Curvy dapperQ’s, damn it!

GQ’s current coverage of Fashion Week here in NYC offers countless examples of looks that dapperQ’s could rock.  But you know what, we can’t. And I’m gonna tell you just a few reasons why.

Number one, most of us have curves.  We aren’t built like pre-pubescent boys.  (Sitting with friends around the fire right now looking at photos of our ice skating adventures yesterday with my well-dressed bud Nancy who says, “I’ve got an ass, that’s my dapperQ issue.  I picture myself with jeans falling off my hips but then I see a photo and realize it ain’t true.”)  We aren’t all white.  We aren’t all 20.  We don’t have $3,000 to drop on this model’s sweet set-up.  On top of it all,  few folks on the street give us props for  venturing out with a velvet blue bow tie.

We are getting plenty of feedback here at dapperQ though, which attests to the way this niche conversation resonates with so many of us.  Among these are requests to reflect the brilliant array of diversity that is dapperQ.   Just one very important example: how about photos of and articles for those of us with curves?

Fact is, this community is about celebrating how we have made magic with clothes not made for us.   And more importantly, sharing what we collectively know, for all who want to do the same — GQ for dapperQ.  And we are out there.  But since there are no turnkey dapperQ solutions, there aren’t too many of us out there. Money doesn’t equate with style in this realm — we are the ones who either have easier bodies to fit, loved ones to adapt vintage and new items for for us, and/or a community of peers who problem solve together.  In addition to everything else on our plates, we spend time and energy crafting dapperQ looks that are exemplary.  We know what men are wearing well, take what we want, adapt it as best we can, and innovate most every time we get dressed.

Fact is, beyond a handful in my Brooklyn community, I don’t know the world’s most emblematic dapperQ’s! I’m scanning the Internet and fashion magazines for them.   If you know them — ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO AREN’T 20-SOMETHING AND WHITE AND SLIM — please ask them to send me photos so I can figure out how to feature them ([email protected])!  If we can’t capture them at our own shoots, we will get FlipCam correspondents to capture their looks or I will conduct Skype video interviews of them.

You can be a dapperQ if you want to wear men’s fashion well — be you straight, gay, trans or whatever.  But those we hold up as models of these best approaches are doing it in exceptional ways.   Unlike the runway at Fashion Week, the most compelling dapperQ’s aren’t skinny and white and young.  But they can sport menswear as well as at least the corporate climber who both has millions of options and knows how he dresses is one element contributing to his success or lack thereof.

Tomorrow I’m posting about some of the leverage points I think we can address to make elements of men’s fashion authentically their own.  There are some shorter-term solutions we can pursue and some longer-term solutions.  With your help, we can become diverse in our representation of exceptional dapperQ’s, at least on this site, very quickly.  But the obstacles to making dapperQ fashion widely available to anyone who doesn’t look their best in a dress will take a much longer time.  Shifting cultural norms from acceptance of how we dress to celebration may take even longer.

But I ain’t kidding.  This ain’t gonna happen unless we become dapperQ fashion activists.  Tell us what you need.  Tell us who knows how to give you what you need.  Tell us what department stores are dissing you.  Tell us who has brands that work better for us than others.  Tell us where we can find resources in our communities at

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4 Comments

  • Hello dapperQ-don’t forget the hips! Men’s shirts tend to piss me off once they hit the hips. Wore a white short while visiting you – you liked it. I’ll have to dig it up, it was bought at a military base exchange (of all places) in the women’s dept and…went over these hips of mine. 🙂 Kinda got wider at the bottom of shirt AND two inch slits on the side of shirt at bottom. I was a happy camper.

  • Although I am white, and slim, I am also a costume designer and a young tailor. And queer.

    I’m working on a clothing line that is essentially men’s clothing for women’s bodies. To side-step the gender binary, more specifically I am creating fly suits and male-ish clothing for those who are curvier, smaller, bigger, shorter, etc.

    I’m not ready to post photos, I really am just in the early stages of writing my business plan and getting together some samples of the type of stuff I want to do, but I couldn’t resist sending a shout out to this community… I’m gonna be here for you, really!

  • Savel — I can’t wait to see what you come up with. If you are looking for any femme graphic designer collaborators, I’d love to get involved! Hit me up on facebook if you’re interested ; )

    –Elaine

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