Boss Up with Bevin Your dream life is at the end of your comfort zone

2017-07-26

Overcoming Stereotypes and Busting Out My Own Style

When I was eleven years old, I remember vividly the relief of exiting the school bus while girls viciously taunted me. This time the impetus was not my fat, my usual crime. It was having the audacity to wear a half ponytail with several different colored fuzzy ponytail holders on it—and the fuzzy ponytail holders did not match. I was in middle school and my greatest longing in the world was to fit in and go unnoticed. On that excruciating bus ride, filled with shame and regret for my bold choice, I learned that I better not try to have fun with my style. Folks who have been bullied on a bus know how endless the ride can feel, and how painful it is to endure taunting, staring straight ahead pretending it doesn’t bother you.

Fitting in when you’re already wearing adult sizes in sixth grade is basically impossible, especially in the early nineties. Plus size fashion is limited today, but before online shopping and Torrid in the mall, we had nothing but boring career wear to work with. The idea of looking like the typical American pre-teen girl, with her Guess jeans, hypercolor tee shirts and high top name brand shoes was my dream but I neither had the funds or access to make that dream happen.

As I absorbed the other lies I was taught about being a fat woman—that I was not sexually attractive, I better not wear anything revealing and I should try not to draw attention to myself—I lost any desire to discover my own style and perform my gender. Performing gender is a way of showing your internal gender identity externally—usually through clothes, accessories, and maybe make-up.

When I got to college and started the coming out process, I let the same kind of limiting beliefs affect how I presented myself. Due to femmephobia and anti-butch sentiment in my collegiate LGBT community, I learned that having a strong expression of masculine or feminine gender was not acceptable and it was better to lean towards an a-gender or hippy outdoorsy look. I thought that in order to get a girlfriend and be attractive I should be as androgynous as possible. This was kind of a relief because shopping in the men’s department at Old Navy made it marginally easier to find clothes that fit me (this is before Old Navy carried plus size women’s clothes).

I never actually pulled off androgyny, my inherent Femme presentation busted through no matter how many times I heard the term “Lipstick Lesbian” thrown around in a derisive way.

When I moved to Philadelphia for law school I fell into what I like to call the “right” crowd. These friends were supportive, believed I was a babe in a fat body and wildly applauded all of the new things I was doing to express my style and my gender. I began slow, in cute dresses, wearing sleeveless tops, showing cleavage.

Going sleeveless was a revolution for me. I had always believed that stereotype that a fat person I shouldn’t show off my arms, I have no idea how that rule came to be. Arm fat isn’t dangerous, it’s just a benign part of your body. It took a lot of work to get comfortable going out without sleeves on, but having that “right crowd” was really helpful to develop my confidence.

As I began performing on stage first as a drag king and then as a dual drag king/Femme queen I began really pushing the gender envelope. Leaning into different gender presentations I began to figure out what was expressing who I was and what I felt an inherent aversion to.

Far beyond fitting into the standard American womanhood, whatever that is, my actual gender expression is a sort of exaggerated femininity. Like Dolly Parton and Miss Piggy, I feel the most myself in bright make-up, big hair and sexy clothes.

Many queer women (and people) cannot relate to the standards of beauty and femininity that society promotes. Queer folks come in all shapes, sizes and gender presentations and the standards of beauty are not representative of actual human diversity.

Legendary storyteller Shonda Rhimes is partnering with Dove to shift the power of media representation from Hollywood into the hands of real women. Using an all female crew, Dove is helping open up the conversation about the effects of gender stereotypes. Meet Kylee!

Kylee Howell’s story is the second film from Dove Real Beauty Productions and empowers others to find their real beauty. It is a powerful message of non-conformity, self-assurance and shedding the narrow definitions of beauty imposed on herself and other women in her community. It also has a really sweet message from her mom.

I love this video—Kylee is a dapper stylish barber who had to unlearn gender stereotypes to become herself.

Quentin Crisp said, “Style is being yourself on purpose.” I really believe that you have to let go of everyone else’s expectations of you and fitting into stereotypes in order to truly discover your own style. This is so difficult in a culture that commodifies insecurity and prizes fitting in. Thank goodness for the internet and the ability to see so many gorgeous people out there working their own looks, their own gender and their own idea of how to be a woman/man/limitless gender they want.

If you have been struggling to overcome stereotypes and let your unique beauty shine, I highly recommend figuring out who the “right” group is for you. When you’re feeling good, write down who your body positive, supportive, style encouraging friends are. Who in your life believes in an expansive definition of beauty? Write it down and put that list someplace you can see it next time you need encouragement, or some folks to go out with wearing your first sleeveless top (or whatever your equivalent of a sleeveless top may be).

