Thursday, April 22, 2010
But you are here, still, even though I have been on hiatus because my *working man* day job required some serious attention. But don't fret, science was accomplished and I did it in a vintage knit tie no less! (That's right, vintage. knit. tie. Two of them in fact, for a total of $6 at Garment District in Cambridge. Not to mention a new suit coat for $26 that fits like a glove. Like. A. Glove....but more of that later!) Right, so, I disappeared. Science beckoned and I rode the T - early morning - with the rest of the masses and I saw several successful uses of a brightly colored button-down worn under gray and black suits to give them a bit of a spring boost. Well done you Boston trendsters, I see you're reading your GQ:
Alas, don't get too comfortable, because I am going to disappear for a bit again. But for good reason...that's correct my loyal queers and allies, tomorrow marks the start of my vacation to L.A.! A week free of working and commuting and 9 to 5ing, a week spent with a best friend, and a week of West Hollywood, and exploring, and craft beer, and taco trucks, and Oh. Yes...lots of fashion. I have a line up of vintage stores that I plan on trying to visit as well as my camera and 2 sets of backup batteries, not to mention a dream in my heart and a skip in my step...
Since I've never been to the West Coast, and with my new found appreciation for the fashion I want to be a part of, I have big plans to take serious notes on the trends I see and the feelings they give me. And of course, your Boy at Sea will report back in full when I return! So get excited and let me know if there is anything in particular you want me to pay attention to.
A couple other little bits before I sign off for the night...
1. That suit coat I found at Garment District for cheap cheap is Michael Kors, has some killer dark green piping on the inside (you know I love detail!) and I wore it to Queer Prom over a lovely monochromatic paisley white dress shirt (H&M) a pair of killer dress slacks (H&M and while I had to settle for a longer leg to get the waist size I needed since men have no hips, the rolled cuff on the pant actually looked fabulous against my black leather dress shoes) and I pulled the whole look together with a black silk bow tie (yes, the kind you actually have to tie yourself...we'll go over tying a bow tie in later lessons, it's fun!) and a bright purple silk pocket square. I apologze that entire paragraph was one sentence. Let me make it up to you by giving you a little taste of the whole outfit:
A poor quality picture of the coat, pants and pocket square....A slightly better picture of your BaS in said outfit. The way I see it, if it fits you well, snugly, and the lines are clean and classic and you can still dance your pants off in it...than it is a 100% all around win. You never know when you'll need to dance.
And so, the lesson I learned about trying to find suit jackets that fit you appropriately: Always go for a size smaller than you think you'll need. If it is really too small than you can just step it up a size, but often (and what I found with this coat) what you think will be too small will actually fit just right. A suit that fits correctly should have shoulders that only extend a fraction over your own shoulders, you should be able to button all the buttons if you want, it should not go down to the middle of your thigh (shorter is better, long looks sloppy) and the sleeves should actually feel a bit short on your arms that way you can get just the right amount of cuff to peek out. Notice my cuff in the picture, detail like that makes a huge difference in my opinion.
Alright already, enough you say! I know, I was just SO STOKED to get to put that outfit together and go out in public, and let the world see. It was a fantastic feeling. You should all try it sometime. Like now. Do it.
2. I bought new shoes today...and they're GRAY! Oooh boy, gray canvas high top Converse, with a touch of black and white trim and white laces. Super fly and appropriate to dress up or down. I was looking for some new Adidas Sambas, or another one of their black/white stripe styles but NOTHING WAS IN MY GODDAMN SIZE. Little boy's section folks, that's the only way, unless you're blessed with a big foot. I am not. And I cry about it. Especially when you have to pass up the NUMEROUS shoes that I had to. BUT it's okay, my new kicks are kick ass and they are gray, and we all know how in love with gray your Boy at Sea is. It is the new Black. Just watch.
So next time I'll include some sweet pics of my new duds. Until then, you wait with bated breath I'm sure.
3. Lastly, there have been some rumblings, some very very very good rumblings amongst me and some folk about making things a bit bigger, taking things to the next level of this female-bodied male-presenting queer/trans train. And I honestly can't sleep at night with excitement. So, my homework for you my darling followers is to get excited too, start spreading the word of the Boy at Sea to your friends, because I have an intention of hanging around for a bit. Just saying.
Alright, enough talk, bed now, L.A. tomorrow, changing the face of fashion in due time. One more lovely look for you to squirrel away during the long hard week of my absence that lies ahead. Heh.Oh my, three different patterns in one outfit...and it WORKS! My god does it work. Bravo Hamish Bowles, Bravo.
Sweet dreams of sartorial splendor my dears
Monday, April 12, 2010
Alas my wonderful and well-traveled boss has just returned from her "trip of a lifetime" trek around Bhutan and I find myself suddenly having to actually do work (gasp!) during the day instead of just planning out my latest posts for all you fine folk. Well, here's a couple of thoughts on that business:
1. A quick lesson in geography for all those not in the know about Bhutan...
-It is a landlocked country in South Asia, at the eastern end of the Himalayas, bordered to the south, east, and west by India and to the north by China (thanks Wikipedia, I use you with no remorse now that my college days are behind me)
-It is considered one of the happiest countries in the world
-Only a select few numbers of tourists are allowed in each year
-Here is a map
2. After said trip of a lifetime, she brought back an amazing hand woven satchel for me, that I simply cannot get over. I'll provide some pictures next time, because I think it will go perfectly which my next post, where I want to discuss...
3. Patterns and colors!
4. Not getting to write about/think about/notice/photograph/purchase fashion all day every day is beginning to make me a bit sad. Makes one wonder, if one should rethink one's current career choice. Hmm, maybe one should.
Alright, you're not here for my almost-quarter-life-crisis mumblings! Shame on me! Back to the task at hand...
