Fat-Booty Butch Buys A Suit On A Budget

Taxes and GLAAD

Thank You, Uncle Sam for the pennies you call a tax-refund. Living right on and sometimes even below the poverty line made it so easy for me to view my tax refund as a way to live big for awhile. I used to spend that change on well-deserved bullshit: bottle-poppin’, new kicks, cab rides from the city to my crib in the Bronx, fancy dinners, illicit activities and buying people’s affection. Basic shit. I felt like I deserved all the things I saw people with continuous funds enjoying. And I did and do deserve to enjoy myself, but damn if I didn’t have to do some soul-searching. What is that type of excessive and often shallow entertainment really worth? Why did I want them? I ended up asking myself, at this point, since my essential needs are consistently being met, what should I really do with my money?


Last year, I put almost every dime of my refund into paying my student loans, aka the U.S. government’s strip club fund. This year though, I decided to invest that money into myself. I’ve set some aside for a new computer, paid some bills and budgeted the rest for my very first suit. A suit felt important to me, like it was worth having, worth investing in. And then I realized that I actually needed one. The arts center I work for was throwing a benefit and I’d just been asked by Lizz to help cover the GLAAD Awards all in the same week. Both reasons to not just float by on old jeans, freshly scrubbed kicks and shirts that don’t fit anymore.

Get It Together: Bodies and Community Edition

But something happened to me, like everything inside of me went directly into panic mode. Anxiety dreams haunted me at night with thoughts of “what am I going to wear” just playing over and over in my head. I found myself on a two-day insecurity and self-loathing bender. I plotted ways of getting out of the work commitment and I blew off giving Lizz an answer re: the GLAAD Awards.

You guise, I almost pissed off my directors and turned down chillin at the big gay award show because of the stress I felt about finding clothes to fit my body and the money it would take to purchase them.


No but seriously though, like what the hell are bodies sometimes? One minute I’m a 36D with a 30-inch waist and the next I’m a 38DD with a 38-inch waist and nothing fits and I don’t trust anything on a hanger and why can’t I just work/write/live while being naked in bed? But then I woke up and realized that I needed to get it the fuck together like yesterday. If any brown chunky queer on the planet could find a suit, it was gonna be me. I tweeted, texted, Facebook-messaged and emailed the humans in my queer community especially those connected to fashion. The lovely people at Bindle and Keep emailed me back saying they could work with me BUT it’d take six to eight weeks to have a finished suit. Obvs that makes sense because they’re a bespoke suit company, but my needs were way more immediate. Also, I needed this suit literally like the week before the magical St. Harridan pop-up shop in NYC. Argh.

So I kept hunting. I referenced all the articles I could find about MOC individuals buying suits: Queering the Workplace, The Style Manual: Suits 201 and Wedding Guest Suit for Butch (there are more out there too). As for my body image issues, I’ve been dealing with them my whole life. I’ve learned to indulge them, honor that they exist and then peacefully move forward with a little extra love for and patience with myself. But even with all the self-love and amazing suit-purchasing advice, one thing still had me feeling like this was Mission Impossible: the price tag.

Economic Inequality and Being Dapper

dapperQQPOC So many of us remain silent when it comes to the truth about the cost of new clothes, good clothes, work clothes, dapper clothes — all the damn clothes. We are both blessed and bombarded with perfectly shot, edited, and cropped photographs of cherubic queers dressed in their dapper best or in high fashion ultra femme vintage gear. They fall into our laps via tumblr, Pinterest, dapperQ, Autostraddle. They reflect the way we dress and the way we wish we could dress. Queer fashion is so fucking in right now. Right? But what so many of those images fail to mention is the price of all those damn clothes. Who can afford a 3 piece suit, wing-tipped shoes, a badass wristwatch, diamond equality cuff-links, polka-dot socks made of organic cotton, and a checkered button down shirt that isn’t your brother’s hand me down? Don’t forget your silk pocket-square and please, get a fucking haircut. ALL OF THE MONEY. And yo, some people have it. Maybe you come from money and money ain’t a thing and it never will be. Maybe you came from money but you also make your own, so you’re basically a queer Kardashian. That’s cool too. Or maybe, you sew like a BEAST and make all your own cool stuff, while also thrifting like a champ on the weekends. Seriously, I’m so jealous.


