Fashionably Femme | Ari
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’s Fashionably Femme is particularly special. I’m featuring my wifey! It’s her birthday today and it seemed like the best time to share. So everyone meet Ari. She’s the photog behind many of the photos you see on the blog, the greatest dog mom in the world, and my forever partner in crime.
Ari | Fashionably Femme
My style is very much a work in progress. I grew up dressing loudly, lots of color, ribbons in my hair, crazy patterns; you name it, I wore it. In 8th grade I wore nothing but skirts and knee socks every day, most of which were crazy patterns and colors on the skirt AND socks. I won best dressed in the yearbook. Mostly I didn’t want to shave my legs! (Now there’s a secret I didn’t think I’d ever share on the internet, but considering I haven’t shaved my legs in 3 years now, the cat’s rather out of the bag.) In college, there was a definite lack of style, partly from lack of time but also from some major depression. So when I finally figured out my life, mental health, and education, I decided to start really developing a style. I worked in an insurance office so a lot of my style was professional. Ever since I got a figure I’ve loved the classic look, it’s just so flattering on me! A-line dresses and pencil skirts, high-waisted slacks, tailored shirts, and jewel tones were my main loves.
As my mental health improved, I also started eating better and working out, and I lost some weight. For the first time in a long time, I liked what I saw in the mirror and I started experimenting with clothes. I played with short shorts for the first time in my life, tighter shirts, and actually showed a bit of cleavage! I’ve always been hesitant to show off the girls since I’m high-busted and large-busted and always have been, but I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with a little cleavage from time to time.
During all this time, though, I was still deeply closeted. On a certain level, I was even closeted to myself. As a queer woman, being out is difficult, between male partners telling me “I don’t date bisexuals, they sleep around” to (potential) female partners not even realizing I was flirting because I was dressed femininely, being in the closet was just easier. Unfortunately, it made me unwilling to explore my style out of a fear of being “outed” if I started dressing more masculine, which I desperately wanted to explore.
Four years ago, though, I met my now-wife, and suddenly staying in the closet wasn’t even an option. I wanted to scream it from the rooftops. Within a few months I was out and proud and jumping headfirst into the queer community. And between Dannie and my newfound community, I was ready to explore my style. Now, I wear men’s clothes if I want to. The pants have great pockets you can buy them for a specific waist size and inseam measurement, and the shirts are better quality for lower prices. Besides, I like how they hug my curves and show off my waistline a lot more than the low cut jeans women have been sold for years now. Hellooooo muffin top! The top I’m wearing in these photos is actually from the men’s department! I love a good jean or slack, and spend most of my time in them, but I also feel pretty in an a-line dress. I have a pair of black oxfords that I basically live in, but of course, I still rock my fun flats. These were a find at a clothing swap and I’m so glad I grabbed them.
I love my short hair! I spent much of my life with long hair but I love my short locks! Being out made me feel like it was okay to do a drastic change with my hair that I had always wanted, so I started cutting it asymmetrically. It’s so much better! No need for constant ponytails, just a cute clip and I’m good to go. Plus it shows off my collection of fun earrings very nicely.
I was honestly a bit on the fence about writing a Fashionably Femme post because I’ve always had difficulty with my own femme-ness, but truth be told I love being femme, I just don’t love how society views us. So I’m here to say to all those femmes afraid of shouting it out loud: you can wear men’s clothes if you want. You can be plus size and beautiful. And you are ALL beautiful.