Monday June 20, 2016

Suited doc explores the gender politics of a fashionable fit

Suited, a Lena Dunham-backed documentary, looks at a Brooklyn company that tailors to those normally left out: gender non-conforming clients.

Suited, a Lena Dunham-backed documentary, looks at a Brooklyn company that tailors to those normally left out: gender non-conforming clients. (JoJo Whilden/HBO)

It's not easy to find a perfectly tailored suit — especially if you identify as transgender or gender non-conforming. In a world of presumed body types, it can be a painful struggle to find a traditional suit that fits over one's hips and chest. 

Enter Bindle & Keep. 

The Brooklyn-based tailoring company aims to help everyone find a good fit through both custom suits and candid conversations. Now owners Daniel Friedman and Rae Tutera are at the centre of Suited, a new Lena Dunham-produced documentary that follows the pair as they tailor to clients who are used to being counted out. 

In the lead up to the documentary's debut on HBO tonight, guest host Gill Deacon checks in with Friedman and satisfied client Mel Plaut. 

"I feel weird in ill-fitting men's clothes, but I feel even weirder in perfectly fitting women's clothes," says Plaut, who says they're used to cobbling together outfits that don't inspire confidence. In a suit that fits, however, they felt a real change.

"I felt very confident, in a way that I've never felt before in a job interview," they laugh. "And I got that job."