Welcome back to Style Dossier, Gabrielle Royal’s column that profiles stylish queers across the country. This edition, Gabrielle is featuring Sara Weston, founded Thomas Thomas, menswear tailoring for women, after getting fed up with always customising menswear to fit herself. Her mission is to challenge gender norms in the fashion industry with a range of British menswear-inspired tailoring that mixes vintage detailing with a modern cut.
*Gender pronoun – she (Harry my cutter calls me ‘shim’)* Photography by Emma Charatan.
Gabrielle: What is your favorite outfit and where people can buy it?
Sara: Prince of Wales Suit, Grandpa Vest, Pinstripe Button Down, all by www.thomasthomas.london. Eight piece cap by Lock & Co.
Gabrielle: Who is your biggest fashion icon and why?
Sara: I am the love child of Oliver Twist, Katherine Hepburn and a 50’s high school jock. My style is always a mishmash of ideas, patterns and styles.
Gabrielle: How much of your personal style is influenced by your identity?
Sara: My style is a reflection of how I see myself in the world – as an androgynous woman who relates as much to masculinity as femininity. What I wear is boy meets girl, vintage meets modern, sportswear meets tailoring – I like to challenge the binaries.
Gabrielle: Why is queer visibility important and how does fashion help create space for members of our community?
Sara: A diverse society where everybody feels free to express themselves is vital, and clothes are one of the most important vehicles for self-expression. Presenting externally in a way that reflects how you feel internally is crucial to feeling fulfilled and whole as a person.
Gabrielle: What challenges do you face in your profession, if any, as an LGBTQ person?
Sara: The most challenging aspect of my business is trying to raise investment in order to spread the word and develop the product beyond the limits of my own funding. It has been really difficult to communicate the potential of my brand to investors who see androgynous tailoring as a niche of a niche market. In fact, most traditional angel investors relate to androgyny as a fashion trend that will come and go and are not convinced by the actual need which is the most frustrating thing.
Gabrielle: Tell us about your biggest fashion and/or shopping fail!
Sara: There are a few, but the winner is definitely my Biba studded mini skirt and matching waistcoat in blue glitter PVC. I was 15 at the time and my mother convinced to buy it, which is bad on two levels
Gabrielle: What advice would you give our readership? What advice can you offer to people who fit outside of society’s understanding of traditionally masculine and feminine styles?
Sara: Don’t be afraid to express yourself because being an individual is the most important thing. It makes society a more interesting place to be.
Gabrielle: Tell us something unique about you!
Sara: Favourite toast topping is a combo of marmite, peanut butter and jam – I’ve never met anyone else who shares this preference.
Gabrielle: How did you hear about dapperQ?
Sara: Our label Thomas Thomas was featured in dapperQ’s Queer NYFW last September and I’ve been reading dapperQ ever since
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