Getting dressed. It sounds easy, right? How hard could it be to complete the task that is those two simple words? Most would say it’s a quick 3-step job:
- Open your closet
- Grab some clothes that match
- Put them on
Not so fast. Sure, it can be that easy for some folks…but then there are people like me. I’m Whitney Borisenok: wife, sister, daughter, aunt, musician, athlete, dress-wearer, sweatpants connoisseur, hoodie enthusiast, penny loafer aficionado, dedicated shirt tucker-inner, and lover of Jeeps. A renaissance woman, you might say.
Allow me to share with you a brief history of the case of Whitney Borisenok v. Clothes. It all starts on January 6th, 1986. An average height, big-boned guy and a 5'0" small-boned girl have a baby. You guessed it – yours truly.
Fast forward 12 years and it's confirmed that in the game of genetics, I drew the dad straw: I am, for the most part, a spitting image of him - complete with his broad shoulders and his big-boned legs. I always remind him how grateful I am to have received his work ethic, his anal-retentiveness, and his legs. Thanks, dad!
My dad’s features have fared me very well in my athletic career, but not so well in my modeling career. Yes, that’s right – I’m also a model. Did I forget to mention that earlier? My mistake. I've modeled exactly 2 times: once when my mom made my sister and I participate in a mall fashion show for JC Penney when we were toddlers and then again 20 years later when I did some promo shots for my album release. It’s not the lengthiest of all modeling careers, but you know what they say: “Quality over quantity.”
Fortunately for me and unfortunately for you, my mom couldn’t dig up the almost 30-year-old modeling photos, so please instead view the below photo of me wearing 1989’s latest trends and naturally striking a pose at 3-years-old along with some promo shots from my album release.
Fast forward another 7 years and I’m 18 years old. This was the year it was confirmed that, in the game of sexuality, I drew the lesbian straw....and I might have drawn the most challenging lesbian straw of all: the "sometimes I like to dress feminine and sometimes I like to dress masculine, but 80% of the time I like to hang out right in the middle" straw. Oh yeah, this is where it starts to get fun.
Because of my body type and my style preferences, I've always struggled finding clothes that I not only LOOK good in, but that I also FEEL good in...and isn't that what it's all about? Men’s shirts rarely fit – when I find a size that’s cut nicely in the shoulders, the waist is always too narrow. If I can find a women's shirt that isn't plastered in pink, purple, or teal, it's likely to fit my waist but the shoulders are too snug. I generally end up with a men’s shirt that’s just a bit too big and then I deal with all of the extra fabric by tucking it in. I make it work, but it’s not often that I feel totally authentic in my clothes. It ends up feeling more like trying to put an octagon-shaped block into a circle-shaped hole – if you push it hard enough and twist it around, it’ll might work…but it’s not comfortable. This might be perfect analogy for my relationship with clothes. Now, let’s take an analytical look at the piece of evidence below:
Exhibit A: Enormous collar spans the entire length of my neck; commensurable with a neck brace.
Exhibit B: So much fabric! If I spread my arms and leapt, I could probably fly.
Exhibit C: Double-rolled sleeves that STILL fall at my wrist.
Exhibit D: The infamous tuck! Without it, I’d be wearing a shirt dress.
And then there are jeans. Don't even get me started on jeans. For as long as I can remember, it’s been next to impossible find jeans that I feel good in. Jeans that I feel good in with pockets that can fit more than a bottle cap? Actually impossible to find. Currently, I have 2 pairs that I feel only "okay" about...which is very unfortunate since my daily wardrobe consists mostly of a hoodie, a pair of jeans, sneakers or boots, and a Carhartt beanie. So, in the case of Whitney Borisenok v. Clothes....Clothes have been winning.
In the last 2 years, I've lost 30 pounds and gained complete control of my struggle with anxiety. I am the fittest, healthiest, and most confident I've ever been...and I YEARN to be able to wear clothes that reflect that. Enter Kirrin Finch. I first stumbled on KF a couple of years ago and immediately started following their journey. They were offering exactly what I was looking for: menswear-inspired clothing tailored to fit a broad range of body types – including women who were lucky enough to be built like a box, just like their dad. Insert woman raising hand emoji.
When I’m wearing my favorite KF shirt, The Bly, I feel purely authentic. I actually have the choice to tuck or not to tuck, to roll the sleeves or not to roll the sleeves. The best part? No Shakespearean neck collar. Everything is proportional; everything is just right. This shirt was made to fit me. In the case of Whitney Borisenok v. Clothes, Whitney Borisenok just took the lead.
I believe very passionately in KF’s mission and I applaud them for thinking outside the box. Men’s clothing, women’s clothing, dresses, button-downs – whatever it is that you have in your closet, EVERYONE has the right to feel good in the clothes that they wear. Lucky for us, Kirrin Finch is in the business of helping people achieve just that.
Want to follow along with my trials and tribulations as a multi-faceted, 2-time model, fashion-confused lesbian? @wborisenok on Instagram. See you out there.