Not all of us live coastal. Some of us live in Texas. This guy lives in Austin, TX and has been doing so for long enough to compile a list of favorite queer-lady-friendly places to shop for gifts for your masculine of center SO.
STAG – Menswear – $$$
Sometimes I just go to this store to get inspiration from models and touch the fantastic fabrics. Stag is a menswear shop on South Congress that carries fairly high-end brands but always has the best style. Particularly for fall/winter. Also they have a tumblr that posts excellent archival black and white pictures of sexy southern cowboys. Because of the pricetag it is very seldom that I actually buy anything from here but if you’re shopping for a loved one who loves clothes then you can’t go wrong with pretty much anything from here.
Membership at the ZACH Theatre - Theater – $$$
Of all the arts nonprofits in Austin I think the ZACH Theatre offers some of the coolest (and least unreasonable) perks for donors. Their new Topfer theater is probably one of the most interesting and best quality spaces to see art in town. And if you become a member at the $600 level ($50/month) or above you get access to their swanky second story bar with a truly spectacular view of downtown Austin. At a lesser extent this present might involve a subscription to season tickets; or just a pair of tickets to one or two events.
Austin Shambhala Meditation Center – Health/Wellness – $$
If your partner is looking to get a bit more centered, the Austin Shambhala Center has awesome classes that meet either over a weekend or once a week over the course of a few weeks. They also have free meditation instruction and public meditations Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings so that you can try it out yourself and see if you dig what they’re about before buying your loved one a meditative gift.
Gassane Tailors – Tailor – $$
If your loved one doesn’t like ready-to-wear, offer to take some of their old clothes for tailoring or buy them some custom digs at Gassane Tailors. A bit out of the way up north by Hwy 183 and N. Lamar, Gassane is a family owned business with a clean store, and they’ve always been welcoming and accommodating to my needs as a masculine of center lady. There are a lot of awesome new tailors opening up these days that have employees or missions that cater to women, like Bindle & Keep and Saint Harridans, that are getting a lot of press in the blogosphere, but I think sometimes it’s worthwhile to give older family businesses the benefit of the doubt. They might surprise you. Also, supposedly they have made garments for George Bush. Gotta admit, he’s a handsome guy.
Luis’ Corner Barber Shop – Hair – $
Best, cheapest, friendliest barber shop in Texas. I’m never disappointed by the cuts, or the conversation. Go visit the store and ask Luis if you can get your loved one a holiday gift card. If the person you’re gifting cares about their hair, they will not be disappointed.
North Loop Vintage Shopping – Menswear – $
There are a variety of vintage clothing stores on North Loop blvd where you can find some hipster duds on the cheap for your significant other. Among them are Hog Wild Vintage, Room Service Vintage, and Blue Velvet.
Book People – Books – $
Best and biggest bookstore in Austin. Browse their online list of gift ideas, gift sets, and top 10s. Or buy a signed copy of a book by their favorite author.