It comes as little surprise that, when outlining the six axioms of women’s style, the Official Preppy Handbook put men’s clothing–“Either actual garments from the man’s wardrobe…or near imitations”–at the top of its list. The prep woman has long venerated certain items owned by her husband, boyfriend, father or brother. The Brooks Brothers oxford button down. The Bean Norwegian sweater. The J. Press navy blazer.
And we think what clothing company Kirrin Finch is doing fits wonderfully within that tradition. They’ve started a Kickstarter campaign to launch a line of made in New York City women’s shirts with a decidedly masculine aesthetic.
But Kirrin Finch comes at that from a slightly different perspective.
Started last year by wife and wife team Kelly and Laura Moffat, Kirrin Finch caters to women who, put simply, like to wear men’s clothes. They find that their genuine identities don’t fit neatly within the rigid gender binary of male and female. Sartorially speaking, these women favor a more masculine style, and they usually gravitate toward the more classic examples (which is why they have a special place in our hearts).
But those women have a difficult time in today’s apparel market. Shop for women’s blouses and you’re likely to encounter tops with darts or excessively frilly details. Try your luck in the men’s department, and the shirts don’t effectively navigate the particulars of a woman’s contours.
A middle ground there is not.
That gap in the marketplace led Kelly and Laura to conceive, plan and ultimately launch Kirrin Finch, fittingly named after two fictional tomboys. Although neither has experience in the apparel industry, they’re fortunate to live in a city with a number of resources to guide nascent apparel making concerns. The shirts they’ve designed bear all the hallmarks of classic men’s tailoring.
We’ve pledged our support for Kirrin Finch’s Kickstarter campaign. Once the campaign is over, we’ll have the chance to choose among the company’s seven shirt options, and production will begin at a New York City factory, with delivery expected sometime in June.
Frannie, being the planful young lady she is, has already placed a figurative check mark by her choice: a dark blue chambray with a green check contrast pocket. It’s a wonderful looking shirt with some dandyish touches, something akin to the “boyfriend” style shirt–often an actual man’s shirt–that prep women have long been so fond of.
Of note, Kirrin Finch has also expressed a commitment to environmental stewardship, manufacturing locally to minimize the energy costs associated with transporting goods, using organic cotton and shipping shirts in recycled packaging.
While we understand and appreciate the laser focus of Kirrin Finch’s approach to its target audience, we strongly believe that their product (so beautifully designed, with a nod toward classic styling) will have an even more ecumenical appeal. We can easily envision women of all stripes finding something to love about these shirts.