Thursday, June 14, 2012

06/14/12 OOTD: Totemic

Whoa, it's been a little bit since my last OOTD, huh? To be honest, summer here in Florida is a bit of a hard time for me, sartorially. What can I say, I like to wear dark colors. My wardrobe is much more suited to fall, in fact a lot of my clothing purchasing happens during the winter months, because that is when the stores stock the types of looks that I like. I always find it a bit hard to be inspired in spring and summer because of this. In a sense, I seem to go into sartorial hibernation when it gets hot. Ah, well.

That being said, I do have an OOTD today, which is long overdue. Here's the closest this spooky boy gets to summer style.

Top: Ruffle sheer top from Forever 21+
Belt: Plate stretch belt from Torrid
Shorts: Tribal print tiered shorts from Forever 21+
Tights: Curves 60 denier plush tights from Pretty Polly
Shoes: Silver cap toe flats by Merona

As I said above I really have issues with balancing my aesthetic and the weather here in Florida in the summer. This top may be black, and have longer sleeves, but it's actually very lightweight and cool surprisingly, which is why I chose to wear it here. The shorts are probably pretty summery, honestly, and they are also, well ... super short. In terms of the weather, I'd probably be better off with sheer tights, but the black opaques definitely look better, so I went with it. Short shorts are short, ha, and I don't think I'd feel dressed enough without the tights. I usually prefer ankle boots for shoes, and I think that would look hot here, but the ballet flats are much cooler and lighter, and I've been meaning to show these shoes off for a while now anyways.

Overall, I like this outfit quite a bit. The style of the top, belt, and shorts actually kind of reminds me of the playsuits that seem to be so popular currently, and even though I haven't been a fan of that style previously, I kinda dig the undertones of it that I get from this outfit. Two things I really like are ruffles and tribal print, so combining them both here (even if it is shorts) is excellent.

Here's a pose I haven't done here before, ha! Not sure why I felt inspired to take this photo, but I went with it. I liked it well enough to share here. Showin' off some fat booty, ha.

Actually, since we are on that topic, there's something I've wanted to say regarding that for a little while now. Part of the inspiration when I started this blog was not only showing off men's freestyle fashion, but also general body acceptance. If you search the internet for men in skirts, one thing the majority of the guys in the photos will have in common, is that they are stick thin. For the longest time, I really felt like freestyle fashion was totally off limits to me given my size, even though I've long been a supporter of the women's fatshion movement. Anyhow, eventually I realized that my personal hangups about my own size were a bit hypocritical in that sense, and decided that since there wasn't a plus size men's freestyle fashion inspiration on the internet, I would have to be that inspiration. 

Some of the criticism I see about myself on the internet concerns my size, and I find that a bit unfortunate. Style isn't size exclusive. Some of my plus size readers can probably relate, and even I'll admit I do still struggle with body acceptance sometimes. The thing I often remind myself of is that instead of getting so hung up on the question, "Does this dress make my butt look big?" I should instead realize that yes, my butt IS big, regardless of the dress, and that's OKAY. In my world, fashion is limited by neither gender nor size. Love yourself!

So, now that that tangent is out of the way, let's get this OOTD back on track, ha!

Ignoring modesty, I wanted to show that these are in fact shorts under those awesome ruffles. Also, holy legs, Batman!

This is the best way I could figure to show off the shoes, as they just kinda blend into the tights in the other photos. I've always loved photos from this view on other blogs, so it's about time it made it here.

I'm curious to know, for those of you who also like to rock darker clothes, how do you deal with the balance between your style and the heat in the summer months? Also, if any of you have any tips or suggestions for me with regards to summer clothing, feel free to chime in below. Hope you enjoyed this OOTD!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Behind the Seams: Why I Wear Dresses I

(While I've shared a lot about my personal life with readers here on the blog, in some regards I've made a conscious effort to keep the focus more on fashion overall and less on my thoughts and experiences on the deeper whys of my journey in freestyle fashion. The thought behind that was to try to present this blog more as a fashion blog than as a political or social agenda. With that in mind, there are still some topics I feel I should probably cover here both to answer questions that readers may have and to further illuminate on the whys and wherefores of fashion freedom in general from my own perspective. If that type of thing is of interest to you, may I present the first in the new series "Behind the Seams"...)

Why do I wear dresses? Frankly, it's not a question that I often ask myself, or have made too much effort to answer. When I ask myself that question, my immediate response is, "Because I want to." and I'm often content to just leave it at that. Sometimes, though, particularly when I am bored, or if I read hateful comments made about my sartorial choices, I'll try to fill in the blanks a little further. Let's get into that.

The first reason that comes to mind is one of pure aesthetics. That is to say, that for as long as I can remember I have been absolutely enamored, enraptured, and dare I say it, enthralled with the look of the clothing made for women. On a purely visual level, I simply love dresses and high heels. When I see a dress or pair of shoes that I like, there's a feeling that I get in my chest that's impossible to explain, but I'm willing to bet that any fashionistas reading this will understand what I mean. This goes back as far as I can remember. I remember seeing all the pretty clothes that the girls at my school would get to wear for special events, while I was stuck wearing a pair of khakis and a polo shirt, which just seemed so incredibly drab and boring compared to the lovely styles, fabrics, and colors enjoyed by the opposite sex.

It's a thought I've never managed to shake, and to be honest, I don't want to. To sum it up as plainly as I can manage, there's just something so incredibly attractive to me about a beautiful outfit, completely separate from the attraction I may feel to the woman who is wearing it. Following that line of thinking, however, is where it starts to get curious.

The clothing that I wear, the outfits that I put together, are clothing that I find attractive. When I see a great outfit on myself I find myself thinking, "Yes, that's hot!" Then there's a realization that the outfit I'm wearing is an outfit that I would find attractive on a woman, and then it gets a bit muddy. When I get dressed, I don't really consider other people at all (well, that's not entirely true, I do consider Mrs. Spookshow, who, for example, has banned sequins), but rather dress to make myself feel good. I don't know why, but when I see a beautiful girl with a rockin' outfit, I'll want to wear that style. When I see a sharp dressed guy, I may appreciate the outfit, but I'll often find myself thinking, "Yeah, but that would look better with a skirt!" I've heard the saying tossed around that women often dress for other women (because let's be honest, chances are most men don't care or even notice that your belt coordinates so well with your shoes), and for whatever reason it seems that I'm just doing the same, ha!

 The most common negative comment that I hear is that my clothing choice is (you guessed it) gay, because clearly, the only reason anyone would wear a skirt or pair of high heels is to please and attract a man. I don't believe for a second that most women truly factor that in when they get dressed every day ("Which of these prints is most likely to land me a boyfriend today?"), and to really believe so seems very sexist to me. Of course, we all know how  much gay men are attracted to women, so surely me wearing a skirt is a clear signal that I'm interested in men.

Stepping beyond "Because I want to" the most simple answer becomes, "Because I like the way it looks." A part of me has just always loved the aesthetics of the clothing marketed towards women, and I want to wear the clothes that appeal to me. So, to those who take issue with the freedom of my sartorial choices, just remember, it's got nothing to do with you, it's all about me.

(That's the first reason I wear dresses. I'd love to know your thoughts, so leave me a comment below and let me know what you think. If you'd like me to elaborate on anything I wrote here, feel free to ask away. Reader interest will determine if I continue with this new series.)