Fashionably Femme | Dasha of Windy City Wardrobe
Welcome to Fashionably Femme!
It’s International Women’s Day! I’m celebrating today by launching a series that’s been in the works for a while. Welcome to Fashionably Femme, a blog series featuring femmes from all nooks of the LGBT*QIA community. These rocking folks are girl bosses, moms, entrepreneurs, and all sorts of amazing human beings.
For our first Fashionable Femme, We’re featuring Dasha of Windy City Wardrobe, one of the rockingingist Femme girlbosses I know. Head to her blog and see everything she’s up to. But first, let’s take a look into her amazing style.
My Personal Style
I dress to express my mood so my style tends to run the gamut, but no matter what it’s always colorful. I’m a sucker for unique handbags, skinny jeans, modern versions of vintage dresses, fedoras, and floral prints mixed with stripes. Currently, my wardrobe is dominated by princess cut dresses, tunics, and pixie pants. I’ve most recently become obsessed with velvet and embroidered boots. These days I look to Sara Jane Adams, Solange, and Iris Apfel for fashion inspiration which is why it’s hard to believe there was ever a time that I didn’t identify as femme, but I assure you my style has evolved countless times over the years.
I was lucky enough to grow up in the 80’s and 90’s—a time when men and women alike wore makeup and gender neutral clothes. It wasn’t until this trend faded away that I started to feel encumbered by mainstream gender roles. I remember very vividly my parents redirecting me at stores when I would choose the blue Easter basket over the pink or the hot wheels over the doll. I was persistent and would eventually get my way, but I couldn’t understand why it was a big deal in the first place.
As a teenager, I took up volleyball, softball, and NJROTC. I was constantly changing uniforms, lifting weights and just barely making it from one practice to the next. I traded my ponytails for french braids so I could comfortably wear my helmet. Men’s clothes had become the most durable and practical option, so my mom started buying me one of whatever she bought for my Stepdad. Halfway through High School he sat me down and explained the difference between the appearance expectations for me as girl versus now as a young lady and for years to come, he sent me to the salon biweekly. As my layered hair grew longer I started to prefer skirts over pants.
Until a few years ago my personal style and identity continuously shifted between the spectrum of stud, stem and femme. I finally stopped dressing just to push against the patriarchy or make a spouse or parent happy. Now I dress to make me happy, but I’ll always be grateful for those shifts because they helped me develop a keen eye for styling which led me to start a blog and eventually a styling business. Expressing my femme identity each day feels synonymously liberating and oppressive because I can’t help but notice those who treated me with respect when I expressed my masculine side now treat me as though I’m