Qwear Welcomes LuzMarina Serrano to Our Team

Qwear is thrilled to welcome writer LuzMarina Serrano to our team! We heard LuzMarina's Southwest Femme style expertise in her guest post and are all excited to work with her. A little more about LuzMarina:

LuzMarina Serrano walking down a path I wish I was on in Mallorca, Spain

LuzMarina Serrano walking down a path I wish I was on in Mallorca, Spain

LuzMarina Serrano is a queer femme Latina originally from Queens, NY, but currently residing in the Southwest. Definitely influenced by her surrounding, her personal style is a blend of Iris Apfel, Frida Kahlo and Coco Chanel. For LuzMarina, fashion is a political statement. One can witness a value for courage and passion not just in her choice of color, pattern and flare, but in the work she has dedicated herself to across the country. Her work has included everything from being a migrant farmworker advocate to the present day educator and advocate with the New Mexico GSA Network. While you might meet LuzMarina at the FemmeCon showcasing her style and radical politics, you might also hear her present at national conferences such as Creating Change. Her stylist work can be seen in Jack Tar 207 as well as on her Tumblr/Blog.

If you have any questions for LuzMarina, send them our way!

Qweary: Deconstructed Blazers For Summer

mymyriadmusings asked: "I'm a fairly androgynous female, and I'm moving back home to the South and trying to find good summer-weight dapper fashion. Any advice, particularly on good deconstructed blazers?"

Uniqlo, allllll day. Their unlined blazers breathe and will stand the test of the Southern Summer. Also, last season, they had these beautiful linen jackets (which, *crosses fingers* I hope return!).

Men Dry Light Weight Jacket, $29.90 at Uniqlo

Men Dry Light Weight Jacket, $29.90 at Uniqlo

Topman also has some lighter weight jackets at a higher price point*. For a lightweight and more affordable alternative, consider a lightweight cotton cardigan for those summer nights.

Burgundy Neppy Oxford Skinny Fit Blazer, $120 at Topman

Burgundy Neppy Oxford Skinny Fit Blazer, $120 at Topman

V-neck cardigan, $44.95 at Gap

V-neck cardigan, $44.95 at Gap

*Topman is sponsoring Qwear. Read about their sponsorship here.

Qwear and the Queer Fashion Uprising, Talk at St. Olaf College

Hey Qwears! This Wednesday night at St. Olaf College I am joining Courtney via Skype in a discussion of the uprising of queer fashion, curating identity through clothing, and the queering of style both inside and outside the queer community. Images from Qwear submissions will be utilized to discuss identity as related to style and image. Hosted by St. Olaf's GLOW! in the Black and Sun Ballrooms of Buntrock Commons.  

If you can't make it, check back soon for video footage.

Deets:

St. Olaf College, CDT
1520 St. Olaf Avenue, Northfield, Minnesota 55057
Wednesday, April 23 at 8:00pm
The event is free and open to the public.
RSVP on Facebook!

Qwearly Dashing Week 7: Color Blocks and Street Style

I've been inspired by color blocks, street style, and blue and orange this week. I discovered Street Fashion Photographer based in Seoul Korea named Kim HongJae. You can follow him on Instagram for lots of incredible street style combined with other elements.

I love the soft subtlies of color in the outfit and the model's hair. | From: unknown

I love the soft subtlies of color in the outfit and the model's hair. | From: unknown

Navy wool pants, matching navy boots, and orange socks? Yum! | From: blogs.nordstrom.com 

Navy wool pants, matching navy boots, and orange socks? Yum! | From: blogs.nordstrom.com 

I love these street styles with the huge lettering and bright colors | From: vipbbforum.ru

I love these street styles with the huge lettering and bright colors | From: vipbbforum.ru

I love what's going on with these pants. | From: lacooletchic.tumblr.com

I love what's going on with these pants. | From: lacooletchic.tumblr.com

Look at those colors! And that classic baseball cap. Giannina Antonette photographed by Adriaan Louw, with styling by Marica Smit | From: 10and5.com

Look at those colors! And that classic baseball cap. Giannina Antonette photographed by Adriaan Louw, with styling by Marica Smit | From: 10and5.com

This is just so retro, I can't even handle it. And I love the two-toned outfit against the two-toned wall. Abdel, Lisbon, Photographed by Luís Areias | From: blackfashion.tumblr.com