So, for the rest of this rather short and probably somewhat disappointing post I am going to leave you with two websites that have become close friends of mine (yikes that reads terribly when typed out, bear with me, please). Both are for online shopping, and both supply clothes for "men" and "women" but if you're reading this, and have thus far been keeping up with my hidden agenda, I think we all know that the binary gender system is lacking.
The point is, the clothes are varied and there is lots of stuff for everyone and both sites also have a new sale everyday that only lasts for a short amount of time (in the case of Gilt Groupe for 10min from 12 noon to 12:10, and in the case of JackThreads for 24 hours) and even though this doesn't leave you with much time to shop, they are great sites to browse, and if something happens to catch your eye, quick! Snag it! And get yourself a little sumsin' sumsin'. Both sites also include a lot of labels that you will otherwise not find in stores, or will cost astronomical amounts in places of retail. At the end of the day, you find something dapper and fresh and feel like you did it with some fashion know-how. Bravo you baller. On with it!
This is JackThreads:
This is GiltMan (GiltGroupe is for a larger variety of clothes, but the mens' section does it for this boy):
Alright, I think that is about all I have for you today, my apologies again...but I have some seriously great things in mind that will need my utmost attention and time to discuss. In fact I am literally overflowing with ideas of ever more sartorial splendor to get you through your days! So, stay tuned, I promise to return soon with more wit, charm and bold pattern pairing than you'll know what to do with!....Sweet dreams Guys and Dolls and Genderfucks!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
I can only hope everyone's Wednesday is progressing delightfully, it being such a beautiful day and all. A day for breezy button-downs for sure (but throw a cardigan over it anyways if you're one of the folks who prefers layers, I know I am!). I decided to go for an excess of color today and have been wearing a thin linen light purple dress shirt from Gap, and my dark teal skinny jeans from H&M. [Side note: my dearest colorblind friend said he could see the purple shirt but the pants looked navy blue. This got me to thinking that I need to be more conscious of my color palette so that it can appeal to people of all visual abilities. I'm safe today because I think this color purple and navy blue goes well together too...phew!] Now folks, this much color, I think looks great, and I have fun with it. But I'm sure there are some who would disagree. In fact there are plenty of people who think that an excess of color, of variety...of diversity you could even say...is never a good thing. Whoa! I think your Boy at Sea is about make a point!
And I am, because for today's post, I am going to take a moment to leave aside my ramblings on fashion and discuss instead the other thing this blog is intended for: gender-nonconforming in a very gendered society.
So you see, I had an absolutely amazing conversation last night with a friend who has known me longer than most (and certainly knew me before my more fashionable genderqueer time!). And we got to talking about, well everything...but we spent some considerable time on gender and how the world really really really likes to put everything in boxes. I mean just speaking for my own country right now - um hello? The census. "Sure, we'll take a look at who lives in the U.S...but only in the most constricting way possible. And, oh what's that? You don't think you fit into one of our boxes, well, either choose one or we'll choose one for you." Super.
And while we are making some progress when it comes to diversity, concerning things like race, ethnicity, heritage, and even now sexuality (yes sirree there is more than gay/straight/lesbian!) recognizing that there are more than 2 genders doesn't even register on most people's radars. And I think more people are beginning to be able to wrap their minds around folks who are physically transitioning and are changing their pronouns from "she" to "he" or "he" to "she", because if you don't feel comfortable as one, than you must want to be the other, right?
No. What about all the others? What about me? What about the "they"s?
Gender is not cut and dried. It is not black or white. And it is certainly not one or the other. It is diverse and beautiful and colorful and varied. And that is the most amazing part about the term "transgender" because it is a giant umbrella that has room for all of the infinite genders that exist. As for male and female, masculine and feminine. I am neither and I am both. And I am something completely new and different, I am me, M, the Boy at Sea. And that makes the most sense to me. I was gendered incorrectly my entire life, and now that I have come to understand my own gender-nonconformity, it is no longer your place to try and re-gender me. Trust me, assuming my gender really does make an "ass" out of "you" and "me". Mainly you.
I guess the reason for my rant, to bring it all back full circle, is this:
After re-reading my Monday post, and after my discussion last night, I wanted to make it very clear to all of you, my faithful followers, that while this blog does have a heavy focus on "men's" fashions, it is a blog that is open to everyone of all and any gender identity and presentation, even and especially if you don't label yourself as any type of trans.
I never want my posts to sound geared toward anyone in particular. If you are the manliest of men, or the most feminine of women, or have switched from one to the other, well wonderful! Welcome.
Maybe you are here because you just find me mildly entertaining, or perhaps you just want to know how to buy a dress shirt that will fit appropriately when you are binding, or maybe you are a cis-gendered or cis-sexual person who just wants to get a trans identified person's ideas on suits and fashion. Welcome! Perhaps you are questioning your gender and the restrictions that society is placing on you, maybe you're trying to figure out what to wear for your first drag show, or what to buy your honey for a gift, or you like dressing like a man in the privacy of your own home and want to make the most of it. Maybe you are gay/queer/lesbian/bi woman who is completely comfortably in your assigned sex and gender and just prefer an androgynous look, or maybe you are like me, completely gender-neutral, embracing a gray area of gender that is as comfortable and stylish as your favorite outfit and just want to learn the ways to fold a pocket square, or how to find a friendly tailor...To all of you, and every other identity and presentation I could not fit here, welcome to you, too! Tell me about yourself, I'd love to know who's out there...
So, however you see fit to gender yourself, welcome. And if the alignment between your anatomy and your head is right on the mark, and you never think twice about your gender, well, you're welcome too! I just ask you remain aware and open minded to the diversity that exists around you. Black and white is for tuxes (and we'll discuss that when I find an excuse to wear one!) until than leave your boxes and your blandness at the door, and come just to discuss a little fashion and a lot of color with me, your BaS.
And just to keep you happy, here is a badass song, from a group with a variety of presentations and identities:
Monday, April 5, 2010
So my Monday post is arriving later than usual today, and I apologize (as I'm sure you were waiting with bated breath) but seriously folks, I do have an actual job that I have to occasionally attend to.
