by riese & alex
The term “Lesbian Chic” has been tossed around with relative abandon since 1993, when it was first popularly employed in response to heterosexual supermodel Cindy Crawford straddling lesbian k.d. lang on the cover of Vanity Fair. Madonna kisses a girl in the 90’s? Lesbian chic. Madonna kisses two girls in the early ’00s? LESBIAN CHIC. The L Word features several thin lesbians with long hair? Holy shit it’s a LESBIAN CHIC INVASION. Over the past year or two the cries of “lesbian chic” have been especially loud, mostly ’cause of Lindsay Lohan
But which lesbian icons do lesbians actually consider chic? Who’s out there making an actual influence on lesbian fashion & style in 2009? Autostraddle knows.
Sidenote: In response to a 2009 declaration of lesbian chic, Feminist philosopher Susan Bordo pointed out that only “a certain kind of lesbian — slim and elegant or butch in just the right androgynous way — is acceptable to mainstream culture.” True enough. But wethinks this “certain kind of” standard applies to “chic” for women of all sexualities; in fact, it’s upheld for all genders and all sexualities. And actually … not all of our picks fit that mold anyhow. So let us revel in our stylish mainstream acceptable moment. Then let’s all go have a cheeseburger and put on our sweatpants.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show has changed a lot of things for America’s Favorite Lesbian, including her personal style. Ellen’s classic suits, crisp button-downs, body-conscious sweaters and vests are tailored in youthful, trendy and flattering cuts. Matched with playful colors and her signature sporty sneakers; Ellen DeGeneres proves lesbian menswear isn’t just for smoky-eyed twentysomething waifs. And speaking of smoky-eyes, she’s got the Cover Girl contract to prove her mainstream moment has truly arrived.
On The Ellen DeGeneres Show‘s website she talks about her wardrobe each day: My Wardrobe… and I Do Have One. We love it.
ELLEN’S STYLE: Smart-casual veteran lesbian who knows how to work a blazer … with sneakers.
Though we could probably thank her wardrobe stylist for this, Ellen has mastered the art of the scarf/neck accessory. Sometimes, a look isn’t complete without one OR it classes-it-up OR it makes a blazer or vest look casual.
Ellen Says: “Whenever Portia and I are on the red carpet, they’re yelling out for her to tell them what she’s wearing. But nobody cares [about what I’m wearing] because I have a suit on, even if it’s a Gucci suit … I also feel myself more of a person than a gender.”
Ellen DeGeneres’ Favorite Designers: Jil Sander, Marc Jacobs, Viktor & Rolf, Neil Barrett.
Kate Moennig, 31
Though it’s her character Shane from The L Word who sparked The Look that Launched a Thousand Copycats, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree where Kate Moenning’s personal style is concerned. At 5’8, pouty, slouching & sinewy; Kate’s signature look includes layers tissue-thin t-shirts, classy fitted blazers, low-slung designer jeans, chunky belts, metallic vintage jewelry and always some leather, somewhere. Her punky just-out-of-bed hair, inspired by Sally Hershberger, is perhaps the definition of “Alternative lifestyle haircut.” Kate collects sunglasses, hats and jewelry and has said if she wasn’t an actress, she’d like to be a designer. Kate Moennig does not bend gender, she transcends it.
KATE’S STYLE: A “total tomboy at heart,” effortlessly disheveled edgy hi-lo/boy-girl androgyny.
Kate says: “I like to find men’s clothing in the smallest possible size and then have it altered. Because I don’t like what designers do to women’s clothing.”
“I like my pants low. I’m not trying to emulate Britney Spears or anything. I don’t wear thongs, I wear little boy-shorts.”
Kate Moennig’s Favorite Brands/Designers: Generra, Stella McCartney, Jill Stuart, Dior Homme, Gucci, Librtine, Free City.
Beth Ditto, 28
Best-known for as singer-songwriter for indie rock band The Gossip, outspoken feminist Beth Ditto has recently launched her own plus-sized fashion line for Evans.
BETH’S STYLE: Uber-femme, loud patterns, bright colors and curve-hugging take-notice girly glam.
However, she’s not wearing much at all on the cover of LOVE, which is plastered all over London, promoting positive body image for big sexy girls everywhere. Long before she started her own line, Ditto has been known for her brash, bright and arty dresses; the kind of thing that weird drama girl in your high school would always wear. Now she’s grown up and she’s just as hot and interesting as you always imagined she would be. Her name is Beth Ditto.
