Oh my stylish friends, hello! I hope I find you all in high fashion spirits and that the brutally humid months of Boston that have been dragging on are not plaguing your sartorial pursuits too deeply. The last time we spoke I was mentioning just how evil Massachusetts summers can be to the genderqueer who is attempting to present not only comfortably but also weather-appropriately. Evil indeed my dear readers, evil indeed. And because I am a poor little 9 to 5 working boy, I have been unable to seriously scour for good summer looks that wont break the bank, will look fantastic, and will also somehow keep you cool. So unfortunately folks, I still don't have the answer for you. Luckily August is moving along and soon enough the fall months will be upon us and I love fall fashion so unspeakably much that it will be sure to be a blog-worthy season for us all. Get excited.
In the meantime, some thoughts from the mind of your Boy at Sea...
I invested in a couple Hanes men's black T-shirts. Simple. I purchased smalls, and I would later learn that Hanes runs small, so perhaps a medium would have been just fine. However, I have decided to embrace these T-shirts and their tightness because the color does a pretty impressive job of hiding my chest and I can pair it with any pair of cut-off jean shorts, or my rust colored shorts from Urban Outfitters and the whole outfit looks casual but put together; easy going, but gives a cut silhouette. ALSO I wore one of these tees with my teal-blue H&M skinny jeans and my gray Converse the other night out and I received quite a few compliments on the look. So, I would highly recommend that investment, especially in these last dregs of summer. It lets you cut back on the layers, stay a bit cooler, and still look svelte, not sloppy.
And while we're on the topic of fantastic purchases, oh goodness did I stumble across some brilliant pieces these past couple of weeks...
1. My two-tone beige striped sport coat from H&M with skinny peaked lapels and two buttons. The stripes are very thin, and even, but not pinstripe (I spent a solid two hours hunting the interwebs for patterns and their names so that I would be able to give you an exact description of this jacket - but to no avail...apparently no one has developed an online library of fabric patterns yet. If you know of one, tell me please!) The point is, the pattern and the colors are simple and light and made this jacket a wonderful choice for a garden party I was attending.
The size is EUR46 which tends to be my go-to size at H&M. Sometimes I'll choose a 44 depending on the cut of the coat, but the 46 usually fits my shoulders snugly and I can still button it. The sleeves are a fraction of an inch too long, but until I find my Boston tailor or teach myself, these sleeves are doable, and actually look quite charming when pushed up to the elbow.
It does not look nearly as dapper when hanging, and there is a great picture somewhere that I will try to find of me wearing this jacket during said garden party. That particular weekend was brutally humid and so I paired it with a light purple cotton button down, my jean cut-offs, Converse (I would have preferred boat shoes but I currently need a new pair!) and to pull it all together I added the most gorgeous vintage tie EVER that I will discuss in point 2...
Here is a detail shot of the jacket, I love the detail that H&M puts into their men's evening and business wear. Lastly, this coat was originally seventy dollars and I just waited a couple weeks until it was on sale for half off. Trust me, it is still very much in style, and I plan on getting a great deal of use out of it. The point is, your nicest clothes don't have to involve soul-bartering with the Devil, just be patient and keep hunting.
2. The Tie. Capital T, capital T. This tie is so stunningly classic and yet completely innovative that I find myself just marveling at it as it hangs from my tie rack. It was found in a vintage clothing store (somewhere in Mass I believe) by my dear friend JP. And if you remember from an older post this is the same JP that gifted me with my other favorite vintage skinny tie - the amazing brown/gold/yellow striped tie here. So basically JP wins the award for Best-Vintage-Tie-Finder-Ever. The current tie in question is a vintage Schiaparelli embroidered cotton black skinny tie:
Elsa Schiaparelli was an Italian fashion designer in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. She was a rival to Coco Chanel and was a huge figure in fashion during her time. She did a great deal of work in knitwear, and largely women's clothing, but as I found out, did design some men's neckties (thanks Wikipedia). And now I own one. BaS win. (Credit credit where credit is due.)
Even this Boy at Sea can appreciate fine women's fashion like that.
The tie is delicate and yet sturdy, requires a collar that can hold it up, but the delicate knit of the material turns it into something that is so much more than just a black skinny tie. I was giddy to pair it with the light purple button down and the sport coat above. We all know how much I adore a bold combination of patterns, and this was just that. The black tie was subtle enough to not be loud against the jacket, but still noticeable enough to draw the eye.
I suppose the real point behind this post, my dear queers, is to simply say:
There is a limitless sea of dapper, classy, vintage, hip, sexy, feel-good-about-how-you-look-in-your-clothes clothes out there. I am floating there now, quite helpless against its pull, but completely hopeful of what it has to offer, in that sea of fashion; and while it is not always friendly to the queer body, I am excited about the ways in which we can make it work for us. Start by finding just one piece - a shirt, a jacket, a pair of pants, or wing tips, or maybe even that perfect vintage tie - and wear it out, rock it out. Look in the mirror and know how good you look, how right it feels, and how now is an amazing time for those of us all over the gender spectrum to take back fashion. Break it free of its binary constrictions and let the world see it on us - a perfect fit, a perfect cut, a perfect gender however we decide.
More thoughts and dashing looks soon, my friends. Until then...
Keep them guessing,Your Boy at Sea