Friday, May 4, 2012

Formal Friday: Checks and Stripes

I am not a huge fan of brown suits generally.  Something about them just makes me think they look too rural or informal.  This suit, however, is an exception. 

I love the contrast of the stripes of the jacket and the checks of the vest.  This is a great example of how playing with complimentary patterns can really add an eye-catching element to your standard suit.  Here, the colors are the same but the variation in the pattern arrangement gives the outfit a sense of depth and vitality.

Also, check out the bowtie/ascot/scarf.  Little twists like this can really pull an outfit together.  Taking something like a scarf or handkerchief and tying it around your neck as you would a bowtie gives a brazen edge to an otherwise put-together look. 

Lastly, make sure to slick back your hair and look super serious and you will OWN that brown suit.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Asked & Answered: Summer Work Style

Reader North writes:

"Want to do something on summer clothes for queers?  I have a hell of a time finding anything even approximately work appropriate when it's 100 degrees."

Hot weather gives most people an excuse to relax into an informal wardrobe of shorts, tees, and sandals.  Even some of our more feminine friends from the professional real can get away with short sleeves and breezy skirts in the summer.  But you are not the average person - you are a Lezsquire.  So although it may be 100 degrees outside, it's important that you still maintain a professional appearance.  Follow these tips to keep it classy through the heatwaves. 
  •  Lighten your fabrics.   This applies to both the color and the weave.  Darker colors absorb light and make you hotter (in a bad way), faster.  Lighter colors, on the other hand, reflect light and keep you cool.  So go with a lighter color scheme - whites, light greys, and more pale colors (yellow, blue, pink, green, etc).  As far as fabric, ditch denser fabrics such as wool, pinpoint oxfords, or (shudder) polyester blends and go with natural, breathable, and light fabrics such as linen, silk, and cotton.  
Linen Perfect Shirt by J.Crew
  • Ditch the suit?  As mentioned above, wardrobes tend to get more informal in the summer.  Does this mean that you can ditch your suit?  Well... probably not.  It will depend on your work environment.  A good trick is to take cues from what your (more fashionable) co-workers and bosses are doing.  One option is to ditch the jacket altogether and don a vest and matching slacks instead.  Still professional yet breezier than a suit.  I personally would feel uncomfortable without a suit at work - but there is a compromise!  Bring your suit jacket draped over your arm.  You can hang it in the office in the event that you need it, and stay coolly jacket-free in the meantime.
  • Summer Suits.  Again, try to go with breathable cotton or linen suits and avoid wool.  An unlined suit (one that ditches the inner layer of fabric completely) or one that is half-lined is also a good option.  Though you may need to wear a dark suit for more formal occasions, for everyday wear try a light grey, kahki, or cream colored suit or (if you're daring) white or seersucker.
  • Under the suit.  If you are wearing a suit, there are a few tricks you can do to keep cool as well.  There are a number of short-sleeved or sleeveless shirts that look like your average button down when worn with a jacket.  No one will be the wiser and there will be one less layer of fabric between your arms and breezy freedom.  Also, as a woman (not required to wear a necktie), you can get away with a number of other sleeveless or short-sleeved, or tank-like (yet still professional) tops under your jacket, so use this to your advantage!
  • Summer footwear.  The sockless look has been in in recent years, and if you're looking to pull it off (again, for those "less formal" workdays), make sure you use some shoe powder in them or wear "invisible socks" to keep them dry and clean.  If you're wearing socks, again, go for naturally breathable fabrics like cotton or silk.  Avoid polyester blends at all costs.  Italian-style loafers or dress shies are also a good summer choice and made from lighter and softer leather than most of their counterparts.  I do not advocate sandals, ever.
  • Tip of the hat.  If you're going to be outdoors (even if it's just walking to your office from your car), now is the ideal time to bust out that sweet panama hat you have been looking for an excuse to wear. 

  •  Shades.  When the sun is beating down on you, don't forget your eyes' health.  Sunglasses are a very personal thing, so pick out a pair unique to you.  If you're struggling to find the right fit, Ray Ban Clubmasters or some squared-off aviators are a good place to start.  

Hold these tips in mind and you'll make keeping your cool at work look effortless (even while you are smoldering with hot hot style).

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pick of the Day: Sole Survivor Leather Briefcase

Every working Lezsquire needs a good briefcase. 

And you'll be hard pressed to find a more awesome briefcase than Style No. 1005 from Sole Survivor Leather

Let's face it: after law school (or once you otherwise enter the professional world), a backpack will no longer cut it.  Your supervisors, clients, and co-workers expect you to look put-together and adult.  So being the young'un who marches into work with knapsack slung over your shoulders (no matter how cool it may be...) is a big mistake.

Those of us with more masculine taste in style get a hard rap when it comes to bags.  Feminine women have a plethora of purses and totes to choose from.  It's a bit tougher finding something that suits those erring toward the other side of the gender spectrum. 

