Many of you, butch and femme alike, have asked about finding the right outfit for the right occasion — whether it be going out to brunch, prom or a wedding, work outfits, or business attire.
This got me thinking more about what makes clothing formal vs. casual, and how that changes for each individual. I believe we all have our everyday style — for some of us it's button-ups and khakis, for others it's sweats and sneakers. For those who wear sweats and sneakers, the next level up might look a lot like the former's everyday outfit, whereas if the former wore the same thing it would appear that they put in no effort, and they would add a tie, maybe a jacket, maybe nicer shoes. But regardless of your baseline, ideally, every level will look equally sharp.
And this got me thinking about my own style — how I struggle to differentiate between these different levels. I've gotten my semi-formal look down, but after that things can easily blend together. I'm working to establish a bigger difference between everyday, work, out-on-the-town, semi-formal, and formal outfits. (This is an issue that dapperQ addresses through their 7 Days of Dapper column, showcases queers in 7 days of style, giving inspiration not just for one killer outfit, but a whole wardrobe.)
Like many queers, I come from a background of having no fashion knowledge for my gender presentation, which made me slow to develop an everyday look that looks classy and put together but not over-the-top. I was afraid that if I were to wear sneakers as fabulous as the ones in GQ, people wouldn't take me seriously. That I had to go the extra mile to make up for my gender nonconforming status and show the world that I was in fact a sharp dresser. But I believe that I can be a sharp dresser and drop the ties and fancy brogues on my day off, and in turn improve my variety of looks on different occasions.
I want to hear from you: how do you establish the difference between everyday, work, out-on-the-town, semi-formal, and formal outfits? Or, are there different categories you'd prefer to think of? How easy is it for you to find items that span many of these categories (and in turn, save your wallet?) Do you have an area that you are struggling in? Is there any particular item you want to try that you're nervous about pulling off?
Depending on interest, I may ask Qwear's team to report on their knowledge in this area. So tell us what you think below!
As Qwear's Founding Editor, Sonny’s work centers around envisioning a future in which the clothing people wear does not dictate their chances of survival. Sonny was awarded 2015 dapperQ of the Year and was the first trans blogger to be sponsored by Topman. In March 2016, Sonny spoke at South by South West's first official queer fashion panel.