Glitter Grandpa’s Genderless Custom Underwear Has You Covered

I’d been sporting the same pack of Hanes boxers (you know, the kind you  can only acquire after dodging around the gendered holiday stocking stuffers upstairs at Target) for a while, so I was pumped to try out Glitter Grandpa’s custom boxer-briefs. They exceeded all expectations. Really. Like divine intervention kinda good. Crafted by “your friendly, neighborhood trans and queer sewist,” Noah Riley, creator of the Glitter Grandpa brand, and distributed through Cat Conley’s Steer Queer online store, this custom line of underwear is marketed toward folks of any size, shape, and gender with an appreciation for comfort and style. I sat down with Cat and Noah at Mixtape, Penn Avenue’s local queer-esque cocktail bar, to discuss the apparel.

(Photography: Masha Vereshchenko)

Cat describes the product as “genderless, sizeless, custom underwear.” And indeed, they’re designed to perfectly fit any body type. Right now, they are only available in a boxer-brief cut, but even this style has many built-in affordances. Customers can choose from different waistband types, leg lengths (with the option of anti-roll thigh bands), and an optional fly opening or extra space in the front for those who want a little more wiggle room. Noah makes a point of “staying informed and doing research about product sources.” As a result, the print fabric is domestically sourced, and the two make sure that the people involved in production are “compensated for their time” at every step of the process.

Beyond the technicalities, they’re also just a lot of fun. Right now designs come in plain black, galaxy print, and a succulent pattern. While the plain black design is made of micro modal rayon jersey knit (with 30% four-way stretch), the galaxy and succulent options are printed on Sport Lycra (88% Polyester and 12% Lycra fiber). Because of this feature, these two latter models possess “the durability and quality necessary for workout apparel and swimwear.” Versatile and snazzy, this is a garment you can show off or keep to yourself in just about any situation.

(Photography: Masha Vereshchenko)

Glitter Grandpa’s custom underwear sets itself apart from other products through its angled approach to their customers’ needs. Many brands out there target a few niche identity aspects at the expense of others. For instance, they’ll offer a nuanced array of sizes, but fail to take into account differences in gender presentation, or they’ll cater to genderqueer kids (read: small afab folks), but fall short in terms of sizing options. (Raise your hand if you awoke one morning to a barrage of TomboyX ads plastered across your social media platforms, and wondered what combinations of hummus flavors and DIY tutorials you “liked” that managed to indicate your gender identity to our tech overlords). As many of us have experienced, moreover, industry standard underwear sizes sold at most retail stores typically translates to all sizes fit none. Glitter Grandpa’s custom underwear tackles these issues on all fronts (and backs) by providing customers with genderless underwear in multiple styles that is tailored to their individual bodies.

Pittsburgh is an ideal location for this product to take off (in a “if you build it, they will come” sense). “There are a lot of queer people here,” notes Noah. “…who have butts!” quips Cat. Beyond basic necessity, the town itself is host to folks from various communities and backgrounds. “It’s a good test for keeping things in perspective,” remarks Cat. They express that they have already received a great deal of support from the maker community and fellow queer entrepreneurs. The city also presents the brand with a little growing room. Noah remarks that it’s important to him to keep making products for people across different identities. He hopes to develop the line to include binders, sports bras, swimwear, and other varieties of underwear  to meet the needs of trans and queer people. Beyond simply making underwear to share with his community, Noah also intends to conduct a series of online tutorials, which will demonstrate how folks can make their own binders and underwear. His ongoing mission is to help queer and trans folks develop the skills to create clothing in which they feel comfortable. His blog can be found here, and he is also active on Facebook and Instagram.

(Photography: Masha Vereshchenko)

Ready to buy a pair? Soon, you will be able to submit your style preferences and measurements in a form on Steer Queer’s website. A pair of underwear costs $35, comes with free shipping, and will take about two to four weeks to ship after you input your details. They also plan to offer a sponsorship option in the future, which will allow you to purchase a pair for another in need. If you’re keen on checking out the product beforehand, Steer Queer will be tabling at local craft fairs, including the Brewer’s Artist Showcase. Noah will offer fittings on site. Check them out soon, and find a pair that’s perfect for you!

Of course, I give Glitter Grandpa’s custom underwear however many stars it takes to make a constellation. Because they are out of this world.

This article originally appeared on QueerPgh.com. This article is preserved as a part of the Q Archives project. Please consider donating to help preserve Pittsburgh’s Queer history.