When I walk into the room doing my style and not stereotypes, I’m writing the conversation instead of landing in a narrative laid out by stereotypes. I am showing people I am bold, I take risks, and I am confident. I know now that fuzzy ponytail holder thing I was rocking in sixth grade was a stylish risk and it was fiercely nonconforming.

Photo by Jes Baker.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

2013-09-12

Marimacho Clothing New York Fashion Week Show Spring/Summer 2014

When I was asked to attend Marimacho clothing’s New York Fashion Week debut last weekend, I was thrilled! This is a company that is focused on sustainability–creating garments that are long-lasting, quality pieces that are meant to be investment pieces in wardrobes. Not just disposable fashion that you wear for one season or less, these are pieces made in New York City at a woman-owned business and not in sweat shops.

I have mixed feelings about NYFW. On the one hand, I see it as a celebration of art and a series of gallery shows about what people are doing with textiles, fabric and human bodies. But on the other of course fashion is an industry, extremely consumerist and the human bodies they focus on only represent about 5% of actual human bodies.

Unlike most of the participants in NYFW, Marimacho designs clothing for folks underrepresented in mainstream masculine fashion. “Classic fashion for the unconventionally masculine.” Their show featured models from a variety of gender origins and current presentations. Though lacking chubby models on the runway I was impressed at everything they had going on along the masculine/androgynous spectrum.

I’ve always preferred personal style over fashion and trends, and Marimacho’s selection this season shows off a variety of statement pieces as well as wardrobe staples.

My favorite pieces included these masculine harem pants. Seriously, harem pants have challenged me as a thing for years but on a masculine person there’s something so weird that it’s magical.

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Photo by Architects.

I also think there’s going to be a time when every dapper queer is going to get a Marimacho suit.

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This is the Short Suit with the Tuxedo Shirt underneath. Photo by Architects.

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Photo by Manny Zoom.

As an event producer I need to give a shout out to the amazing installation art, lighting and DJs that were part of the event!

Folks really brought it out in terms of style for the event!

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I was extra feeling this overalls/mesh shirt/leather vest situation.

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I wore a dress I’ve had forever but haven’t hauled out in awhile.

Does it ever happen to you that you see someone you think you know and then you realize, “I don’t actually know them they are famous, I know them from TV?” That happened to me at the media meet and greet before the runway show. I spy this hot butch with cool blue glasses from the side and I’m all, “Whose that?” and then I realized it was Lea Delaria from Orange is the New Black (and decades of being a queer comedian).

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Photo by Manny Zoom.

Check out Marimacho’s website, which will soon have their Spring/Summer 2014 collection available!

2013-02-13

FAT SEX WEEK: Single for Lyfe Lifestyle with Mads Dudebabemodel

After the success of GAY SEX WEEK on my blog in October 2011, I decided to produce FAT SEX WEEK to celebrate sex for all bodies. This is especially inspired to counteract all of the media about sex around Valentine’s Day that’s all heteronormative/couplehood-oriented/body hegemonic. It’s a week of body liberation and sex and it’s going to be really fun! Check out all of the FAT SEX WEEK magic!

(All the photos in this post are Safe For Work, so long as Sizzling Stylez doesn’t offend your IT department.)

Mads Dudebabemodel, a Portland-based queer style icon, is the only person I’ve ever followed on the instagram just because of babeliness. (“Stop/don’t stop shamelessly flirting with me on the internet,” they said.) I noted that they declared that they were “Single for Lyfe” identified and I thought this was a great topic during the time of year when our culture strongly pushes couplehood. I want you to imagine that me and Mads are chilling, Bevin-as-Queer-Oprah style in a couple of fabulous fat-friendly chairs and having a proper talk show interview.

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BEVIN: Tell me about your Single for Lyfe Lifestyle. What does that entail and how did you get there?

MADS: Being single has become an identity of mine. I choose to focus on my friendships and chosen family and build those relationships to fulfill the many roles that a primary romantic relationship might traditionally fill. I don’t give up on romance or love, but channel those desires differently with different people. As a queer person, I have chosen to live my life the way I want with whatever gender and sexuality I choose to inhabit at any given time in my life. The same goes for choosing to be single and have relationships in whatever way I want to and when I want to. Fuck the formula we are taught about how relationships should play out and look.

Being queer has allowed me to explore the possibilities of being single 4 lyfe, but also being a polyamorous person has helped me come to singlehood. An important factor of being poly is realizing that one person cannot fulfill all of your needs. Having multiple lovers and relationships may be more fitting. I feel the same way not only about dates, but about friendships and chosen family. Why would I put so much effort into one primary relationship to be my chosen family, companion, etc. when I have all these rad people in my life to help support one another and give lots of love to?