Vogue.com describes Beth Ditto’s new collection for Evans as “a capsule range full of slouchy, rock-inspired clothes and accessories with enough sparkle to give Barbie a run for her money.”
Beth says: “Just remember – fashion is something that is prepackaged, bought and sold, but style, like art, is a primal instinct.”
“In elementary school, I was the only kid in class who knew who Todd Oldham was. When you’re my size or you don’t have a lot of money, one reason punk is so appealing is because it tells you that you don’t have to have anything to be somebody.”
Check out Vogue’s Beth Ditto Style File.
Beth Ditto’s favorite designers: Jeremy Scott, Karl Lagerfeld, Charles Anastase, Louis Vuiton, Gareth Pugh, Vivienne Westwood.
K.D. Lang, 47
K.D. LANG’S STYLE: The Original Butch. Classic, dapper, sophisticated and eternal.
Ariel Levy says: “Never before had Americans seen female masculinity so overtly and unapologetically on display, and we couldn’t take our eyes off it. The reason that notorious Herb Ritts cover of Vanity Fair with lang reclining in a tie in a barber’s chair while a barely dressed Cindy Crawford shaved her face made such a splash, rendered some people so irate and others so aroused, was that it suggested that lang was the kind of woman who probably enjoyed doing all sorts of things with women that only men are supposed to get to do. And that there were women who wanted her to.” (New York Magazine)
K.D. Lang says: “I don’t feel like a woman, and I don’t feel like a man; I feel like both, simultaneously. Suits help me achieve some kind of balance, because I have a very voluptous, womanly shaped body — a Botticelli sort of body — and I have a mind and an emotional self somewhere in the middle.”
KD Lang’s Favorite Designers: Miuccia Prada, Richard Tyler, Helmut Lang, Gaultier. “To me, some of the Japenese designers are more at, and I hate to use this word because it’s been abused, the androgynous centre of fashion — you know, where it’s just this kind of beautiful clothing.”
Though Queer Eye For the Straight Girl lasted for about one hot minute, Bravo’s selection of Labrador was a significant moment for a franchise previously based on the gay man’s intrinsic ability to dress, fashion, feed and culture the people of less enlightened sexualities. Labrador, who’s Latina, Filipino, Chinese and Spanish, has been modeling since she was 16 and as an adult has seemingly set out to singlehandedly prove that “lesbian” and “stylish” aren’t mutually exclusive; hosting Q Telvision’s behind-the-scenes fashion show “XCess/Access,” founding Honey L Designs to match celebrity endorsed branded products with benefiting charities and created a limited edition jeans line for the fourth season of The L Word. She also hosted L’Elements of Style, which provided an inside look to the show’s fashion.
At 5’9 with an athletic model physique, Honey can rock just about anything. As a teenage model she sported an androgynous style before it became Officially Trendy for lesbians to do so. She will remain on the cutting edge. We have a feeling.
Jackie Warner, 40
It must be nice to be Jackie Warner, the star of Bravo Reality Show Workout credited with seducing straight housewives nationwide via television. Having dedicated her life to fitness, it’s hard to imagine anything looks bad on her, and her perfect lip gloss, evolving blonde shag and perfectly tanned skin doesn’t hurt either. Warner actually has a degree in fashion & illustration, which has come in handy when designing her own line of athletic wear for her gym Sky Sport. Her style outside the gym is equally noticeable however; fusing weight training to sleek, futuristic downtown edge for the ageless, shiny Outsiders-gone-fancy icon.
JACKIE’S STYLE: An athletic, timeless clean-cut style that makes even cargo shorts look fashion-forward.
Kim Stolz, 26
MTVNews correspondent, political activist and former reality television star Kim Stolz was a revelation when she ushered in a new wave of sexy androgynous style into prime-time on America’s Next Top Model. Kim can rock hoodies with pearls, make plaid look high-fashion with Park Avenue understatement.
KIM STOLZ’S STYLE: Kim is sometimes boyish, sometimes girlish, from prep school boy to Brooklyn hipster and back again. Gender binaries are so over.
Kim says: [In the Kim Stolz Autostraddle interview/photoshoot, Kim responds to accusations that post Top Model, she “changed” her style to appease the mainstream]: “If everyone could go back in my life they’d see that I’ve always fluctuated my look. Yeah, back on Top Model I had short hair and was acting a bit more androgynously, if that’s the word you want to use. Today I’m wearing a dress, and my hair is straight and long. Last week I went to an event wearing a tie and jeans that were certainly too low. It just depends on how I feel. I just wish they’d realize no matter how matter how I dress or look, I will always be really gay.”