Reminiscent of the harness belt, this sole survivor briefcase has striking good looks, classic styling, and a bit of an edge (hello "tongue" clasps).  The fixtures are solid brass, so you know it's built to last.  I think this is the perfect type of briefcase for the working queer who is going for professional respect while still remaining style conscious.  At $350, this bag is an investment but quite a steal compared to some of those designer purses our more femmey friends may tote.  And my bet is that it will last a lifetime and then some. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Look of the Day: LA Style

Lezsquire readers!  I am happy to report that I am back from my extended business trip to Ohio.  Although some excitingly gay events coincidentally happened while I was in town, I have to say... damn, it's good to be back. 

(And before you ask regarding my trip: No, I sadly did not see one fashionable outfit [besides those in the mirror] the entire month I was away.  Better luck next time.)

In honor of my triumphant return, here is a slice of quintessential LA lesbian style for you.

Note the artfully slicked back, sun-kissed hair, dark aviators, and double breasted black suit.  The perfect look for effortlessly doing justice on the idyllic palm-lined streets of LA. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Suits Me: Power Dyke Couple

What's the only thing better than a hot power lesbian?

TWO hot power lesbians! 


I'm really loving this picture for several reasons.

Androgyny.  Nothing gets me like androgyny.  The ladies here are rocking their looks with masculine confidence and feminine grace.  The poses (wide legged stance, jaunty hips and shoulders, squared jaws) give every indication of assertiveness while subtle cues (the tilt of the head, grasping of hair) belie a tender vulnerability.  The perfect combination.

White suit.  This is an excellent example of pulling off the white suit.

Vest & Oxford.  A great way to look professional but not too uptight.  After (or during) a hard day of work, it's okay to take your jacket off, roll up the sleeves, and keep on being awesome. 

The Hair.  Here is an excellent example of how one can still have "longer" hair and pull off a masculine look.  The standing figure has more meticulously groomed locks while the seated figure has a more free and unkempt style.  Both look great. 

I can't get enough of the hot lesbian power couple.  So use the comments to tell me about any such experiences!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pic of the Day: Lady Gaga in Drag

... Does that make her Mister Gaga?

In any case, Lezsquire is a huge fan of the incomparable Lady Gaga.  Today for your viewing pleasure, Lady G lets her more masculine side out.

Lady Gaga makes quite the dyke.  I'm loving her James Dean-esque hair in this picture and the artful tailoring of her white fauxedo shirt.   Once again, being a hot lesbian (or anything else, for that matter) is all about attitude.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Look of the Day: Go-to-Hell Pants

The go-to-hell pant is back envogue, and Lezsquire couldn't be happier.  I've always harbored a little not-so-secret love for prep style ever since I first laid hands on a copy of The Official Preppy Handbook as a young Lez.  Aptly named, the go-to-hell pant is a fashion conundrum.  The button-downed prepster's Ivy League attempt to bring a bit of punk rock abandon into their lives. 

Dandy and white suit wearer Tom Wolf is credited with first coining the phrase in an article for for Esquire about the elite preps vacationing at Martha's Vinetard.  He writes:
The jackets were mostly navy blazers, and the ties were mostly striped ties or ties with little jacquard emblems on them, but the pants had a go-to-hell air: checks and plaids of the loudest possible sort, madras plaids, yellow-on-orange windowpane checks, crazy-quilt plaids, giant houndstooth checks, or else they were a solid airmail red or taxi yellow or some other implausible go-to-hell color. They finished that off with loafers and white crew socks or no socks at all. The pants were their note of Haitian abandon… at the same time the jackets and ties showed they had not forgotten for a moment where the power came from.

The above look is a great example of how to pull off the go-to-hell look.  Things to note:
  • Subdued accompaniments.  The most important part of pulling off the "go-to-hell" look well is to not go over the top, or you'll just look like a clown.  This means going for an overall "conservative" look with one shocking element.  Here, note that the classic look of the sweater, button-down, shoes, belt, and watch really allow the pants to shine.  
  • Get the color or pattern right.  It's called "go-to-hell" for a reason.  Now is not the time to be shy.  Go with the boldest and most clashing color or pattern possible.  Think yellow, salmon, red, or seafoam for solids and big bold plaids for patterns.  If you go embroidered pattern route (tiny sailboats, flamingos, or the like), make sure it's something representative of your personality.
  • Boat ShoesSperrys are a prepster essential, so if you're planning on pulling off the go-to-hell look anywhere near an ocean, make sure to grab a pair. 
  • Fun socks.  Also envogue nowadays.  Just 'cause it's too cold to go sockless doesn't mean you can't have fun "down there".  Spice up your Sperrys with some fun patterened or striped socks.  
So when you're feeling a bit punchy at your next work picnic or romp with the friends, consider telling the world to go to hell.