None of that is my life. I’m a brown dyke living in the Bronx, working 40 hours a week at an non-profit arts center. I’m finally with it enough to pay all my bills on time, if at all. I’ve got a roof over my head and some change in my savings account. I’m not complaining. It’s been worse for me but fuck, just having a job feels like a blessing sometimes. Living in this city makes it feel like I’m scraping by with every penny just to live. My play money is tight and I don’t know how to sew. I wear clothes until they’ve given up on life and I’m not ashamed. I often wonder how regular people buy new clothes all the time. Clothes in the hood and at super-low discount shops never seem to last very long. Fancy clothes cost so much, like why isn’t everyone just running around in cloth diapers? What is someone like me supposed to do when they need to look good in real life?

Spending Limits Like a Doña

image by M.Tony Peralta

image by M.Tony Peralta

Many of the brands highlighted on queer and non-queer fashion blogs are still out of a broke bitch’s price range. Asking me to drop $700 – $1500 for a suit is like asking me if I’m cool with not paying my rent for a month. Still though, I knew that investments involve some sacrifice, some connection to the future and a little faith. My friends told me to create a Suit Budget, a reasonable list for the amount of money I would be willing and able to spend. I made the budget and a pact with myself to stick to it.

  • The suit itself: $350
  • Tailoring: $150-200
  • Extras (shoes, hair, etc): $100

Creating this type of budget put me in control of my money and gave me a very clear sense of how much I had to roll with. Normally, I keep it all in my head but seriously writing it down and saving it in my notes helped so much. It reminded me of the way my grandmother used to keep all the families finances in order. Sometimes I wonder what she would think of me wearing men’s clothing. In my mind, she’d just want me to find something fly.

One of my friends said that she and her cis male partner would actually go to the store with me. I agreed and to be honest I intended to use their white privilege to get the best service and attention that my money couldn’t buy. My friend’s partner was such a sweet addition. At our request, he researched the best places to find a suit given my unique dimensions, time crunch and tight budget. His findings made me sad; our options were limited to The Men’s Warehouse and/or something like a Burlington Coat Factory. Womp womp. First of all, fuck Men’s Warehouse. I tried to shop at the one in Scarsdale (yes, I’m gonna shout you out), and the men there treated me like gay was a disease and I didn’t have the right to shop there. Second, every Burlington Coat Factory I’ve ever been to smelled like culo. But being broke + having no time to waste + dressing my fat-booty = OMG we’re going to Burlington Fucking Coat Factory.

A Wonderland of Suits with a Side of Gender Policing

Because of the lack of fucks given at a Burlington Coat Factory, white privilege isn’t honored one bit. So, yay but also GODDAMMIT. Everyone that worked there treated us with the same “I’ll help you because I work here, but I’d rather be anywhere but here” attitude. Fine. Whatev. Let’s get this done. From one of the suit articles, I’d learned that the best suit for my body would be a 3 piece, one vent suit. After some steely and insistent looks from my white homegirl, the dude in the men’s section measured me. Once I had my measurements, finding the suit took less than 30 minutes. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to try my suit on in the fitting room within the suit section. The young woman working in that section had a minor freak out when I asked if I could. She stiffened up, turned completely red and was like, “AHH, ERR, UM NO THIS IS FOR MENS.” taylor-swift-freak-out-face

My white angels almost skewered her for gender discrimination but I stopped them. Under different circumstances, I may have taken that moment to stand up and demand entrance to the men’s fitting room. This type of gender policing is dehumanizing, pretty much pointless/absurd, and causes so many beautiful people undue pain. But like, I knew what I was getting into going to a place like Burlington Coat Factory. It’s like going to chill with white people you don’t know or being chatted up by strange men; I just expect people to act unintentionally reckless. I came in for a suit, not a fight. The finish line was so close and schooling someone at their place of employment on gender politics and respect was not on my to-do-list. I put on my thickest skin knowing that I will only engage in battles that are worthy of my energy. This one wasn’t.

I went downstairs to the women’s dressing room and tried on my suit from the Steve Harvey Collection. The women in the dressing room told me it looked awesome and it fit and so then all of a sudden I had a suit.

Did I mention that the suit I found was under budget?

Suit Budget: $350
Actual Cost of Suit: $150

Tailoring: The Story of the Sweetest Human on the Planet

Pero, like why does a suit need to be tailored if it was purchased using exact measurements? A suit jacket needs to fit your shoulders and the pants need to fit your waist. All other things can and will be nipped, tucked, cut and sewn to fit the rest of the contours of your body.