Kim Stolz’s Favorite Designers: Balenciaga, J. Mendel, Marc Jacobs, and Theory.
Joan Jett, 48
Jett’s unique don’t-fuck-with me rock ‘n roll style — and her hip-hugging vintage t-shirt wearing 70s getup — is getting a revival with the filming of a new movie about her 70’s all-girl band “The Runaways” starring Kristen Stewart. Joan’s jet-black hair crop, spandex fetish-wear, leather pants and diesel-arm-bearing streetstyle tanks have defined a kind of glam-goth punk for generations of runaway dreamers.
JOAN JETT’S STYLE: Black. Tight. Leather. Rock n’ Roll.
Joan Says: “I find fashion sometimes to be a little overwhelming … I have to really focus and hone my vision to find things that will work for me … I don’t wear dresses which really cuts out a lot of stuff! And it’s too bad cause I can really appreciate the styles, and the beautiful clothes. I kinda wish I did wear dresses, but it’s just not in my thing. I’m not comfortable … so what that means is just pants, shirts, and jackets. like using a high fashion piece and just some jeans … black and white … leather.”
Favorite Designers/ Brands: Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga, Versace, and “street stuff from St.Mark’s” (a neighborhood/street in NYC legendary for punk vintage second-hand stores)++
Leisha Hailey, 38
Leisha’s had her finger on the pulse of lesbian fashion since she first burst onto the scene in the early 90’s; rocking hot pink dreadlocks with her band The Murmurs and doing the girly-grunge thing in coming-of-age flick All Over Me. Leisha regularly sported men’s blazers and playful pantsuits in the late 90’s while dating the iconic kd Lang, but by the time she hit the mainstream with The L Word in 2004, her style had officially evolved.
LEISHA HAILEY’S STYLE: Downtowny romantic, with a side of “Dark Glam” refined rock star.
Leisha’s style evolved oddly at pace with her character’s over the course of The L Word‘s six-season run; in the start Leisha’s piecey alternative lifestyle haircut complimented her lacy flirty cleavage-enhancing tanks just as well as it did her peter-pan shirts & skinny ties (with pearls). By Seasons Four, Five and Six, her hair was fully grown out and her look went classically femme with drapey A-line dresses & high-necked parochial schoolgirl pieces both on and off-screen. Fan favorite? Leisha’s clingy t-shirts, hoodies and tank tops (often from girlfriend’s Free City line), the epitome of lazy-Sunday effortless cool.
Now, devoted primarily to her band with Camila Grey, Uh Huh Her, Leisha’s cheeky bright t-shirts, bold jewelery and punk-ballerina skirts are like gothic bohos on acid. In lady-heels and occasional native headbands, the clothes loat with her while she performs her most stylish signature of all; the whirly-trippy hair-tossingly moody Leisha Hailey Dance.
Leisha says: “In my 20s I was punk-slash-feminist-slash-clubkid. It was really important to look as weird as possible. I wanted to look like I was from a different planet to set myself apart from other people. I was one giant identity crisis … When I’m playing a different character I get a chance to be someone else and change myself on a daily basis. Before, the only outlet I had was through my clothes.”
L Word Stylist Cynthia Summers said: “Of all our girlie-girls, Leisha is the most likely to wear a dress. She’s the girliest — a clotheshorse, she will dress up for an occasion. So Leisha is wearing a vintage A-line dress. I had the purse for her. Leisha tells me .. “Cynthia, lesbians don’t carry purses.”
The Los Angeles Times says about Uh Hh Her: “Spiky shoes — along with skinny jeans and loads of black eyeliner — are part of what defines the slinky, dark-glam look of new L.A. band Uh Huh Her.
Favorite designers: Rick Owen, Isabel Marant, dating Free City fashion designer Nina Garduno and has “a huge collection at home.” She told the LA Times: “Also, I would love to be in head-to-toe Miu Miu. It’s colorful and girlie and fantasy — all the things I love.”
Samantha Ronson, 32
Yes, if there is blame to be placed, you can blame British DJ Samantha Ronson for that sarcastic fedora-skinny-jeans-giant-high-top-sneakers epidemic sweeping gaunt lesbians bicoastally and abroad. The epitome of West Hollywood lesbian hipster cool, Ronson comes from a fashionable family (sister Charlotte is a fashion designer, brother Mark is a DJ), and has the scantily clad girly bad-girl girlfriend to match (or does she? We haven’t checked twitter yet today). The Samantha Ronson look is almost the anti-sex, but somehow that goes all the way past bla and back again, to comforting-sexy. She’s even designed her own line of signature sneaks for SUPRA.
