Calling it “unconscionable” that no women’s clothes are made to fit men, and vice versa, the North American Cross-Dressing Society filed lawsuits in the United States and Canada today against the garment industry in the hopes of forcing manufacturers to end size discrimination.
“These lawsuits are for cross-dressers everywhere who are tired of the slim pickings they find at clothing racks across the United States and Canada,” says John Sebers, president of the cross-dressers group and a cross-dresser who lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “In a day and age when heroes like Caitlin Jenner are breaking down barriers for transgender people, we cross-dressers continue to find our favorite coordinates and our essential mix-and-match outfits completely mis-sized for us.”
The group is seeking class-action status for the lawsuit, which was filed in the Seventh District Court of New York. The group’s Canadian branch filed a similar lawsuit in the Ontario Court of Justice.
Meyer Horowitz, the plaintiff in the U.S. suit, says it doesn’t matter where he goes, he can never find anything to wear. “Macy’s, Nordstrom’s—it doesn’t matter,” he says. “Even Dress Barn has nothing for a man of my size.”
Male cross-dressers say clothing manufacturers don’t take into account men’s broader shoulders, thicker arms, and narrower hips when making women’s clothes. Nor do they account for women’s broader hips and slighter upper bodies in the design and manufacture of men’s clothes.
“I shouldn’t have to look like a little boy wearing a big man’s suit just because I’m a woman when I wear a man’s suit,” says Shayna Loomis, a cross-dreseer in Toronto. “I find it humiliating to have to go to the boys’ section to get a suit. Not only that, but you’re just not going to find the full selection of styles in the boys’ section.”
Loomis says this institutional discrimination forces her to get her men’s clothes tailored, and that adds up. “I think I spent a thousand dollars last year on tailoring,” she says. “That’s ridiculous.”
Manufacturers say it’s not them but clothing designers who are responsible for the size and fit of clothing. “Of course we don’t discriminate and of course we will fight this lawsuit aggressively and we will win,” says Bill Dickson, a spokesperson for the Clothing Manufacturers of North America.
Bill Henderson, president of Toronto-based Glaxtar, Inc., a joint venture operation that oversees the manufacture of almost 6 percent of all business casual clothing in North America, says men with broad shoulders have no shortage of clothing options. “It’s called the men’s department,” he says. “Every department store has one. You can find it by going to where all the men are shopping. When you get there, you’ll find plenty of clothes that fit you. And women can find a wide selection in what’s known as the women’s department. If you try those sections and come back empty handed, we’ll talk. But if you go into the wrong section, of course you’re going to find nothing to wear.”
This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos (some modified): mt and gg (Creative Commons and public domain). Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.
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