My final text was to a dear sweet Southern gay dandy friend of mine. He sent me information for a tailor he thought would be perfect for me. And literally, y’all, she was so perfect that I’m gonna share her info with you. Her name is Maria and she’s a super sweet Mexicana who has an eye for size and didn’t poke me once with any pins. She complimented my suit and didn’t even blink when I came in with my girlfriend. She was basically my long lost Titi Tailor and I will never bring my clothes anywhere else. AND she tailored the suit and two shirts for less than what I had budgeted.

If you’re in New York and need a heaven-sent sastre, go to:

Maria at Legacy Garment Care
304 West 117th St, NY NY 10026

Tailoring Budget: $150 – $200.
Actual Cost of Tailoring: $120 ($20 tip included!)

I Spent Like 400 Bucks on this, Just to be like…You Ain’t Up on this


Now I have a suit that fits me. I also have a vest and jacket to mix and match with other things. As good as it feels, I still don’t think that clothing deserves too much of my hard-earned funds. I like to look good, feel good, and yes, that extends into what I wear, but it also has a lot to do with how I feel about myself. Most of the time, I don’t notice what anyone is wearing and I definitely don’t remember what anyone else had on the next day. Fashion policing is just another way to judge people and segregate each other. Like f*ck your white parties and your black tie affairs and your power-professionals-only meet ups and a big f*ck you to all the dyke bars that ban specific items of clothing like fitteds and kicks. Also, I need to remember that the Internet and all its shiny pictures of beautiful people in fresh gear shouldn’t be what I measure myself against. I have to continue to appreciate but also deconstruct the images presented to me and know when to step away and just do me. Maybe I’ll start a fly and broke tumblr or something.

My queer communities are constantly in motion. We’re always recreating and re-imagining the world so that it is true for us, so that we can just exist. It’s our duty to be forever transparent and call bullshit when we see it. We need to have more conversations about money, finances, and how to best determine what is worth spending money on.  All of us experience such different economic realities. So why do we try so hard to be money-blind? Why is that one of the few things that we seem to allow to permeate into our worlds without question? Like as if high fashion was the only type of fashion. Price tags should be visible, unedited. There shouldn’t be any shame in a lack of funds. Our spaces need to be accessible for all of us. This goes beyond buying a suit.

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Gabrielle Rivera is an awesomely queer Bronx bred, writer, spoken word artist and director. Her short stories and poems have been published in various anthologies such as the Lambda Award winning Portland Queer: Tales from the Rose City and The Best of Panic! En Vivo from the East Village. Her short film "Spanish Girls are Beautiful" follows a group of young Latina and Caucasian girls who like girls as they hook up, smoke up and try to figure sh*t out. She also freelances for Autostraddle.com while working in the film and television industry. Gabrielle is currently working on her first novel while bouncing around NYC performing spoken word and trying to stick it to the man.

gabby has written 102 articles for us.


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m about the start the process of trying to buy suit. This made me feel less trepidatious about it. You look great!

  2. GABBY MY FEARLESS LEADER. I have been tirelessly researching my suiting options since camp and this is the post I’ve been dreaming of. Thank you.

    Also you look SHARP AS EVERLOVING HELL in that suit. Get out there and break some necks.

  3. On a related but different part of the spectrum: buying a new wardrobe because of transitioning but also being broke (which transitioning ain’t exactly helping) is a similar flavor of frustrating. I got rid of my weddings&funerals dude suit because I realized I was at a place where I would never feel comfortable wearing it again, but now I don’t have anything for weddings&funerals and I don’t feel like I can afford anything and I’m really hoping no one gets married or dies before I can get my shit together.

    tl;dr, I feel this, in a big way. Clothing can be really classist.

    (also you look really fantastic!)

    • Clare, have you tree thrift stores? Or the sale rack at Dillard’s or department stores or any store you like? I totally get what you mean about clothing being classiest…..who can afford to drop $150 on a top? (Some people and if you can that is fantastic!). This is why thrift stores are great! If you spend a little extra time you can literally fine just about anything from homemade dresses to name brand shirts and pants from expensive stores. There is hope my friend! Affordable wedding clothes are def a possibility!

    • do you have a trusted human that would be down to go shopping/thrifting with you? that always helps. that grade school buddy system is life.

