Bathing suit shopping can be anxiety-inducing at the best of times, for those of all shapes and sizes. The experience can be even more stressful for parents in search of swimwear for young girls that offers both comfort and adequate coverage. Yet another layer of apprehension gets piled onto the process, however when it comes to swimwear for trans girls, something Jamie Alexander learned firsthand – and what inspired him to start Rubies, an inclusive Canadian brand specializing in creating form-fitting clothing for trans girls.
The idea stemmed from his daughter, Ruby, a trans girl who just wanted to fit in with and be as comfortable as her friends. Alexander had anxiety around how Ruby could safely wear form-fitting clothing so for a while he and Ruby opted for board shorts for swimming and sweatpants for gymnastics. A trip to Panama spurred him on further to find the right fit for her that wouldn’t compromise style.
“We were planning a trip to Panama and were concerned about what Ruby would be able to wear at the beach. Instead of wearing a bikini that she wanted we had her wear board shorts,” he explains. “When I returned I started searching for options and found them very lacking. Once I realized there were limited options I went for it.”
And so, Rubies was born in the spring of 2020. He describes the feedback received so far as amazing.
“It feels really good to be able to make a real difference in people’s lives, especially those in the trans community and parents of trans girls,” he says. “They are so excited that someone is designing products for their children. They see both the work I am doing as a role model for other dads and that Ruby has been able to inspire their children.”
Alexander now has plans to further expand internationally as well as work on new products like underwear and bikini tops.
Rubies also runs the campaign, Every Girl Deserves to Shine, dedicated to providing free swimwear to families in need. In addition, with every purchase, Rubies includes handwritten postcards by trans and non-binary children and their allies with positive messages for the receiver.
Rubies products can be ordered online via rubyshines.com.