This is just so retro, I can't even handle it. And I love the two-toned outfit against the two-toned wall. Abdel, LisbonPhotographed by Luís Areias From: blackfashion.tumblr.com

The man clutch combined with this streetwear style is everything I want. Joo Woo Jae photographed BY K.H.J | From: relation2013.tumblr.com

The man clutch combined with this streetwear style is everything I want. Joo Woo Jae photographed BY K.H.J | From: relation2013.tumblr.com

Who would be so brave as to mix so many patterns at once? | From: anoluck.com

Who would be so brave as to mix so many patterns at once? | From: anoluck.com

Investigating the Tomboy Spectrum

By Guest Blogger, Clare Marie Myers

Last summer, Qwear published a piece in response to a reader qweary asking "What is tomboy style, and how is it similar to and different from butch style?" A few days later, the piece was republished on Autostraddle, prompting a lengthy and thoughtful comment thread that included some of the original writers. (You should read them now. Go ahead. I can wait.)

As a follow up, I want to look more closely at the spectrum and boundaries of tomboy style, and specifically where queer tomboy style is located with respect to other queer style-identities. Two common threads within the Aesthetics of Masculinity piece were a) that tomboy style is younger/less mature than butch style, and b) that tomboy style is more feminine than butch style. But these are not the same, and it’s unclear if they’re even compatible. Blake’s appraisal of tomboy style as “a continuation of that phase that was supposed to end before high school” is very different from Rae’s “tomboy style is when my girlfriend borrows [a chambray shirt and jeans] from me on a Sunday.” One is this:

and the other is this:

Can such distinct styles both be called tomboy? If so, what ties them together? Are they two discrete types of tomboy, or two ends the same spectrum?

The more images I collected, the more I noticed that what the Internet calls tomboy style (and on top of that, what I specifically read as queer tomboy style) falls along both the masculine-feminine spectrum, and what I’ll call the relaxed-refined spectrum.

As I began to separate the images into relaxed (skate park/picnic/dive bar wear), smart (“Could I wear this to work at a bookstore?”) and refined (“Is this too fancy to wear to work at a bookstore?”) I noticed something else that surprised me — though maybe it shouldn’t have. Most of the Relaxed Tomboys read as masculine-of-center or simply center, while the Smart Tomboys leaned more feminine-of-center. (The first is closely related to the established term “tomboi,” the second to “tomboy-femme.”)

Some Relaxed Tomboys (including celebrity crush):

Some Smart Tomboys (including celebrity crush):

(Refined Tomboy, if such a thing really exists, turns out to be Advanced Studies, so I’ll leave it alone for now.)

While I’d intended to examine tomboy as it related to itself, the more I looked, the harder it was to ignore its relationship with the “mature masculinity” of butch. Step away from butch in the direction of youthfulness OR step away in the direction of femininity, and you will land on tomboy.  In my head it looks something like this:

Tomboy style chart

As someone who finds tomboy identify and tomboy style so important and empowering, it’s uncomfortable to look at it this way—as mitigated, “lesser” masculinity. (There is also the problem that, as tomboy moves up and to the right, into the “smart/refined-feminine” space, it becomes even more the purview of thin, mostly white bodies — at least, this is the imagery that constantly cycles around the Internet, shared because it is valued and valued because it is shared.)  

But perhaps it’s the fluidity of tomboy style — this not-one-thing-or-the-other-ness — that makes it so powerful. Some of the looks I connect with most come from somewhere between the masculine scrappiness of relaxed tomboy/tomboi and the feminine tweediness of smart tomboy/tomboy-femme. (Some favorites, including celebrity crush):

Sean (who previously went by A.D.) points out that tomboy style is “unapologetically itself.” It doesn’t need to ask permission, and at its best, actually creates permission. It allows for movement within itself (it’s the Ellen Page case: at her scruffiest and at her sleekest, she is always a tomboy); it allows others to come and go: some tomboys might be butch at work, others femme when they date. It is — or at least it should be —not policed and open to everyone. It is a blazer one day and a snapback the next, or even better, both at once:

From: lookbook.nu

Clare Marie Myers is the owner and founder of Scout’s Honor Clothing Company

See more from Clare on Qwear: Skirts As Menswear