    • I am a broke, bordering on plus-size lady, and if it weren’t for TJ Maxx, Filene’s basement, Marshall’s, Nordstrom Rack, thrift stores, and garage sales, I would be going to work nekkid. But ya shopping sucks out everyone’s soul so I second the buddy system. And also being well-fed beforehand to avoid the hangry.

  4. Looking fabulous in that suit.

    In HS rumor was Steve Harvey son went there, and was out. I did a google search and his son may have gone to my HS, but not at the same time as me, so who was he picking up that one time I saw him there.

  5. Brotha G!!!! Yes to all of this! The article is amazeballs and also because I met you at camp I can read it with your voice in my head! =)

    The brown queer thing and the white thing. Sometimes, it just DOES NOT mix well. Like, sometimes, I feel the need to dress ‘nicer’ in a way if we’re going to a more white dominated place just so people will cater to me at the department store. Then there’s that ‘are you shopping for your husband?’ thing. I’m in cargo shorts from the men’s section at Hollister. My rainbow bracelet is visible. My guns are bigger than your husbands. Does I look like I have a husband??

    I got a dress shirt made from Ratio Clothing. The customer service is amazing! They gave me tips on how to measure because I’m a grrrrl and they’ll remake the shirt for free the first time if the fit is off. Suits are a great investment because 1) You can always find another dress shirt to use with it 2) You’ll look dapper

    W/R/T to the cufflinks and bow tie/ neck tie thing..I’ve used Ebay in the past. YES it works and the stuff from China is sometimes wayyyyy cheaper than the stuff at the store and really who is going to be able to tell the difference between something that you’re hardly going to see anyway? Also, the bow ties and neckties are cheaper too. Unless you’re going for a wedding..then you get a really nice tie. =p

    My main problem is usually shoes because I have a size 7-7.5 in womens and somehow, the whole fricking universe decided to make 95% of women’s shoes with heels. Why can’t we have something like chukkas or wingtips like the guys…-.-


    • I feel you on the shoes thing!

      Just FYI – I finally found some classy oxfords that look amazing and masculine AND they fit me because they are actually womens shoes: http://www.zappos.com/frye-oxfords#!/frye-oxfords-women-shoes/CK_XAcABAeICAgEY.zso?t=frye+oxfords

      Frye Oxfords.

      I had no idea Frye made shoes.
      But they do, and they are awesome.

      But they aren’t cheap! At all.
      But they will last forever and the fact that I can’t find this style womens shoe anywhere else means I dumped out my piggy bank for a pair and I have no fucking regrets.

      Good luck!

        • Yes Bass has good options too. I have the black Weejuns, the penny oxford ones but I put dimes in them. Lol. Ive been wanting the reddish one for a while. Looks great with jeans.

      • I actually considered Frye! I was about to get the Jillian one. Then I saw Seavees. They run kinda big smallest size but I always need insoles because of flat arches. So the size 7 in men fit just fine with Superfeet. I might have to reconsider the Frye though, I end up loving anything autostraddle recommends=]

    • I’ve actually found some great, dapper-looking (and cheap) shoes in the “boys” department, if that helps. I get a lot of compliments and people don’t realize they were made for little guys :)

      • Add to this having seriously wide feet and finding shoes like nice looking oxfords is a pain!!! I’m now onto Vivobarefoot because I also have foot problems and these are the only shoes I can wear.

        • My local upscale shoe store sold me on Keens. I have the bunions from hell and a high instep, so pretty much everything else is agony, if I can even get my foot into it. But Keens have a really wide toe box. They’re not elegant, but yay I can wear them. Of course, consider that I live in Maine and pretty much anything goes here, everything is so laidback. Oh, and Rockport WT Classics. You wouldn’t think they’d be hard to find in Maine, but there it is. Zappos to the rescue – but even there it’s dicey.
          Also, my friend just had a knee replaced, and for some unknown reason none of her shoes fit right any more. I now have some really nice hand-me-downs, including an awesome pair of Naot sandals.

          • Keens do have a really nice wide toe box but I often need something that looks a bit dressier. Nice to get free shoes! Dang, are they expensive! Naot are nice. I had a pair of them when I dressed a bit more feminine. I’ll check the others out. Thanks!

  6. Hot damn, Gabby, that second photo of you in the suit made my heart skip a beat. You have such confidence and that smug make-you-melt-into-a-puddle smile is a good combination!