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So many rad dudebabe friends.

I have been single for about three and half years and single for lyfe identified for about 6 months. Even when I wasn’t single, I was attracted to the single life and admired people who were so independent and did whatever the fuck they wanted. During the time I’ve been single, I have dated people, thought about having primary (or “serious”) relationships, and had some heartbreak. In my last major heartbreak, I had this amazing community surrounding me and supporting me immediately. It kind of shook me and woke me up to those willing to do so much for me in a time of emotional need. Processing the relationships in my life, I came to the conclusion that being single could be my radical form of love. I would invest my time in my community and take care of one another like I have felt and still feel taken care of. I would still fuck people, still date people, if I felt like it, but let them know that I wasn’t interested in becoming their girlfriend. I am fulfilled by my independence and receive lots of social and emotional needs from friends and chosen family. Also, I’ve learned from heartbreaks about not giving so much of yourself to one person who you haven’t even known for very long. I live a little bit of a guarded love life, but as I get to know people, I open up more and more. I like it that way.

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Pro tip: Animals are great ways to extend the amount of accessorizing you can do in one outfit.

BEVIN: What’s the most empowering thing about the Single For Lyfe Lifestyle?

MADS: I can do whatever the fuck I want. I fuck who I want. I date who I want. I go out when I want and where I want and I don’t have to answer to nobody. Obviously, caring for others and having boundaries help to alleviate any drama that may come with doing whatever the fuck I want. I also consider myself to be pretty communicative about what’s going on, but ultimately it’s about what best fits my needs at any given moment. If someone has a problem with the way I do things, they don’t have to be a part of it. It’s all about me and keeping myself happy!

Also I live in a house full of single ladies… we have lots of fun and empower one another with being alone, but never lonely.

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P.S. That shirt says “I’m Fat Let’s Party!”

BEVIN: Are there any parts of the Single for Lyfe Lifestyle that are challenging? How do you meet those challenges?

MADS: Sure. Not getting laid can really suck. There are definitely times when I’m not dating anybody or not interested in fucking anybody. But those “dry spells” can be times to put efforts in other outlets and other people who you aren’t fucking. My last dry spell I rediscovered how great I am at fucking myself. I mean, there’s a difference between a quick diddle and really getting down and dirty with yourself…

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Pin-up perfection! I need this on my wall!

I also find it challenging to meet people who I want to date who understand what kind of relationship I may want with them. Just because I don’t want to be your girlfriend does not mean I don’t care about you. I can be a very thoughtful and romantic date if someone gives me the chance and I’m into it. I’m just more about sharing the fun sexy aspects of life with a date. I am into one night stands, short flings, but also steady dates. Also, finding people who respect the way you date can be a bit of a challenge. I may be a slut, but I am also a lady. So treat me like a lady, if you’re lucky… you can treat me like a slut. I have met people who get me and those people do exist!

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BEVIN: I noticed on instagram that you are a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. What strategies or attitudes do you employ in order to take the best and leave the rest from a holiday that’s all about the cultural mandate of couplehood? What do you do to reclaim VDay from that cultural mandate?

MADS: I LOVE Valentine’s Day!!! It is my favorite holiday. I think some of that had to with my biological family always celebrating it together. It wasn’t about celebrating love with one person, it’s about all the people you love! I also like the aesthetic of Valentine’s day (hearts, pink, lace, etc.) It’s fun to break the stereotype of being this single gurl who doesn’t do relationships, but still is really romantic and lovey dovey! I seriously am so in love with so many people in my life. Just cuz I ain’t fuckin them doesn’t mean I don’t want to celebrate our love too. I like to make Valentine’s for lots of people in my life and this year I am having a slutty house party blow out on Valentine’s Day that is gonna be FIERCE. Also, making Valentine’s Day a slut holiday is the funnest.

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BEVIN: What’s one thing that people (at any size but especially fat folks) can do to feel more comfortable having sex in their bodies?

MADS: One thing that has helped me, as a fat person, is loving people of all body types as sex partners and that includes people who have a similar body type as me. I mean honestly, I would have sex with myself in a second.

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BEVIN: I know you get a lot of your mad style from thrift shopping. Do you have some tips my readers can use to thrift more effectively?

MADS: Whenever you thrift, buy things that make you think of your fashionista friends and give it to them. More than likely, the next time they are thrifting they will see things that remind them of you and you will not only have hot fashions, but meaningful gifts too! Also, clothing swaps rule.

Thank you MADS! You’re a smoking hot babe and a total inspiration! Mads is in development with filmmaker pal Cathleen Arnerich, called MadsTV. It is a queer dating/fashion/party gurl advice web show featuring Mads with guest appearances by other rad queers!

