blog rec: his black dress

One of my favorite parts of blogging is seeing how people have found my site. I thought I'd get a fair number of hits from people looking for clothes, some for DIY projects (oops, maybe I should post some of those), maybe some who stumbled upon me thanks to my sparkling wit ( least one, right?), but by far the most popular search bringing visitors to my blog? Crossdressing.

Yep, that post I did about the joys of crossdressing has served as a beacon, welcoming those wondering about "crossdressing," "classy crossdressing," "crossdressing tube" (???), and even "crossdressing dirndl" (obviously a two for one hit with my dirndl appreciation post) And I'm happy to have them! I really do love crossdressing (in its variety of flavors) and perhaps I should take the hint to post about it more often!

Today, I want to recommend a blogger who challenges the notion of "cross"-dressing. I am all about transgression and boundary crossers, and Michael Spookshow of His Black Dress is definitely a boundary crosser.

His Black Dress documents the daily outfits of a man who advocates for "men's fashion freedom": he asks why dresses, skirts, heels, and jewelry should be reserved for women. Ladies wear sneakers and jeans...why shouldn't a gentleman be able to wear a pair of cute pumps and a pretty dress? In my opinion, no reason! Pretty clothes are fun and I'm totally in favor of anyone who finds them pretty rocking it out. That said, it takes a lot of gumption to be willing to individually and personally challenge social norms with your daily apperance, and I really admire anyone who's willing to go for it. Shine on, fashion warriors!

This blog also reminds me of one of my favorite quotations from the chief Executive Transvestite himself, Eddie Izzard: "They're not women's clothes. They're my clothes. I bought them." Wear/style/do what feels glamorous (or unglamorous, if that's what you're feeling!) and right to you, regardless of who's "supposed" to be wearing it. Look to funky style icons like Tilda Swinton; she obviously wears whatever she damn well pleases, and though it might not be an outfit most of us would dream of imitating, there's no denying she works that crazy get-up. Confidence is always the best accessory.

And with that little life lesson out of the way, definitely go check out His Black Dress because I deeply covet Mr. Spookshow's wardrobe. There's a dark rock'n'roll edge to his style while still being very...what we would usually call feminine. Fab? Mascuglam? Whatever you want to call it, it's super cool and definitely inspiring to ladies/gents/anyone who rebels against wearing pants. And lets be real, pants are pretty bogus.

Have you ever worn something that was "meant" for someone of a different gender presentation? Do you daydream of a day where stores have "Dresses" and "Pants" and "Shirts" sections instead of Mens or Misses? You already know that despite my femmey heart, I do love to get my vest-and-tie on!

milwaukee spots: the safe house

This past summer, I posted about some fun places to get a bite to eat in Milwaukee, my home city. I was on that adventure with an old friend of high school, Ms. Gail, and since she was in town again last weekend, we had to hit up some more downtown spots!

On Friday night, I met up with her at the Milwaukee Public Market (mentioned in my first Milwaukee post) for a little dinner before we started checking out the nightlife. We checked out several establishments, but my favorite was a place I've been wanting to visit for a while: The Safe House.

Did somebody say spy?

The door reads "International Exports Ltd.," but that's just a ruse to throw enemy agents off your trail. The Safe House is a spy-themed bar and restaurant that is a ton of kitschy fun. It's themed to the gills, and I love it. If you're not a fan of James Bond, 60s style corniness, or looking a little silly in the name of a good time, the Safe House is probably not for you. But if Bond, cornball, and silliness are your bread and butter (hello!), prepare for a good time!

Once you enter, you'll be asked to provide the password before you can get into the bar proper. If you don't know, you'll be asked to perform some sort of humorous feat in order to prove your worthiness to gain admittance which, you will discover after getting inside, is shown on TVs in the bar area. It's all in good fun, but if you really want to avoid it, the password is...just kidding! What kind of spy would reveal that kind of sensitive information in public? I'm no double agent!

Although Safe House does have a full menu, we just ordered some chicken tenders to munch on in the bar area. They were very tasty, but...they were chicken tenders. Nothing too out of the ordinary, so I can't really speak to the quality of the menu. I didn't end up trying any of their specialty drinks (which are wonderful and thematically appropriate and, in the tradition of these things, pretty pricey) but had a delicious amaretto sour. For younger spies, just keep in mind that after 7PM the Safe House is a bar and no one under 21 is admitted, but you can still come in for lunch or dinner to enjoy all the atmosphere!

There's also a secret exit, if you're a particularly clever spy, which I'm sure you all are.

Have any of you found your way to the Safe House? Is there a kitschy theme restaurant in your city you'd like to recommend? Comment below!

lusting: opera gloves

When the venerable Tom and Lorenzo said that opera gloves could be the hot new trend for fall, did I give a little fashionista gasp of joy? Yes, indeed, I did.

Do you have any idea how happy I would be if opera gloves became an acceptable sartorial choice? No, you don't, because my joy would be unfathomable. I am crazy for over the top fashion choices (if you couldn't tell), and I'm dying to wear formal gloves in public without looking ridiculous. They don't even have to be opera gloves! Elbow-length would be totally fine by me! C'mon, fashion gods, do me a solid?

