Customers can determine their own size measurements using a step-by-step guide accompanied by instructional videos, and send in clothing they want altered without having to appear in person. (Shutterstock/-)
A clothing repair company has launched an online service aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender customers who might feel reluctant bringing garments for alterations to regular brick-and-mortar stores.
Tokyo-based En Coton has set up the website Madam M, which proclaims to be "Japan's first genderless clothes repair."
"There are many places in cities where LGBT interact, but there are also people in regional areas who are afraid to speak (about their concerns) to those around them," said Koki Hashimoto, who is in charge of Madam M's website.
Regardless of the sex a person identifies with, particularly in the case of transgender individuals, it is no longer necessary to make excuses or worry about fabricating stories, providing an easy way for customers to arrange alterations over the internet. They can enjoy getting dolled up with anonymity, the company says.
In the case of transgender individuals, ready-made clothing they had hoped to wear might not fit in certain places, such as in the shoulder width or sleeve length.
Even if the clothing is resized to fit at a regular clothes repair, it might be lacking a particular femininity or masculinity that can only be handled by making elaborate alterations. Indeed, requests will vary greatly, says the company.
Customers may feel reluctant to explain these details to store clerks or in front of other customers. A man who wishes to have his skirt altered might say it was for his wife, while a woman who brings in men's clothing might claim it belongs to her brother.
To get prepared, Madam M, which opened its website last September, solicited feedback about specific clothing styles at a bar in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
Customers can determine their own size measurements using a step-by-step guide accompanied by instructional videos, and send in clothing they want altered without having to appear in person.
Customers who might feel uneasy about taking their own measurements, can ask questions about their particular size alterations via email.
"For starters, we want to make this a place where people feel free to consult with us," Hashimoto said.