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2013-02-12

FAT SEX WEEK: My Favorite Places to Buy Plus Size Lingerie

After the success of GAY SEX WEEK on my blog in October 2011, I decided to produce FAT SEX WEEK to celebrate sex for all bodies. This is especially inspired to counteract all of the media about sex around Valentine’s Day that’s all heteronormative/couplehood-oriented/body hegemonic. It’s a week of body liberation and sex and it’s going to be really fun! Check out all of the FAT SEX WEEK magic!

(All the photos in this post are Safe For Work as long as fat girls in lingerie are safe for your work. Fair warning.)

Probably one of the questions I am asked most often by people I don’t know very well, other than legal advice, is about plus size lingerie shopping. I suppose it’s a compliment to my personal shopping prowess and exceptional cleavage enhancement techniques. It’s true, I ADORE lingerie. I wear loungerie to hang out in the house in and to sleep in, I wear fancy lingerie in the bedroom as well as on stage femmeceeing, I often wear vintage lingerie as dresses and shirts. I have the equivalent of a full closet of lingerie. That’s not hyperbole. I believe lingerie is for all times and not just special occasions. It’s like make-up for the bedroom.

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Here’s me in 2008 wearing two pieces of vintage lingerie layered over one another. Vintage lingerie is actually really warm.

I thought for FAT SEX WEEK I would do a round-up of the places that I really like (this list is by no means exhaustive, I could probably do four blog entries about lingerie). I also include a quickie product review of the Milana Bra by Genie!

Torrid is one of my favorite places. They don’t nail it every season, but I usually cruise Torrid’s clearance racks at least once a year and find a couple of gems. I love anything they sell that is called “chemise” and involves a microfiber or nylon/spandex blend, lace panel and/or underwire bust. I have a couple of cute chemises that are extremely comfortable and have lasted years.

Torrid sells online as well as in stores, and you can ask them to hold something in store for you to run and pick up if you’re into going to the mall.

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This piece would be in my wardrobe if I had extra cash right now.

Cacique (the Lane Bryant brand) has been a favorite of mine for years. I worked there in the early aughts and their Plunge bra changed my gender. I still wear them pretty much every day. I like getting their lingerie second-hand via ebay or resale sites because the lingerie (not bras, but lingerie) can be laundered fresh enough like new. If you’re buying directly from Cacique, I suggest shopping near Christmas or Valentine’s day, that’s when the pickings are best, in my opinion. Lots of reds and pinks. Post V-Day clearance is best, honestly. And if you can combine clearance pricing and time it with LB gift check time (the “spend $75 get $25 off” deal) then you just win all over.

Pro tip: wear Cacique pieces as sexy tops out in the world. If you’re down with maximal cleavage it’s a hot look!

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The split-side satin chemise is available now. Super hot and shiny!

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The heart apron babydoll! OMG! So cute!

Size Queen Clothing out of Portland is also a favorite stop for intimates. If I was going to get a super custom made piece I would tap Bertha to design and put it together for me. She’s a GENIUS at spandex and fat bodies, and her pieces are exquisite. All of my Size Queen clothing pieces are treasures.

You can cruise her intimates (“tease wear”) on her website, but honestly, she’s so great to work with I would just chat her up with your vision and go from there. My friend Wyatt Riot got an amazing wrestler costume with a heart cut out for his “chubby” tattoo from Bertha. He wore it to Rebel Cupcake, it was amazing.

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Sadly the punching booth sign covers up the heart but you get the idea of the wrestler outfit. A wrestler onesie is a really great example of genderqueer lingerie!

Big Gals Lingerie is a dangerous place to shop (like, don’t shop there at work) for fat femmes who like other fat femmes. Their product photos are beyond sexy. It’s distracting. But, they go from size 1X-12X. I’ve never bought directly from them but know folks who have and have had great experiences both with “off the rack” pieces and custom made pieces. I’ve tried on their clubwear and lingerie when it came into my old workplace, Re/Dress, and I found the pieces to be good value for the money. They have tons of costumes and various other pieces.

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This pink sequin bustier is only $32!

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If you have a loved one who is recovering from illness or surgery, this nurse costume (up to size 12X) is a great outfit to surprise them with.

In terms of garter belts, I think the best you can get is something vintage style with metal clasps. The plastic ones have broken on me and the garter wearing femmes I know so many times! The metal kind are great because usually if something happens to them they are easy to swap out, but I’ve never known someone who broke the metal kind. There is nothing worse than walking around with a broken garter! Invest in a good piece!

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Rago is my favorite garter belt brand. I have a standard 6 strap belt in black and a full girdle style in white. This version goes from Small to 8X and comes in white, black and beige.

