Dapper Men as the Model?

Here’s a daring idea! What if I focused more of my effort on finding men who rock looks dapperQ’s could too!

Take, for instance, these two photos highlighted in a blog called Male-Mode. The first comes from GQ Style Germany’s AW10 issue and the second, also highlighted in Male-Mode, comes from IDOL magazine.

I don’t know much about these looks, who the designers are or the models. I wouldn’t know how to put together anything approximating them. What I do know is that they make me dizzy with desire — the lines, the colors, the textures, the juxtapositions. I want to know more about what these designers, stylists, bloggers and magazine publishers are seeing and doing in menswear. Women and genderqueers aren’t the only one transgressing men’s fashion — these photos represent a subset of men who are doing it too.

I go to a wide array of queer events in NYC looking for folks who aren’t men, wearing menswear well. And, having been on a hardcore lookout for the past 9 months, I can safely say we are few and far between. Those of us who are doing it are making it up as we go, no doubt often making mistakes that even first year fashion folk at FIT wouldn’t make.

My buddy Robin Cloud went to Fashion Night Out last eve and said she saw nary a dapperQ. What she did see was a ton of cute boys rocking looks we could too.

I didn’t go to Fashion Night Out because, frankly, I figured I wouldn’t. And if I wandered in to men’s stores I knew folks would wonder where my hot wife’s husband was. But, jeez, if dapperQ can’t get it up to go, what hope is there for Sporty Spice in Phoenix or Vintage Vinnie in Houston?

I’d like to run more photos of boys sporting transgressive looks as well as interviews with them about how they do what they do. And I should probably spend alot more time trying to develop allies among menswear fashionistas who could help us get where we want to go. I know that may sound obvious but many of you are mad politically correct and, I fear, might hate on me for looking to the men for guidance on wearing menswear.

Would you think I’m selling out or would you welcome information on great looks and great sources from anyone who has got the goods? Discuss and get back to me?

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  • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with “looking to men for guidance on wearing menswear.” (Cis) men are raised being socialized to know about menswear. They’re who the media and the fashion industry focus upon when it comes to menswear. I think that certain men might be very helpful.

    I think that this would be problematic were you turning to men in some assumption that only men could know how to wear menswear, or that there is no one else who could possibly know, or that we “need” their guidance because we couldn’t possibly do it on our own — but I think that’s also clearly not the case.

  • I think that many trans guys still dress like “lesbians”
    cargos,polos, baggy clothes, riotgrrl t-shirts, camo, beaters, etc.
    I see many transguy out and about wearing similar style to lesbians.

    The Lesbian style is wonderful for lesbians but honestly if you are going to want to pass and be taken seriously as a man you should probably dress like one.

    Now the argument could be given that Lesbians wear mens clothing. But somehow the overall image is different. There are things you should avoid early in transition and those are anything stereotypically male. Contrary to popular opinion they will not make you look more male but less. Ties and suits are one of those things. If you wear a suit you will just look like a lady in a suit. Ties too. Men don’t really wear ties that often just for an everyday accessory. Stick with jeans, solid colored dress pants if you need to look nice.
    And by all means avoid khakis and anything with cargo pockets.

    Basically wearing mens clothes as a man and wearing mens clothes as a lesbian is all about fit and attitude.

    The fit of the clothes has to be just right, tight enough to show you know what style means, but not tight to show off curves that may still exist. You may spend hours trying on clothes but in the end its worth it. Baggy clothes just aren’t stylish on anyone.I cannot express that enough.

    So basically my advice is if you are transman you are not a lesbian anymore so quit dressing like one.
    Watch how stylish bio guys dress and talk to bio guy friends about where they get their clothes.
    Watch queer eye or what not to wear.

  • ohhh
    Being Dapper is something that is really up and coming in the queer community.
    I might saw that because I am a romantic and dress very Edwardian for my formal wear. I like hats and fancy things. So because of that
    my advice on being dapper/dandy/urbane/fancy is go for it once you pass as male a majority of the time.
    Even if you don’t pass people may still read you as a lady but you might stand a chance because even though those styles may involve suits the difference is the fit and the over all aesthetic.

  • I think it’s great and maybe one day you’ll have a style budget and can do some with the DapperQ’s!

  • Thanks for all the feedback. By way of clarification, I want everyone to feel welcome to transgress gender. dapperQ isn’t about how to pass as a man, although it will hopefully be of great value to anyone who wants to. It is about being wearing whatever you want, and having the ability to wear it well, not matter what your gender or sexual orientation. Femmes and straight women can expand style vocabulary immensely but adding elements of menswear but there has never been guidance for anyone who wants to do so. Power to all the peeps…

  • @dapperQ This idea that dapperQ is for all genders and sexual orientations is what initially appealed to me about this site. While I think all types of people can find fashion inspiration here, it seems more and more to be a site made for butches. Which makes sense, given where you’re coming from, but it’s just an observation regarding a possible gap between the mission of the site and the actual content.

  • Susan,
    This is just great. I love both the photos and feel that DapperQ could include both. First, I think if we’re ever going to get past gender role expectations, we should stop putting those expectations and limits on ourselves. People from all genders, cultures, racial backgrounds, etc. have much to learn about and offer each other. If I want advice on hip-hop, the first person I go to would not be Celine Dion, although one day she could do a calabo with Kanye once it becomes more acceptable to do so. Blending, bending, merging, coloring outside the lines requires that we not put up boundaries ourselves. Besides, asking dapper men about dapper style does not mean men do it better. Tons of suburban men could use some advice too! We’re not asking those couch potatoes for help. Including men may also help show the industry that there IS an untapped market.

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