A small boutique is transforming itself into a promising fashion start-up.
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FASHION: Tomboy chic, NEW SHOP IN BANGKOK CATERS FOR BOYISH GIRLS by Kanokporn Chanasongkram
A lot of men laughed while many girls got the giggles upon seeing the banner display in front of the shop. It was also common to see passersby [people passing by] walking back in wonder to look at the ad again. It was an advertisement for vests, which weren’t ordinary vests but bare necessities for a tomboy.
Tomboys want to look cool and smart in their own style.
"At first people probably thought it was crazy,’’ said Supamas ‘Jean’ Sirimoungkalavanit, owner of Tom Chic shop. ‘‘It was quite understandable to get such responses because tomswear was something new to them."
The tomswear collection of stretch vests, boxer shorts and fashionable shirts were sold on the internet before Jean opened the small outlet at The One shopping centre last year. Its considerable e-commercial success demonstrated a demand for tomboy clothing, especially boob minimisers.
"We don’t like wearing bras, especially push-up bras that make breasts seem bigger. We dearly needed comfortable underwear that facilitated movement and fit in with our lifestyles but there wasn’t any tomboy underwear available for us in the market,’’ said Jean, who quit wearing a brassiere at 16.
To hide their femininity, some tomboys resort to girdles normally worn around the waist. The tight-fitting girdles squash the soft breast and caused skin rashes. Jean was one of the sufferers from this ordeal and that led to the development of Tom Chic underwear.
Designed for a female physique, the stretch vests are made of a special fabric with spandex that makes them safer and more durable than girdles. They enhance ‘tomdom’ while allowing freedom of movement,’’ said the tomboy entrepreneur.
In its third year, Tom Chic also aims to be a fashion brand, releasing seasonal and limited edition collections with designs in line with global trends. ‘‘Looking at men’s andwomen’s fashion trends, we adapt them to create our own tomboy style,’’ Jean said.
People often misperceive that we want to be like men.We have a different taste, lifestyle and identity, and so tomboy clothing is different from what men wear.
Working tomboys would normally sport a shirt in white, black, dark blue or grey tones while at leisure they would don colourful casual wear. On the outside, they want to look cool and smart by mixing and matching a vest with a shirt or jacket whereas on the inside they maybe wearing white boxer shorts with a pink trim, to reflect their sweeter side. As the clothing comes in six sizes, from 2S to XXL, both slim and chubby tomboys can look equally as chic.
Interestingly, Tom Chic’s customers now include men and women who buy the vests for sportswear or as body shapers to help flatten the tummy. Today many people still stop at the banner display, not to laugh at it but to take a snap of the gorgeous presenter sporting the stretch vest.
"Our presenter is an internet idol and has a fan club. The stretch vests and boxer shorts have become quite popular and the business is in a growth stage,’’ said Jean.
By the end of this month, we will be expanding via distributors to every province so tomboys across the country will have access our products and get in style.
The Tom Chic shop at The One shopping centre, Lat Phrao.
(Source: Bangkok Post, FASHION, Tomboy chic, NEW SHOP IN BANGKOK CATERS FOR BOYISH GIRLS, 9/02/2011, Kanokporn Chanasongkram, link)
tomboy - "a tomboy is a girl who exhibits some characteristics and or behavior considered typical of the gender role of a boy, including the wearing of typically masculine-oriented types of clothes and engaging in games and activities that are often physical in nature, and which are considered in many cultures to be the domain of boys" (See Wikipedia)
chic - fashionable and sophisticated
boutique - a small store that sells fashionable things such as clothing or jewellry, the store itself is usually a unique creative expression of its owner too (See Wikipedia)
start-up - a small company in its earliest stages of development when it is still trying to achieve a regular revenue stream (See Wikipedia)
cater for - serving, meeting the needs of
giggle - a little bit of nervous, excited laughter หัวเราะคิกคัก
banner - a wide piece of cloth with a message written on it ธง
common - usual ordinary, seen everyday ที่เกิดขึ้นทุกวัน
passersby - a person passing a place while walking
vest - a covering for the top part of your body
necessity - something needed in a situation
bare necessities - just what you need and nothing more (example: a room with a chair, table and bed)
cool - clever; impressive ดีเลิศ (คำสแลง)
stretch - to cause something to reach, often as far as possible, in a particular direction ขยายออก, ยืดออก
stretch vests - like a jacket without arms (See example)
boxer shorts - loose fitting underpants worn by men and boys usually (See Wikipedia)
fashionable - popular at a particular time ทันสมัย
considerable - large; of noticeable importance จำนวนมาก, ค่อนข้างใหญ่