If you want to get some stockings to go with those garters, I buy my costume thigh highs from 3wishes.com. They have a whole section of plus size stockings. I buy the lace top stay up thigh high fishnets, which grab onto the fat at the top of your thigh and stay up that way. I also have their cuban heeled stockings and like them. I once got the black lace top stockings by accident and the sizing was very small on those, so look out for that.

I was given a piece of lingerie to review for my FAT SEX WEEK write-up by the folks at Milana Bra by Genie. It’s basically the same thing as the Genie bra, only with a lace panel in front for “modesty.” I’m the same blogger who earlier in this post suggested you wear lingerie as outerwear so I’m not going to ever buy lingerie for modesty. If that’s your thing, I’m totally cool with it. Despite its marketing towards modesty, there is an incredible amount of awesome in this piece!

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It’s the perfect genderqueer summertime outerwear club piece! I think if you paired it with a pair of vintage 80s dance pants or harem pants and some cool necklaces or a blazer it would be totally amazing. I actually really want to get Jessie Dress in one of these.

I asked for the 3X to try out and I am typically a 3X according to their size chart but it was way too small for me. It’s very boob minimizing, too, if that is your wish. It fit like a sportsbra. I would say go a size up from where they posit you on the size chart. It goes from small to 3X.

Like I said, I have a million more resources for lingerie looks, and hopefully this first helping gave you some places to start! Stay tuned tomorrow for the next installment of FAT SEX WEEK!

2012-12-06

Queer Fashion Guide to Buying A Stylish Hat, A Guest Post by Nicky Cutler of Goorin Bros.

One of the most popular blog posts in 2010 was my Queer Fat Femme Guide to Butch Fashion where I just listed all the things I like to see on a masculine-of-center human being and I think it worked well in terms of inspiring more queersexuals to try out a two-toned cowboy boots.

I’ve been noticing how I respond to hat-wearing queers and it is usually pretty positive, so long as the hat fits well and works well on the head of the person wearing it. Often I notice that if the hat is a bad fit or shape for the person it kills the whole look. So I decided to ask my pal Nicky Cutler (co-producer of Yes Ma’am) who works for Goorin Bros. what to keep in mind when purchasing a hat.

This advice goes for folks of all genders, though I am presenting it with a special dedication to those dapper gents who wish to take their outfits to the next level. Omigoddess, a good hat. Swoon.

I love Goorin Bros. for their multi-gender styles and versatility. Their hats go up to XXL and fit big heads with big, thick hair like mine!

Thanks to Nicky for their exhaustive, empowering advice!

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Nicky Cutler, guest blogger and Goorin Bros. merchant, wearing a fedora.

Here are a few things I always ask my customers to keep in mind when shopping for a hat:

1. Have in mind what is most important to you, fashion or function?

2. What purpose is your new hat going to serve? Formal evenings, casual outings, date nights, apple picking or versatility?

3. Have an idea of shape (i.e. fedora vs cadet vs flatcap) that you envision yourself in, but then keep an open mind to try different styles.

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Yaz in a flatcap selling Victoria on some wine and a fancy floppy for Winter at the Goorin Bros. sample sale in Brooklyn.

4. For Fall and Winter, I always ask my clients about their wardrobe, but also other accessories they wear. Sometimes the hat is the last of their purchases so it is important to match the hat to their accessories (and not necessarily to their coat). No one likes to look like a crayon. Matching color of hat to the coat can be overkill. Make choices that show contrast. For example: a black peacoat looks professional and clean with a grey scarf, black leather gloves, and grey low profile. Or sometimes matching the hat to their shoes work too! Whiskey color shoes, black trench, and whiskey colored fedora.

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I totally went for this floppy for the Winter. I love that it looks like a fancy sun hat but is really warm, the brim can be popped up and it is tall enough that doesn’t violate my pompabang.

5. Dont ever model a hat to something you’ve seen in a magazine. Hats are like any other type of clothing, not all shapes will look great with all faces. Have an idea of style, but try different cuts and fabrics that might suit your shape and coloring better. For instance, the pinch on a hat should echo your jawline. More of a pinch and less of a brim, would be more suitable for a person of a narrow defined face. Less of a pinch or a wider brim hat would work well with a rounder face. There are always exceptions, of course, depending on attitude and what you feel you want to pull off.

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Tuck Mayo models a fedora.

6. If you cut and grow your hair out often, your hat will fit differently. If you’re planning to have a major hair cut, wait until after to purchase your hat to make sure it fits you nicely for right now. A haircut can sometimes mean the difference of a half- full size. With hats, as in many things in the queer world, size definitely matters!!

