Dressing as a Dapper Dame

Author | Guest Blogger Abby Waller

Every morning my alarm goes off and I drag myself out of bed. After showering off the sleep and conditioning my unruly curls, I stand in front of my opened closet with a furrowed brow.

Staring back at me is a fairly ample selection of various clothing items. I could have double the wardrobe. I could have your wardrobe – I could have a mixture of Ryan Gosling, Rachel Maddow, and Christina Hendrick’s wardrobes, and beyond the clothing from one specific individual not fitting in a very specific region – I’d still furrow my brow because I’m just so damned fickle when it comes to fashion.

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But when I get it right – and sometimes damn do I ever – I get it so, so right.

It’s always a bit of a challenge to find the perfect outfit because I struggle a little with the whole femme/butch scale. Throughout my twenties I pretty much covered the ends of the spectrum, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to play with the scale a bit more. Richmond, Virginia is a small town and a lot of the lesbian crowd is one or the other: butch or femme. To this day, I battle with where I feel I’m supposed to fit on the spectrum.

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I want to look sexy, feminine, and dapper. This is my mission, and I’m going to get there.

My best days are when I’m inspired by a certain movie, or even just a certain feeling. We Richmonders are lucky enough to have one hell of a autumn season. So lately just the crisp and clear fall weather has been inspiring a lot of my outfit choices. And there is nothing like donning a dapper ensemble to take an afternoon stroll through the park and feel the crunch of fallen leaves under your feet while holding the hand of your flush-faced lady.

Here’s how I do it:

1: Jeans. I’ve always had one pair of jeans – that, if it were socially acceptable, I’d wear every day. Perhaps you’ve had a similar experience? They’re our “hot jeans.” They fit perfectly, they’re comfortable, and they’re oh so versatile.

2. A super cute button up: stripes, plaid, or plain. Put that sucker on & button it up. I’m a big fan of color, and an even bigger fan of patterns. Which brings me to…

3: Accessories. Throw on a tie or scarf to go with that adorable button-up. And please mix up your patterns! Plaid shirt? Striped tie! Striped shirt? Paisley scarf! I’m also a huge fan of vests. Any kind of vest. Gimme.

Other great accessories I often have lovers trysts with: bracelets, earrings, long necklaces, and hats to name a few.

4: Blazer, pea coat, or leather/vegan leather jacket. Layering accomplishes two things; it keeps you warm and it allows you to show off more of your fashion wit. So layer on your dashing, chic duds.

5: Heels. A good pair of heels can be worn all night. It’s true, I promise. 

6: Bright. Fucking. Red. Lipstick. Oh hell yes, so hot.

And that’s really it. If I just let my inhibitions go a little and have fun; I’ll accomplish my mission to find the perfect outfit and look exactly how I want to look…like me.

Abby Waller lives in Richmond, Virginia with her wife Jesse and her three spoiled rescue pets. She enjoys the hunt for unique vintage items at local consignment shops to sell in her Etsy store, Doe Shop. Check out some of the items featured in this story and many more items here: 

www.doeshop.etsy.com

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.