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Clothes for Trans Guys

May 13, 2024

Clothes for Trans Guys

Finnegan Shepard

If you have typed ‘clothes for trans guys’ into google, then the following statement is probably true: you already understand that cis men’s clothes don’t work very well for trans guys. Why is that? We won’t go into too much detail here, but the main issue is proportions. Because bone structure never changes, trans men simply have different proportions (torso length, hip width, arm length, leg length, etc.) than cis men. There is of course differentiation across the board, and for some trans men the issue is less pronounced than for others, but there are general themes or problem areas that are quite common.

That’s the frustrating news. But the good news is that there are solutions available, and trans guys no longer have to live the struggle bus lifestyle of too-long pants that pinch the hips or shirts that need to be cuffed. We are going to break down each category below.


T Shirts for Trans Men

Back view of transmasc model in white Both& shirt

There are three main issues trans guys face when buying t shirts from the cis men’s section:

  1. Shirts are too long and narrow. They come in rectangular shapes that are far too tight around the hips and go halfway down or sometimes even past the butt.
  2. The hip to shoulder ratio. The shoulder width of the shirts is too wide, and the hip width is too narrow.
  3. Clingy or sheer material. Most men’s t shirts are made in a very light weight cotton. This tends to cling to curvier areas and show binders or binding tape (if you are using either).

In general, trans men find a better fit with shirts that come in a boxier fit, in a heavier weight cotton. These kinds of shirts can be found across a variety of brand’s these days, though their exact proportions are never standardized. Alternatively, Both& has designed a set of t shirts–including boxy shapes, but also including semi-fitted and fitted looks–specifically for trans men. These shirts use a specific weight of cotton, have side slits at the bottom hem to facilitate extra movement around the hips, have higher collars to cover binder lines, as well as dozens of other fit details. You can learn more below:

Classic, Boxy & Slim Fit, learn more about our fit & sizing here

Pants for Trans Men

Transmasc model shirtless with top surgery scars, wearing Both& Jo denim jeans

Just like with t shirts, trans men often face specific fit challenges when buying pants from the cis men's section due to differences in body structure and proportions. Here are some of the most common issues:

  1. Hip and Thigh Fit: Trans men tend to have wider hips and thighs compared to cis men, which can make it challenging to find pants that fit comfortably around these areas without being too loose around the waist or too tight around the legs. In essence, the relationship between different parts of the pant don’t work well–to get it to fit well around the hips and thighs often means buying a size that is far too big at the waist or far too long.

  2. Waist Sizing: Men's pants are typically designed with a narrower hip-to-waist ratio. Trans men may find that pants that fit their hips are too large at the waist, requiring belts or alterations for a better fit.

  3. Length Issues: Trans men tend to be shorter on average than cis men, so pants may often be too long in the leg, necessitating hemming or rolling up the cuffs.

  4. Rise Fit: The rise of the pants (the distance from the crotch to the top of the waistband) can also be problematic. Men's pants are usually designed with a longer rise, which might not fit well if a trans man's torso is shorter.

  5. Crotch Comfort: The cut of the crotch in men's pants can sometimes be uncomfortable for trans men, particularly if they are using packing devices (which help create a male contour), or have had bottom surgery. Some pants might not have enough room or the right shape in the crotch area to comfortably accommodate a packer.

  6. General Comfort and Mobility: Due to differing body proportions, pants from the men's section might restrict movement, being either too tight in some areas or too loose in others, which impacts overall comfort and ease of wear.

In general, if you talk to folks in the community, you will hear a variety of ways that people navigate this problem. When shopping online, many trans men end up buying a number of different sizes in any given style, because they aren’t confident in what size (if any will fit). It is common to have a more oversized, straight leg pant, and to cuff the hem. But what if you don’t want that look? What if you want to wear pants that actually (gasp) fit you?

Again, Both& steps in to save the day. Both&’s pants are all made in proportions that are optimized for anyone who was assigned female at birth and wants a masculine silhouette. For pants, this means more room in the hips, thigh and bum in relation to the inseam, a slightly tapered leg fit, and in our Marlo pants, a subtle foam insert on the side of the waistband, which creates a straight fall at the curviest area from high to low hip.

Video thumbnail of Finn holding up Marlo pants inside out. View video to see how the foam insert works These issues are similar for shorts, though the length isn’t as much of an issue. Primarily, trans men struggle with finding the right shape in a short, that doesn’t create a curvy silhouette and is also comfortable, especially when sitting down. We’ve worked on both these issues in our Ki and Yuri shorts, available in limited quantities today.
Ki denim shorts and Yuri denim cargo shorts

Clothing for Trans Guys: final tips

If you are struggling to find clothing that fits and feels like an accurate representation of yourself, then you’re not alone. This is a frustrating and disheartening experience that many (if not most) trans men experience. So first and foremost, be gentle with yourself. We already face enough challenges as it is, no need to also be tough on ourselves for things like cisgender clothing design, which is entirely out of our control.

The good news though, is that there are options coming on the market that are made with our needs in mind. We no longer have to suffer through or ‘make due’ the best we can with cisgender fits that don’t work for us. Do your research, talk with other folks in the community, experiment, and find what works best for you. We promise there are good options out there, and we’d love to be a part of your journey. If you want to explore more about Both& fit, you can do so here.