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

Style Profile: Rae Spoon, Montréal

By Luke & Sarah from “Kookie of London”

On an auspicious day in April of 2007, a few hours after I first told my dad that I was transgender, I arrived at a London pub to hear Rae Spoon play music. I became, that night, a fan for life of Rae’s natural stage presence & humour, their unexpectedly versatile voice and their brilliant songsmithing. In March of this year Rae was back in London at BFI Flare (formerly the London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival) to attend the post-Sundance, European premiere of My Prairie Home, a brilliantly engaging documentary/musical about Rae’s journeys across Canada, across gender lines, across musical genres and away from home. Rae stopped by the Kookie Cabin in Shoreditch to catch up over tea & sandwiches and we took a few photos of their current casual touring style.

Rae Close Lipstick.jpg

Where did you grow up & where do you live now?
I grew up in Calgary and I now live in Montréal.

How do you think your friends would define your style?
"Grunge prep," according to my friend Nazmia Jamal.

What’s your favorite item in your wardrobe?
My new black bomber jacket.

What’s your biggest style challenge?
Compared to most men's styles, I have pretty short legs, so that can be a challenge. I usually roam between the men’s and women's departments in stores and cobble together the most gender ambiguous outfit that I can.

Which literary figures do you most admire?
I like writers who can capture my attention while still experimenting with style or form. I just finished Carnival by Rawi Hage and I really liked it.

Who’s your style icon?
Big Edie from Grey Gardens and Angela Lansbury.

Look 1: Cardigan & Silver shoes
Cardigan: Club Monaco
Patterned shirt: Zanarobe
Black jeans: Topman*
Blue socks: Topman*
Shoes: John Fluevog

Look 2: Baseball jacket and purple trousers
Black Baseball: American Apparel [see disclaimer]
Purple trousers: Zanarobe
Shoes: Dr. Martens

Kookie of London gathers and sells hand-selected, pre-owned & vintage items as well as those they’ve upcycled & crafted at their studio in Shoreditch East London. Visit them at kookielondon.com

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