Right-o then, on with the words! As the title of this post suggests, I had a miserable realization of just how broke I am. And yes, obviously this is part of being young and single. I get it, mother. But there are some days when you just want to buy that 100 dollar pair of two-tone blue boat shoes from Sperry Top-Sider because they are just SO fabulous, and definitely the summer shoe that you NEED (well, WANT, at least). And yet, sigh, you cannot. It is just simply, not in the books for you. And certainly not in the books for your Boy at Sea...
And so for today's lesson in fashion (don't worry, I know I'm the only one who takes my fashion advice) I am going to discuss some of the helpful tips I've found when it comes to stocking your wardrobe for reasonable prices.
Alright for starters, accept the fact that while Zachary Quinto looks grungy and gorgeous in this picture, this is an EXPENSIVE look. The fitted leather jacket, the knit cap, etc. Money was paid, souls were sold.And while Brad Pitt is WEARING this suit (also notice the gray goatee, eep!) he is also, yup, BRAD. PITT. Therefore he can wear a suit that probably cost as much as my private college education and was hand stitched by Jesus with the hair of angels.So, let's ignore these stylish bastards and focus on what we have to work with then, eh? Great. Now, just for you, my dedicated readers, I decided to stop hiding behind the pictures that I find on the 'nets, and chose instead to bring out my own camera and put my own wardrobe on display. Let's get to it then shall we?
The Boy at Sea's essential guide to making the most of your style and your money:
1. Shoes. Be frugal, be willing to hunt. The two pairs of shoes I have included here have been staples for my outfits. The first, the black and white Adidas, I came across in a lost-and-found bin on my campus, I have had them for 3 years now. While they have certainly seen better days, and are a bit more old-school, they are also almost exactly like the Adidas Sambas that every well-dressed male-presenting person is wearing now to dress down a suit or pair with really any outfit. And if you missed it before, mine were FREE and have lasted forEVER.The second pair in the picture, the simple black penny-loafers, I found at Target for I believe twenty dollars. They are exactly my size (which is small for men's shoes) and while they are easy shoes to pair with any classed up outfit because they are black and have a rounded toe, at least you know you have a guaranteed dress-shoe. Just remember to always hunt! A good pair of shoes is certainly worth the investment of a large sum, but if you can find them cheap, do it! Just MAKE SURE they are the right size, nothing says "tool" like walking with a limp in those stylish kicks because of the giant blister on your heel!
2. Certain things are always worth the investment. As I mentioned above, shoes can definitely fall into this category, because a well made pair of leather dress shoes will last a lifetime. But there are also other articles essential to the male-biased wardrobe that are worth spending the money on. Suits, sport coats, suit jackets etc, are definitely those items. This gray, two-button, notched lapel sport coat was found at H&M. It is wonderfully versatile, detailed, and since it wasn't found second-hand I was able to make sure I got an almost perfect fit off the rack. A tailor could still tighten it up for me, but "as is" it is brilliant, too. H&M is a great place to buy these pieces also, because they are reasonably priced and H&M pretty much specializes in selling fitted, lean and clean suits, coats, pants, and shirts at awesome prices. That jacket ran me $40 and I can dress it up with a shirt and tie, or down with a nice plaid shirt or fitted T. On that note it is also worth investing in a couple of dress shirts from some place like H&M or J Crew. Still at reasonable prices and their shirts fit well (and remember I'm no super skinny queer) and come in a variety of basic and more bold colors.
3. Hit up the Salvation Army and make it more retro...or more newsboy from 1899. Seriously though, make the local Salvo your best friend and be willing to commit the time to foraging through the racks. But I guarantee you will find some amazing gems in time. For instance, the following:The jacket is a bright green Members Only number that was found when scrounging at a Sals in my hometown. The shirt is Merona, also found at a local Sals where I went to college, and the tie is unknown in it's maker, but is a killer super skinny guy that was found when a traveling vintage store came to my campus (the tie was actually purchased as a birthday gift for me, by the every lovely JP, the author of A Whole Bunch of Things). So I would say, that this entire outfit ended up putting me back a whole $15. That's a win, you studs. Trust. Furthermore, here's this:Shirt, a hand-me-down from a roommate (has a great muted, colorful large plaid pattern). Suspenders $10 from some large department store (Macy's or the like) and hat $30 from Urban Outfitters. So, while this outfit did not come from Salvo's and did cost more than the previous outfit (mainly because of that damn uber trendy hat) it is certainly still an affordable look, and a fun one at that. So bravo, get to selling the papers to pay it off...4. Gifts that keep on giving! A trick that I have begun to take advantage of...gifts! When someone offers to get you a little something it is definitely time to take advantage of it by asking for a little something that will add to your current wardrobe and the current season. Basically this is the time to try and get some accessories. It can be difficult for someone to buy you shirts or pants or shoes because those are items that need your specific eye and body frame at the moment of the purchase. But ho! Wait! Accessories, such as ties, ascots, scarves, hats, watches etc can be easy to ask for, cheap or expensive (depending on the buyer's budget), and will allow your friendly purchaser to find you something you will love, and they will be proud of. Just make sure they either know you very well, or know what is fashionable. So here is my table of assorted gifts and wonderful accessories:Counterclockwise: A gray, blue, yellow and white plaid scarf. It actually just showed up in my room one day, but we'll say it was a gift form the Gods of Gay Garb. It is warm, not too long, and is wonderful as a buffer on bitter days with a wool coat, or just loosely knotted at the neck with a thin cardigan on cool spring/fall days. Next, and my latest obsession: pocket squares! Two lovely silk pieces from an amazing Italian men's clothing store here in Cambridge that were purchased for me by the (as always) amazing JP. The bright purple will go well with a muted dress shirt and the icy green and white checked one will have to be cautiously paired with a solid color. Then there is the wonderful vintage skinny tie again (thanks JP for indulging your BaS!). And lastly the black and gold vintage ascot that my dad bought for me as a holiday gift. Silk and with absolutely fine black tassels at the end it is an amazing find for sure. The bold pattern does make it tougher to pair with a suit, or a dress shirt, but it is doable (keep the rest of the outfit simple) and when it's done right, an accessory like that will bring the entire ensemble together. It will give you the head-turning affect that I'm guessing you're going for if you've managed to make it this far in my ramblings of everything fashionable (or not) and queer (oh yes).
