Ask Diana

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Ask Diana

Where's a young butch turn to for advice on clothes, hair, and style, particularly when you've got, as they say, champagne taste on a beer budget?
I asked my girlfriend to guest answer this one. She's a butch fashion maven and if you look at any of the Prof C videos on Velvetpark you can get an idea of her style.

But before I give you her answer let me just say, you need a femme to help you. If you don't have a girlfriend, get a friend to shop with you.

Honey, you can put together a serious look with a combo of thrifting and designer rack clearance sales, but you need a friend with an eye for a deal who really knows how to shop. Otherwise you'll just get overwhelmed.

Here's the Prof's advice:

"I know it may sound cheesy but an easy beginners guide to butch fashion is to flip through a men's fashion magazine. I'd recommend Details. Their fashion shoots present a narrow diversity, but at least it ranges from grungey/punkette to prep and you can find elements there of yourself to reinvent.

Copy the outfits with things you already own, and go out and buy an accessory that makes you feel hot and put together — a tie, watch, or something. Subtlety is key, you don't want to overdo it.

Also: watch out for your hat choices. Butches tend to take the short cut of hats as their be-all-end-all fashion expression. Recently, Diana and I were in Topshop in Soho, waiting in line (before giving up) to buy underwear. The giant pictures behind the registers were femmey guys totally ripping off butch dyke fashion from head to toe, from flannel to belt buckle.

So when you look through a Details, you aren't copping straight guy looks, you're most likely reclaiming looks we started ourselves!" 

Is it weird that last night I dreamed I was Jackie Chan and I was having phenomenal sex with the hottest woman EVER? BTW, I'm not a J.C. fan.
Last night I dreamed I was evacuating a menagerie of cute fluffy animals from the back of a white van in order to save them from a serial killer. Someone suggested I might be a plushie, but I'm really not a fan of cute fluffy animals.

Comments [71]

caramelteddy's picture

Good Grief

A fashion q&a turns into a discourse on non-label-getting-laid-by-being-true-to-yourself-dogma? Is it just us queer ladies or do all women do this?

mkay, here's my humble op.

1- If someone asks for fashion advice, they are possibly having trouble with translating thier idealogical perception of inner self into wardrobe options. Telling them to be true to themself and to hell with what magazines say is Not Helpful.

2- The fashion editors and writers and designers are people who have studied fashion for years and know more about aesthetics than those of us who have not studied these things all our lives. It is perfectly acceptable for the average Jane to pick up a magazine and get Professional Insight. The reader is certainly capable of weeding out which insight is most appealing.

3- A t-shirt over a button down shirt of any kind conveys a message of either immaturity, laziness, or a desperate attempt at looking edgy by not conforming to the basic functions of each clothing article.

4- The Prof is a dandy Smile

5- Hey Emma, Julia got me a hitachi....who needs clothing!

6- Moon, I also forego hats because they jack up my hair.

7- KL, I also miss your snass.


Not2Taem's picture

Tax questions

1. is the hitachi a big screen?

2. Can you write it off as professional expense needed for the porn reviews?

3. When will we be getting another porn review.

caramelteddy's picture

if big screen is a euphamism

1-Ha! No, it's like the cadillac of vibrators.

2- Not sure I want to ask hr block if porn review aides are deductable.

3- Soon. I promise Wink

karrr's picture

it IS the cadillac of

it IS the cadillac of vibrators...but like a 1982 cadillac that's been through so much shit but still runs sooo perfectly

Rusty's picture

and also

I got hung up on the ask a girlfriend to help you part and forgot to say thanks for passing along the Prof's suggestion. It works for older butches, too. Well, maybe not Details but there are other resources available.

I think some folks got side-tracked and thought it was a "how should dykes dress" question - a different issue altogether.

All: A different issue.

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

caramelteddy's picture

Details Shmetails

I prefer GQ.

skate's picture

method for obtaining a good haircut

This works for butch/masculine/"Excuse me sir" types in rural, suburban, urban areas.

