin Finch also offers an extensive collection of suiting online.
Sharpe Suiting specializes in wedding attire and has locations in Charlotte, Houston, Los Angeles, Tampa and Chicago. It offers clients a unique bespoke experience. By using a trademarked formula, the store's experts can predict custom sizing. However, they also offer basic suiting options for to-be-weds who don't want to go bespoke or wedding guests looking for more versatile options. If you can't make it to one of Sharpe Suiting's physical locations, the brand also has a collection of blazers and trousers online. The site includes fashion tips for each product to guide your styling process. So, even if you're forgoing the in-person bespoke experience, you can still get expert help.
SuitShop (formerly known as ) provides high-quality, inclusive tailoring for the same price as a traditional suit rental. Real talk: Renting a wedding suit isn't always the best option, especially if you're looking to build out your collection of formal attire. But if you're shopping on a budget, finding an affordable retailer can feel like a never-ending task. Enter, SuitShop. Start by finding your perfect fit online, then test your suit for a week before committing to your purchase.
The Tailory New York is an appointment-only brand specializing in genderless fashion that's designed and fitted for each individual client. Thanks to one-on-one customer service, you'll get a highly personalized shopping experience. If you're not able to visit the store's New York location, you can have an outfit created through a video call. After you place your order, the team will work with you virtually to determine your ideal sizing. With a suit that's custom fit to your body, you'll feel as confident as ever on your wedding day.
WILDFANG is an online store specializing in nonbinary clothing that's both comfortable and fashion-forward. Those shopping for less formal wedding attire can find great options in the brand's suiting and workwear collections. The Empower line features a variety of suit designs in a wide range of sizes, silhouettes and colors, giving shoppers plenty of options to find their ideal wedding outfit—whether they're a guest or they're saying "I do."