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My name is Charisse and I am one of the co-founders of Dapper Boi. Long before Dapper Boi became a reality, Vicky and I were just like any other couple. We loved going to the movies, finding new restaurants, and hanging out with friends and family. In a nutshell, we started dating in 2012, got engaged in 2013, and married in 2014. Ten years later, we now have adorable 4-year-old twin girls that simultaneously drive us crazy and in love every day.
As much as we all say that we hate labels, I’m going to use one. I am a loud and proud femme. I love all things fashion, makeup, and “girly”. Shopping is my absolute favorite thing to do and when I first started dating Vicky, I knew that there were some serious fashion mistakes that she was making from her chest gapped button-up shirts and her two sizes too big jeans.
I was determined to help her with her clothing crisis and find the perfect clothes that would transform her. So, I began shopping and would come home with bags of my new finds and immediately ask her to try them on. Outfit after ill-fitting outfit just grew her frustration and eventually, I gave up.
One thing that I hadn’t considered was her body type. Vicky has a pear shape. Her hips, thighs, and butt are fuller than her waist and chest. I wasn’t taking her curves into account. I would just go straight into the men’s section of the stores, choose pieces that I thought she would like, and get the largest size that they offered. Which by the way, why do men’s clothing usually only go up to a size 40 or 42 in bottoms or XXL in tops? Anything larger than that could not be found in mainstream department stores.
The hardest item of clothing for me to find was jeans! She always wore men’s straight cut jeans and she often had to get a bigger size in order to even get the jeans over her butt and hips. Also, because of her body style, the jeans style actually made her look heavier than she actually was.
And it wasn’t just basics like jeans and shirts, she didn’t have great options for her business attire. Prior to starting Dapper Boi, Vicky was in the marketing department for a business that required button-ups and slacks. She would wear men’s button-ups but there was always a chest gap, and she couldn’t button the bottom button. Her solution was to safety pin the chest gap closed and tuck in her shirts. Also, because she has quite the booty, she would have to buy her men’s slacks in larger sizes which made them look too big and very unflattering. Overall, these outfits did not reinforce her professional demeaner, as we had hoped.
Before we got married in 2014, Vicky kept bringing up the idea of starting a clothing company together that would help solve all of her clothing needs. At first she wanted to start with suits. (Fun fact: this is why we had a bow tie in our original logo and how we initially came up with the Dapper Boi name.) But eventually she decided that she wanted to start with something more essential…jeans!
An important part of Vicky’s “coming out” story involved the process of her cutting her hair and transitioning her wardrobe to more masculine style clothing. For several years, she continued to buy clothes that didn’t fit her properly and while it helped her a little bit, the ill- fitting clothing still wasn’t the total solution. For years she would compromise and spend money on clothes that just did not fit.
Finding clothes that fit was never a problem for me. I couldn’t truly comprehend Vicky’s struggle, and the struggle, as it would turn out, of many, many more. Even though I could not relate, I began to understand and empathize with her frustration. As someone who firmly believed in quantity over quality with clothing in my own closet, especially because I steered towards trendy pieces that would only be worn for a season or so, I didn’t care about investing in wardrobe staples. It really wasn’t until we started Dapper Boi, that I realized the value in investing in quality essentials--especially for Vicky. We continued to waste money on clothes that did not make her look or feel good.
We started Dapper Boi in 2015 with a dream to create a gender-neutral clothing line that was functional and size inclusive for anyone with curves. Fast forward to 2022 and here we are offering everything from jeans, to button-ups, swimwear, and more. We have received countless emails from customers, parents, partners, and friends sharing how much our clothing has helped them and their confidence.
I had no idea that our brand would help so many people. Offering clothing that is functional, size-inclusive, and affordable, especially with our pre-order business model, has helped so many people feel better about themselves on the inside. When you look good, you feel good. Dapper Boi isn’t just a clothing brand. One thing that I know, whether you dress feminine, masculine, androgynously, or anywhere in-between, is the power of what the right outfit can do for your confidence. Thank you to all of our loyal customers, old and new, for really becoming our Dapper Boi family. Thank you for sharing your stories with us and for giving us the opportunity to share Dapper Boi with you and your loved ones.