  7. Um, I’m obsessed with this and I’m going to go share it all over the internet. THANK YOU!

  8. I’m so glad you had a positive experience in the end. You look excellent! But it’s wedding season, all my het friends are getting married, and I spent several frenzied hours at the mall last weekend looking for the right suit. Sizing charts tell me I’m a 12-year-old boy, but youth clothes tell me boys are shaped like cardboard boxes, so.

  9. Seriously, Gabby. Loving it all. You’re inspiring me and I’m feeling more and more comfortable these days with how I dress and/or choose to dress. THANK YOU <3

  10. Gabby you look so fresh in that suit! This post was excellent. As a broke brown femme with a taste for expensive chlothes *cough* corsets *cough* I felt you on so many levels.

  11. I love how you have approached the dilemma of wanting to feel and look good in clothes that you want to wear, without having to spend your rent on it, for like 4 weeks and actually not pay rent. I feel you.
    The first suit I bought was from an op shop (thrift store) for about NZ $10 twenty years ago. I got lucky in that op shop because it was a pinstripe black and white stripe suit of pure wool and for my size then (much smaller) it was a perfect fit. I have since outgrown that (food baby that never gets born.

    I really like that you are critical of the pressure of materialism and I love your solutions for wanting to remain fly but buying within your budget. I admire what you have written and your philosophy re materialism and how you manage the sickening peer pressure to present as richly clothed in labels and effortless. That pressure is the biggest crock of shit and makes things so elite. I have bought a lot of my funkiest clothing from op shops but I frequently have to part with money to get something new and get it quickly. I wish you would write more often.

  12. Amen to this. I’m not working so hard to shake the confines of patriarchal heteronormativity just to be become a slave to a Topman wishlist that I’ll never afford. Tumblr is both a blessing and a curse in that regard.

    • I feel this, generally, but you all might want to check out Topman in the next few days. A ton of items are half-off, plus there’s always free shipping and never added tax.*

      *not a paid spokesperson

  13. I’ve been experimenting with my gender presentation over the last couple of years and have learned that MoC clothing makes me feel good about myself. Unfortunately, I am a curvy person (which makes shopping in the men’s dept rather challenging) and also do not make a lot of money, so I’m trying to figure out how best to approach clothes shopping. Tumblr can be good for general inspiration, but it doesn’t help that most of the clothes shown are way out of my price range and modelled by much smaller/thinner/less busty queers…

  14. I’ll just second several other comments here; you look awesome in your spiffy new suit. <3

  15. Gabby. Please do tell which Burlington location you went to. I’m another Bronx Butch with an ample posterior. Lol.

    • yo bronx bomber, i went to the burlington on 14th st and union square but i think there’s one on fordham road too. if you see me in the street, please let’s hug pr something.

      • I’ll take my chances with union square!
        If I see ya I will bear tackle ya! Haha. But really thanks for this article. We need to have a BBB club. :-D

  16. Dude! I’m going through the same thing over here… I’m in my best friend’s grooms party (woo!) and that’s great and all, but I can’t just walk into Men’s Wearhouse and get fitted because an actual mens suit would look absurd on my tiny frame.

    So I’ve been on the hunt for a bit and man, it is fucking ridiculous. Why does this have to be so hard? I feel like I don’t fit in anywhere.

    By the way, I WOULD GO TO MARIA IN A SECOND if I lived in New York.

    On another note, I get what you’re saying, re: varying degrees of financial reality. But I wonder what it was like in the old days (like 1800s-type old-days) where everyone had just one outfit — one good suit. And they wore it all the time. Because it was all they had.

    • I was just in a friend’s grooms party too! And he went in ahead of time to tell the tuxedo people that they would be fitting a woman in a tux because he is an angel. And he absorbed the slightly negative response, which I only found out later had happened. That said, the tux was giant and I ended up changing for most of the reception (which the groom was fine with, again, because he is an angel) so I could dance without the crotch of those pants chaffing my knees. Anyway, this is all to sympathize with men’s clothing looking weird, and I’m even kinda tall, so. Sympathy from me.

      • I was an usher at my ex gfs wedding to her husband. I had to measure myself and send them the info for the tux hire company. It fit fine but the weird shaped man shoes were agony. Did the reception in a morning suit and dunks.