How does one wear opera gloves? Well, I have a few ideas.

a night (not) at the opera

Dress it up! The obvious choice. A pair of opera gloves add a certain mystique and glamour to any outfit. You want to keep it fairly simple when going with a statement that strong; a dress with some visual interest, nice earrings, cute shoes. A clutch with a little bit of a bling keeps up with the fancy quotient without pulling focus.

everyday opera

Or dress it down! No, stay with me, stay with me. "JZ, do you expect me to wear opera gloves out and about on a totally average day?" Well, expect is a pretty strong word, I don't make your wardrobe decisions for you. But I believe you could. Take a super cute going-out outfit, nice top and jeans, walkable but stylish shoes, some sassy jewelry, and add opera gloves. What do you get? MAGIC! Well, maybe not magic, but I think it's pretty fab.

Would you wear opera gloves?

commuting shoes: the working girl's best friend

The first time I heard of "commuting shoes" was on an episode of What Not to Wear. The makeoveree was defending the sketchy sneakers she wore to work, because she rode the subway, there was no way she could make her commute in the pretty heels Stacy and Clinton were showing off. Happily, Clinton was there to set her straight, and the idea of commuting shoes lurked in my brain through many years of sketchy-sneakers-wearing (I was in college, give me a break!) until the time finally came to put that knowledge to good use.

If you've never heard of commuting shoes before, here's the long and short of it: sometimes you have to walk a lot to get to work. Sometimes you have to drive a long time. And sometimes you don't want to do those things wearing heels. But you are not doomed to wear sensible flats every day of your professional life -- no! You can buy a pair of comfortable, reasonably athletic shoes, and then change into your nice shoes once you get to the office! Do you see how this was a revolutionary idea in my young brain?

My commuting shoe of choice (pictured above) are my Skechers Actives "Addicted" (I have no idea. Shoes, cars, and cellphones have the weirdest names); I bought them for my retail job, because I could stand in them for 4-8 hours at a time without my feet falling off. They're comfortable, provide some arch support, and are nice-looking enough that I don't feel like a total fashion disaster during the ten minutes it takes to get from my car to my desk in the mornings. Actually, I have been known to wear them with trousers; they're a nice pair of black shoes that don't call too much attention to themselves.

Some people keep their work shoes in a desk drawer for easy on/off - just slip them on when you get to work and put them back at night. Personally, I like to have access to all of my shoes at all times (you never know when you'll need them!) so I just pack mine into my work-bag, and off I go. This gives me the added bonus of being able to decide to wear my fancy shoes out to my car, if my feet are still feeling okay and I want to work some stylish professional realness on that catwalk we call a sidewalk.

Do you wear commuting shoes or are you the kind of hardcore fashionista who walks five miles uphill both ways in her heels? (If so, I salute you and stick my feet further into my fuzzy slippers!) What say you, kitschens? (Haven't used that for a's still not cool, is it?)

lusting: ombre tights

Ombre tights.

Source: via Jennifer on Pinterest

Ombre tights!!!

Source: via Jennifer on Pinterest

When I scrolled down and saw these on my screen, my mouth literally (literally!) dropped open. They are gorgeous...both a statement piece and understated, in a way? I can imagine wearing them with a matching or complementary tone and going full-glam as well as pairing them with a simple black dress for some simple elegance. I also love how they'll look different depending on what shoes you wear, pumps or boots will totally transform them.

Even though I suspected it, it was still disappointing to click the link and find that they only come in the insidious "one size fits most"...with a max of 5'6" and size 8. Boo! Those of you who match that description can go ahead and order a pair (BZR Shop) while the rest of us look on with venomous envy! Hopefully it won't be long before she's able to create some tights that will fit longer (and, let's be real, thicker) legs!

hair begone

Did I get my hair did?

Yes, I did. (It's not an April Fool!)

I have been wanting/needing a haircut for a while now. You know how when it's been a while since you got it cut, your hair suddenly can do no right? Everyday it just looks wrong, even though it probably (I hope) looks fine to everyone else, you know that's not what you want. In my case, I needed a color freshen-up and I needed to get some of the weight off. When my hair gets longer and heavier, it weighs down my curls. Some people would be pleased about that, but I'm proud to be a curly girl! I wanted to put a little spring back into my hair's step.

Getting my hair cut in the spring is always a little extra special. I'm looking forward to the long warm months ahead, and I want to make sure that I've got a style that'll feel light and fun when it's hot and sticky out. I went shorter than expected this time...the night before, I'd been extolling to a friend the wonders of just chopping it all off. When I was a senior in high school, I went in for a trim and impulsively decided to cut off a good 10 inches. And I've (seldom) looked back!

The asymmetrical cut has the benefits of being a little bit fun/edgy (while still professional enough for work) and is a built in style. Because I shower at night, I don't have a lot of options to style my hair when I'm actually preparing to go out for the day, so it's nice to have a cut that does something all by itself!

Are any of you planning to try a new 'do for summer? Have you ever committed a chopjob or are you happy with long luxurious locks? Sound off below!


Related Posts with Thumbnails