Friends, once again, Sara Ramirez has slain us all. Her role in Madam Secretary as the fashionably butch Kat Sandoval is the gay culture my queer heart of color needed. The best way I’ve been able to think about Kat’s style is “theatrical.” From far away, she looks like your everyday dapper butch, but the closer you get you notice these amazing details! A paisley tuxedo, rainbow french cuffs, skull cufflinks! Everything about her makes me drool.
#BlackTie #KatStyle #Episode412 #SoundAndFury #KatSandoval @MadamSecretary @Zegna jacket, @Cucinelli pants, #Charvet bowtie, @RalphLauren coat @McQueen cufflinks #AO earrings, @Ferragamo shoes pic.twitter.com/ihv9hUmzgp
— Sara Ramirez (@SaraRamirez) January 16, 2018
What I love about this look in particular is how much Kat’s style plays with gender. Most of what she’s wearing is menswear tailored for her body, and I think there’s something we can take from that in our personal styling. What’s most important to me about clothes is that they make you feel like you want to feel, not the gender they’re supposed to be for. Quite a few of the pieces in this style guide are menswear and that’s for a lot of reasons. Primarily, the look is inspired by “men’s style”. But also, the fashion industry hasn’t quite caught on with the fact that there are plus-sized women and non-binary folks out there who feel drawn to the aesthetic. There can be an association of fatness with high femme, and as a fat person who isn’t high femme, I hate it. Wearing men’s clothes is something that helps me play with my style because they often include pieces in sizes that fit me, since I can’t count on brands for androgynous and masculine-of-center folks to have many options in my size. As a non-binary person, hopping between the genders in clothing departments has been affirming for me, although I know that isn’t the case for a lot of folks, especially trans women and femmes who are already facing gender discrimination. I want to encourage everyone to look at this style guide as just that – a guide. Let it inspire you to find a look that fits your gender expression and nods to Kat Sandoval, but don’t feel hemmed in by the gender binary as you build your look.
The jacket is classic. Black. Obviously. If you want to play with a fun collar, I love the Ludlow jacket from J. Crew. If you can find a black paisley jacket (check your local thrift store), grab it and get it tailored. The fit is what really makes this stunning though, so even if you buy it brand new, make sure you get it tailored by someone you trust.
The shirt is where you put the first bit of va-va-voom into your outfit, especially if you’re going for a more muted jacket. If you can find a shirt with rainbow French cuffs, especially if it’s under $300, please let me know. Otherwise, I think getting a bell sleeve or a classic tuxedo shirt could be a cool way to add something special to a pretty classic look.
Okay, so you want something high-waisted that shows off a little bit of ankle. ASOS also has one size left of these burgundy velvet paisley pants and if they fit you, I beg you, please go get them! Really you just want something covering your butt. I just learned that the shorter you are the less breaks you want in your pants, so if you’re short and go for a full length pant, be sure to get them tailored. Also! J. Crew’s boys’ department has the Ludlow tuxedo pants in children’s sizes if that’s your jam.
Shoes and Accessories
I was thinking about how to adapt the amazing cufflinks and cuffs from the original look, and I think the best way to mirror this in your everyday life is with an ascot and a lapel pin! Ascots are totally black tie appropriate and also ridiculously opulent. Do it. Make a bold stance. The lapel pin is the perfect way to draw people in for a closer look, and then of course they’ll notice all the little details they missed from far away. You want a classic oxford shoe, something that really supports your outfit. If you’re a little extra, wingtips never hurt anyone.
I hope you feel inspired to go put together your own black tie outfit now! Be sure to tune in on Sunday to see Kat Sandoval live on your TV. What better inspiration for your week than a woman in a tux???