Seven Days of Dapper: Melissa

We’re back with a brand new edition of Seven Days of Dapper, this time featuring Melissa, a Graphic Designer in Northern California. Melissa has a freelance graphic design and digital illustration business, BigBrain Productions || TransMedia and Digital Illustration.

Melissa’s background includes degrees from CCA in Oakland, CA and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. She taught graphic design, typography and web design in Minnesota for over 20 years at the College of Visual Arts, Minneapolis College of Art & Design, and MSU Mankato. She moved to Northern California in 2007.

Melissa started wearing suits to work in 1988. “I have always felt comfortable in a suit, it feels like it completes me,” she explains, “The first time you put on a suit as a MoC person, it’s thrilling how great it makes you feel!”

She firmly believes that a good haircut can make or break her day and her barber, Melissa Williams (RE FRAME, Sebastopol, CA), keeps her looking sharp. Her new fashion icons are: @thehandsomebutch and @saintharridan, and her long time fashion icon is her grandfather, George Diamond Knaur (1896-1996). “‘Georgie’ wore a shirt, tie and sport coat every day, almost up to the day that he died at 99½ years old, he was very dapper.”

Melissa has been pleased to see the growth of the MoC fashion industry in Northern California, and looks forward to more new and exciting lesbian own companies in the fashion industry. “I am overjoyed at seeing young MoC women being able to find well designed clothing and having the opportunity to show off their dapper selves.”
Recently, Melissa has had the opportunity to model for Saint Harridan at their Oakland pop-up shop and at the dapperQ Pride Fashion Show at California Academy of Sciences.

Cal Acedemy Fashion ShowRocking Saint Harridan on the runway at Cal Academy of Sciences. Photo by Miki Vargas Photography

For fun, Melissa has a Pinterest board “Butch Style.” “It’s so much fun seeing young butch women following my Pinterest board,” she smiles, “I never had anything like this when I was growing up that could inform me about developing my own style. I have always followed men’s fashion to inform my choices in dressing and I do a lot of thrift shopping. You can find a lot of really good buys of gently used clothing. It’s amazing! Some of my best and most favorite pieces are from thrift stores. Personally, I choose a classical style of dress and have an affinity towards 1940’s and 50’s styles in pants and suits, and no matter the social situation I always feel comfortable in a white cotton oxford button-down, a vest and a tie. If I were to give one piece of advice in starting your wardrobe, it would be to choose timeless basics to begin with. You can never go wrong with a navy blue blazer, a white cotton oxford button-down shirt and a pair of khakis. They can go everywhere and be appropriate. If you can invest in a suit, you have more options today than ever before, and I can speak from experience that the Saint Harridan suit fits well. You can dress well, and outwardly show your style, but the key is to also act appropriately and to be a gentleman. Impress people with your style and manners, and then they will never forget you… for all the right reasons.”

Monday: Walk to work




Outfit Details – Glasses (Vintage) || Shirt (Vintage Ralph Lauren) || Tie (Tommy Hilfiger) Jean Jacket (Vintage Up-Cycled by my girlfriend) || Buttons/Badges (Gamma-Go, San Francisco) || Vest (Converse @ Target – ages ago…) || Pants (LLBean) || Shoes (Eastland Dirty Bucs – KOHLS) || Camera Pin (Vintage) || Tie Clip (Vintage – belonged to my Grandfather, George D. Knaur) || Watch (Fossil) || Silver Link Bracelet (Tiffany’s SF) || Silver Rings (from my jewelry box) || Backpack (Filson

Tuesday: Meeting day at work




Outfit Details – Glasses (Warby Parker) || Tie (Jerry Garcia – Macy’s) || Tie Clip (Vintage – belonged to my Grandfather, George D. Knaur) || Shoes (Frye Erin Oxford) || Shirt (Ralph Lauren) || Jacket (Thrift store find) || Pants (J. Peterman) || “Q” Scrabble pin (made it myself)

Wednesday: Meet the parents dinner


wed fixed


Outfit Details – Suit (Saint Harridan) || Shirt (Façonnable) || Tie (The Tie Bar) || Shoes (Frye Erin Oxford-Cranberry) || Pocket Square (made by my girlfriend) || Glasses (Warby Parker)

Thursday: A walk in the park




Outfit Details – ¼ Zip Cotton Sweater (Ralph Lauren) || Shirt (Merona-Target), Jeans (Levis) || Boots (Havana Joe)

Friday: Fancy date night




Outfit Details – Shirt (Façonnable) || Tie & Pocket Square (The Tie Bar) || Suit (Custom Made-San Francisco-2009) || Shoes (Frye Erin Oxford-Cranberry) || Bracelet – John Hardy

Saturday: Formal night out



Outfit Details – Off-White, Shawl Collar, Dinner Jacket (Joseph A. Banks) || Cotton Tuxedo Pleated-Front Shirt (Pierre Cardin-Thrift store find) || Tuxedo Pants (Thrift store find) || Black Silk Tuxedo Tie, Black Silk Pocket Square, Black Silk Pleated Cummerbun (Joseph Abboud-Black Tie Collection-Nordstrom Rack) || Shoes (Bostonian Cap Toe-Macy’s) || Mickey Mouse Cufflinks (gift from my girlfriend)

Sunday: In the park with Henry

Outfit Details – Sunglasses (Warby Parker) || Red Jean Jacket (Vintage Ralph Lauren eBay) || Tshirt (Lands End) || Jeans (Levis) || Shoes (Nike Cortez Old Skool) || Dog (Henry)


Photo credits: Images by Melania Mahoney, Sonoma, CA (unless otherwise noted)

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