    • My DiL’s BFF was a grooms”man” in the wedding. I was so proud of them for being nonchalant about it. They were all matchy-matchy, but in suit vests, no jackets, so fitting Deb was not a big problem.

  17. Suit/clothes shopping is super stressful. I actually got a suit at a Men’s Warehouse and the sales dude defended my desire to purchase a suit to a particularly nosey customer who said “If you were my daughter I wouldn’t let you buy that” So I imagine that I happened some four leaf clover type suit sales dude.

    Anyway I hate that buying clothes gives me super anxiety. I am glad that you found an awesome suit within your budget and I feel you in wanting to look dapper but not spend all the monies. Thank you for writing this as it makes me feel less alone.

  18. This is great, I love your balance of advice and critique, acknowledging that these structures are a bit fucked up while showing how we can work within them and stay true to ourselves.

  19. You look AMAZING!!! And WTF Burlington because I totally tried to buy shirts at the Atlantic Terminal location and none of that was going over my hips. And I was alone so I didn’t even try for the men’s fitting rooms, even though geographically they made more sense.

    It’s the weirdest thing- before I started wearing “men’s” clothes I thought my bodacious tatas would be the hard part but that has never been a problem and it’s always my freaking hips. Maybe I need to try again…!

    And again you look awesome.

    • Yes! I feel you on this hips thing, although the tatas tend to create problems too, Anytime I buy men’s button downs they button all the way down until the end where they just look horrible.

      • Same r.e. Men’s shirts and hippy sitch. I always end up buying them oversized and trying to hide the excess fabric somewhere.

  20. oh man Gabby, I feeeeel you. I’m about to have my first real grown up person job in a professional-ish environment and I’ve literally been waking up in the middle of the night sweating about what the fuck am I going to wear to work.

    This was very heartening. Whenever you write it’s always so restorative to read. You’re the best.

    • Restorative – yes! This perfectly describes it felt to read and absorb this piece. Thank you, Gabrielle!!

  21. PLEASE start a fly and broke tumblr! I need some “broke queer college student who only sort of knows how to dress herself” love.

  22. I wish this article came out two weeks ago, I have a wedding to go to and I’m wearing mix and match pants, jacket and shirt because the idea of a suit seemed like a far off dream for a big butch curvy girl. Maybe my budget and my body can still handle a suit, Thanks!

  23. This is SO, SO WONDERFUL. Also, gonna take this opportunity to voice my support for a fly & broke tumblr.

  24. So so so relevant to my interests!

    Also, Gabby, you look amazing in that suit!

    Also, also that suit is so lucky to encapsulate such a wonderful human!

  25. Hey, this is a great article. Thanks for writing it. I feel in the last few years there has been a real focus on fashion and style and how queer identities can be expressed through clothing. It’s not at all a bad thing, but I do feel that there needs be an accompanying discussion about money and affordability and class. So thanks for bringing that into the picture! The suit looks great too!

  26. All of this! You inspirational suit wearing wonder. I’m a broke grad student working full time, paying all my bills and getting sick of being asked why I’m wearing jeans that don’t fit. The answer is I lost some weight and can’t afford new ones. Especially since finding off the rack trousers that fit is hard for my body shape-huge hips, short skinny legs…apparently we don’t exist. I had my last pair tailored and will do forever more. Finding a good tailor is so worth it…but isn’t cheap at least not in my town…(super conservative ultra rich cis het white folk are catered to here…not much else)
    I would love to see a broke but fly tumblr. The one thing I’ve learned over the past few years of being perpetually poor is save for key pieces, quality not quantity and buy out of season for next season, oh and find a friend who can sew/learn to sew so you can embellish more dull garments or rejuvenate stuff that looks tired.

  27. Goodness gracious. You + that suit = Rains’ little heart pounding in her chest. Like, damn.

    Also thank you for writing this. It’s easy for me to feel down and not want to go out because of body insecurities/clothes and the way they fit on me. But it’s nice to be reminded that I’m not the least bit original or alone in having those feelings.

  28. OMG, Gabby, you look AWESOME in that suit!! Kudos to Maria for making it fit perfectly. You don’t have that awful “imitation man” look – you look like the sharp, proud MOC brown butch you are.

  29. This is awesome.

    There are certainly people in this world who will spend $1500+ on a suit simply *because* they love money. They want something that symbolizes “hey, I’m rich enough to own this” — not “I’m wearing this suit/outfit because I think it looks rad.” Obviously that’s not everyone — but it certainly is a thing in our society.

