By Tristan Higgins | ButchOnTap
Two local women launch jeans line
I sat down with Vicky and Charisse Pasche, the brains and talent behind DapperBoi, a new fashion line for androgynous types.
In true ButchOnTap fashion, we met at Brothers Provisions in Rancho Bernardo and talked over a craft beer and some Irish Nachos.
Vicky and Charisse are recently married. Vicky is from upstate New York and moved here in 2005. Charisse is a San Diego native, moving here from the Philippines when she was only 1.
I started by asking how DapperBoi came to be. Vicky explained that she has been thinking about DapperBoi for three years. Her initial concept was for suits and bow ties (gulp!), and they actually have prototypes of both.
When Vicky saw what Saint Harridan was doing and that they were successful, she got excited. What is the one thing that everyone needs? Jeans. So they decided to launch their line with jeans instead of suits.
Vicky: When I first started to get a bit more masculine of center, I bought jeans from the men’s section at Old Navy. I got a new confidence from men’s jeans. I stopped dressing like a slob. My ties matched my shoes!
ButchOnTap (BOT): That’s a thing? I thought it was just the belt and the shoes…
Vicky: I don’t know, maybe not. But I had a plaid bow tie and these plaid loafers, and I felt awesome.
BOT: How do you start making jeans? What does that even look like?
Vicky: I started talking with this guy, and he strongly encouraged me to focus on one thing. That’s when I went through my laundry list and decided the one thing everyone wears is jeans. The problem is men’s jeans aren’t flattering. We started looking like crazy for a manufacturer. No one would call me back, we got hung up on.
Charisse: In fashion, you need to know someone, or they have to really love your product.
Vicky: Someone finally replied to my email and we met with him in LA. Charisse and I tried on the same cut of jeans in both mens and womens.
Charisse: I was the fit model. [Charisse is a self-identified super-girly femme]. The men’s products were super unflattering. I thought, how would any butch want to wear these?
BOT: Explain some of the differences. [I am a little skeptical, maybe because I like baggy men’s jeans. Or do I? Is it just that I haven’t had any other options?]
Vicky: Men’s jeans have an extra-long crotch (which gives women crotch rub), they have no give in the hip, baggier legs and more pockets. Women’s jeans have a shorter zipper, more flexibility at the waist and seat, and go in at the knee and flare out or go skinny. We added nice deep pockets — including one that will fit your iPhone 6, and put in a longer zipper without the longer crotch. Basically, we took the top half of women’s jeans and added masculine features, and the bottom half of men’s jeans. Plus, we added in our own little details.
BOT: Like a bow tie stitched into the bottom cuff!
Vicky: Yes, like that, and the DapperBoi logo lining around the top. Plus, the denim is a medium weight and it has the newest blend of materials to give it this great stretch. It’s cotton-poly-spandex. To prove that, I can tell you that I wore them on our drive to Oakland and for the eight-hour drive I didn’t have to unbutton my jeans. They are super comfortable.
BOT: How did you come up with the name “DapperBoi”?
Vicky: Dapper is a sharp look and Boi is a cute play on words.
BOT: Do you identify as a Boi or a Butch?
Vicky: Not really. I’ve been called both, but I don’t really identify myself as either. I think I am most comfortable describing myself as a masculine of center (MOC) woman.
BOT: Tell me about Kickstarter.
Vicky: We launched on April 21 and it ends on May 20. We must raise $18,000. We were at $5,400 already this morning in just four days. Of course our family and friends have been super supportive, and sharing our stuff a lot. But we need more people to pledge! We are nervous and a mess. [They don’t appear to be either.] We put everything into these jeans. We moved from a four bedroom to a one bedroom.
Charisse: I used to have a shoe room, but I sold most of them to raise money for DapperBoi and then put the others in storage. We work 4 feet from each other. Side-by-side every day. We are super committed and excited. We will literally give each other a high-five and then keep working.
BOT: What does success look like for DapperBoi?
Vicky: Working together and collaborating. We want to expand into different jean lines, if we hit some of the stretch goals on Kickstarter, we will offer different washes and styles. We want girls to feel comfortable because jeans are such a staple of our closet, androgynous girls should have accessible jeans. We want to be the go-to place for jean lines. Up until now, it has been like word-of-mouth. You ask a friend where you might get some jeans that aren’t too girly, but won’t be huge on you. We want to change that.
After that, it was time for me to try on the jeans. They brought several sizes for me of the prototypes, but it just so happened that the jeans closest to my size were the ones Vicky was wearing.
“I am literally going to give you the jeans off of my body to try on,” she said. “Is that gross?”
“Not as long as you are wearing underwear,” I replied, and the two of us marched off to the restroom.
As Vicky took off her DapperBoi jeans and handed them to me, I noted she had slipped on purple basketball shorts and was wearing Superman socks.
“An MOC person after my own heart,” I thought.
I tried on the jeans and though they were too big, I did like them. Yes, they are much slimmer through the leg than what I normally wear, but again, I think that is because I have not had jeans that were made to fit a woman that I would feel comfortable wearing as a Butch. I think that DapperBoi has changed that. I can’t wait to get my hands on my very own pair and I will be supporting their campaign to make that happen. If you would like to do so, too, here is the link: bit/ly/DapperBoiKickstarter.
It’s Butch to find jeans that make you feel amazing. It’s even more Butch to make them for the whole community. Be Butch.
—Tristan Higgins is a native San Diegan who blogs about beer and being butch at ButchOnTap.com, which is also often carried in the Gay Voices section of the Huffington Post. You can follow ButchOnTap on Twitter and Facebook.