Jennie | Fashionably Femme
Welcome to Fashionably Femme. Fashionably Femme is 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.
Meet Jennie. One of my dearest friends, extreme music enthusiast, possibly one of the most intelligent people I know, and professional giggle machine. Take a trip down her glorious journey of style, and enjoy these photos that are as much fun to look at as they were to shoot.
Jennie | Fashionably Femme
I don’t consider myself particularly “stylish.” In the past few years, though, I’ve definitely developed something I would consider “my style.” For a very long time, my main focus in my clothes was practicality and comfort over all else. My style was never deliberately unfeminine, but my wardrobe definitely trended that direction. Because they were easy and comfortable, my uniform was almost exclusively jeans and baggy t-shirts for a solid two decades, all the way through grad school and my first full-time job. Both were in labs and required sensible shoes, to which my response was, “Sneakers only go with jeans and t-shirts! Good thing I have a zillion of those!”
On top of that, years of school dress-code brainwashing had me convinced that tops that showed my shoulders or the slightest hint of cleavage and skirts/shorts shorter than fingertip-length were inappropriate in the workplace. I also had (and still have, to some extent…it’s a work in progress) body image issues that made clothes shopping a chore at best. I rarely went anywhere besides work and home, so I didn’t see any need to experiment with what I was wearing at all. The jeans and t-shirts were perfectly sufficient.
Adulting Means Clothes
A few years ago, I got a full-time job in an office. Suddenly, I needed a Real-Life Grown Up Wardrobe. Around the same time, I developed a social life that involved actually leaving the house. The combination of these factors gave me the kick I needed to start experimenting with what I was wearing, and my wardrobe expanded dramatically. My closet slowly became filled with a lot more fun, cute, and feminine pieces.
The discovery of comfortable shoes that aren’t sneakers opened up a whole world of skirts and dresses, which used to be reserved for special occasions rather than everyday wear. It’s not unusual for me to wear skirts more often than pants these days. I even declared “pants anarchy” for a solid 3 weeks earlier this summer just because I could. Shirts/tops-wise, a lot of my going-out clothes now come with an “If you’ve got it, flaunt it” attitude: When I stopped exclusively wearing t-shirts, I discovered they’d been hiding cleavage all along!
My style is still evolving. I’m especially drawn to vintage-inspired looks, pinup- and rockabilly-style clothes, and finding ways to combine super-feminine pieces with edgier elements like leather jackets or giant patriarchy-stomping boots. I’ve learned that I really like wearing corsets. (“They can actually be really comfortable!” I argue with the spectre of my younger self.) I own 3 now and am eagerly awaiting the day when I have the budget to expand my collection.
Between dyeing my hair purple a year ago and a recent obsession with LITERALLY EVERYTHING RAINBOW, I’m playing around more with bright colors. I’m still working on figuring out how to make colors play nice with each other, though. I’ve developed a deep and abiding love for both polka dots and plaid, and I’ve got a budding relationship with other prints and patterns. Being comfortable does actually still rank pretty high in my style choices, despite my departure from the all-jeans-and-t-shirts days. Now, however, I put almost equal weight on whether something actively makes me feel cute when I wear it. Practicality these days is less of a consideration, except on the subject of pockets—usable pockets in a skirt or dress make it almost impossible to resist!
Favorites are a Must!
My favorite piece in my closet is probably my black faux-leather moto jacket. I love having excuses to wear it and adore pairing it with super-cute dresses and heels or pointy flats to give the outfit some edge. Some of my favorite dresses include the Michael Kors faux-wrap dress that made me feel like a Greek goddess the first time I put it on and the black bodycon “peekaboob” dress that’s my go-to for going out dancing. That black dress is also the only dress I can remember actively feeling sexy in. I’ve got a pair of purple velvet pumps with cat faces on them, which are my favorite for “let’s wear something cute to combat feeling like crap” days; the pointy-toed purple suede flats are a close second. Another top accessory is the belt that has two huge pockets in it, perfect for throwing on over a dress to go to a ska show or out dancing when I don’t want to carry a purse. The other crowning glory of my closet is the purple and black leather corset that’s a requisite component of my Faire garb; I’m always looking for other excuses to wear it, too, because I love the way I feel when I have it on.
I like to find ways of making what I’m wearing say at least something about me. Sometimes that’s “I love this band/movie/book and am a massive nerd,” with a Marauder’s Map–printed dress or any of my dozens of band and fannish t-shirts; both my current tattoo and my future tattoo contemplations are book themed. Other times it’s “oh hey, look at me being queer AF,” with rainbow socks/nails, pride pins, or the scarf that I was way too excited about having managed to find in bi pride flag colors (because apparently pink/purple/blue isn’t a logical color gradient to make things in?). The outfit I’m wearing in these pictures is one that I describe as my “queer nerd punk aesthetic”—rather less subtle than most of my other outfits, but hey, subtlety was never my strong suit anyway!
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