Yesterday at Thanksgiving dinner, I wanted to dress up, but still stay a little casual. I wore a white cotton t-shirt, grey chinos, colourful Space Invaders socks, matching brown belt and shoes and I topped it off with a burgundy blazer I got at RW&CO. This is close to my power outfit, just the colours change a bit.
Don’t mind the mess—my little sister comes to visit and suddenly I’m a guest in my own bathroom.
I’m going to be writing more and more about style, and how I take care of myself. The reason I do this is because I was given a book. It’s called Mind Platter, and it’s by a woman named Najwa Zebian, who says in the forward that the book is full of the gifts she wishes she was given in her darkest hours. The simple pieces of advice that move a life forward through the mud, often withheld. Najwa took it upon herself to share simple words, reminding one of their self worth, and I want to do the same, but for style.
To pull a quote from man I crush on, Queer Eye’s Tan France, “Honestly, I don’t care about fashion. Style is dressing the way that [makes] you feel confident, and what's appropriate for you, your age, your body type.” Dressing for my body type is something that I’ve just started doing this year, and the power and confidence I feel from a simple routine of hygiene and grooming, combined with good clothes with a good fit is something I want everyone to feel. My only regret is that I wasn’t able to get here years ago.
If I had a guiding hand, I think it would have been a faster transition, but unfortunately, no one around me had any idea what we were doing. Now that I feel like I have a solid sense of style myself, I want to pass on the small things I did that got me here. I’m not going to sit down and write a two-thousand-word dissertation on lookin’ fresh, but I would like to, every day, share an outfit and the easy things I do to maintain and feel comfortable in them.
There’s a look that irks me—the cop-out blazer: jeans and a t-shirt (untucked), with a blazer thrown on top. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent look, but for me, it’s just not enough. To get into my power zone, I need something other than denim strapped to my legs. If you’re in a rut and have tried everything in your power to get yourself out, but nothing has worked—try new materials in your life. Never would I ever think that I’d live my life in Denver Hayes Every Day Chinos, but hell, they fit the best, look good and come in a range of colours.
I realize that I’ve lived my life as a rigid “straight guy” for so long that even now, I don’t have the eye that I’d like to. I can come up with great combos, but when things clash, I’m often the last one in the room to know. At work recently, we had to wear dreadfully cheap blue t-shirts. We were promoting a program for the kids—and that’s awesome. The program is amazing, and I’ve already seen it pay off for one little girl (free glasses for kids, typically in need, that have been chosen by an educator), but the t-shirts, my god. In addition to squeezing my spare tire, they are a vibrant shade of blue—that corporate blue that invaded retail in the late 2000’s, making it hard as hell to match up to my current wardrobe. I kept sending combo ideas to friends and each and every one clashed, much to my surprise. I played it safe with a black blazer and grey pants but having to wear the shame outfit twice in a row, to the same place made me die a little on the inside.
Sometimes I wonder why that once I embraced my bisexuality, it was so much easier to begin caring about myself. It probably has something to do with the fact that I wasn’t fighting against myself to maintain a cover anymore, it could be how receptive I am to feminine energy in combination with the place I ended up. Sometimes I wonder if I’m over compensating, like I’m making up for lost bi-time or something with this sudden intense blossoming of interest, but then I think about stereotypes. I genuinely care about making myself look good, and its not because it comes pre-packaged with any non-heterosexuality. If anything, it’s the blossoming of a seed that was planted in my upbringing around women—in my hometown, men who have the time or energy to care about things like this are few and far between. It’s an extremely narrow-minded train of thought to think that this passion for fashion comes from my bisexuality, but it’s bang-on to think that I called it a passion for fashion because I’m bi. Sometimes I’m a sassy-ass bitch and we all just have to deal with it.
Writer, performer, producer and musician from Alberta.