Inspired by “Black Dandies Fashion New Academic Identities,” our new series “Dress Smart” will be featuring masculine-of-center genderqueer and transmasculine dapperQ academics.
“‘Stylin’ out.’ That’s how Monica L. Miller, an associate professor of English at Barnard College, describes the way black people have used dress to expand definitions of blackness, gender, and sexuality. Men in particular have “styled their way from slaves to dignified human beings,” she writes in Slaves to Fashion (Duke University Press, 2009).The first book-length study of black dandyism, Miller’s work is part of a growing scholarly interest in how clothes fashion our lives. It also signals the blossoming of black dandyism—fedoras, silk ascots, flashy socks—on the streets of major cities. Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Outkast’s Andre 3000 have made it cool to rap in Polo shirts, bow ties, nerd glasses, and boat shoes. The NBA’s LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Kevin Durant pull off dandyish without being pretentious. And now black dandyism is trending in the halls of academe.” – Stacy Patton via Black Dandies Fashion New Academic Identities.
In our first ever “Dress Smart,” we showcase the dapper stylings of Dr. Van Bailey.
“I try to support my local businesses and use one tailor in my neighborhood. Over the years, I’ve learned that my body is worth the attention and I have embraced being a full figured and trans*”
– Dr. Van Bailey
“Fashion is political. As queer people we can define ourselves for ourselves through gender performance as it relates to fashion. We can literally put on a professional drag which moves through spaces that both challenges and invites curiosity.”–Dr. Van Bailey