Got Any Hints for SummerQ?

dapperQ Jess writes: “So summer’s almost here, and I’m the only one in Massachusetts who’s less than thrilled. I love winter, myself: layers, sweater vests, blazers. button-downs. It’s easier to accessorize, easier to hide my chest size, and easier to wear a binder without sweating like crazy.

When it’s 85 degrees and humid, what do the DapperQs do?? I can only wear a polo shirt so many days in a row… Any advice? Thanks for your input, and thanks SO MUCH for this website.” (That’s Jess on the right in a polo shirt at a chocolate fountain where all lesbians would be if they could.)

In a similar vein, Claire writes: “Can you do a segment on sandals? Summer is coming around again, and like every year I resign myself to wearing lightweight sneakers all summer with the occasional flip flop. I just haven’t been able to find a nice stylish men’s sandal in my size (men’s 5-6). Is there such a thing? Any advice would be appreciated.”

A couple of thoughts:

1. Community Input – Fact is, there is nobody here but us chickens. No staff. Mostly moi. But! dapperQ was established in order to tap the wisdom of the crowd. So, we have GOT to get the dapperQ voices heard. Please add your comments/advice below.

2. Rubber and Road – Because I wear less in the summer, I definitely decrease my bagel to belly ratio. Since I’ve been trying to eat seasonally – and gave up meats about 18 months ago – summer is the time when fruits and veggies finally become available and I indulge. It has taken me awhile to develop a liking for such things – but doing so has radically transformed my body composition (even if I haven’t really dropped pounds.)

3. Frog Bras and Double T’s — I can’t say it’s comfy, but my Frog Bra from Title Nine brings my 34C or D, based on the season, into lines I like to sport in summer. But I do think I will have to wear two t-shirts if I want smooth lines. I like wearing contrasting colors (today I had black over lilac) and the fact that the undershirt soaks up the sweat. Most dudes seem to wear undershirts so I think we might just have to be a little hot.

4. Short Sleeves – I’m going to be rocking a lot more short sleeve button up shirts this summer and I’m going to couple them with whimsical bow-ties. I also like buttoning these shirts up to the collar and not having on a bow-tie. Kinda preppy/pachuco fun.

5. Hats – Obviously winter is great for hats, but summer is too. Take the time to try on a variety of hats and to see what brims suit you and how they should be positioned on your head. You might also want to take a member of your target demographic along, since we often have trouble seeing ourselves as we really are. My favorites have all come from vintage stores.

6. Sandals – Whose got advice for Claire? Men have very sexy sandal options.  Who offers ’em in smaller sizes or for women in styles that aren’t nauseating?

SummerQ is a great topic and I look forward to reading responses from all of you below!

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  • Keen makes a full line of shoes that are great for summer. I have a leather pair I love.

    I live in the deep-fried, hot and HUMID southland and NO WAY am I doubling up on clothes. Not to mention HOT FLASHES FROM HELL. I take a different approach to the chest thing. I prefer to think of them as ‘pecs’. I just happened to have well developed pecs.

    For summer, I live in madras shorts, cargo shorts and denim shorts with close fitting, very body conscious tees. I prefer to wear cap sleeved tees with a bit of spandex, like the gays boys wear. I wear mostly black, as it eliminates the shadow underneath the breasts and therefore, automatically minimizes the ‘puppies’ (as one friend euphemistically calls them.) As a matter of fact, I wear black so often that the ONE time I showed up for lunch with a close friend wearing a red tee, she stared at me long and hard as I approached across the parking lot and said “You have hooters! Who knew?” It was the first time she had ever noticed in 5 years. So black. Yeah. Works.

    I know we DapperQs come in all different shapes, sizes and ‘genders’. I acknowledge I am not trying to ‘pass’ for male and am quite happy to hold a middle place that shifts back and forth. I also acknowledge that my way is not the only way.

    And I LOVE this website. Thanks for taking us all on!

  • I totally second the Frog Bra – I’m a 34D and it give me a lovely flat front line.

    My style is a little more gender flexible – once I realized that I could get hit on by straight men and get the hairy eyeball in the women’s bathroom in the same outfit, I decided to let go and mix up what felt good to me. I can be found in Mary Janes most of the summer. I mix them with men’s linen pants and a t-short under short sleeved buttondowns (Banana Republic has a nice slim fit, and I hear Express does too). I’m thinking of finding a seersucker pant-vest pair for this summer, for those days that work requires a little mix. Any shopping suggestions for a slim curvy soft butch?