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Hana Malia effortlessly modeling a cloche.

7. Location where you will be wearing the hat the most. If you’re traveling from out of town, perhaps you live in Florida but are shopping in Boston in December. Chances are most of our choices will be heavy wools and fabrics that may not be comfortable to wear in hot humid weather. Make sure you choose fabrics that are suitable for your climate.

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Victoria modeling a straw cloche. Foxy, right? Great for warmer climate Winter styles.

8. Is your hat a fashion statement? Need to pair it with a specific dress or suit? Bring in, take a picture of, or wear your attire to the shop and try different looks. Different hats can change the entire look of just one outfit. For example: Jeans and a t-shirt paired with a fedora is fun and playful… maybe for going to a casual get together. But the same jeans and tshirt paired with a cadet = everyday casual dress for getting from point a to b in the big city.

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Glenn Marla in a cute cadet!

9. Make the hat your own! Personalize it – Add feathers or hat pins… Wear the hat – Don’t have the hat wear you!

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10. Set aside time to dedicate to picking out your perfect hat. Put trust in your merchant’s suggestions. Have fun and experiment! Play around. Examine the possibilities of the particular hat choice with fit and placement (i.e. tilt on the head, brim down or up, etc.)

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11. Don’t be a afraid to step out of your comfort zone.

I especially echo #11, stepping out of your comfort zone is really key style advice. Goorin Bros. hats are made in the USA and Goorin generously sponsored the 90210 trivia contest at Rebel Cupcake in October! Thanks Nicky, thanks Goorin!

For blog sponsorship opportunities, email queerfatfemme at gmail!

2011-09-25

I Lust 80s Rock Vests

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Photo by Amos Mac.

My darlings I have a current style obsession. It all started at the beginning of the summer when one of the style blogs I cruise on Tumblr, Miss Amelia Butter (dear lord she’s a babe) started posting about 80s rock vests. She just kept talking rock vest and I was listening.

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Favorite outfit of Summer 2011, this sun dress and my rock vest. Pictured with Leslie!

What is a rock vest? Well, it’s a vest that goes over any outfit and makes it more bad ass. The basic rock vest is denim and endlessly customizable. I like to wear them about 2-3 sizes too small to give my cleavage its rightful center stage.

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Luckily one popped into Re/Dress and my obsession only grew. I wore it immediately and my co-workers were there in accidental solidarity–three of us wore rock vests and sun dresses on the same day.

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Chavon has many rock vests. Here she pairs it with tight skirt and vintage undergarments and rock gloves.

Denim rock vests are amazing. However, I love when a rock vest comes in leather or fur. Re/Dress had this incredible White Snake video stylin’ blue tie dye leather studded situation I lamented was a bit too small for me. Whoever bought that rock vest I salute you.

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Glenn Marla has been wearing rock vests for about the entire 8 years I have known him. I love this one he scored during the early years of Re/Dress. Photo by Amos Mac for Original Plumbing Magazine.

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Giving the crazy eye, wearing the grey rock vest, paired with feather earrings and pussy necklace. Together with Mr. Transman 2010 Kit Yan and Miss Heather.

Rock vests are a punk staple. I know a million people who never stopped wearing them. I think Chicago probably has about 68 layers of bling on his rock vests.

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Chicago (a/k/a Princess Tiny and the Meats) to the left in the light denim rock vest. AR Punk as lead singer in the amazing black rock vest. I didn’t get a shot but his rock vest says on the back, over a rainbow flag “These Colors Don’t Run.”

I never thought I was bad ass enough to actually dress bad ass. Is that weird? I mean, objectively I am a bad ass, but I was really interested in appearing to be a “good girl” on the outside growing up and sometimes, even though I can dress pretty slutty, I still forget and think of myself as not bad ass enough to pull something off. So, here I am, wearing rock vests and making pretty much anything I have on (including darling purple maxi dresses) look that much more bad ass.

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Or if not bad ass at least a little bit edgier and dressed down for a jaunt through Central Park.

Next stop is the design element. I’m going to add the Rebel Cupcake logo to one of mine, and I think Gumdrop the Fat Unicorn is going to make an appearance to my grey denim rock vest. Rock vests are a crafter’s dream layer. I wonder if there was ever a Quacker Factory rock vest?

Currently I am rocking various pins based on my mood. “Cause dyke drama,” “Cancer sucks,” “I heart Fat Femmes.” I still have a bunch of old pins with my picture on them from when I was 24. I haven’t felt vain enough to rock my own photo or especially one from 8 years (and many hairstyles) ago but maybe one day it’ll make sense.

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Victoria models Gumdrop the Fat Unicorn bandannas.