Alright, my favorites. Thanks again for joining me. I'll ring off now, and proceed to work on the Easter ham that is in the fridge.
So happy bargain hunting and always remember to keep the gendered masses guessing!
Friday, April 2, 2010
A change had to be made because tumblr just wasn't cutting it any longer. Unable to accommodate my picture-heavy posts and with an increasing concern that my dear loyal followers wanted to comment on my posts and could not (I kid, it was just my British Lover, but still, I know you have things to say to me folks!) I decided to make a switch to a more reader-friendly venue. So, phew, I spent the past 24 hours switching all of my posts over to here, so that you can still visit some of my older ones...and please do! I added some new pictures to old posts that demand viewing, namely my post about Elly Jackson - new picture of Jackson in an amazing suit - as well as more pictures added to my last post about my three leading men, definitely go check them out. Thanks, guys and dolls.
And thus, today's post is simply going to be this update. To beg of you, my favorites, to add this new link (aboyatsea.blogspot.com) to your bookmarked tabs, disregard the tumblr page, and to keep following me. My creative juices are flowing and I have some exciting ideas in store for this blog.
So stick with me kids, we'll go places.
And just to make sure you stay around I'm going to include a couple of pictures to get you through the weekend (courtesy of the GQ website). For starters this amazing heavy wool sports jacket straight from Buddy Holly's closet (sure it's too warm now for a wool jacket, but it's never too warm to think fondly of a dapper rock n' roll gentleman):Hm. Just beautiful.
And also, another little tidbit. If you didn't get enough of him before, here's some more of Ed Westwick. GQ named him one of the 25 most stylish men in the world. I concur GQ, I concur. Here he is looking flawless in a Ralph Lauren Black Label three-piece suit:Well there's that. And here's this, a song and video to get you in the mood for the fast approaching weekend. Kings of Convenience "Misread". Stylish, handsome men, and perfect spring music. (Embedding was disabled by Youtube, so here's the link) Enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOxE7IRizjI
So, remember me, your Boy at Sea, and I'll see you next Monday for new thoughts and a place where you can comment if you so desire! Cheers and happy weekend all (I'm thinking it's a weekend for comfy jeans/slacks and some gingham shirts and pull it all together with some boat shoes!)
Alright my kings, queens, and queers…as promised I return to you today with fresh thoughts and fresh looks. And while Tumblr is stingy when it comes to uploading pictures I have gathered as many as possible for you. So that for Wonderful World of Fashion Wednesday I have for you, my version of (and my first ever!) mood board!
A quick lesson. Mood boards are used by designers (and whoever else is feeling crafty) to depict exactly that…a mood, a feeling, a look for whatever it is they are trying to capture through cloth.
And my take on a mood board today is simply a slide show of pictures that I slaved away trying to find. (From all over the internets, so this is me giving credit where credit is due…wherever that is).
So, do I still have your attention? Or did I lose you at fashion? Well I should hope not, you fools! If you stuck around for my nostalgic ramblings of yesteryear (on Monday’s post) than you know that I’ve taken quite the turn in my own personal stylings. And while I certainly still have my own look I do tend to be drawn to what is popular now for men - and thank heavens that look has finally reached a flattering and dapper place!
And so for today I give you, the three men, I most want to be. And yes, yes, I know, while my own long label for my gender presentation and identity does not actually suggest that I physically want to become a man, you should definitely know by now that your Boy at Sea wants to dress like the best of them!
Okay, okay, enough nonsense, on with it already!
My three men and a brief comment on each:
1. Robert Downey Jr.:
If you can just disregard his slightly crazier years, than seriously folks how can you look at this man and not swoon?! Not only is he an actor that has our hearts but he's just so gosh darn stylish! That suit he wore to the Oscars?...
You know you’re a God of Garb when you manage to look that good at an event where every man is expected to wear a black suit, with black tie or bow tie. He gave it just a hint of personality, but not too extreme. The color and sheen of his bow tie, and then his glasses, and his shoes - all subtle details that pulled his look together and gave him just the right amount of flair to stand out in a sea of well-dressed penguins. I also gave you some Sherlock pictures and some shirtless pictures…because I mean really…I must be him.
2. Edward Norton:
Well here we go, I give you my favorite actor. Not only have I loved him in probably every film he’s done (think American History X and Fight Club - oh Fight Club! Combining by favvy fav actor with my favvy fav author, sigh! ) But I also think he is just downright attractive! That smile, that face, that body…yikes, let’s try to keep it kosher here.
Now, if you know your little sweater vest-wearing queer at all, than you know that my attraction to men is more often than not an appreciation of a form and body that I can understand, that I can connect with. So yes, really, I want to look like that. Now, Norton hasn’t exactly given me the chills when it comes to style, he’s well dressed for sure, no major faux pas, but I mean nothing like RDJr and certainly nothing like my next leading man. (But don’t fret Edward! Just keep acting, and perhaps teaming up with Chuck Palahniuk and my devotion will never waver)
So…speaking of Chucks…
3. Ed Westwick (specifically his character Chuck Bass of Gossip Girl)
B and I have a running joke (maybe) life goal (definitely) that we are in fact Blair and Chuck from Gossip Girl. Ahem, if you’re judging right now you can just stop it. There’s no judging when you’re with your Boy at Sea. No, sir. But anyways, no folks, I do not have the sex appeal and cool, calm, calculating demeanor of Chuck Bass, nor do I have the money, the clothing, the business plan, the limo, or the penchant for call girls,
u sually (alright alright I’m nothing like him! Sheesh!) However, I have the desire. The desire for the fashion at least…and perhaps to be as suave as he is (seriously people, do you swoon for me yet?). But I have never seen such an amazingly dressed character in my life! Show after show, he never falters. His choices are sometimes a little over the top and occasionally call his sexuality into question (you know I love it!), but above everything else he is always impeccable, always perfection.
