Are You Trying Too Hard?

Our friends over at Autostraddle sent us the following question from one of their readers:

Little boys’ t-shirts with pictures of dragons riding on motorcycles: cute or trying too hard?

First let me say that dapperQ does not participate in any shaming or fashion policing. We do offer suggestions on how to pull off classics and trends successfully, but also celebrate individuality and tip our fedoras to those who color outside the lines.  Many feminine and masculine (and everywhere in between) trendsetting style icons break the rules, such as Lady Gaga, K.D. Lang, and Grace Jones.

Lady Gaga. Photo credit:

K.D. Lang. Photo credit:

Grace Jones. Via

If you have the self-confidence and style to rock a Murray Hill-esque hot pink ruffled tuxedo shirt, then as they say “make it do what it do.”

From left to right: Murray Hill and Dirty Martini via

My question to you, reader, is do you feel that you are trying too hard when you put on little boys’ t-shirts with pictures of dragons riding on motorcycles? If the answer is yes, then you probably are trying too hard. How we feel in our clothes impacts how we carry ourselves, which impacts how others perceive us. So, in addition to feeling as if you’re trying too hard, you run the risk of others perceiving you as if you’re trying too hard as well.

My own fashion journey has been a prime example of trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. I prefer to dress on the conservative side (think along the lines of J-Crew). However, much of New York’s queer nightlife scene is leaning toward hipster-chic fashion. I once dreaded showing up to some of these queer events because I felt that I looked like a news reporter in a sea of tattoos and leather. I started to add more hipster pieces to my wardrobe but, every time I wore them, I didn’t feel like myself and it showed. Now I embrace the fact that I’m sort of a fashion nonconformist in some queer circles, and I love it….and it shows!


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