SAMANTHA RONSON’S STYLE: The very definition of a Modern WeHo Andro Lesbian Hipster.
Samantha’s Favorite Brands/Designers: Dior Homme, Filth Mart LA, Blue & Cream, Charlotte Ronson, SUPRA sneakers, Converse.
Charlene, 27 and the ‘Gimme Sugar’ Girls
Charlene Borja from Logo’s ‘Gimme Sugar’ and the cast of both seasons of Logo’s reality show is the most visible group of actual female lesbian friends on TV. For better or for worse …
Charlene shows that the Next Generation of lesbian style works on diverse body types as well; matching trendy pieces with timelessly flattering combos like motorcycle boots & shorts. She loves v-necks, as do we, and has mastered edgy club-style Girl Power comfort-chic. Oh and there’s that Alternative Lifestyle Haircut with a capital “A.” The rest of the cast is one of television’s most racially diverse and in Season Two featured Angel, a drag king, along with small boish “player” Devonee who sports the shows’s most definitive big attitude. Season Two’s Gaby is an aspiring fashion designer and someone wears this weird gold hood thing.
Go Magazine Says: “The castmembers recognize the fact that the show’s power lies with the exploration of range in expressions of masculinity and femininity within the lesbian community.
“I think some of us are an example of the different kind of lesbians that you can find, and you don’t necessarily have to look like a lesbian,” says Maisi. “I love the way obvious lesbians look, but I am a good example of a non-lesbian looking person. I love boi-looking girls. I love bois. I love the short hair, and the baggy clohtes. But there are many different types.”
We hope to have more fashion & style coverage eventually on Autostraddle. Perhaps figuring out how to actually buy these clothes on a smaller budget would be a good place to start, and Carly & Alex have a lot of feelings about menswear for girls.
The thing I found really interesting about this article…Kate Moennig is 32. Just saying. And also the boy shorts thing.
Also, as gay ladies running a gay website, how many times, on average, do you have to type Kate’s last name before you can stop double checking that you spelled it right?
It has taken me four years to spell it right. Ppl used to yell at me a lot on The L Word Online. I spelled it right this time, right? By 2010 I’m going to pronounce it right.
about the boyshorts: you know what they say, seeing is believing
OK, I haven’t read the entire thing, but it sure looks spiffy!
I love a good, clean clipping mask. Not too hard, or too soft. Perfect curves. And when you stroke it, it gets even better. (Sexually suggestive design critique, yes?)
I like a woman in a tuxedo especially if she has bit tits and a mustache.
the graphics look good. Leisha is probably the cutest woman on earth. Except for all the Autostraddle people.
montreal anglo lesbians, especially in my neighbourhood, make a very, very strong case for the fashion influence of tegan and sara. i think the formula breaks down to something like tegan & sara x samron, divided by JD Samson, multiplied by the yeah yeah yeahs to the power of assymetrical haircuts. it’s not an exact science but you get what i mean.
ahh we had definitely considered Tegan and Sara for list! I agree, they certainly have great style and influence on our lezbo culture etc
LOL. Love that equation! And I would think they would have some influence. Esp. the hair.
just came here to say what up montreal :)
and that i wish we had a topshop. sigh.
I really love fat women in mens suits especially in my annual xmas works party New Directions.
Does this go in the “why do lesbians ruin themselves” category? I can’t tell.
ooh I also have lot of feelings about menswear for girls, although probably mostly because last time I went shopping I got 4 things from Topman and 1 thing from Topshop, and am trying to justify it. I’m also skint, and find that ‘mens’ clothes are often better made slash sometimes cheaper.
Great article and ace graphics!
I would just like to say that I only go to TopShop for the menswear in TopMan. I like the button-down dress shirts cause they’re slim and look good when tucked into pants (with a belt on, obvs.)
obvs. I definately have a few button downs, and also the hoodies/sweatshirts are a lot more snuggly than the ones in topshop. Also like how Topman has tiny sizes for all the waif-like indie boys so its not a stress finding things to fit. I’m slowly converting my friends!
I feel like RVCA has good shirts like that, too.
we have topshop/man here?!
goddamn, the filipina lesbians were ALL ABOUT that shit.
on another note, uniqlo makes really great women’s buttondowns. they’re fitted but not tapered much, so they probs fit a lot like the ones in topman.
This is a great article as usual. However, I want to point out how freakin rad Alex’s designs are for EVERYTHING you ladies do.