And there is always an attention to detail that could save the human race if we all just took a moment to notice the pattern and fold of our pocket square against the cut and color of our suit! I’m not even kidding, the character Chuck Bass is my super hero of mens fashion and if we all just let ourselves be saved, well shit kids, imagine the beauty!
Now, the actual actor, Ed Westick, he seems just as conscious about his style and not to mention he is downright pretty, and a year younger than me! Gives me hope. For what you ask? For everything. A final comment, on Westwick…I’ve only seen him in Gossip Girl (which he’s brilliant in) but apparently he was also in Children of Men…um…AWESOME. I’ll have to watch that one again. Although I get the feeling that in a movie about destruction and the dying human race there wont be much of a chance for him to be wearing a white suit with fantastic black piping. Alas. A boy can dream.
Well, I should probably wrap this up, and go do science-related things since it is 11:45. Oh! almost noon, I’ll go eat lunch then, yes, fabulous. It’s been a busy morning of blogging anyways.
So cheers my lovely loyals! I hope you enjoyed my first mood board, I have high hopes to actually start working on more, real ones in time. But until then, take what you will from my three men of splendor and notice how while all are incredibly different in form, and look…all can wear a suit, like gods can they wear suits. And that my friends is why I’m here in the first place.
It’s all about the suit.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
[Originally posted on March 29th 2010]
My Monday post, for you my loyal listeners, is going to be a little more nostalgic and a little less…well…”fashion savvy gender fuck”.
Perhaps, this came about in response to reading JP’s most recent blog (awholebunchofthings.tumblr.com), that very eloquently presented a study of human growth, change, and personal style. Bravo JP.
So for my particular Monday thought, I give to you this video, enjoy:
Recorded the summer before my senior year of college by my favorite British Babe and Longtime Lover (!), it is just a brief document of your Boy at Sea almost 2 years ago. (Do I have the time line right here Brit?). And I know what you’re thinking…”whoa there BaS, 2 years isn’t that long ago, you’ve made quite the change, haven’t you?” And indeed I have, there has been some serious alterations made to this gender-non-conforming, male-biased, queer. Namely the embracing of a denied gender, a denied life. And while I feel like the better, stronger, truer, more honest version of myself than I have in my entire life…that’s right folks…Version 2.0…it is still somewhat shocking to see the changes. Watch the video again, if I can persuade you to…this time, stop laughing for a moment, at the dumb schmuck that I am, and notice instead…the differences, the similarities. How well do you know me now? How well did you know me then? At all?
For me, this video, is fascinating, and painful, and sad, and hilarious. I see myself in that brief picture. Sure. I am making the same dumb jokes, laughing in the same unbridled guffaw of a laugh that I have, and my mannerisms are the same. And Silas, I am driving Silas (if you know, you know, if not..than don’t mourn what you never met). But the differences are intense. And not just the physical changes, although they are significant - the hair, the clothes, the chest - but at least for me, there is an entire alteration in the aura of that person. And perhaps I will be the only one who can see this. But what there is now, that I know for a fact was not surrounding the person in that video, is a sense of calm and acceptance, understanding and comfort in body and mind that certainly only became a part of my life over the past year and half.
In that video, I was on my way there…I was fast approaching it. The time for me to metamorphasize (yeah, it’s not a real word, I know) into a more suitable skin was upon me and I didn’t even know it. Not in the video, not yet. But I would, very soon.
I suppose the reason for this post, is a reflective one, for myself. To have a moment of sadness. A goodbye, to the person I was then. And also a greeting to the person I am now. And for that matter, a solid acceptance of what I will never be able to change - my dumb jokes, my guffaw, my deep and unreal love for my friends, my excitement for life. And I guess, finally, a hope that the person who I am now is true, and real, and not a fraud. I don’t feel like a fraud. I feel powerful, and terrified, and ready. And only time will tell.
And so to you my faithful followers, thank you for letting me indulge for a moment. If this has inspired you to revisit yourself 2, 3, or 30 years ago, fabulous! If it left you heading for the hills, that’s an appropriate response too. Either way, I’ll try to bring you something gender-bending, fashionable, and quirky for Wednesday. Have no fear!
And happy Monday, all.
Good evening! Please, lend me your ears for a moment my dear readers!
Is anyone even still reading this? No, but seriously, I have a real nice tidbit for you today (even though it’s midnight, this is considered my Friday post).
Alright, so I have for you today, something to brighten your Friday - even brighter than I anticipate it already is - and also to put a little pep in your step in preparation for the weekend. So this weekend, I put it to you, get out there and be as completely daring and honest and heartbreaking as you can be. Be loud and proud. And no, that doesn’t just have to be a gay thing.
Yes, yes enough already! I stumbled across this video when I was perusing Style.com for the female side of fashion that I am trying desperately to stay abreast of (that was for you B)…and obviously when I saw the name La Roux the rest of the world dissolved around me. If you know your Boy at Sea at all, you’ll know that La Roux and mainly the stunner falsetto Elly Jackson is my heart-stopping crush at the moment. If you haven’t listened to La Roux’s self-titled album yet, GET ON IT YOU FOOLS! It will be anything and everything you wanted for any mood (but certainly for the get up and go weekend mood). Now I definitely don’t know how to critique music so I am just here to say: It’s fantastic, are you listening to it yet?! Why not?!?!?
