Hello folks, it’s been a while! The good news is the reason for my hiatus is that I got a real person job! I now work full-time at a daycare in addition to cashiering part-time, so my posts may be pretty irregular until I can figure out my schedule. Alas, the life of a grown up. (Just kidding, I still totally feel like a kid playing dress up every day.)
In other news, I hate to jump on the Kimbra bandwagon, but I’ve really been feeling this song lately:
Now down to business: queering your style is pretty simple, but it can be a delicate art. It is not an exact science. For example, my housemate and I were attending a decidedly queer party a few months back and while I could just throw on a v-neck shirt and a jean jacket and rely on my haircut to keep me looking queer, my straight housemate tried on outfit after outfit, tweaking them ever so slightly and asking each time, “Do I look queer now?!” We eventually just went with a military-inspired jacket and hoped for the best.
My housemate’s desire to queer her style in order to blend in wasn’t absolutely necessary; everyone was welcome no matter their gender expression, but her behavior is understandable. Sometimes you want to change your presentation to fit the situation. It certainly goes the other way; queers dress more conservatively for a lot of reasons: job interviews, meeting the parents, to pass in an unfriendly environment, because they just felt like it that day, etc.
[WARNING: a lot of this advice will be feminine-biased]
A quick way to queer your look is with a blazer, jean jacket, or some other kind of tailored/fitted jacket (or vest!).
Boots and kicks (including Vans) are a great way to queer a dressy, femme, or neutral outfit.
Haircuts are also a great way to queer your style, as I mentioned in my Hipster Queer post.
Bright colors can be queer.
Graphic tees and tanks.
Hats and sunglasses.
In general, queering your look is a lot of playing with hard and soft, feminine and masculine, fitted and flowing, etc. I’m not a fan of rainbows. I think they are way too associated with a certain type of queer for me to advocate them as indicators. But, they do read as queer nonetheless, so that’s an option.
At my new job, most of the teachers are women and most of them are engaged or married and ALL of them are femme. I had a few kids ask me if I was a boy or a girl during my first week, even though I introduced myself as “Miss Audrey” whenever I walked into a new classroom. At the daycare, wearing my hair short and spiky queers my look. Not wearing a wedding/engagement ring queers my look.
Basically it’s about visibility, but sometimes it’s not as drastic. Queering a space can be as subtle as not wearing a bra so you seem more flat-chested/androgynous. Or not plucking your eyebrows or not shaving your armpits. (Or if you’re a guy, plucking your eyebrows and shaving your armpits.) It might not be anything you can immediately point out as an indicator, but it is a conscious choice that goes against the norm, and therefore it has the potential to queer your look and the space you inhabit.