For real. As someone who dabbles in design professionally and is part of the intended audience (obvz) I just have to make it known: your design is just dead on and i’m so impressed, every time.
Seconded. I love the action-font!*karate chops* accompanying all the pics on this post. handshakes all around!
aww thanks y’all! I’m glad we’re satisfying the exquisite taste of the autostraddle audience.
Just wanted to say that I LOVE the feature pic for SamRo… If only she hadn’t sparked the unfortunate rise of the fedora. She really is the only one who can pull it off.
I believe Kate Moennig is 31. Her birthday is December, 1977.
OMG I JUST HAD THE MOST GLORIOUS IDEA!! i don’t even think it’s possible but how amazing would it be if you turned the people graphics INTO STICKERS FOR US TO PUT ON OUR BINDERS AND TRAPPER KEEPERS OR WHATEVER OMG IT WOULD BE SO PERFECTTT!!
like lisa frank for my lesbian youngadulthood.
Yes with the lower budget andro/masc style and all the feelings about menswear for girls! And the more style coverage please? I’m in need of more nice, well-made-and-fitting jackets (so much need) among many, many other things.
Kate has a good point about altering smaller menswear… I’ve never thought of that. I’ve been looking forevs for a new blazer and I just can’t find one! My mom always looks at me strangely when I shop in the guys section at H&M or god forbid just going into American Apparel because yaknow how that unisex stuff is!
On the note of what Leisha Hailey said… Does anyone here carry a purse around, often? Just curious.
carries a purse everywhere. calls it a bag.
actually i’d like to make a further comment re: Leisha’s quote about purses — i really hate when people overgeneralize like that! the only accurate generalization you can make about lesbians is that we don’t want to fuck men.
I agree! I definitely carry a purse (and call it a bag). I get so annoyed with generalizations like that!
I would like to point out that I own many purses (also call them bags). Sometimes they match whatever outfit/shoes I happen to be wearing. That comment is slightly ridiculous although I too love Leisha, she’s super sweet and was probably just teasing the stylist.
I almost always carry some kind of messenger bag type deal around, usually unisex or from the men’s dept. My friends call it my ‘man satchel’… only for fancy things do I carry anything resembling a feminine purse.
Phew… glad I’m not the only one who was a little irked about that comment. It’s ok though, I still love you Leisha! You’re a cutie! I carry a tote or messenger bag around with me quite often. I mean, where the heck else am I supposed to put my crap?
Love love love the article. But anyone who knows me/has seen me IRL knows I have no fashion sense. I’m all over the place, too. I used to wear button-ups/polos with ties all the time. I’ve even been know to wear little boy clip-on ties with tshirts. Yep. A lot of my clothes are from the men’s dept. at Target and Steve & Barry’s cuz I gots no $$. Before that it was all weird punkish thrift store stuff. And peasant skirts. I’d be more ashamed… but I just don’t care anymore.
Love Ellen’s style…although I saw her waring a garish diamond-print Christmas jumper the other day! She is definitely a style icon. If only she’d bring out a clothes line
I agree with whomever above said that tegan & sara are a HUGE dyke fashion influence! I went to a women’s college for undergrad and it seemed like every bdoc was trying to emulate them.
I took a few seconds to stop reading and laughed my ass off after I read “and has the scantily clad girly bad-girl girlfriend to match (or does she? We haven’t checked twitter yet today).” < Samantha Ronson part.
And I have more of the Samantha Ronson type style. I'm not sure what I think of myself anymore.
I think this style feature is amazing! I think what Kim said was really great; it doesn’t matter how you dress – feminine, masculine, androgynous – in the end, you’re still you. Although, I’m quite jealous she can rock both short and long hair and look gorgeous both ways.
Oh, and Beth Ditto has the most killer style. Good pick! She’s so under-represented in America. Anything she wears looks good. Definitely one of my top style icons period.
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It doesn’t matter as long as you are comfortable.
Disclaimer: I have a penis. I guess it’s sorta the point, but I stumbled across a webpage
devoted to Lesbian Fasion, listing the “top ten fashion icons”.
I guess if I thought the women looked good, that would mean
their fashion intent (to attract women and repel men) had
failed. Yet…..somehow, I feel as if I have a better “eye” than
most men when it comes to women’s clothing, and all this just looked
incredibly frumpy and ugly to me. Here’s a clue, ladies:
messy is NOT sexy, to anyone but a drunk or heroin addict.
My credentials as a critic: immediately throw out of your
closet any clothing item that combines the colors blue and brown.
Immediately discard any shoes that hurt your feet, no matter what.
