meet the women creating gaffs for transfeminine people in the uk
tucking is a technique that allows a trans woman, transfeminine person, or any gender-non-conforming folks (/anyone with a penis!) to hide their bulge and flatten the crotch area.
not all trans women or transfeminine people tuck, nor should they be expected to – however, for many, tucking can work to ease gender dysphoria, can increase street safety, or can simply provide aesthetic gratification.
today, a lot of transfeminine people opt towards purchasing gaffs: a type of underwear specifically designed for tucking
if you’re in the uk, there’s a few options for where to purchase these, and most are trans-owned!
whether you’re a trans girl exploring her options, or someone wondering what to get a doll for christmas, these three brands are a good starting point:
interviduals started as a lockdown project to help their founder, marlowe, tackle her gender dysphoria; however, after noticing how effective her products had been in building up confidence in herself and her trans friends, she decided to set up an etsy shop – which now has thousands of sales and stellar reviews.
being taught how to hand sew from her tailoress nan as a teenager, marlowe is now “relentless in (her) creativity and pursuit of great quality” and has built up a loyal clientele, to whom she’s also able to offer custom orders: from wider crotches to hip sizes.
when asked about the ambitions for the shop, she shares “i do hope to partner with a manufacturer soon so that I can actually have time to grow the brand, instead of spending all my days hand making pieces. […] I’d love for my brand and products to be available in stores”.
for 10% off any available interviduals items use the code FEMME10
another unexpected business endeavour comes from strip it back; founded by ex upholsterer jo, also known as the fairy gaff mother, strip it back started after her trans daughter eva was left disappointed with an overpriced unpractical gaff purchased online.
in an effort to support her daughter in her transition, jo started making underwear upcycling old dresses; after being encouraged to try to sell some online, she was out of retirement within weeks and has now been successfully running their shop for three years, offering a variety of designs and the possibility of custom orders!
“we have to make a living but our aim is to provide a service because that is why we do what we do,” – she tells oestrogeneration. “[i get messages] just thanking me for doing what i do. i’ve had young people ask me to help them because they can’t go to their parents. i’ve had mums asking me what they need to know to help their children.”
despite their success, jo doesn’t shy away from the worries the current recession holds over her as a small business owner. holding off plans for expansion, her main goal is “that our girls will come back knowing we will always look after them”.
with a refined look, and the option of purchasing a matching bra, in just over a year ZOAH has already cemented itself as one of the top tucking brands available in the uk.
its founder danielle st. james, who is also the chief executive of not a phase, tells oestrogeneration: “i have needed the products that zoah now makes since i was a teenager. […] i was also really tired of trans products being sold using sex, i make products that focus on the person wearing them rather than the people that are looking at the people wearing them.”
she’s enthusiastic about the joy the products have brought to her customers and, in an attempt to remove financial barriers to trans women accessing her tucking briefs, she runs a ‘pay-it-forward’ scheme. thanks to this, in the last round, she was able to send out 23 pairs to people who couldn’t afford them otherwise.
dani’s goal is very simple though: she wants the products sold to be seen as “simply everyday wear” and remove the stress underwear can represent for trans people.
for 10% off any available ZOAH item please use the code oestrogeneration