Trim & Proper: The Denver Tailoring and Alteration Queer Connection

Trim & Proper is a queer-owned, Denver tailor and alteration shop that is run by Jesse Fonnesbeck.  I got my wedding suit and a few other pieces tailored by him and was blown away by easy the process was! I saw his pricing online and booked the appointment. He explained everything to me and even made great suggestions had never thought of. Trim & Proper commits to creating a welcoming space for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies, it has quickly become a go-to destination for anyone looking to express their individuality through clothing. Jesse works closely with each client to ensure that their garments fit perfectly and reflect their unique style, while the warm and friendly atmosphere makes everyone feel right at home. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what makes Trim & Proper so special and why it comes so well recommended.

Images Courtesy of Trim & Proper

Interview With Jesse: Denver Tailor and Alteration Guru

GayDenver: How would you describe Trim and Proper?

Trim and Proper: I would describe it as a comfortable place with experiences that you won’t be able to get anywhere else. You’ll feel comfortable knowing that your needs/wants are being heard. You’ll feel like you want to be in the clothes you wear. I’m here to bring that out—how you want to be perceived. That’s what makes me stand out from other tailors; being able to communicate effectively and listen to provide quality service. My experience with other tailors has been that they see only what they want or have tunnel vision around one part of the garment. They don’t offer suggestions and alternatives or explain the process. I strive to hear my clients and make sure they understand what is happening. In addition to providing excellent customer service, Trim & Proper is all about care and quality; there are no shortcuts. I believe that paying attention to the details will provide the best result.

GayDenver: Tell us about your history. 

Trim And Proper: I grew up in Longmont, Colorado. 

Trim and Proper are 3 years old, I started it when the pandemic hit. I was working in the mall at Cherry Creek as a tailor. When the shutdown happened I was able to use that time and energy to finally branch out and start my business. I’ve been tailoring for 8 years.

GayDenver: What services do you offer?

Trim and Proper: For now, I am a tailor shop, I can alter just about anything, wedding dresses, suits, tuxedos, dresses, jeans, or shirts to name a few. I’m also happy to consult a first-time garment buyer and help with measurements and questions. Eventually, I would like to design clothes as well.

GayDenver: How does the mobile fitting work? Is there a range limit?

Trim And Proper: The customer can request a fitting online at their home, hotel, office, or just about anywhere as long as they have the privacy they need. It’s a very convenient option. After the fitting, I’ll take it back to my studio to alter it. Once finished, I can deliver it to them. 

The pricing on my site is for any address inside the Denver limits. Anything outside that range is still workable, I would just need to talk to the client about the situation.

GayDenver: What is the average turnaround on your work?

Trim and Proper: It depends on the job and the garment. Jeans or pants hem: I ask for a week. Most jobs will finish in 2 to 3 weeks, with bridal taking 12-16 weeks. I do my best though to communicate thoroughly with the client about when they need it and accommodate them as best I can.

GayDenver: Would you be willing to speak with first-time suit/dress buyers to help them make better purchases?

Trim And Proper: Absolutely! If someone needs body measurements, I am happy to provide that service to them and guide them in the right direction with style and fit. I also enjoy recommending brands, places to shop, and styling ideas. My experience in the fashion industry allows me to connect clients with other designers, stylists, and other fashion specialists should something be required beyond my abilities. I enjoy connecting people to provide a smooth/efficient process for the client. When it comes to brides, I offer complimentary consultations for wedding dresses. This typically involves going over what the client has in mind, and I offer my suggestions that I believe will give the best overall look. Once the type of work has been assessed, I provide the client with a quote that they can review before moving forward.

GayDenver: How is advertising as a queer-owned business important to you?

Trim and Proper: When I was growing up in Longmont, it was really difficult for me to relate to people or imagine what my path may be. Letting the world know who I am, helps other people live their lives to the fullest. If I can help people feel better in their clothes, that goes a long way. I think that goes both ways for the queer community and the straight community. I want to help my community feel as good as they can in their clothes while showing the straight community that I am a queer man that provides an amazing and worthwhile experience.

GayDenver: What makes you different from other tailors?

Trim And Proper: I want to meet my client’s goals but I also want to go beyond that. I want to educate my customers about a garment’s integrity and quality with a certain alteration. I prefer to give a heads-up rather than just do it. Listening and engaging with my customers is critical, especially in the LGBT+ community. I enjoy the process of learning about my customers. I like to listen and understand what look they are aiming for or the type of event. Everyone is so different from their bodies to their sexualities to their preferences. I want people to feel comfortable and confident so we can explore how best to express their unique style to the world. Many tailors are so regimented in their methods and cut corners, which can affect the quality and overall presence of the garment. I prefer to take my time to make sure the job is done to the best of my ability from beginning to end. My attention to detail and determination for perfection is unmatched. 

GayDenver: If you could put anything on a billboard what would it be?

Trim and Proper:  I would want the Trim and Proper logo with a door and big text saying, ‘Inclusive Elegance’. I want people to know that no matter who you are, no matter how you feel, you are beautiful/special, and you are more than welcome to express that at Trim & Proper.

GayDenver: Is there anything you would like to say to the readers?

Trim And Proper: If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, make that leap. I never imagined that I would be making and altering clothes for my business. It’s a dream come true. Your dream will take a lot of work, but it’s worth it to chase it.

Images Courtesy of Trim & Proper

GayDenver: Do you have any experience with transgender people?

Trim and Proper: Many people in the transgender community tell me that other shops have been less than professional or they were just afraid of a bad experience. I talk to them the same as anyone else, with respect. I am trans-affirming and will listen to my client’s needs and worries. I’ve worked with people that are transitioning after they’ve transitioned, and those that haven’t yet started transitioning but will soon. That kind of information can help with deciding how to perform the fitting.

Jeff Wilson
Author: Jeff Wilson

Jeff is one of the owner of GayDenver and one of its writers. He is a Denver transplant who loves the city and the proximity of the mountains. He is happily married to his partner.

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