I wear almost exclusively men's clothing that often doesn't fit right - but thankfully, Wildfang is different

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Jen Gushue/Business Insider

The Ultimate WF Button Down in Fern, $74

  • I wear almost exclusively men's clothing that often doesn't fit right.
  • Wildfang has allowed me to maintain my aesthetic with clothes that are actually designed to fit my body.
  • Wildfang's "Ultimate Button Ups" have become a staple of my wardrobe. They start at a modest $74.
  • You may know Wildfang from its viral "I Really Care" collection or its "Wild Feminist" collection.
2018 has been a banner year for women's fashion startup Wildfang.
In addition to its flagship store in Portland, the company opened two more brick-and-mortars - one in Manhattan and one in Los Angeles. More notably, it went viral with its "I Really Care" collection, a send-up of the controversial jacket worn by First Lady Melania Trump. The proceeds of that collection generated a donation of over $250,000 for immigration legal services provider RAICES.

Endeavors like these are at the heart of Wildfang's mission. Driven by the values of its 15-strong team of employees, Wildfang has made a name for itself as an ethically driven fashion brand. Its cornerstone "Wild Feminist" collection has been with them since they were founded in 2013 with new pieces constantly being added. Aside from individual fundraising efforts, Wildfang is consistently looking to give back. One percent of all of its sales go directly to a rotating monthly charity.

CEO Emma Mcilroy, COO Julia Parsley, and creative director Taralyn Thuot began the brand in 2013 as a way to expand women's options and tailor a more androgynous style to fit women's bodies. Mcilroy told Business Insider:

Women's fashion felt very restrictive for me, and gender roles don't really make sense at all in clothing as far as I'm concerned. I wanted to smash that, and in doing so we realized there are a lot of other rules that need to be broken for women. That includes how they show up in society, the jobs they get to do, and the way they're represented.

As a queer person with a very masculine style, my discovery of Wildfang felt critical to my style expression. I tend to wear a lot of men's clothing, but more often than not, the clothes are not tailored to my body. The sleeves are always too long, the shoulders too wide, and there's never enough room in the hips. But Wildfang takes items of clothing that aesthetically look like "men's" styles, and adjusts the measurements so they work for women.

When I first tried on one of the brand's "Ultimate Button Ups," I was shocked that a shirt that fit my style could actually fit my body. For years I was used to cobbling together a wardrobe from men's departments, women's departments, and even children's departments, full of pieces that fit well enough but were never exactly right. Wildfang changed all that. These clothes were made exactly for me.

Wildfang has also encouraged me to expand my comfort zone when it comes to fashion. In the past, I would shy away from exploring new styles because I hated trying on clothes that I knew wouldn't fit right. Now that I know these clothes are more likely to actually fit me, I'm more willing to try them on and take a bit of a risk.

Case in point: the WF Workwear Pant ($128). I've always envied folks who can pull off the workwear look, but I never thought I was bold enough to be one of them. Then these pants got dropped in my lap, and, twist my arm, I had to test them out for this article. I wound up falling in love with them, so I nabbed the matching jacket ($198) too. I can pull off the workwear look, and I look dang good doing it, if I do say so myself.


Jen Gushue

The WF Workwear Pant in Olive, $128, paired with the WF Workwear Jacket in Olive, $198

In addition to its in-house brand, Wildfang regularly collaborates with huge names in menswear, like Obey, Woolrich, and Publish. Wildfang has encouraged these brands to take some of its pieces and modify them for women without compromising any of the original aesthetic. I have several pieces from the Wildfang x Publish collaboration that remain some of my favorite things to wear.

Whether you've had a hard time making traditional menswear work for your body and want some clothing that finally fits properly, or you just want to add a masculine edge to your wardrobe, Wildfang has incredible options across the size and gender spectrum at modest price points.
Plus, its clothing is consistently modeled by people across the size spectrum, and it shares what sizes the models are wearing as well as their measurements, taking some of the frustrating guesswork out of online shopping.

I consider myself lucky to have discovered Wildfang, and I can't wait to shop its next launch.

Shop clothing and accessories at Wildfang here

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