Creating Gender- and Size-Inclusive Clothing

TomboyX is a clothing company committed to creating high-quality apparel and underwear that any body could feel comfortable in. Founded in 2012, it offers products including bras, boxers, shorts, hats, socks and more.

Fran Dunaway, Co-Founder & President of TomboyX, talks about creating clothing and a brand that resonate with women, no matter where they fall on the gender and size spectrum.

Key Takeaways

  1. Mental Health and Fashion: TomboyX sees mental health as one of the biggest wellness challenges women face today. “We were the first ones to recognize the subtle shaming. You could be subtly shamed if you have to go to the women’s section, or if you have to pay more because you’re a plus size… We have so much negativity other there and so much judgment and so many brands that are telling you how to be cool if you’re only this or that, or this size, or wear this. We toss that all out the window,” said Dunaway.
  2. Making Good on a Brand Promise: TomboyX faced strong competition in its early days. “When we first started, Victoria’s Secret had 65% market share in the underwear category. That was a category that was absolutely open for disruption… our focus was on [being] comfortable in your own skin,” shared Dunaway. TomboyX’s products resonated with customers. “Really, it was a value proposition. We kind of put our money where our mouth was and developed product that fulfilled our brand promise.”
  3. Demand for Inclusive Sizing: Dunaway emphasized customers’ desire for high-quality apparel of all sizes. “We also were the first real company to come out and carry sizes in extra small through 4X. We’ve since added triple extra small to 6X, because there’s a customer base out there that also [had] unmet needs of comfortable clothes that really fit you,” she said.

That tomboy spirit really resonates a lot with people. It's also about just being comfortable in your own skin. That includes members of the LGBTQ community. It includes the plus-size community. It includes a lot of people that are laborers that need comfortable clothing. It's really about function and fit more than anything.

- Fran Dunaway, Co-Founder & President

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Lauren Leibrandt