  • This is great stuff, all! Can you please do us a favor and instead of (or in addition to) leaving comments, move the discussion to the forum page? It’s a much easier way for all our readers to talk! And Jenn, you gotta post your question on the forum too! Thanks for all the great ideas- keep em flowing!

  • Oh hey DapperQ Jess…I think I know you! 🙂

    As for being in a similar boat…Massachusetts in the summertime, and binding…I am taking great strides to do a little man-drobe update. I am going to be investing in some great linen pieces…shorts and button down shirts (just got a beautiful white short-sleeve linen button down yesterday) and I am going to be using more hangars in my closet to keep the wrinkles to a minimum – we know linen loves to do that! I also found some cheap lovely boat shoes that are keeping my un-socked feet dry, cool, and stylish.

    As usual, I am a HUGE fan of accessories and the things they can do to add some punch to an outfit, or some class, or bring you from “day at the office” to “dapper gentleman”. That being said, I am wearing more ties – skinnies or there are also some great seersucker ties that are very in this season – and I tend to not button my top neck button, and instead leave the tie just loose enough to let me breath, but still look distinguished. I also have a couple light vintage ascots that I am making good use of. Knot it around your neck, a bit inside the collar and with a cotton or other light-weight blazer over it, honestly, best head turner ever in my opinion. But it is also adding something to your “chest area” that draws the attention away from the bound chest and instead to the lovely accessory you are rocking.

    As for biding – it sucks, for sure. But linen shirts tend to be a bit more flow-y, so you can wear it by itself, or with just a simple white T underneath and you stay cool without feeling like you don’t have enough on.

    The point is, you can still successfully layer during the humid summer months, just keep the cloth light and loose (still fitted, not baggy!) and think about using combinations like jean cut-off shorts and super slim blazers or sport coats, pair with some loafers and a pocket square and no one will be looking at your chest.

  • Being 32B (I think), I find that wearing a tshirt with a plaid shirt over that pretty much hides any sign of boobs.
    As for hats, I love hats. I just bought a plaid (of course) fedora the other day, and then sewed a little dinosaur-shaped button to the side.

  • Love the idea of fedoras (duh!) augmented with dinosaur-shaped (yay! from where?) buttons. But what about the execution of the plaid shirt makes it dapperQ? You have obviously been thinking about this stuff. Would love to hear more how you make that approach (for example, details like the hat…) Maybe start a thread or two in the forum? Or submit some photos?

  • The dinosaur buttons I got from some random craft store ages ago. As for plaid shirts, I think the long sleeved ones (but I roll the sleeves to the elbows) look neat when they’re tucked in, and then you can wear some braces over the top. The short sleeved ones I tend to like wearing under a tshirt, with the collar showing through, just because it looks a little bit geeky.

  • Great stuff guys- could you post this in the forum (linked at the top of the page) so we can keep the discussion going?

  • I live in the relatively cool Pacific Northwest, but a lot of my life involves office casual-to-biz wear.

    Loose-fitting linen or seersucker, and bold patterns, can ameliorate generous orchestra, hips, and balcony (I have all of the above). I also like very crisp summer-weight wool, such as Italian and Japanese suiting or Pendleton plaids – they stay creased and look tailored when plant fibers give it up due to heat and humidity. Pendleton makes clothing, and also sells discounted surplus yardage through their Oregon factory outlets. They don’t seem to make trousers out of their famous plaids, and menswear comes in regular and tall, but not short.

    I also have to say, for summer casual wear, utility kilts rule. I had to get over the idea I was wearing a skirt. They’re both manly and the breeziest – once I put one on, I wondered why I ever wore long pants off my motorcycle. The big problem is that the quintessential Utilikilt will not fit anyone with hips or a butt, and they don’t do custom tailoring except on their leather kilt (currently unavailable). I’ve ended up making my own in various butch fabrics such as hunting camo, hickory-striped denim, and painter’s linen canvas. They take about an afternoon with a home sewing machine – all straight stitching.

    And, of course, a vest, tie, or both, are much cooler than a suit jacket, but then they are also much more body revealing. Vests must be tailored and the right hip length, unless the retro Annie Hall look is your thing.

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