On my rock vest wish list: a red rock vest, a black rock vest, and the perfect rock vest fur collar trim to add to one of them. Some sort of not ridiculously awful air brush artist who will actually service my rock vest enhancement needs unlike the jerk at South Beach Fashion in Rehoboth Beach who said, after making me wait 15 minutes, that he wasn’t going to do any custom work.

Oh well, whatever. I am super into rock vests now and thank Amelia for invigorating this addition to my wardrobe!

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P.S. The BABE CITY, BC, CANADA team from Glitterpolitic. To the right is Majestic rocking a leather rock vest from all ends of the gender spectrum and into the stars. I am using this photo as a vague segue to encourage all of you to go read (on the left) Ashley Aron’s amazing post about people assuming she’s pregnant. They are both incredibly bad ass.

2011-05-29

Hot Piece of Hipster: Summer Genderqueer Hair

I think a lot about hair. I just had a discussion with a friend of mine about why we have no overlap in the folks we sleep with though we are both 32 year old queer fat femmes who live in the same borough. Given how small the community we queers roll in, I have overlap with friends of mine all over the country. This friend said she has a thing for people with bad hair and I said “Aha! That’s it! I only date people with good hair.” It’s really the very first thing I notice about someone when I am attracted. Hair, style, tattoos in that order.

So when my friend Max Voltage from Portland asked my opinion about good genderqueer summer hair looks I was totally into the task of compiling favorites. And with Max’s permission I repost my email below so that you out there looking for summer genderqueer hairstyles might benefit from my research. (And for those of you who do not start out with hair like Max, I’ve thrown a few favorites that I didn’t suggest to Max below.)

Here’s a picture of Max’s hair, I took it from a bizarre angle at Hey Queen in April while Max was in Brooklyn on tour:

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Here’s a picture of Max from a less extreme angle:

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Here’s what I wrote to Max:

First I considered your hair strengths. Your hair is really good as it is, though I totally understand wanting to do something different for the summer. But you have this very distinct look about you, with the sexy sideswept bangs that works really well with your face shape and I think any cut for you should enable you to keep that sideswept bang situation in your repertoire, even if most of the time you change it up.*

Maybe it’s the weather or something like that, but for the summer in general one keeps in mind getting the hair off the neck for cooling off purposes and humidity (at least on the east coast, not sure about Portlandia summertime humidity). So I looked for cuts that keep the length in the front but got some of the hair off the neck. I poked around my good haired friends on Facebook, my favorite style blogs and then did a search for genderqueer on tumblr.

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Photo by Nogga Schwartz for Rebel Cupcake.

When you asked me for summertime hair, I immediately thought about my friend Nic Switch. They are a genderqueer porn actor and starred in my queer retelling of the Outsiders as Pony Boy. Hair was an important factor in our casting (the whole cast had great hair). Attached are two photos of Nic, one from the front and from the side.

I like that Nic keeps their hair longish on the sides (which is still shorter for you) and combs it forward while instead of just having the generic genderqueer fauxhawk (yawn) Nic does a bit of a pompadour/duck tail lift. The lift also has some good height to it.

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Obvy this would involve some product, and product is helpful for anti-humidity.

Now that we’ve gone into nouveau greaser territory I must also taut the pompadour. Pomps come in all sizes these days and I love a casual summer swoosh above the head. With the length of the sidesweep you’ve got good pompabilities. The pomp would also enable you to keep some of the length on the sides though cutting most of it to maximize summer comfort. Attached is a photo of Jessie Dress, my femme friend who is rocking a hot genderqueer pomp these days. You could do something similar, a little to the side which would maintain a bit of the signature sideswept Max look. You could also optionally have fancy curly sideburns. This would require a more heavy-duty hair product along the pomade spectrum.

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[As an aside, I cannot blog about pompabilities without shouting out my pal Alix of the Inverted Eye who sports my favorite queer pompadour.]

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Me, Ains to the left and Alix to the right at Rebel Cupcake/Hot Box collision in Oakland.

Eric from True Blood has some damn sexy hair. His hair is a side part and swept up with some lingering strands towards the face. His hair is also even longer on the sides but clean cut around the base of the head (no rat tail). It’s not quite hipster sexy, it’s just traditional fashionable boy sexy but I think it could work well for you.

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The last look I attached is some damn sexy summer sidesweep. If you kept your sideswept bangs and maybe deepened the part a bit toward the side (What side do you part on? Left? Right?) and cut the back part off, cleaning up the base of it, you could get this look. It’s dramatic and awesome.

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I found this look on one of my favorite style blogs, Ironing Board Collective. I want to be their fat style correspondent!

Also, are you open to color? I think a few highlights of a honey brown, just something a bit lighter than the brown you have now would make a huge difference in your look, brightening it up for summertime.

