Welcome back to Style Dossier, Gabrielle Royal’s column that profiles stylish queers across the country. This edition, Gabrielle is featuring Lacey, a Florida-based community activist. Currently, Lacey works with the Key West Business Guild (LGBT Chamber of Commerce) and is helping to bring more transgender resources and information to Key West’s residents and visitors. Prior to this, Lacey served eight years in the military.
“Queer fashion is an everyday visible presence that refuses to be kept in the closet.” – Lacey
dapperQ: Where are your favorite places to shop?
Lacey: I live on an island so our shopping is limited! My favorite place to buy outfits is Express. I am 6’2″ so it fits my lean body pretty well.
dapperQ: Who is your biggest fashion icon and why?
Lacey: I don’t know if I specifically have one. I do love James Dean’s style, from his leather jacket, attitude and how he overall carried himself. Confidence goes such a long way. David Beckham and Justin Timberlake are always on point also. Hell, I have done drag performances based on Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie.” It also helps that I have a friend who is very fashion conscious and forward. She always helps me piece together outfits, patterns, etc
dapperQ: How much of your personal style is influenced by your identity?
Lacey: All of it. I identify as a masculine woman. I had to play the “straight” woman part in the military before “DADT” was repealed. It was uncomfortable and I felt lost. I moved to Key West and I felt like I could embrace my more masculine self here. I love pushing the boundaries and making people think when they see me. Give me a sharp looking 3-piece suit and I am ready to tackle the world.
dapperQ: Why is queer visibility important and how does fashion help create space for members of our community?
Lacey: Working at the Key West Business Guild we get so many visitors who are amazed by Key West’s open arms to everyone. There are so many small towns and cities out there that are still very closed minded to a lot of queer issues. I believe fashion is a way to expand your mind and make people question themselves. I don’t like to conform to what society thinks a woman should look like or act. I have younger generations asking me about the way I dress. It gives me a chance to let them know that it is okay to be yourself. Queer fashion is also an outlet for arts. There are many new fashion designers out there that have so many unique styles. They aren’t going with the normative ideas of society. There also many queer individuals who are up-cycling outfits and setting themselves apart with their own style. Queer fashion is an everyday visible presence that refuses to be kept in the closet.
dapperQ: Tell us about your biggest fashion and/or shopping fail!
Lacey: There was a dark period in my life when I owned a pair of Crocs. Never again.
dapperQ: What advice would you give our readership? What advice can you offer to people who fit outside of society’s understanding of traditionally masculine and feminine styles?
Lacey: I would say shop around and go into thrift shops. I can’t always afford the outfits I see online or from top designers, but I can find pieces in small retail stores and put something together. I also enjoy the fact that dapperQ provides suggested items for the season and the links for them.
For those individuals that are outside the box, find that style that makes you comfortable in what you wear and go with it. It took me several years to get to this point but I made it. There is someone out there just like you who may be going through the same thing. They will notice you confidently being yourself.
dapperQ: Tell us something unique about you!
Lacey: I am a 6’2″ “ginger” I think that is pretty unique. I have yet to meet another one on this island!
dapperQ: How did you hear about dapperQ? Why were you interested in a feature?
Lacey: I have always been interested in androgynous fashion. For years I would use men’s magazines as tips and advice on what was up and coming. This past year though a friend has opened up my eyes to the queer fashion world. I saw dapperQ was in New York Fashion week and started to follow you more. For years I have also wanted to try modeling and this past year I have, along with friends, taken that step to try. So far it has opened up a lot locally for me and I am enjoying every second.
dapperQ: How can our readers stay connected with you?