Becky Talks Fashion: It’s a Queer, Queer Summer

Writing about style is hard. Not only does everyone have their own body shape and personal taste and budget, but I don’t even know if it’s summer where you are. You know? Like where are you? What’s the weather like?

Momentarily, currently, I’m in the state of Connecticut, where this early June has most recently been rocking everything from a heat wave to cold rain and back again. Like holler if you’ve seen some crazy lightning recently or have had to deal with tornado sirens that are all like BLEEHHHH.

My point is, “what to wear” becomes infinitely more complicated when you’re basically gonna be hot and then cold and then swept up in a hurricane.

So, in my quest of where to start talking about, you know, clothes, I decided to share with you all a smattering of what the Big Guys had to say this summer–that is, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Marie Claire. They all kind of unanimously agreed that stripes are ‘in’, much as they were back in 1948:

Vogue, 1948

Other things that are “in” include bold patterns, the color indigo, and high-heeled loafers. Things that are out include knee-high gladiator sandals and over-sized bags.

Blush is going to be REALLY BIG this fall in the spirit of summer’s “romantic side.”

Britney is back, Penelope had a baby, and Ginnifer Goodwin, sick of having stylists pair her pixie cut with overtly femme attire, posed for the cover of Marie Claire in a fancy pant suit because she liked it better than the dress they had initially picked out for her.

There is a ‘must read’ profile in Marie Claire on mtf bombshell Janet Mock entitled “The Secret I don’t Want to Keep Anymore” and Harper’s Bazaar was the only magazine to still utilize one of those lift n’ sniff perfume sample pages. So that’s what’s going on in the world.

Here’s what’s going on in my head:


Cut-offs are always great. They’re convenient because you can use what’s lying around and there’s something really satisfying to having that much control over the length of your shorts. Jean cut offs will be / are great, always, but if you’re looking to expand what you can take your scissors to (because we all know how you love to scissor), try cutting an old pair of khakis or cords or dress pants if you have them.

Nerd Boyfriend

American Eagle has got the idea with these frayed khaki shorts ($29.95). Or go to The Goodwill, (which would be particularly good for finding some oldschool fancy slacks to mess around with) and see what’s good. Feel free to cuff them at will. Pair with vest or oxford.

If you’re tired of scissoring but are still looking to step up your game, Amazon has a nice selection of shorts from Mango some of which (such as those pictured below) are under $50:

Tank Tops

When it gets really hot, you start to wonder why shirts have sleeves on them at all. Like all they really do is restrict your arms, give you a farmer’s tan, and proudly display your sweat stains. Fuck that sleeves I did not agree to those terms stop being such an IFC.

Last year I suggested you scissor some t-shirts into bra-displaying masterpieces. Did you make Effy proud? No? Well that’s okay because there’s still time.

($20 Karmaloop)

If you want to just buy something and not destroy something, tank tops are for you. Long, short, textured, two-toned, there is something out there for everybody, you just have to spend more time than anyone wants to looking.

The tank on the left is from I Don’t Like Mondays and the one on the right is from Torrid.


Let’s get real, the summer should be about bare feet. Like hopefully you’re flying so many kites and hopping so many beaches that you will see this section and be like bitch this is IRRELEVANT to my lifestyle. Sooner or later, though, that lifestyle will be cramped; and when it is, girl, you’re going to want to have a say in what exactly your feet are being cramped into. Flip flops were invented mostly to avoid this problem. I highly recommend flip flops but am 85% sure you all already have some. Also they’re everywhere. Look, here are some now! They’re called Cat Thong sandals. Idk.

What I really want to talk to you about though are your sneaker options.

One of my latest and greatest kick crushes can be found loitering over at Karmaloop for $60.

The blue and blush combo is just heart-warming, no ? Also check out these Vans ($29.95)and these Keds ($60) and these:

… which can be found over at Gravis.

If you dig sneakers and haven’t already, frequent Kicks On Fire for info. on some of the latest and greatest sneakers.

Also, non-sneaker eye candy of the day.


I know the word “jacket” doesn’t scream summer, and after all that sleeve bashing it seems odd to rep. such heavy attire–but the rain does fall and the wind does blow and if you like pina coladas and getting caught in said rain then you might consider something with a hood. Also rain jackets are sexy and so in right now. Especially if you enjoy camping.

