Fashion’s relationship with gender binaries has always been somewhat complicated, but there’s no denying that for decades now, fashion has played an important role in redefining what it means to be ‘feminine’. Think Coco Chanel, who popularised women wearing trousers in the ’20s, and Princess Diana, who never shied away from a power-suit.
From the popular boyfriend tee to the loose-fitting suit trend, many modern women have also expressed a taste for oversized, so-called menswear. And in a world where old-school gender stereotypes have proven difficult to dismantle, such bold fluidity is always a gratifying sight to see.
Achieving the oversized-menswear trend, for most of us anyway, often involves shopping vintage or secondhand menswear at op shops, which has its pros and cons. The beauty of shopping second hand and vintage (other than its sustainable appeal, of course) is that you’re unlikely to find someone with the exact same garment, the downside being that it often doesn’t fit as well as you would hope.
But designer, mother and founder of Reboundclub Tessa Quinn is shaking up the vintage menswear game and making all our oversized clothing dreams come true. Combining sustainability, expert tailoring and classic menswear, Reboundclub is offering tailored vintage men’s garments to fit women’s bodies. It’s the ultimate solution for those of us longing for the Hailey Bieber wardrobe, without the hefty price tag.
Tessa’s personal love for menswear and the praise she was receiving for her sourcing skills were the two driving factors behind starting Reboundclub. “I have always worn men’s clothes and I received a lot of compliments about them which led me to start the new business,” she explains.
What is Reboundclub?
Reboundclub is all about making it easier to find well-tailored vintage pieces while reducing the number of clothes that end up in landfill. By giving garments a second chance on life, the aim behind Tessa’s new brand is to “open the eyes for girls who don’t know where to start when it comes to second-hand clothing, especially if they are wanting to be more sustainable.”
Inspired by an oversized and masculine aesthetic – think Phoebe Philo at CElise –Tessa’s collection has all your menswear favourites covered, including blazers, long-sleeved shirts, suit pants and jackets made from high-quality wool and cotton fabrics. The items are all listed at a very reasonable price point too, with each item sitting at $150 or under. You are able to snatch up a blazer for $100-$150, pants for $80 and a timeless button-up shirt for $60.
How does Reboundclub work?
Tessa spends her days sourcing menswear from op shops and vintage stores. After sourcing the garments, Tessa then takes them to the tailors to make the all-important feminine alterations. “The main adjustments include the waist circumference, shoulder width and sleeve length, while still keeping the strong masculine style,” she tells me.
But finding well-kept vintage clothes can be tricky, and not to mention time-consuming. “You often find a great item, but it’s got a rip or a hole in it,” she says. “That’s a problem I’m trying to work on, so the item doesn’t go to waste.”
Tailoring vintage pieces is also a lot harder than working with new garments with sizing being the biggest challenge. “Sizing has always been a learning curve, especially with vintage, it’s not the standard 6 to 16. I spend a lot of time finding the right fit, going to a lot of different op shops and vintage stores trying to find specific cuts.”
Most vintage items don’t come in numerical sizes either, therefore Tessa lists each garment with the specific measurements. The description alongside the one-off pieces includes pant length, sleeve length and shoulder width. This allows the customer to see how oversized the fit will be and choose which style would suit them best.
Along with new tailoring, the garments are re-branded with the sleek Reboundclub logo. Tessa marks the items with, “a woven ‘RB’ patch on the inside of a blazer, on the back of the waist for pants, and on any buttons and labels.” Once complete, the items are sent off to the dry cleaners, before being listed on the Reboundclub website.
Making upscaled secondhand clothing accessible for all is at the heart of Tessa’s brand. The affordable price points reflect this, as does Reboundclub’s initial success. “I wanted the garments to be affordable and sellable,” says Tessa. “I didn’t know if anyone was even going to be interested in it, but I’ve had a really positive response.”
Her first collection Drop One has already sold out, proving that many Australian women are eager to shop second-hand alternatives like Reboundclub. Luckily, Tessa isn’t slowing down anytime soon, with her next collectionDrop Two already in production.
And Reboundclub is right on target when it comes to the future of the industry, following a slow and considered business model. “We’re focusing on small drops, all locally-altered in Melbourne so there’s no large production behind it,” she says.
You can expect to see Tessa’s individual flair weaved into the next drop as she experiments with changing styles. “In the next drop, there will be more jackets and pants, this time with more alterations and new styles, I’ve even taken men’s shirts and made them shorter and included cut-outs,” she explains.
With the climate crisis remaining a very real issue, it’s becoming increasingly important for us to be conscious of our purchasing choices. Secondhand and vintage have always been great, sustainable options, and now, with Tessa’s Reboundclub, we can incorporate reclaimed and tailored vintage menswear into our wardrobes, too.