Yesterday’s Washington Post featured a great article article entitled, “Same-sex weddings open the door to finding the right male attire for women,” which prominently featured two dapperQ’s we are assisting in the search for their wedding suit. Robin Cloud is quoted as telling friends she is the “Ellen in the relationship.” Of Nancy Blaine, Monica writes,
“In the past she’s shopped at warehouse sales to avoid potentially awkward interactions with salespeople. But for her wedding, “I want to be able to ask somebody. If I’m going to do it, I want to do it well.” She wants the custom tailoring, the professional eye. She wants to pull out all the stops and wear a tie, and she wants to look darn good.”
Here’s some of what I had to contribute:
“Women like me haven’t necessarily had a community,” says Susan Herr. “We haven’t shared information. Do we shop in the women’s department or the men’s? How should a good suit fit? We had to figure this all out on our own.”
More confident younger women might scoff at the conservatism of older masculine women and vice versa, a gap that Herr refers to as the “transgenderational gap.” Even within the lesbian community, Herr says, there can be judgments or”butch phobia.” “If you go to Barnes & Noble and grab three lesbian-targeted magazines, try and find [more than a handful] of women who are not dressed as women.”
Everything Herr wore seemed to become a political statement — people thought she was jealous of men (no) or wanted to be a man (nuh-uh). Feeling comfortable in her own skin wasn’t the problem. She just wanted to feel comfortable in her own clothes.
A few months ago Herr launched DapperQ.com, a Web site targeted toward women who prefer to wear men’s attire, inspired partly by memories of her own commitment-ceremony shopping experience several years ago. A friend dragged her to a department store and helped her piece together a mishmashed ensemble: men’s white loafers, a gender-neutral Calvin Klein suit, a ruffled shirt from the women’s department. “If you’re a bride wearing a dress, then you have 400 magazines to work from for advice.” But if you’re a bride wearing a suit, Herr says dryly, “we’ve got what Ellen wore. And that’s about it.”
It was really cool to get our first big press hit. Hopefully it’s the first of many.
Robin and I are going to MySuitNY on Friday for a fitting. And Nancy will look even more dapperQ than usual for her big day, that I can promise. Keep hanging out with us, and you will too!