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I know I was specifically researching for Max’s needs, but I need to throw some honorable mention summer looks for other folks who don’t have the length situation Max does.

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DAAAAAAAANG. Lafayette is looking so hot this summer in this season four True Blood promo photo.

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Danielle is a hot Texan.

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When I thought of good short hairstyles I immediately thought of the gorgeous creatures in this photo I stumbled upon on tumblr a few months ago. The hair sculptures are amaaaaaaaaazing. I know the hats are all wintercore or whatever, but I ache to find out who these folks are and how they work their summer looks.

Maybe next I’ll do my round up of how I beat the humidity and heat with my own long, thick mane.

*I think hair is an important part of branding. Max is an event producer, performance artist, and violinist. Branding/hair is something to consider.

2010-11-30

Winter Layering with Style

Filed under: Fatshion — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Bevin @ 4:24 pm

Something that unifies skirt and dress-loving people this time of year is how to stay warm as well as stylish. As a native Californian who moved to the East Coast ten years ago I have developed some coping mechanisms to maintain my stylish exterior as much as possible while still being a total cry baby about how cold it is outside.

First of all, I spend a lot of my winter being a Plus Size Party Girl. (Time Out New York called me that and I just love that descriptor.)  This means that my base outfit needs to be as cute as possible while reflecting the fact that it is often really hot wherever I go out. 

 

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Take this leopard dress, paired with a foxy multi-chained necklace.  If I wore this outside in NYC I wouldn’t last long enough to accompany a bestie for a cigarette.

So I start to layer it up.  Sometimes I am inside and it is still chilly.  I like to always have a contingency plan for potentially chilly indoor climates.  Thus, a cardigan.

 

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This is a lace cardigan, we have a bunch at Re/Dress right now.  This is a contemporary lace cardigan, but I actually really love to use vintage lingerie as layering pieces.  Those polyester beauties are really warm and also see through (which enables the cuteness of your layering pieces to shine through).

If I am further chilly, I incorporate Scarf 2 as a drapey piece. 

 

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The look is a little Mary Kate, but it works.

Now for leggings.  Tights are cool for me in the Fall and Spring, but in winter I am so cold my legs need more warmth than that.  I’m not afraid to layer with tights. (I actually learned in a Girl Scout wilderness survival training that wearing tights or pantyhose under pants was a great waterproof way to stay warm.) 

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Here at the Re/Dress we have this new fangled thing called a “Tegging.”  It is a word we made up to describe that this legging is more of a tights material.  They’re super stretchy and warmer than regular tights.  We have them in tons of colors and they fit up to a 5X.  I would wear it under these snakeskin shiny leggings for this outfit.

I am also not afraid to wear two pairs of socks under my boots. When changing at the club, I might take a couple of minutes off to the side of coat check to change out of my snow boots.  I am terrified of falling in snow and wouldn’t even consider wearing heels in the snow, even from the car.

 

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Snow boots!

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Heels!

Also I have recently embraced the leg warmer for it’s layering magic.  It is also my secret trick to transitioning socks to leggings with my mary jane TUK shoes.  I just don’t like a sock over legging look. I think it’s awkward.

 

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Here’s where the real fun comes in, jazzing up winter accessories.  I am troubled by hats.  My hair is delicate and I try to avoid them as much as possible.  But sometimes when I wear a knit hat I like to make it more special with hair bling.  I just clip it to the weave in the knit, or use a pin back to pin it onto a hat.  I have a line of hair bling at the store that will soon be online as well.

I haven’t tried scarf bling yet but that’s forthcoming.

I also accessorize my warm scarf with a lighter more interesting scarf.  I have a couple of sequin scarves for this purpose.

 

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Here I have put a lightweight sequin Scarf 2 over a heavier boring but warm knit scarf.

I also believe that the best thing a stylish person can do to stay stylish during the four months of snow and cold in NYC is to get as many awesome warm coats as possible.  I moved to Philadelphia with one lightweight jacket (I thought it was a real winter coat, it was maybe an early Fall weight)  and I now easily have 6 winter coats.  Actually, I probably have more.

 

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I was trying to come up with a rubric of how many faux fur coats one should have.  At least one black faux fur, one solid color, one leopard print and one furry vest. 

I also always lose gloves so I am all about snatching up good glove deals whenever you find them. 

In sum, I think the best thing you can do to make winter more stylish is to not be afraid to try a lot of different things, wear a lot of color and layer, layer, layer.

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Me and Zoe on vacay in Toronto. We are not afraid to wear jeans under vintage dresses.

I’d like to thank Glenn Marla for his scarf inspiration and his unadulterated love of layering.

 

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