Try on every outfit in your closet BRALESS, and see how it
looks/feels to you.
Disclaimer: I have boobs! You don’t want me trying on clothes with out a fucking bra, dude. It’s not pretty.
,.im a filipino fun n being a lesbian since i”ve been n love w/ a lesbian month ago.,
Trailer trash is not sexy. Don’t get that piercing or tattoo, you’ll love it for a month, and regret it for decades. Trashy is gross. You don’t have to look like a criminal to be fashionable.
Nobody here cares if you think we’re sexy.
Obviously we’re pretty happy with them. And ourselves.
Is it time for a patriarchy joke?
what about Portia de Rossi? did anyone see how high-fashion she’s dressed??? Hello??
This list is guh-ross. Where’s Edwige Belmore?
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In my country fool of shit. I cannot be what I want to be. It’s so impossible. First, I want to be writer. Second, I want to be a photographer. Third, I also want to learn videography. And there is fourth, fifth, sixth, etc.etc.etc. But I know nobody cares about that thing but me.LOL, seriously….
I’m an aspiring someone out of a far far country w/c I don’t know if you know this one- but maybe you know my country because of its scandals, corruptions, etc… Top ranking when it comes to political anomalies, I think one of the most polluted country, and one of the lowest ranking country when it comes to quality of education. Philippines.
I know, it’s like, so negative. Of course there are also positive things about my country. Filipinos are good people, although 80-90% belongs to poor sector.
It just happens that I am a Filipino, I am born in this land. I come from a lower-middle class and sadly, conservative family.
And every lesbian born in this country suffers from discrimination, insult, and of course confusion on how to- if they can- suppress being a gay and/or how to be accepted in our society, w/c is of course, very impossible because this is a Catholic country I live in.
If we are going to speak of priority, there are a lot of things to think about.Living, starvation, job, houses for the poor, education of kids like me-haha-, programs for drug addicts and how to end corruption in my country, if not maybe, lessen. But is this not important too? Sexuality? Openness to sexuality? Or being a bisexual or lesbian or gay?
When it comes to stat, I’m not very sure about it. But I think 20-30% are lesbian and gay, if not, bisexual. And only 10-15% are open about it. Open means, open to talk about it, and accept that they are one. But the rest are, I don’t know, in denial, maybe.
They are afraid of the consequences of admitting to themselves and to other people that they are gay. Because they will be the subject of humiliation and discrimination of the church, government and the rest of the staight guys out there.
I think all in all, the problem is the system of our society and the society itself. There is no real freedom here, for the people like us and other minorities. We are doomed. And we don’t have a future.
Not just in my country but I know as well as in yours too.
…So what is my ingenious conclusion? I think asking for equal right as what straight people has is not possible because the mere fact that (straight) Filipinos are deprive by there basic rights, what more for those gay people???
But still I’m dreaming that same sex marriage is okay in the Philippines.
Here I was thinking of moving to the Philippines
Lennie, thanks for sharing. I would suggest you check out this article we wrote back in August about the Philippines and the exact issues you talk about (with respect to sexuality): http://www.autostraddle.com/lesbians-in-philippines-living-secret-lives/
I enjoyed reading your interesting yet very informative insights. I am looking forward to reading more of your most recent articles and blogs. :D -10top
Obv. This article is really old, but I just have to say that as a lesbian woman, I’m totally offended by the way that this article portrays queer women. We are not all butch/andro dressers, nor do we all want to be portrayed as such. With Leisha and Beth Ditto being the only of these women whose style I’d classify as “feminine,” I’d have to say that you could have done a hell of a lot better at portraying different types of lesbian style icons, maybe substituting out a few of the boyish looks; that’s not how we all are, so please let’s try not to essentialize the lesbian experience.
Offended? Come on. Really. I mean, like you said yourself: Leisha and Beth Ditto are there. Not to mention Kim Stolz’s other looks (as seen in the thumbnails we supplied.)
Please. You’re represented here. Not to mention feminine style is represented everywhere at all times. Just saying.
We didn’t put “boyish looks” in there just because they were boyish but because they actually influenced what many lesbians have worn the past few years. Maybe it’s not what you would wear, but um, thats what Leisha and Ditto and Kim Stolz are in there for. And I don’t understand why it doesn’t matter to you that we put these ladies on here. Thats all.
I’d classify Kim Stolz as pretty feminine. But that’s not really the point though, is it?
