With Valentine's Day around the corner, it's a good time to think about your intimate apparel. If my Facebook fans are an indication, most butches wear boxer briefs or regular briefs (men's or women's) during the day and regular boxers to sleep in at night. Some favorite brands: Fruit of the Loom, CK, Starter, and Champion.
These are fine go-tos, but I wondered what interesting options were out there, so I did some research, contacted companies and Etsy shops, and got some wares to inspect. Here--in no particular order--are some awesome choices that will let you look great, have some cool style options, and support small businesses. (These make wonderful gifts, too.)
Bonus Pants is a little company out of Portland that offers a ton of fun, loud choices for cotton boxers (including mustaches, donuts, bananas, potatoes, skulls, bacon strips, motorcycles, and more. The owner, Dagny, will make any style with or without an open fly (I tried both and prefer without). They're baggy, plenty long, and don't ride up. Around $18.
Gripped Basewear is a relatively new company, queer-owned and made in Canada! Their boxer briefs are a little short for my taste and have a bit of a pouch in the front, but they come in a range of terrific colors, their customer service is awesome, and their undies are super soft. If you're pale, unskinny, or don't have much of a butt, these aren't likely to be as attractive on you as they are on Gripped's hot male models. But if you want to show off your stuff and support a queer business, this is an awesome choice. $30.
Though they only have one style to choose from, Ohganix boxer briefs are also worth a look. They're expensive as heck ($60), but the softest boxer briefs I've ever tried on. Made in California, organic, and probably macrobiotic and gluten-free as well. Mine are 96% hemp and 4% spandex, and have the perfect amount of stretch. (They make "ladies'" stuff, too.)
Focx is an incredibly hot British brand, and if you've never checked them out, now's the time (even if it's just for the hot pics on their website... yowza!). It's made for women, by women, and has tons of fabrics and two styles: boi shorts (left), and bocxers, which are a little longer. I've tried both. Although I wanted to like the boi shorts best, my torso bears an insufficient resemblance to the models' for it to look great on me. Still, awesome quality at a decent price (£16.99, or about $26). The bocxers, on the other hand, are totally comfy and hot. Try both!
I thought these were a little cheesy at first, but I admit that I totally love my tie-dyed boxer briefs from 2 Tie Dye 4. They're a steal at $16, come in boxer briefs (Champion) or boxers (Merona), and add some really fun color to your boring ol' underwear drawer. They're also pre-washed, so despite my worries, they didn't dye my other clothing. Maybe best of all, they come from Hawaii's Big Island. Aloha, butches!
EX Designs makes boxers in fabrics that include football logos, seasonal prints, and two John Deere tractor prints (yes, really). They're made for men, so there's extra material up front, but they're a deal at $16 for such cool fabrics (and if they don't have a fabric you want, be sure to ask!).
KLeonardDesigns offers a similar style to EX Designs and Bonus Pants, also with a broad range of fabrics (check out these paw prints), not all of which are pictured in the store. The fit is wider and shorter than others I've tried. Since I like my boxers on the long side, I didn't love the fit, but plenty of butches complain about too-long boxers, and would find these perfect. Good quality, steep price. $72.
If Fruit of the Looms fit you well but you're interested in something with a little more spice, check out Sexy Delights. Being a fan of the bookish ladies, I chose their reading mudflap girl (left), but in lime green. I think they're super fun, but my DGF maintains that they're tacky. We're probably both right. Tons of print options. $20.
Last, but decidedly not least, are these great boxers from AmiElisah. They're especially well made (even my hard-to-impress DGF was impressed!), come from Britain, and have little tiny elephants printed all over them. Very cute and wearable both under pants and to bed. £15.00 = $24.
I hope these great boxers and boxer briefs inspire you to spice up your underthings. When I told them about Butch Wonders, the owners of all of these businesses were super enthusiastic about having butch customers. Yay for queer-friendly small businesses!
In addition to the boxers I descibed here, I've also got some awesome, never-worn pairs of boxers and boxer-briefs to give away (including ones from Focx and LKeonardDesigns), as well as some hot greeting cards and a pair of cufflinks from Focx! Send me a picture of yourself in boxers or boxer briefs and a tank or T-shirt and I'll enter you to win schwag! Pics may be posted on butchwonders.com, so keep it PG-13 and SFW. ;)
Bracelets have been trendy on men for a couple of years now. But many butches have been slow to embrace the trend--partly because it's not always obvious how to do it right without looking like: (1) you plucked something at random from your little sister's jewelry box, or (2) you are under the mistaken impression that you're a famous rock star.
Plus, for a long time, go-to butch wristwear has been limited to huge leather cuffs. Sure, these can be cool, but the look has kinda been done to death--at this point it doesn't add a lot of spice to your outfit. So how do you rock a bracelet? Here are three simple tips to get you started.
1. Don't be afraid of color. There was a time when only girly-girls wore bracelets that weren't brown or black. Thankfully, that time has passed. Mosaic, multi-colored creations are not only acceptable--they're hot.
