Fashionably Femme | Stephanie
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.
Today, we have Stephanie, a dear friend of mine, rocking new mom, and fashionista through and through. And because she’s a new mom, we get some bonus adorable baby photos in here. Let’s meet Stephanie and Stella!
Stephanie | Fashionably Femme
I’ve had a feminine style for as long as I can remember. I was a toddler who lived for party dresses and patent leather shoes. As a three year old I started to throw tantrums every time my mother would try to dress me in pants. To satisfy me she made or purchased more casual “play dresses”. To this day, my mom will occasionally bring up the time she had to open the inseams on a pair of culottes because looking like a skirt is not the same thing as being a skirt. I was not allowed to wear my pretty party clothes to pre-school every day, but I did not own another pair of pants until about the second grade.
I spent my adolescence in suburban St. Louis in the mid to late 90s where if you were not grunge you were preppy. So I was preppy. I had an extensive wardrobe of sweaters, collared shirts, khaki and chunky loafers. I really wish sweater sets would come back around. However, the thing I really miss about 90s style it is the ready availability of lots of chunky heeled shoes! They are so stable to walk in!
Growing Up, Coming Out
My college years were mostly spent in campus casual, jeans paired with school, marching band and sorority shirts and jackets. As a business major I did learn to love and appreciate a well cut pantsuit and I’m still a sucker for good tailoring. Throughout my childhood and adolescence I was very female oriented in my friendships and interests, but I did not know that I was gay. I think being femme was a part of that lack of self-awareness.
I came out to myself and later to my friends and family after I graduated and was living on my own for the first time. When I first accepted that I was gay I went through a yearlong phase of hyper-femininity. I think I was proving to myself that I was the same “girly” me that I’d always been. I wore my high heels and makeup every day and I bought more clothes with ruffles and bows. Literally, I had cardigans with ruffles on them.
Moving to Chicago
Moving to Chicago a year later helped me settle down and back into the cleaner, classic looks I gravitate to. My self-acceptance and my awareness of diversity and beauty of the queer community grew that year. And I learned very fast that it was not wise to do city walking in high heels if you value your feet.
These days I balance style with comfort. I’m a professional who spends a lot of time at a desk but I also have to be prepared to get my hands dirty at a group home. It’s not usual for me to go from a meeting with my company’s VPs to helping move furniture or clean bedrooms. I love knit dresses with leggings and boots because they look nice but allow you to move. I also like to find ways to dress up my blue jeans to make them office appropriate.
These looks carry over well into my personal life as a new mom where easy to wash fabrics are crucial! When I’m out on the town I still love a party dress and patent leather shoes! I like vintage inspired looks, especially fit’n’flare with petticoats and red lips.
Now About These Photos…
The dress I’m photographed in is a perfect example of my current everyday style. It’s the right combination of modern and classic and is very comfortable to wear. And, the nautical theme makes my inner preppy teenager very happy. I love jewelry and most pieces I own were given to me as a gift. I love putting on a necklace or earrings and thinking about the person they came from. My wedding set was chosen by my wife and it very dear to me. The charm bracelet is also full of gifts from my wife, mother and sister. As my daughter grows up I plan to give her the space and freedom to develop her own style.
However, until she can talk I plan to dress her in every darling little dress that catches my eye!
Thanks for stopping by! Keep an eye out for next week’s Fashionably Femme. We’ve got an extra special guest I think you guys are going to love.