The list is a Top 10 of celebrity style. It doesn’t claim to be an All Inclusive and Statistically Accurate Pie Chart of How Lesbians Dress. For one thing, that title sucks and for another it’s impossible (though, if it were possible I’m sure Alex would make the most amazing infographic since the T-Swift chart). No one is trying to essentialize anything here. Autostraddle of all sites seems to get that you can’t essentialize what it means to look like a lesbian (see Roundtable on What does a lesbian look like? And read what they say- don’t just get distracted by Lily in her smokin’ hot dress).
The list doesn’t imply that all lesbians are butch/andro or that we all want to be portrayed as such. It simply does not do that. It just show 7 or 8 women who maybe are and there is nothing wrong or offensive about that.
I used to get similarly upset at portrayals of butch/andro women when I was first coming out, but for me it was because I didn’t know anything about lesbians except pitiful portrayals in the media that only showed butch lesbian and usually in a negative light. It wasn’t a good image and it certainly wasn’t me so I would get upset by any image I saw of butch/andro lesbians and feel like I was being told that was what I had to be.
Luckily, through meeting more real life lesbians and having sites like this one that show all varieties of queer I eventually calmed the hell down and realized that being a lesbian only meant I would want to fuck women and not that I would have to burn my heels, cut my hair, and adopt a cat. Now I’m comfortable both wanting my hair to shimmer and flow like a Pantene commercial and (not-so) secretly envying the alternative lifestyle haircuts I see other ladies rockin’.
So that was a long over share in an attempt to say Thank you, Autostraddle for consistently doing all you can to portray the beautiful diversity of the queer community.
Recently a retired General claimed gays serving in the Dutch military were partly to blame for the errors that allowed a massacre of 8,000 people. With headlines like this everyday, there’s plenty out there to be offended by. But let’s be real here- a fashion article where approx. 70% of the represented lesbians are butch/andro is just not a good reason.
If someone could direct me to the sentence in the article where we say “all queer women are butch/andro dressers, and furthermore we all want to be portrayed as such,” that would help me understand Kadee’s comment.
Also, “lesbian style” and “what women who love other women like/want to wear” are two different things. Everyone included here has taken a trend or style that already existed and given it a bit of a queer “twist.” Perhaps because feminine styles have been adapted and reinvented by so many straight women already, there’s simply less left to tweak about it as many other outsider cultures with specific fashion trademarks (goth, hippie) have already tweaked it each in their own way. We tried to think of women doing signature things with fashion and these are some of the women we thought of.
One reason Beth Ditto is included here is because her style is both feminine and queer; it’s informed by a very outsider but complicated/brilliant POV distinctive of the ambiguous term “lesbian style” — which, btw, can never be a fact, only an opinion, so please never let anyone else’s opinion contradict anything besides your own.
Honestly your answer suggests you are confused about something, and so this isn’t really a response to you, or a rebuttal like everyone else has already said to deconstruct the ridiculousness of it, because what you said doesn’t make any sense at all. This comment is more just a thought I had that I wanted to share with the group, and I had that thought because of the preposterous comment you made. So thanks for that.
I agree with everyone else that there is a very fair representation of different styles here. Besides, nobody is suggesting that you have to define your style only based on the people featured in this article. They’re just 10 prominent examples of fashionable queer women. Plus, have you ever seen the other fashion articles on this site? They cover a variety of styles — not just the androgynous look. The women at Autostraddle are extremely conscientious of their readers, and they’re funny and insightful at the same time. If you’re looking to be offended, go read comments on YouTube, where you can be righteously indignant for a good reason.
Funny how lesbians complain they’re not represented in Autostraddle.com. It used to happen with The L Word: shit! No one out of the 7 lesbians out there LOOKS like me! The world is so unfair!
I mean, this usually happens in parliaments. That’s where people usually complain they’re not being represented. So is autostraddle becoming the parliament of lesboland…?
Are you serious! I haven’t seen a site who represents LGBT as good as Autostraddle. They not only represent all kinds of lesbians they write about gay bi and transgender as well.Which is not the case for most queer sites.
That’s autostraddle democracy, baby.
Why so many TSwift avatars in the same page? Weird.
tis the default avatar for when you don’t have one of your own ;)
OMG really??? LOL you guys
1. I feel like this is the most diverse lesbian website on the whole internet. I don’t understand.
2. I don’t comment a lot but I don’t like that her name is so similar to mine. SO JTLYK THAT’S NOT ME. Even though we both look strikingly alike. kthx.
