Adrian Transgender Lingerie Pattern, Pride Collection and Celebrating Pride Month
Standing by what I said two years ago when we first featured a transgender model here on Madalynne – offering transgender and non-binary lingerie is more than just reducing the bust curve on a bra or a bodysuit. It’s about recognizing how much these communities are marginalized, and raising visibility and acceptance for people who are often devalued. In a country where nearly 3% of teens are trans or gender-nonconforming, the fantasy that lingerie is only for women is unreal, unnecessary, and exclusionary. It’s made me extremely happy that in just two short years, I’ve discovered more and more options for trans lingerie.
One of the biggest challenges trans women have is finding a “pretty” bra that has a wide underwire and shallow cup depth. Even if a trans woman developed breasts, their frame is still wide. For panties, the struggle is similar – finding a “pretty” panty that could accommodate tucking or not tucking. Most trans women squeeze into whatever size stores carry and make it work. My goal is to offer well-fitting lingerie, not lingerie that just works, and make *people* feel beautiful no matter their race, size, sexuality, hair color, skin color. So I began our journey to develop a bra + panty that would fill this void. I teamed up with Dr. Crotch Expert, a technician who has done extensive work for trans patterns and styles for big brands, and Laura, owner of The Rack Shack, who regularly fits trans women, to develop the Adrian. Just a few days before Pride Month begins on June 1, I’m thrilled to release a trans bra + panty made just for trans women.
The Adrian is part of our pride collection features our new style as well other colorful pieces that anybody can feel comfortable and confident in, regardless of where they fall on the size or gender spectrum.
DESCRIPTION: The Adrian has one underwire bra (View A) and two panties (Views B + C).
View A is a full band underwire bra that combines a wide underwire and band with a shallow cup depth (AA-C). It also has scalloped lace edges on the upper cups, a hook and eye closure at the center back and adjustable shoulder straps.
View B + C are basic, high-waisted panties. View B has a wide gusset for tucking and holding in the testicles and takes the compress and flatten approach. It has an arced seam that is high enough that it will catch anything that is projecting. If the gusset isn’t wide enough, the genitalia falls to one side and the leg elastic cuts in, which is very uncomfortable. View C has an extended gusset with more volume for not tucking and takes the “my parts are chillin’ in a brief like situation”approach. The gusset is extended to allow male genitalia to fall forward and project out.
WHAT MAKES A TRANS BRA A TRANS BRA:
When it comes to trans bras – there are a few options. First, what makes a trans bra a trans bra? For lots of trans women, buying bras is something that is a completely new experience. Since many trans women didn’t have a “typical” female childhood, they’re jumping in feet first and blind. What size are you? Sister sizing, say what? Should you choose an underwire or bralette? Are looking for padding or space to use inserts? Are you starting or are you on hormones will cause your breast size to gradually over time? What is the best way to invest in lingerie while keeping a reasonable budget? These are just of the few questions trans women ask.
Characteristics of a trans bra include, but are not limited to:
Wide band: Most trans women have larger-than-average band sizes and smaller-than-average cup sizes. Obviously, we, and by we I mean trans and cis, come in all different shapes and sizes and body types. The “right bra” is one that works for you and your lifestyle, but I would look for brands that offer band sizes 40+.
Shallow cups: Most trans bra have shallow/small cup depths. I suggest getting a bra that has cups made of stretch fabric. This will allow for changes in breast size/shape if you’re taking hormones.
Wide gore: This relates to the band, but look for a bra that has a wide center gore. Since most trans women have a wide frame, it will look more proportional on body (½”-1” or wider).
Wide shoulder straps: Shoulder straps that are at least ¾” wide will look proportional on a trans woman’s body.
Supportive lining: This will depend on cup size, but I suggest using power net, sheer cup lining or a lycra to line the band/frame if C cup or larger.
Recommended bras for trans women include, but are not limited to:
T-shirt/molded cup bra: T-shirt bras are made of thin, smooth material and usually have an underwire. The cups are molded/contoured to provide a curved look under any outfit. It gives the appearance of having breasts without having breasts. Inserts or padding can be put inside the cups, and as you progress with hormones, you’ll hopefully be able to fill them out. A lot of brands offer packs or bundles, so you can purchase two or multiple at a discount.