2. You'll have to spend more than $3. Bracelets are no longer accessories that you buy from a basket near the cash register. They're more like watches or rings. A light, durable metal (like titanium) can set you back $50 or more--but the quality will be solid.
3. Bracelets aren't just for casual wear. After years of association with surfers and hippies, you might still think bracelets can only be worn with tees and jeans. Nope! A high-quality versatile bracelet like the one pictured, left, can be worn just about anywhere.
Bracelets can be every bit as much of a fashion statement as a watch or a necktie. It might take a bit of looking to settle on some that fit with your personal style. I've put 12 great, butch-worthy bracelet selections in the Butch Store to get you started.
I am sooo stoked! The "Pets & Their Butches" calendar--inspired by YOU all, is finally here. It took, oh, 20 times longer than I expected to make it, but I think it was worth it, and I hope you do, too.
I received hundreds of submissions for the calendar--far more than I expected! I couldn't use them all, but congrats to the butches whose photos were chosen (as a monthly photo, or for the front/back cover, or for May or December, which are photo collages)! Special thanks goes to my awesome DGF for making some of these photos much better and higher-res with her amazing Photoshop skills.
This is such a cool example of butches coming together to create something awesome. I hope you'll consider getting one. They come in three different sizes. Order two or more and get 50% off with the code 2CALDEALFREE.
Alas, Zazzle makes 75% of the profit (if I do this again, I'll look into better options!). But 25% goes to support Butch Wonders--yay!--and after I cover my own costs, I'll be donating 100% of the profits to a local animal shelter.
So, what are you waiting for? Go check out the calendar(!), and while you're at it, see if you like any of the other goodies I've created.
In an bout of productivity, I've been buying my Christmas gifts early--mainly because my DGF and I have to buy gifts for people we don't know super well (my brother's in-laws and their family). They're doing a "stocking exchange," meaning that everyone puts a small gift into everyone else's stocking.
The upshot? I'm turning into a semi-pro stocking stuffer. I figured sharing my ideas might save you some time finding cool gifts. So forget the bubble bath and candy canes and check out these ideas. My categories are food, practical, and fun. All are under $15 (and most are under $10!).
5 Edible Stocking Stuffers
Who likes food? Answer: everyone. If you're strapped for cash and short on ideas, here are five sweet and savory selections.
#3: Everything imported from France is vaguely classy and expensive, right? This 5-star mango lime ginger jam by L'Epicurien is no exception. There are several other flavors, most around $8-14. These include confit of rose petals (edible?), banana flambee jam (how do they light a fire in that tiny jar?), and confit d'ananas au poivre de penja (whatever that is).
5 Practical Stocking Stuffers
Sometimes the most commonsense gifts are the ones we overlook. For the more practical recipients on your list, check out these five ideas.
5 Fun and Frivolous Stocking Stuffers
These are great gifts for kids, people in their 20s, or anyone who you think would appreciate something kind of colorful/fun/frivolous.
I thought I'd lay out some crucial, basic tie-wearing tips I've been asked about. Even if you know nothing else about ties, you need to know this stuff:
Q: Where should my tie end?
A: At the middle of your belt. Most people know not to let it land too far above the belt, but letting it land a couple inches below is just as bad.
Q: But then I have to re-tie my tie about 20 times to get it right.
A: Yeah, at first--eventually you'll get good at it, though. This is the price we pay for looking dapper. Just be glad no one's making you wear high heels.
Q: How wide should my tie be?
A: If the tie is between 2.5 inches and 3 inches at the widest point, you're good. This is a "narrow" tie. A skinny tie is about 2 inches wide at the widest point. I'm not against skinny ties per se, though I think some caution is prudent.
Q: What's the most common butch faux pas you see re: neckties?
A: Okay, admittedly no one actually asked me this, but I feel compelled to share. At fancy events, I often see butches in too-wide ties that land a couple inches below their belts. This makes a butch look like she's raided her father's closet. Please stop.
Q: I never know what knot to wear.
A: A four-in-hand is the easiest to learn, and safe for all except the most formal occasions. If you're going to learn only one knot, this is the one. Have a friend teach you, or watch this British guy, whom I find amusing. And: practice, practice, practice!
Q: What's the deal with the "dimple?" Do I need one?
A: Yup, you do. A "dimple" just means that if your knot doesn't do it naturally, you push in the fabric right below the knot. Here's a picture.
Q: Do I need fancy shoes?
A: Absolutely not. As long as your look is pulled together, there are all kinds of different ways to dress down a tie.
Q: You've suggested wearing a loosened tie. How loose is too loose?
A: I undo the top button of the shirt, then pull gently at either side of the collar. You're going for this or this, not for this.
Q: Is it okay to wear a tie bar? Where do I put it?
A: Sure. Just make sure it's not wider than your tie, and wear it between the third and fourth buttons of your shirt, clipping the whole tie to the shirt.
If you have any more questions about tie-wearing, just let me know. Meanwhile, I'd love it if you'd send me pictures of yourself in a tie. I'll post a bunch of my favorites as fashion examples for BW readers!