    Maybe I’m out of place saying this, because I’m white, and certainly have more money than most people my age (at the moment), but I thought it was at least worth pointing out.

  30. Damn you look awesome!

    As someone who (post camp) has finally begun the process of presenting the way I actually feel, the whole needing a new wardrobe thing is scary and frustrating and demanding money that I do not currently have. I find your success inspiring! I hope the fashion gods are on my side as well.

  31. I recently got promoted at work, and the dress code is suits. Most of the lady managers just wear dress tops and blazers or sweaters, but I got a bunch of button ups. I did not expect it to happen, but going to work in a lady suit every day makes me feel better. I didn’t expect the way it’s made me more comfortable.

  32. I didn’t think I *needed* a suit until today but knowing what tailor to bring it to and everything….

    I need a suit.
    This is a great article. Broke and fly forever please <3

  33. I’m so happy that you found your suit Gabby!! I know when I find the perfect clothes for myself it helps me feel more comfortable in my own skin, and so I hope this suit does that for you as well. PS you look fierce and confident.

    You brought up a couple points in this article that resonate with me.
    1) How super expensive dapper fashion can be. I’m all for cute dapper people, but I feel like there is a lot of pressure in some queer communities to go with the dapper/femme dynamic. It is nice to give people reminders that there is more than one way to be butch/genderqueer/MOC. You do you.

    2) Using straight privledge or white privledge to get decent service in a men’s store. Sad, but everyone needs to use the social tools they have at their disposal to avoid issues. When by myself I’ve had force of will stare downs with people in men’s department stores, which is not fun. I’m sure if I wasn’t white, those situations could have ended badly.

  34. This is an absolutely wonderful article. Thank you!

    I especially loved this quote: “If any brown chunky queer on the planet could find a suit, it was gonna be me.” Because this will be my life in the next ~3 months before my dad marries his lady. Thankfully they’re more than okay with me being queer and said I could wear a suit, so I’m excited! Definitely going to use the articles/resources you’ve linked, so thanks again.

    (And yeah. You look fabulous in your suit.)

  35. Aw shit, look at Gabrielle, killin it with the dapperness! You look so fucking swexy here! And yea, it’s fucking expensive to live in New York, and I only know a few people that make decent salaries. Yes you get paid more (if you even have a job), but the cost of living is fucking ridiculous. As for clothes, I buy a lot of vintage stuff, fast fashion stuff, spend the most on handbags and shoes and mix it together. My clothes are cheap but they NEVER look that way.

    Two things: A)”I tweeted, texted, Facebook-messaged and emailed the humans in my queer community especially those connected to fashion.”<<< Aww, I'm glad your friends came together. B)"My white angels almost skewered her for gender discrimination but I stopped them. Under different circumstances, I may have taken that moment to stand up and demand entrance to the men’s fitting room." You a hell of a lot nicer then *I* am, because I would have been happy to let my white friends rip that bigot a new asshole. And LMAO FOREVER at Burlington Coat Factory smelling like CULO! It's funny because it's fucked up and true.

  36. I made an account specifically to comment on this. So glad you found a suit that worked for you.

    As a great big, tall MOC lady I had a hard time finding a suit that wasn’t outrageously expensive and fit just right. Luckily for me, I have an amazing ladyfriend that purchased me a suit on indochino.com.

    Please let me sing the praises of this site:
    -Reasonably priced suits, with tailoring built in (and even paid for)
    -Custom ‘bespoke’ sizing done through a series of measurements
    -Customizations like initials, special suit linings, cuts and contrast stitching

    I really love my new gray suit, it fits perfectly and I look dapper as fuck. Please check out indochino and other bespoke online suit outfitters to see if they would work for you!

  37. Thank you for this insightful article. I often find myself fatshion and fashion policing, both when I was in the superfats community and in now that I’m in the fats/inbetweenies community. I appreciate you speaking up about the financial aspect and would LOVE to see a broke and queer tumblr on the fashion industry – Jessica Luxery and Majestic Legay do a great job as a power couple, but you’d bring some fantastic BIPOC work to it, as well. Love what you wrote here, and now I’m going to be sleuthing out your other stuff (and if you have a personal website, I’d like to be clued in. Your bravery is to be commended)!

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