I just stumbled across this. And it makes me slightlys sad to see how all these Girls have a REALLY similar style- they are all pretty butch, and only enforces stereotypes and common perceptions about fashion in the lesbian community. As someone who is very style/fashion concsious, I would like to say that I don’t really think many of these people are anything exceptional in terms of fashion (though it must be said that Ellen and shane have very distinctive styles). It’s nice to see that there are ‘fashion icons’ who are gay etc…but really, when it comes down to it, us dykes really shouldn’t dress in a particular way due to our sexual orientation, but rather to styles which most appeal to the individual (or better still, create uniques styles).
But, saying all that, If you are going to try and find fashion icons who are gay: WHY THE HELL IS FREJA BEHA ERICHSEN NOT UP THERE??!?!?!? She has a ton of style, is deeply immersed in the fashion culture (she is a model/supermodel), AND she is incredibly versatile, yet retains her own style.
It’s easy to be fashionable, what is had is truly difficult, is to be uniquely stylish.
NMO- that is what I was trying to articulate- Sorry to everyone who thought I was being obnoxious, but that was what I wanted to say. It enforces stereotypes and it’s one that I don’t feel represents good portion of the queer female community.
I don’t know what world it is where KD Lang, Beth Ditto and Leisha Hailey can be all said to have similar styles, but that’s why I’m not directly answering these comments anymore.
In short, these are gay ladies who have actually influenced & inspired the way other gay ladies dress. Freja Beha is awesome, but honestly is big/famous/known enough to be “icon status”? Also she’s not ‘out’.
Please take into consideration that this is about who has a wide influence on lesbians clothing choices, NOT trying to “find fashion icons who are gay” like NMO said. Thanks guys.
Fashion and women are almost inseparable. Mostly all women tend to have the innate sense of fashion which is why they are likely to go wrong with their dressing sense.
Does anyone know any Asian lesbians representing in fashion, modeling and entertainment world? We need some role models!!!
i think they found the most famous and recognized lesbians in the US and posted it. which btw, most famous people are trendy already. it’s hollywood.
They should’ve put me here
I LOVE ELLEN’S STYLE ..
Would have liked to see Angie Evans :swoon:
I want to show you my new collection.
Hope hear from You-
I’m a straight woman but I love Lesbian Chic – I love Honey Labrador’s style, Ellen’s style – I could easily and sometimes do dress this very way…love it because it is comfortable, stylish, uncomplicated…somewhat feminine but not overly so esp Honey…wow she is HOT!
I think the latest wave of male hipsters have totally taken this look and run with it. Everyday I see scores of waif dudes looking lesbian chic.
I love k d lang’s style, minus the bright colors. I think her way of dress is very classy and classic and I try to use her sense of style as a model basis for my own unique wardrobe. Like k d lang, I too feel like I am both male and female at the same time and have a Botticelli type body. I used to be afraid to express the male side of me out in public but thanks to k d lang, I now have the courage to do so. Yes, there are some who give me odd stares when I go about town dressed very butch but I have learned to not let it bother me. I feel so much more free and happy now that I am expressing my true inner self thanks to the inspiration from k d lang. — NOH8
Really enjoyed all the comments. We are all unique and have a right to our own styles..I am 5ft 10, 170 lbs..( was a swimmer long ago and still have the shoulders and now a bit of extra weight I am “hypnotizing away.”) I am not a fashion expert.. would love any advice on where to find clothes that “fit” my style..physically and personality-wise. I am a psych nurse turned Hypnotist and want to look professional ( for my sessions and presentations) but also casual..don’t like fancy and frilly…I tend to buy mens’ shirts for the arm length and chest room. I have full breasts..more slender below. I need a place to shop(even online) …I’m proud of being gay simply because it’s part of who I am..does not define all of me..but love women ( ONE ESPECIALLY)My girlfriend tells me I would look good in vests and suits…. Peace, jan
I’m a little late to this article, but as a butchie/andro lezzie in a small town, I would LOVE to know if there are good online places to buy lez chic clothing. Shopping in the mens section to alter later is a pain – haven’t any clothing stores caught on to lezzies as a market?
i really admire how lesbians do ware even with their very simple attire.. i am one of the group.. but still longing for the acceptance of my beloved parents.. i love them.. i don’t want to disappoint them.. but i love myself now..i’m happy of being what i am now..
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Wow! These are great! I love K.D Lang and Honey Labrador.
i think charice from the glee cast have to be featured here.. nice one.
I love this article! Ellen is the absolute best. Ever. Sighhhh<3
I am a lesbian fashion designer and I have a blog about it you might enjoy:)
Very good blog post. I definitely love this website.
Stick with it!
I totally agree that Ellen is number one, what she has done for the community! She is amazing!
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