A 1920s-Inspired Women’s Bespoke Tuxedo for an LGBTQ Wedding
Recently, a client came to me with a whimsical request: She wanted a custom wedding tuxedo with a classic vintage (i.e., 1920s) feel, updated with the most flattering aspects of a slightly more modern silhouette. My client had, for reference, brought with her an amazing photo of Kate Moss in a classic Yves Saint Laurent tux, as well as a shot of Marlene Dietrich, An icon of androgynous tailoring style. Overall, my client was looking for a more androgynous feel, not quite as masculine as the Dietrich pics and less exaggerated than the YSL garment.
We quickly settled on the suiting fabric: an Italy-made Vitale Barberis Canonico super 120’s, 100 percent wool, 10-ounce open-weave cloth. For a custom tuxedo, we wanted a little more weight—hence the 10-ounce cloth. Pairing the heavier weight with a super 120’s fiber gave the fabric more body and heft, which reads well for pictures. Vitale Barberis black is one of the deeper, truer blacks; the slightly heavier fabric made their black read even darker. We chose an open weave to create a more matte finish and a crisper contrast between the tuxedo’s satin trim and the body fabric.
The tuxedo shirt featured a two-ply 180’s Sea Island cotton. Its soft hand and slight sheen offered a perfect contrast to the tuxedo’s matte finish.
We chose a classic double-breasted jacket with a 4-by-2 closure (four buttons and a double-button stance), as well as a peak lapel with a high gore and noticeably wider details for that classic 1920s feel. Satin was placed on the lapels, pocket besoms, and buttons.
We made the tuxedo trousers with a satin waistband (giving our client the option of going without a cummerbund). The trousers featured adjuster buckle enclosures on the waist and a traditional single ¾” satin stripe down the leg.
To offer the client a touch more wearability and the option of taking her jacket off during the reception, we also built a waistcoat in matching fabric, styled as a single-breasted five-button with a V opening and an all-fabric back. Satin covered the buttons and pocket welts.
The tuxedo shirt was made with a self-fabric bib front, a widespread club collar, French cuffs, and a fly front, eliminating the need for studs.
The androgynous silhouette was perfect for the details we had discussed with the client. As for jacket length, we hemmed it right at her rise, similarly to a men’s jacket. We followed the natural lines of her shoulders but exaggerated the waist a tad to give the jacket a less curvy line. We canvased the chest with a basted 2mm of padding, paired with a light canvas and 1mm of padding to the shoulders. These choices provided minimal shaping, creating a less overtly feminine look. We also slimmed up the sleeves and added an ever-so-slight fishtail line to the cuffs. This finishing touch was essential in creating the streamlined Mod feel the client was looking for in the tuxedo’s jacket. We also set all button closures to work from left to right. The trousers were cut with a drainpipe straight leg with zero break and a lower rise that sat right at her hips.
TCR is a bespoke design house based in Orange County, California.
If you’d like to learn more about commissioning a women’s custom-made tuxedo, please contact us