The one on the left is from Roxy ($79.95) ; the one on the right is from North Face and is $99 at Nordstroms.

This jacket is longer , this one has a sweet collar, and this one is vintage.

Speaking of vintage, have you looked into some bathing suits yet? Well you should go do that because I have no more words for you. Get dressed! The bright summer morning awaits you!

I'm Becky. I write about style because I think anybody can look great and I think everybody usually does. I'm into self-expression. I'm into being expressive. When I'm not writing about style for Autostraddle I'm usually trying to make a film. I'm also a dancer, so I will Gahu with you anytime, anywhere.

Becky has written 26 articles for us.


  1. i know this isn’t the bathing suit article i was trying to look for but since it does say summer a couple of times in it, i feel like i should tell you all the modcloth bathing suit i got in the mail a few weeks is easily one of the gayest things i’ve ever gotten in the mail. not sure if you guys are into that or not, though.

    being gay i mean

      • YES.

        i love it. it’s the purple floral one. it’s really femmey, and really forgiving, and not all “HEY LOOKIT MY JUNK.” which are good things. i’ve only worn it a couple times so far but it wears super well! i definitely recommend it.

        also, for anyone concerned, i wear a 30I bra and this suit somehow contains the beast that is my bosom. i doubt i’ll ever wear another suit.

        • thank you! I’ve been eyeing a couple of her suits for ages, but a little scared because I read some reviews where people said that theirs had faded on the first swim… it’s good to know you like it :)

          I have small breasts but curvy proportions, modern swimsuits really do nothing for me.

          err, internet, can you advise me on whether I should go with red gingham, cherries on black, or polka dots? yes, I am *that* femme.

          • gingham or polka dots. leaning slightly more towards polka dots.

            they’ll definitely flatter smaller chested girls too! they work super well with a multitude of body shapes. my sister who is a board tried it on and it added curves…it was really adorable on her, if a teensy bit big.

          • thank you, guys :) especially fynnie for the sizing tip. I’d decided on the gingham, but a friend told me I would look like I was wearing a picnic blanket, so now I feel a bit uncertain…

            in case anyone else is reading this and wants to buy something similar for a lower price, checkout the $22 Target Merona version first, which I think Lizz posted about before – it looks lovely, and I’d buy it if it was available in Australia!

    • I was just about to buy the blue velvet one they have right now but I’m afraid I’ll look more crazy than anything.. I love this full coverage business but it’s time for me to quit wearing board shorts and shirts.

      And, @dizzy- gingham. ALWAYS GINGHAM.

  2. “Like holler if you’ve seen some crazy lightning recently or have had to deal with tornado sirens that are all like BLEEHHHH.”

    Holleerrrr. CT this time of year is nooo bueno. Like, why am I wearing pants and a button up right now when I was wearing a dress yesterday? Why am I wearing pants? Oh Connecticut, the only thing worse than your weather is the weather in New York City.

  3. I love that the tank top thing is totally in for bros right now, cause I buy those suckers cheap in size small and then rock them like no other. This is a fantastic alternate to women’s tank-tops, where even the supposedly “loose” ones just make my hips look bad and cling in allll the wrong places! I mean seriously does anyone know what I’m talking about?

    • haha yes exactly! it’s so easy nowadays to hit up the boys section for some muscle tank tops with spaceships on them . instant cool, no clinging to my not-lying hips, etc. also, sports pinnies ftw. so much loose and meshy freedom.

      • Yes I even compromised my morals to buy men’s tank tops at Forever 21 because I am broke and need summer clothes (and fail at the whole cut-your-old-tees thing). The upside of this is that one of them has a jet engine graphic on it! FWOOOOOSHHHHH

    • Yes. Little boys’ clothing all the time. So cheap, so fits my really-no-boobs thing better. Actually much better because almost all women’s xsmall shirts are too short for me.

      I only have trouble with buying boy’s pants because I can’t quite do mens’ xsmall and kids 11-12 is like…just a tiny bit too small on my ass. So annoying.

  4. same weather in indy. it was so hot this morning i was wearing a tank, shorts, flip-flops. now its cloudy and windy. time to change into button down (striped tank underneath), rolled up jeans, sneaks, and rain jacket .