e-commerce (noun) - the buying and selling of products and services over the internet (See Wikipedia)
commercial - for business purposes
demand - the need and desire of customers to buy goods and services
boob - breast
minimize - make the smallest size possible
boob minimisers - clothing that makes the breasts as small as possible
bra - เสื้อชั้นในสตรี (See Wikipedia)
push-up bras - a bra that is "structured so that the breasts are lifted and placed closer together to enhance the cleavage. The best-known brand of push-up bra is the Wonderbra. Many push-up bras contain padding, typically made of foam or rubber, but some contain gel-filled pads. The main distinction between padded bras and push-up bras that incorporate padding is whether the padding is centred under the breasts to lift them or is outside the centre so that the padding pushes the breasts inward" (See Wikipedia)
cleavage - the space between a woman's breasts
comfortable - feeling pleasant to wear or use สบาย
underwear - clothes worn under other clothes, close to the skin, undergarments (See Wikipedia)
brassiere - same as "bra" (See Wikipedia)
don - to put on a piece of clothing and wear it ใส่เสื้อ
facilitated - assisted; helped; make it easier for someone to do something
facilitated movement - making it easier to move
fit - suitable for a particular situation; appropriate อย่างสมพระเกียรติ
X fits in with Y - X matchs and is suitable to be used with Y
femininity - the qualities that are considered typical of women, female qualities ความเป็นผู้หญิง
resort to X - solve a difficult problem by doing something extreme or unpleasant X
girdle - a soft narrow belt that you tie round the waist, a piece of very tight underwear that women wore in the past to make them look thinner (See Wikipedia)
waist - the middle part of the body that is narrower than the parts above and below เอว
tight - very close with no extra room, not loose คับแน่น
tight-fitting - when clothes are tight and close to your body, not loose, close-fitting รัดรูป, พอดีตัว
squash - press into a small space, compress, press, cram, squeeze บด, บีบ, คั้น อัดแน่น
rash - a change in the skin's color, appearance or texture (See Wikipedia)
ordeal - an extremely unpleasant experience, especially one that lasts for a long time ประสบการณ์ที่แสนสาหัส
development - the gradual growth and formation of something
female - of a woman สำหรับผู้หญิง
physique - the shape and size of a human body ร่างกาย รูปร่าง
fabric - material used to make clothes
spandex - a material or fabric that stretches easily (See Wikipedia)
durable - able to stay in good condition for a long time ทนทาน
enhance - to improve the quality, amount or strength of something ปรับปรุง, ทำให้ดีขึ้น, ทำให้ดีเพิ่มขึ้น, ขยาย เพิ่ม
tomdom - playing with words, a "tomdom" being like a "kingdom"
freedom of movement - easy to move your body more easily
entrepreneur - someone who starts their own business, especially when this involves risks นักลงทุนทางการเงิน
brand - a type of product made by a particular company ตรา, ยี่ห้อ
seasonal - for or happening during different periods of the year
limited edition collections - only a limited amount is produced
in line with - matching, following, agreeing with
global - throughout the world ทั่วโลก
global trends - all over the world, things that people are doing more and more
adapt - change to meet new situation, change something to suit different conditions or uses ทำให้เหมาะ, ทำให้เข้ากับ, ปรับ
misperceive - misunderstand, not understand correctly, in the right way
lifestyle - the living conditions and things people do everyday (fashion, home decoration, pets, cooking, music, tv, movies, garden, etc) รูปแบบการดำเนินชีวิต
identity - who someone is
sport a shirt - wear a shirt
casual wear - comfortable clothes that allow a person to be creative (vs. uniforms or strict company dress codes) (See Wikipedia)
look cool - have a good appearance that people like to look at
look smart - have a good appearance that people like to look at
mixing and matching - wear different clothes that you own in many different combinations
trim - decorations on the edge of clothes (or something other object)
reflect - to show สะท้อน แสดงถึง
reflect their sweeter side - show the sweeter part of their personality and mood
chubby - fat in a pleasant and attractive way กลม
tummy - belly, stomach (on the outside)
flatten the tummy - make the stomach or belly smaller, less big and fat
take a snap - take a photo with a camera
gorgeous - very beautiful
presenter - person showing something to the public
idol - a much admired person, a celebrity, especially popular "teen idols" in Japan and other places in Asia (See Wikipedia)
fan club - a group of people (club) who meet and share their love of a celebtrity or well-known person (See Wikipedia)
stage - a particular point in time during a process or set of events ระยะเวลา ช่วงเวลา จังหวะเวลา
growth stage - the period of time when it is growing
distributor - a company that suppplies goods to many shops, a middleman, a dealer, a seller ผู้จัดจำหน่าย, ตัวแทนขายสินค้า
access - the right or opportunity to have or use something ได้รับสิทธิ์หรือโอกาสในการใช้