Ten Quick Summer Fashion Tips
Okay, folks: we're in the throes of summer, and it's time for a butch fashion refresher. (Note: The exception to these is Pride, where you can break any fashion rules you want. I say: if full frontal nudity is accepted, your belt and shoes don't have to match.)
1. Now is a perfect time to go shopping for summer stuff, because it's all on clearance! I love waiting till a season's underway, then snagging the good stuff for half price.
2. Athletic shorts are to be worn only if you are doing something athletic. Going out to dinner does not qualify as "athletic." (Hiking shorts are a different matter--I'm talking about mesh or nylon basketball or running-type shorts.)
3. White belts are IN, and so are light grey ones. Pair with light-colored pants or shorts, and shoes that are not completely black. Check out the photo at the right. Soooo hot!
4. Experiment with lighter fabrics, like linen and seersucker. They're actually kind of fun. If you don't know where to start, try cream-colored linen shorts or a seersucker button-up shirt.
5. No pleated shorts (please).
6. Boat shoes and deck shoes are in. Wearing them with socks is out.
7. It's perfectly acceptable to wear black socks with athletic sneakers if all three of the following apply: (1) the socks are athletic-type and barely go above your ankle; (2) A significant portion of your shoes is black; (3) Your shoes are not the least bit dressy.
8. It can be hard to find men's shorts that aren't absurdly long. If you have this problem, too, check out--I kid you not--the golf shorts at a fancy department store. Most are dorky, but some are awesome. Plus they have secret pockets. Another place to look: "outdoorsy" stores like REI. Many hiking shorts are versatile enough to be worn anywhere.
9. Choose short-sleeve button-up shirts made of light material, and not too wide in the sleeve. You're going for this look, not this one.
10. Get goofy. Summer's a great time to experiment with colors and patterns you wouldn't ordinarily wear. So break some of your usual rules--heck, break some of mine, too--and go have fun!
A dyke on a bike in Oklahoma City (from Stacey)
Great news, dear readers: I've finished the outline of the Pride Project site, and I've been putting up the fabulous pics you've started sending in!
So far, I have five cities up, and I'm hoping they'll give you a taste of the awesomeness to come:
I'm excited about the project, and hope you are, too! More soon--I'll keep you updated.
I have about 80 readers signed up so far, and the more the better! Send me a quick email if you might be interested. Pics and written descriptions of any of this year's Pride celebrations (including the ones that already have pages up) are welcome. And as always, so's your feedback.
A Picture that Speaks for Itself?
A BW reader sent me this, and I thought some of you might, um, have some reactions to it. Anybody? Anybody?
This guest post is written by BW reader Sarah Ultis, a dynamite thirtysomething femme who also blogs at the Butch-Femme Project. Ultis lives in Phoenix, Arizona and happens to be an "outlaw knitter" who does cool stuff like yarn bombing.
Relationships are difficult. They take work, dedication, and a commitment to talk through the hard stuff without giving up, so everyone makes mistakes. However, when it comes to butch-femme relationships, there are a few things butches seem to excel at in the screw-up department.
The first key to this list is to be honest with ourselves about what we want and who we are. The second is to talk to each other and really listen in return.
We cannot find long-lasting, satisfying relationships without being our true selves at all times. If the person you’re with would leave you for being who you truly are, she’s not the right one for you, nor are you the right one for her. So if you’re a butch who’s scared of spiders and collects pink teddy bears, be that to the fullest, but be honest about it so that the woman who loves you can love all of you, not just who you appear to be in your badass leathers on the Harley.
Thanks again to Sarah Ultis of the Butch-Femme Project for this post. Any butches out there want to write something similar about butch-femme relationships from a butch's perspective? If so, email me at email@example.com. --BW
Butch Hair Products
I know I've been writing less about fashion these days and more about identity, butchness, transgender stuff, etc. And I *love* writing about identity. But you know what, butches? I still want to keep you looking good.
To that end, this post is all about hair products for short-haired butches, bois, MOCs, dykes, etc. Back in March, I wrote two posts about butch haircuts, complete with pictures of hot BW readers. One was about fauxhawks and the other talked about pomps, shags, buzzes, and other dykealicious cuts.
First, the five basic genres of butch-relevant hair product:
A few months ago, I asked readers for butch hair product recs. There were five clear favorites and many runners up. The right hair goop for you will depend on your hair's texture, cut, and look--but your butch brethren have suggested some places to start:
Plenty of butches swear by got2b ultra glued ($4.72/8-oz tube; 0.79/oz). One reader says, "I put a tiny bit of water in my hands and maybe a nickel size amount of the glue product, rub together, and spike!" Some, people mentioned got2b blasting freeze spray and plain ol' got2b spiking glue (minus the "ultra") as well. I've used the "ultra" version; I was expecting a glue, not a gel (since the words "ultra glued" are on the front--but admittedly, so is the word "gel"). It left my (very thick, naturally wavy) hair wavier than I prefer on fauxhawk days. Let your hair dry a little before slapping this on, or else it won't hold well. Smells great, though--clean and fresh.
Bed Head Manipulator was a huge favorite--recommended by more readers than any other hair product. I've never tried it, partly because I haven't liked other Bed Head products, but given the number of rave reviews, I'll give this one a shot soon. $13.49 for 2 oz ($6.75/oz).
Bumble and Bumble's Sumotech is pricey, but unless you have very thick hair, you won't need to use very much. Starting at $25 for a 1.5-oz jar, this rings up at a whopping $17/oz. I prefer Bumble and Bumble's regular gel ("the multi-talented sculpting medium"), which is still pricey at $25.99 for a 5-oz tube ($5.20/oz). I used it for years--it smells terrific and leaves your hair soft enough that your fingers (and hers) can run through it. The only Bumble and Bumble product I've tried and disliked is their texture hair UNdressing creme. It gave my hair the best texture ever (seriously, it was like magic), but if I touched it at all after it dried, it flaked off my head in a downy powder. I'll pass on the faux-dandruff, thanks.
American Crew (or "Crew") makes several varieties of butch-friendly hair products. Readers varied on which ones they favored--it depended on their haircut and hair type--but the three most popular were Crew Fiber ($11.99 for a 3-oz jar, which means $4/oz), Crew Pomade ($16.72 for 3 oz, or $5.57/oz), and Crew Firm Hold Styling Gel ($17.92 for 15.2 oz, or $1.18/oz). One reader (who evidently has more experience with Crew than I do) writes, "Crew Defining Paste and Crew Forming Cream work very well for a fauxhawk or messy look. Their Fiber works best for a spiked look, and Pomade is good for a flat forward with a small flip on the front if your hair is 1 inch long or shorter."
Crew also makes the d:fi line, which caters to a hipper client base than the "classic" American Crew products do. D:fi even has a separate website from the Crew site, complete with stylish twentysomethings striking trendy, unsmiling poses. If you're inclined to give d:fi a shot, start with d:struct Pliable Molding Creme ($12.15 for a 2.65-oz jar, or $4.59/oz), which is good for fine hair and reportedly smells like pineapple.
And some runners-up to check out:
Feel free to post more recommendations in the comments. Happy styling!
Want to make a short instructional video on how you style your butch hair? If I choose yours, I'll post it on Butch Wonders and enter you in a drawing to win a small (but awesome) prize. Videos should be under three minutes, and brand new (never posted online before). Send submissions to me here.