Cut and sew: A cut and sew bra is what the Adrian is – instead of the bra cups being molded to a particular shape, they are made of two, three or four different pieces sewn together. What I love most about cut + sew bras is that generally, they come in “prettier” fabrics, especially laces. Since trans women have wider chests, look for ones that have a wider center front gore. A side panel or power bar will help guide the breast tissue forward, giving the appearance of cleavage.
Bralettes: The main difference between a bra and bralette is that a bralette does not have underwires. They are usually made of a stretch cotton or lace and offer moderate support for trans women who don’t like the feeling of underwires (it can be uncomfortable against wider chests). Bralettes have an added bonus that they can be worn as part of an outfit!
Pocket bra: Pocket bras were first designed for cis women who were post mastectomies, but many brands have started altering them with trans women in mind. Pocket bras have pouches in the bra cups to accommodate a breast form or other prosthetic.
Panty options for trans women include, but are not limited to:
When it comes to trans panties – trans women with male genitalia have a few options. One of them is to tuck under and back, which requires a bigger crotch width to hold everything. The other option is to tuck up, which requires a longer gusset. In this option, moisture accumulating is a common concern. Lastly, there is wearing a gaff, but it can be uncomfortable.
HOW TO MEASURE TRANSGENDER WOMEN:
80% of bra wearers are wearing the wrong size and this includes transgender and cisgender women. That’s because most people go into a lingerie store, which only carries a few core sizes, and try on what looks to be their size. It somewhat fits, so they make do and call it their size. But I bet if that person measured themselves, they’d be a different size. Most people I measure during a bra fitting have to go down 1-2 band sizes and up 1-2 cup sizes.
Measuring and determining the proper size is not difficult. It doesn’t require multiplication or long division. Just simple subtraction. This goes for cis and transgender women. But if you’re transgender, there are a few additional things to consider – will you be wearing breast forms with the bra? Are you on hormones and your breast size will change? Or are your measurements static? For each measuring method below, it’s important to keep the tape measure level all the way around. You can wear no bra or a seamless bra – just not a padded bra that would alter measurements.
WITHOUT BREAST FORM (INCLUDES TRANSGENDER WOMEN WHO ARE ON HORMONES AND WHOSE MEASUREMENTS ARE STATIC)
Full bust: Around the fullest part of the breasts
Underbust: Directly underneath the breasts (AKA ribcage)
Waist: The smallest part of the torso
Hips: The widest part of the torso
Cup size: Underbust minus full bust. AA cup is 0-1” difference. A cup is 1-2” difference. B cup is 2-3” and so on.
WITH BREAST FORM
Underbust: Directly underneath the breasts (AKA ribcage). Depending on the brand, this will either be your band size or you will have to add 4-5”.
Cup size: You can choose! I suggest choosing a B or C cup if you have a small frame, a C or D cup if you have a medium frame, a D cup or larger if you have a large frame. Once you know your correct band size and desired cup size, you can purchase the proper bra and breast forms.
Measuring guide for trans lingerie
MORE RESOURCES FOR TRANS LINGERIE:
RUBIES A clothing brand that a dad-daughter duo in Toronto created. They have have shipped over 500 pairs to transgender girls around the world. Their bikini bottoms use compression spandex and mesh that together crest a compact fit so that transgender girls can feel comfortable doing the same things as their cisgender friends. Today, their campaign, Every Girl Deserves to Shine, ships free bikini bottoms around the world to those who can’t afford them.
Origami Customs is a Canadian brand specializing in trans lingerie
Reel Magik offers FTM (female to male) prosthetics that have moveable outer foreskin layers. This outer layer of skin feels like actual foreskin and can be moved and pulled independently of the main penile shaft. Offers 18 different skin tones with color mixing. All of our ftm prosthetics are painted and detailed using a highly refined technique originally pioneered for the film industry.
Transthetics offers another FTM prosthetics
Just like last year, we will be donating 5% of sales from our pride collection this month to Point of Pride. This month is a special time to celebrate and honor the beautiful + resilient trans community and remind ourselves that love is love.
I was introduced to Point of Pride by a previous trans model for Madalynne. Point of Pride’s goal is to benefit trans people through gender-affirming support programs that empower them to a more authentic life. They offer an Annual Transgender Surgery Fund, a Free Chest Binder Donation Program, a Free Trans Femme Shapewear Program, an Electrolysis Financial Support Program, an HRT Access Fund, and other community-building support initiatives for trans youth and adults.
This is one small step by Madalynne in a long journey of learning and supporting the trans community. I am proud of the steps Madalynne as well as society has taken to be more loving + kind and support equality for all.