What’s the next best thing to feeling good in the skin you’re in? Feeling good in the underwear you choose for your skin! Luckily, there’s now a place where queer-identified persons can go to find feel good underwear. Started in April 2015, Bluestockings Boutique is an online ‘lingerie and underthings’ boutique geared towards the LGBTQIA+ community. Based out of Boston, Bluestockings’ mission is to empower those who have felt forgotten or intimidated by mainstream lingerie culture.
Lingerie culture has historically been ruled by a very particular image. Retailers like Victoria’s Secret have more or less trademarked the depiction of impossibly thin, white women with long loose curls in barely-there undergarments. Because of the brand’s wild success, subsequent lingerie brands have regarded this particular image as the target and really, only consumer market that is interested in lingerie. In doing this, a huge segment of bodies have been repeatedly unrepresented and ignored in the underwear world.
Inventory that addresses a spectrum of identities is what sets Bluestockings Boutique apart. Not only does the e-retailer offer an impressive range of brands, styles, and sizes, the shop aims to appeal to a wide variety of queer people and prioritize the identities, bodies, and values of this community. Additionally, environmental sustainability is a must for the boutique. The world of fashion production has been under intense scrutiny over the last few years because of the environmental implications of production. This includes everything from hazardous waste disposal to water use/reuse. Bluestockings’ featured designers and brands have also been carefully selected for the boutique based on the value they place on production sustainability.
Founder Jeanna Kadlec saw a need in the LGBTQIA+ community. A true entrepreneur, Kadlec dropped out of her Ph.D. program to open Bluestockings though she previously had no business experience. Ultimately, she sought to create an experience where customers would have their pronouns respected, could ask fitting questions and get genuine, informative answers, and have discreet shipping.
In addition to making queer underwear options accessible, Bluestockings does bra drives for Rosie’s Place, a local, LGBTQIA+ inclusive shelter in the Boston area and has made charitable donations to several organizations, including but not limited to, Fenway Health, The Sylvia Rivera Law Project, and Planned Parenthood.
Bluestockings Boutique currently features seventeen different retailers and is still growing. Available items include binders, ‘nude’ options for black skin, boxer briefs, and sexy lace options for fat bodies, and much, much more! Check them out for your next purchase of underthings!