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 July-August 2013

July-August 2013


If the Suit Fits

Oaklander starts a menswear line for women.

Mary Going

All Uptown resident Mary Going wanted was a suit for her 2008 wedding. Not just any suit, but something that made her feel as important as the day.

“I didn’t know how I was going to do it without something to wear,” says the 46-year-old Oakland mother of two who recently graduated from Mills College’s MBA program.

So her then-fiancée and now wife, Martha Rynberg, recommended getting a custom-tailored suit. With help from the Escobar brothers at Escobar Master Tailors in San Francisco, Going found the perfect suit.

“I felt great in that suit. I felt like a million bucks,” says Going, sitting in her Fruitvale office. “I wanted other people to feel like that.”

It was that feeling that inspired her to launch Saint Harridan ( last November after a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, which surpassed her $87,000 goal and raised more than $137,000. Saint Harridan offers unique off-the-rack suits and shirts for all shapes of women, sizes 8 to 18, with the quality and structure of a man’s suit.

 “Men’s suits are designed to go out in the world and do business. Women’s suits are designed to show our bodies,” says Going, whose suits mimic a man’s but fit a woman’s curves without being overtly feminine. But hers is not your typical woman’s business suit. Even the name of the company is nontraditional, embracing a negative term for a mannish woman, Harridan, and a little known definition of saint, leader of a movement.

Going is planning a U.S. pop-up store tour in the fall and is in the process of working out the logistics of what cities to visit.

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