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This Gender-Neutral Line Is Challenging The Swimsuit Binary

by BUST Magazine

“Swimsuit season”—not to mention shopping for it—can be its own special kind of hell, especially for people who identify as non-binary. Swimwear options remain woefully limited to stereotypical ideas of gender (bikini vs. trunks), but thankfully, Hirsuit is filling that gap with an androgynous suit made for a wide range of bodies, sizes (XXS-XXL), and identities.

The idea comes from Rachel Berks, who is also behind the concept store and community space Otherwild, and her partner, artist A.L. Steiner. “Though gender-neutral clothing has been trending for years, there has been a scarcity in this swimwear arena,” says Berks. “Many trans, lesbian, queer, butch, gender-non-conforming, andro, and other people I know struggle to find options for beachwear that feel comfortable for their bodies, tastes, and identities.” The design, which offers comfort and coverage, is inspired by swimsuits, leotards, and wrestling uniforms from the 1920s and ’30s, and is reversible, so you get two colors for the price of one ($150, otherwild.com). Committed to ethical production, Hirsuit is manufactured in the U.S., and the fabric is 82 percent recycled polyester and 18 percent long-lasting spandex. Just like gender-queerness, these suits are here to stay. 

By Francesca Volpe
Top photo by Salima Allen

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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