Okay, well while you rush out and immediately buy the CD (buy the CD?! Who am I? Your Grandpa at Sea? Buy the CD, psshaa, I meant download it or whatever tricks you and your internets have up your sleeves, so GO already!) I will proceed on with my post…
The video is an interview with Elly Jackson as she discusses her rise to fame, but more importantly her androgynous fashion sense and freaking orgasmic ginger quiff! And again, if you know me at all, you know I have the hots for redheads…all. the. time. So when you take that glorious red hair, cut it short, slick the sides and roll the rest of it up into a massive tower of mohawk-y perfection, well let’s just say *swooooooon*
But I swear I have a point. The point is this, here’s the point. Here is a woman, discussing that when she finally let herself shake off the oppression of trying fit into something she wasn’t, and finally cut off her hair, and started wearing the clothes she feels most comfortable in, it was then that she was able to step out and be seen and heard. Now, I know what you’re thinking, and apparently the word on the street is that no, unfortunately, she is not gay….but I’m holding out hopes that she just hasn’t yet discovered the wonderful generosity that the word “queer” allows for. I’ll have her yet, just you wait.
Again, the point is, this video made me stoked and bravo for Elly Jackson! And sure, while she is seeing ginger quiffs everywhere now, she also notices that there are fewer girls who are willing to rock the same sense of fashion as the dapper Jackson. Because, and she is right, it takes a lot more punch to walk down the street breaking, bending, and liberating not only fashion rules but also the rules of a gendered society. So to all of the androgynous folk out there, here’s to you! Here’s to us! I can tell you full well that living in the gray-area can certainly be a performance, but it is also certainly the most liberating space to play.
So go play! Have a fabulous weekend and damn the gender-normative society to hell!
And too Elly Jackson, queer or not, let’s hang out, you and I, eh? I have a feeling your ginger quiff and my gray mohawk would go fabulous together. Furthermore that electric rainbow shiny suit you're wearing, umm, BLOODY FANTASTIC.
And my friends….Are you listening to “Tigerlily” yet? Good. Now swoon with me.
Alright ladies, gents, and genderfucks…me again, your Boy at Sea. I return with my second post of the week (I have been considering making this a Monday, Wednesday, Friday soiree, we’ll see if I can make that happen).
But for today, I just have a couple thoughts on the color gray…
For starters, these past few days, at least for the Boston-bound have been very gray indeed, but I have seen some blue peeking through and I am holding out hope that in the very near future the mass of roiling gray that is lingering above us will be lifted for brighter days. Surly skies aside I am very excited about the color gray for the upcoming spring and summer months. Mind you this is just my opinion and I have no idea what GQ will be telling you to wear tomorrow, however, I feel as though a layering with light easy grays will be perfect for these early warm months (at least here in the East)
A light gray sport coat with notched lapels and two-buttons. Yes indeed my faithfuls I DID just buy a piece just like this over the weekend. It’s a bit hard to tell from the photo but I’m pretty sure mine is lighter in color and fabric, which is just spectacular. It has a wonderful light-blue striped lining as well and is just so very versatile. I cannot wait to try it out. I would just like to say that I think a light gray suit coat such as this, and in fact an entire suit in this color is going to be a fabulous addition to a spring wardrobe. A huge variety of shirts, patterns, ties and pocket squares (yay!) can be matched with this and just make your day go swimmingly.
Furthermore, at the moment I am wearing black skinny jeans, a white V-neck T, a charcoal gray thin zip hoodie, and a very simple gray scarf with a faint yellow, blue and white plaid patten knotted very loosely around my neck. Along with my heavier wool winter coat (gray) over this, but not buttoned I think it provides the right feel for a gray day that is pretty chilly, but still has a hint of spring in the air. Embrace the gray! I make it light on a heavy day…or I try at least.
Next on my list of all things gray:
Yes, my friends, you have heard right…I did indeed declare last night that I wanted to dye my hair gray! Well silver, technically, but it will come out looking more gray than anything. Now don’t fret quite yet, I am simply tossing the idea out there, I have never before dyed my hair (yes indeed this is my natural hair color! and yes indeed I am a true to the core Blonde!) and well, I’m getting a bit bored with my locks once again and I thought, with the coming of warmer months, what better way to distinguish myself (and look like the distinguished man I feel like) than by dying my hair?? It is true, that I must give credit where credit is due, and in fact the first time this thought occurred to me was while reading the blog Style Rookie written by Tavi (the 13? year-old fashion phenom) who has dyed her hair gray and is rocking it like no one’s business! Anyways, I think I could have some fun with it. Perhaps you can all let me know your thoughts? Why, thanks!
And so for your viewing pleasure I have included some of the Silver Foxes that first jumped out at me. And no no, I am not saying I will look anything like Richard Gere or Anderson Cooper, namly because neither of them can rock the mohawk like yours truly (ahem), but still I have good feelings for gray this year…and why not take it the full nine-yards then eh?
P.S…in my pursuits for gray haired individuals I stumbled upon this gem, and we all know everyone appreciates a little salt and pepper, enjoy:
Good day sirs and misses and mirs and sisses, and anyone and everyone else on that wonderful color spectrum that I most adore, good day!
I know, I know…Tis a Monday, and what a Monday it tis. After such an outstandingly beautiful weekend, here we are ready to the start the week draped in gray. The red line was slowed up by an emergency, people were cantankerous (word points for me!) and I did not see a single person whose choice of wardrobe made me swoon. Boston, my love, fail.
But! I greet you with such enthusiasm because I figured we could relive the loveliness that was this past weekend and thus get through the Monday Mopes.
While I have a variety of random little thoughts that I wanted to mention today, I decided that they were all linked by…yes, you’ve guessed it. Aesthetics. And I’ll break this post down into bullet points to better appeal to your flow-chart minded Mondays.