  5. I desperately want a pair of blue leather boat shoes for the summer. I don’t know if it’s normal to want a pair of boat shoes this much. Summer always seems to catch me off guard, clothing-wise. Like it starts to get hot and then I realize that all my clothing is for colder weather, so then I have to get a new wardrobe but I don’t have the money for a whole new wardrobe you know?

    Anyway thanks for the article. Summer fashion is complicated and this article makes sense.

  6. I disbelieve in sleeves and most other clothing in summer. I am however currently rocking a vest and tank top combo with shorts right now. I’m outside the library. Gotta be stylin for all those hot librarians.

  7. It’s hurricane season here in New Orleans so we’re alternating between extended bits of drought and sudden torrential showers that often occur while the sun in shining. It is tricky. Also there’s no way in hell you should wear sneakers here during june. Cheap sandals that you don’t mind getting wet are where it’s at. Urban has a lot of decent sale ones. Also goodwill is the bestest place to shop.

    • Have you ever heard anyone in Nola call that situation–when it’s raining while the sun is shining–“the devil beating his wife”? I grew up hearing some of my Southern relatives say that, and it still strikes me as a kinda weird expression.

      • Yes I have heard that saying! I don’t like it much…I mostly hear it from people of the G.I. generation [the real oldsters]
        But that weather phenomenon happens pretty regularly where I live in Florida, I’d say at least weekly during the rainy season.

    • Ooh yep, hurricane season. That’s exactly what we’re having here in Tampa. So it’s hot, it rains and gets HOTTER, and then we get swept up in a hurricane.

      And no, definitely no sneakers or any closed toed shoes. Or pants, for that matter. Is it just me or does anyone else have the problem when you step in a puddle with pants and the water travels up your pant leg WAY past the level of water? Blah!

      Flip flops and shorts are mandatory when I’m not in uniform, and have a rain jacket on hand at all times. Umbrellas in the lightning capital are not a smart option.

  8. It’s been thunder storming this whole week and the week before. Because of this, I have been confined to pajamas, because I’m not going outside. At all.
    When it’s not raining however, I got a pair of patterned short-shorts at Lucky Brand, and they. are. awesome.

  9. It was fucking snowing where I live until about 2 1/2 weeks ago, now it’s super hot and my fashion sense is getting whiplash. I just realized I own a total of one pair of shorts that fit. Time to make some cutoffs.

  10. Bois, Futches, cut the sleeves off of a cheap hoodie for those days when it’s hot but you cannot stand to got without a hoodie (I swear they’re like security blankets for us).

  11. Oh look, this article is like, exactly a thing that I was wanting.

    Also: espadrilles. They are super comfy and stylish and also gender-neutral, plus apparently the design hasn’t changed since the 1300s or something. They’re really good for occasions when it’s hideously hot but you’re forced to wear closed-toed shoes because of The Man and/or situations where you might get your toes cut off or whatever

  12. This article made me realize how much I need sneakers. The ones in the second picture are so cute, I want them NOW!

    ALSO a great thing for summer evenings/nights/colder days are knitted lace shawls, I know they’re usually worn by grandmas but they can be knitted in bright awesome colors and worn in a lot of cool ways with a bit of imagination. Plus if you knit them yourself you can totally brag and impress girls.

  13. I WANT ALL OF THE SNEAKERS. Seriously. Thanks for unearthing all of those beauts because I have such a hard time finding good canvas shoes for chicks. So far I usually just buy the Ked knock-offs at Target which are like 9 bucks, and I go through about two pairs of them every summer. I’d like to buy something much more stylish than that. AND I SHALL.

  14. Here in Sydney it is currently clear, cold (well, the days get up to 20C/68F with lows around 6C/43F so not THAT cold) and windy.

    I’ve been wearing a lot of layers. And my Doc boots.

    • In the icy wasteland that is my hometown it is presently 0C, with an estimated low of -2C before dawn. Right now I am wearing thermals, jeans, boots, flannel and polar fleece to stay alive. Soon my hair will cut itself into a mullet and the sky will belt out Indigo Girls songs so I can better fit the nineties lesbian stereotype. Pity me.

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