- If you have not yet been to the galleries on Thayer St. off of Harrison Ave in the South End. DO IT. Right now, I kid you not. You’ll be a happier person for it. All of the galleries that I browsed were amazing (definitely check out the photo exhibit by Jess Dugan called Coupled, amazing color portraits of various female-bodied queer couples, stunning) but two that caught my oh-so-Queer eye were Bobby From Boston and Tour de France. Bobby From Boston was not actually open but what I was able to gather from the front window displays and from what I’ve learned online is that it is a wonderfully old-school clothing/accessory shop geared towards the fashion savvy, dapper (trans/queer/cis/or other)man-about-town. Swoon indeed my loyal readers! I gushed! The first picture you see below of the uber stylish mannequin was taken from inside the store. No doubt I’ll be returning the next time I have a moment away from science. Tour de France was exactly as the name describes. The other picture you see that is just a mess of colors and bold uplifting swatches of fabric was taken from inside this charming art/furnishing/home decor store. And truly, it was that wall of fabric that had me overpowered the entire time. Such color, such unreal light! I found myself wanting to make window treatments or napkins or…or…pocket squares! Yes, pocket squares, my new fixation and accessory of choice for the suited individual. It’s true, they say to keep your shirt plain and solid if you’re going to have a bolder or patterned pocket square, but I would like to think that a bright bold pocket square would go dashingly with a muted checked patterned dress shirt. But I digress.
- (I bet your Monday doldrums are feeling lifted already though…) Onward….
- Can my main decision for remaining in an apartment really be “I love how the daylight comes in during the morning”. YES. Goddamn, it can be your main reason. It’s my main reason and I’m sticking to my aesthetically pleased guns here, folks. Now that the warmth is trying to make a comeback (and what a masterful attempt that was this past weekend, Earth!) I am once again drawn to the fact that perhaps my favorite thing about my apartment is that during the early morning and through late afternoon the sun comes pouring through the rooms with such intensity and geometric perfection that I refuse to turn a light on until after dark. The way I see it, if so natural a thing can fill you so full of joy everytime, why leave quite yet? Academia, wonder lust, and money will be on my heels soon enough, for now…for now I bask in the light. (And yes, I referenced my apartment and it’s sunlight to a cathedral in this picture. Yes, it’s an atheist joke. Yes, I’m the only one laughing)
- Alright, moving right along, I’m sure The Man is wondering where your expense reports are by now (my boss is trekking across Bhutan as we speak, so I’m slightly less concerned with my current endeavors)
- So, last but definitely not least. As of last night I booked a ticket to L.A. in April to visit the mystical, magical, one and only Kate Willis! Epic-ness is sure to ensue and my post after that week-long love-fest is sure to be just as epic. But for now I leave you with the thought of West Hollywood (where Kate told me we would certainly be going). Therefore, reference the last picture of the two adorable and stylish guys locking lips. Yes sirree, queer and fashionable…here I come. And I will also try to answer my own age-old question: Are famous people actually real?
Stay tuned my fastidious friends, for there are larger and even bolder plans in the works for this blog…
[Originally posted on March 17th 2010]
Happy St. Patrick’s Day/St. Patty’s Day/Evacuation Day/Irish Christmas to all my dedicated drunkards!
A quick post for you all, just to say enjoy the fabulous weather and the even more fabulous reason to drink, dirnk, driiink, drrnink, drinisrnicke. Good, way to catch up.
Now if you’re like me, are at all Irish, have lived for your entire life in Mass, and also have quite a soft spot in your heart for Boston (and yes it may be heart disease from all the boozing, but we’ll call it love), than today is a pretty special day for you. So, cheers my potato-eating brethren! If you aren’t, well, it’s okay, because this is the one day of the year that everyone is Irish simply by association! So drinks all around!
But we’ll also take a moment to acknowledge the fact that today is actually a sanctioned holiday and a day off from school for all of Suffolk county (that’s Boston, folks). It’s Evacuation Day! Hoorah! Now, bear with me, I did a little investigative research (Wikipedia) and came up with this little tidbit:
“The 11-month siege of Boston ended when the Continental Army, under the command of George Washington, fortified Dorchester Heights in early March 1776 with cannons captured at Ticonderoga. British General William Howe, whose garrison and navy were threatened by these positions, was forced to decide between attack and retreat. To prevent what could have been a repeat of the Battle of Bunker Hill, Howe decided to retreat, withdrawing from Boston to Nova Scotia on March 17. The British evacuation was Washington’s first victory of the war. It was also a huge morale boost for the Thirteen Colonies, as the city where the rebellion began was the first to be liberated.”
“While Saint Patrick’s Day parades have been held in Boston since 1876, Evacuation Day was not declared a holiday in the city until 1901…”
“A 1941 law establishing the holiday in Suffolk County was signed in both black and green ink.”
So there you have it my avid followers, I’m quite sure that you are now just super full of knowledge and are ready to go wash it all down with a tall glass of Guinness. Well get to it, I won’t keep you. Just remember, Irish or not, make a little room in your big gay hearts for dear St. Patty and Evacuation Day today, because I think the moral of our little Wiki-lesson is: beer = freedom.
Yours truly in getting the point across,
The (green) boy at sea
Good evening my loyal lovelies, it has been a few days since we last spoke, so I have some serious words…
When last I left you, you were holed up (understandably) in your room/house/office ogling the latest video by the ever formidable Gaga, probably on repeat. I know I was, but that was for research. Obviously. And as brilliantly fascinating as she is, I have some other thoughts for this particular post, so tear yourselves away for a moment and come grab a comfy seat around me, your Boy at Sea, while I share. And don’t fret, I’m sure I’ll return to Gaga sometime soon.
So onto business you Queers! A couple of house-keeping notes that were brought to my attention this past weekend:
1. I was told by you, all of my fabulous followers, that I swear in my posts. A lot. Perhaps even an obscene amount. To that I say: thank you for your concern, I take into deep consideration that you may think my posts would be stronger without all of the four-letter words. Well, cheers, and fuck off. The language is going to stay, I only put it where the emphasis is needed (I emphasize a lot) and I think it adds. I’m an adder. And, well folks, nautical print is in this season and I swear like a sailor.
1.a. I was also told that if I was going to be saying “mother fucking” and was going to use the abbreviated version that I should stop spelling it “motha” and start spelling it “mutha”. Noted. The change will be made.
Now that that is all taken care of, onward!
This weekend I went to NYC with B and C for a whirlwind adventure of art, food, family, dancing, and of course magic rum. As I mentioned previously, the last time I was in NYC I was 18, straight, a female, and had never left the woods. Obviously things have changed and I was excited to compare and contrast the scene that is New York City with my own dear New England Kingdom that is Boston.
What I found myself noticing mostly was the fashion. I was very intrigued to see how the styles were different between two such monumental cities that are not all that far away from one another. After thinking long and hard about it, doing some serious analyzing, and discussing with my comrades it was decided that while both cities have adapted the phenomena that is “hipster” Boston’s version has a slightly more clean-cut business attire feel, while NY leans toward an edgier grungier feel. [It should be noted here that my sampling is just a study of the ages that probably range from 19-30] So, it seems to me that Boston maintains its old classy texture that is rooted in its history, its segregation, its charm, and its academic merging of diversity. New York (and I can only say so much because I honestly don’t know it that well) has such an enormous population compared to Boston’s and one that is so hugely diverse that its trendy-folk can make bold striking statements and they are well received if they are noticed at all.
While I am certainly attracted to the styles that women are rocking on the city streets these days, in both New York and Boston my eye is always drawn to the well-dressed man. In both of these cities he is put together and graceful, words like debonair, suave, and chivalrous come to mind when watching him. And these classy men (cis, trans, queer, and butch alike) are, in a way, bringing back the very old school feel of the 19th and 20th centuries, in my opinion. And I could not be happier. It is a wonderful clean, tight, svelte look that has new hip and daring additions. Get excited with me readers! This is a ballsy time for fashion and I can only hope that I can try and look that good. But I think if Boston was going to take a tip from New York it would be: bold and traffic-stopping is always better.
Well, my favorite ladies, gents, and gender-fucks, you’ve humored me long enough, letting me prattle on about the good, the bad, and the fashionable. So I will make a final note before I depart and let you all return to Lady Gaga wrapped in caution tape in a jail cell (hold the phone, doesn’t that sound like a college night folks?? You know of which I speak)…
As to the title of this post: Umbrella Graveyard. As we all know I do not fancy umbrellas and this weekend just went ahead and proved me right. Umbrellas are great when it’s raining, on a WINDLESS day, but umbrellas DO NOT belong in New England. Because it never just rains, it is also freaking windy as fuck and then you know what you have: sideways rain, people. You have fucking sideways rain and spindly little legs of metal wrapped in fabric. So accept the fact that the East Coast has the most bat-shit crazy weather ever, put the umbrella down, and find a more fashionable way to keep those lovely little faces dry.
Good night all, sweet dreams of drier days…
[Originally posted on March 12th 2010]
Another blog of brief, my dearests. For today, after work I am off to NYC with the great B and C and thus will not find the time to post this delicious little tidbit for a few days. So I’ll just give it to you here:
by now I hope you’ve stopped reading my prose and are ogling the video. If you haven’t yet, then FUCKING GET ON IT, IT’S FUCKING LADY GAGA’S NEW VIDEO AND YOU ARE ABOUT TO HAVE YOUR QUEER LITTLE MIND MOTHA FUCKING BLOWN. Ahem, 'scuse me. But seriously…gay gay gay gay gay. Gay. And I love it. We’ll discuss more later, I promise, but for now, enjoy it and while you’re at it, turn it into a drinking game. For every gay thing you see, take a drink! Too early for drinks? Hot toddies, ya pansy, didn’t I mention those in an earlier post??
Also, just saying, the last time I was in NYC I had never left the woods, was underage, straight, and still confined to the box labeled Female. Sooo, basically this weekend will probably be epic. Have no fear my favorite followers, I’ll report back with all the dangerous details…alliteration avenger away!
Okay, so I will be having some serious thoughts coming up in later posts, however, I only have so much time to post a blog while I am at work. For instance, I am currently waiting for blood samples to freeze so I can thaw them, so I can freeze them, so I can thaw them, and make DNA. No joke. My life. Therefore, I have some moments right now for this brief little update of words.
I have been doing some serious thinking lately on fashion. If you know Madi, this is actually not something I normally talk about. Alas, the trendy beast that is Boston has me in a choke hold and I am just going to run with it.
Which brings me to the picture here.
For as many reasons as I appreciate the Boston trendy/hipster/form-fitting style, there are equally as many reasons why it drives me crazy. This picture, this is what EVERYONE is wearing right now. Take a random sampling of, oh say, 10 young people off the streets of Boston, or Brookline, or Somerville, or JP and I guarentee probably half will have on at least 2 articles of clothing from this picture. And yes, this picture was taken from the women’s wardrobe….HOWEVER and TRUST ME the clothes are interchangeable between the sexes (and all the other genders and sexes out there). Mix and match, match and don’t match…so long as you have some plaid, some skinny jeans, a hip hairdo, and some chunky glasses, you are GOOD TO GO.
Ah yes, smell that? Spring is in the air. And along with it, more trendy hipsters. Good thing this look is so goddamn flattering on everybody! It forces you to find clothes that fit just right to your body, and not only gives you a bold silhouette, and an edgy vibe, you can walk into an interview in these clothes and people will know that if you can match patterns so boldly than obviously you’re a smart risk-taker for the workplace.
Anyways, just something I’ve noticed. Love me some hipsters, I do. And so does Boston, because while this look is world-wide for sure, Beantown is getting down hardcore with it. And don’t worry loyal readers, I’m not here to judge, the Downtown Crossing H&M employees recognize me now.
Further comments to come on being well-dressed. Stay tuned you hep cats and apathetic trendsters.