1.  Contact a trusted fag friend.

2.  Have him recommend someone.


Robin Rigby's picture

Or just have a fag friend who

Or just have a fag friend who happens to be a superb hairdresser.  I miss my hairdresser friend from RI.  Finding someone who's even half as good as him for twice what I used to pay him is impossible.  

Not2Taem's picture

Taking a femme

What if its not a femme that said butch wants to please? I think the most important thing for anyone is to find something you are comfortable in: something that makes you feel a little special and sexy. Once you find that, the effect it has on you will complete the outfit.

karrr's picture

i t o t a l l y agree about

i t o t a l l y agree about the hats.


also, no patterned/striped collared dress shirts tossed on top of t-shirts with a design or logo on them. 

minniesota's picture


Does this mean:

1. You can wear a plain tee on top of a patterned/striped shirt?

2. You can wear a tee with a design/logo on it, if the shirt underneath is plain?

Just double-checking for the satorially challenged.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

KL's picture

i've hijacked this column

I like how I write in this authoritative way as if I, myself, am diana (in my dreams). In response to your questions-- in my humble opinion-

1. No. You cannot wear a t-shirt on top of any shirt. you can wear it beneath roughly anything though.

2. Yes. Feel free.

I miss you guys!


Lots of love.

Rusty's picture


Hey stranger. I miss your snark and sass. (Snass?)

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

skate's picture

No tshirt on top of another

No tshirt on top of another shirt?  What are you, fuckin crazy?  lol

Robin Rigby's picture

The T-Shirt on top of a long

The T-Shirt on top of a long sleeved, button down shirt look is bad.  I agree.  Don't do it.  

Rusty's picture

Jonas bros

T-Shirt on top? Depends on the age. Lots of tweens wear it. I think the Jonas Brothers started that look.

[edited to add: OMG the JBs are big ole lesbos]:


"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

Not2Taem's picture

Only if

they were alive when I was in high school. I used to wear T-shirts on top of and under button ups all the time. Mostly plaids, but now and then I would steel one of my dad's dress shirts. Though with those the T had to go under, because my chest was a hell of a lot bigger than his.

Robin Rigby's picture

They do look like baby dykes

They do look like baby dykes in that! Smile

Of course I used to wear that look when I was their age too.  

Grace Moon's picture

so glad you figured out how to log in

1) totally disagree about wearing a T over another shirt. short sleeves over long sleeves can look great. If you go for patterns, designs and stripes, however, it better be really intentional otherwise there is a risk of looking homeless.

2) My 2 cents on hats. the problem with hats, it fucks up your hair. And if you plan on getting laid while hatless (which I recommend - nothing weirder than someone humping with a hat on) your hair will look terrible on your naked body.


tweet tweet @gracemoon

Not2Taem's picture

Good points

Though if you have hair that is easily revived with a dash of water, or sweat, and hands run through it...

Olivia Mistelle Maxell's picture

Well, if you're doing it

Well, if you're doing it're hair is going to be a mess during sex anyway. Seriously, who cares about what you wear because it's all about confidence ---if you have it you look good no matter what you wear. IF we are trying to move away from labels and conformity then why all the emphasis on what dykes are suppose to wear? Why go on a mission to look like everyone else? Be yourself and wear what you want. 

Not2Taem's picture

Just a suspicion

but I think Gracie may have slight hair thing, so we may need to cut her some slack. You know, just a touch of Shane that she would never own up to. Peeps in the know, feel free to weigh in on that one.


skate's picture

You and your pesky common

You and your pesky common sense, hehe Smile.

Olivia Mistelle Maxell's picture

I mean?

MacLass_19's picture


"IF we are trying to move away from labels and conformity then why all the emphasis on what dykes are suppose to wear?"   

Good luck with that. Our community has more labels than a clothing store.  lol

I totally agree with you, Olivia. Confidence and hotness, comes from within... I don't care if a woman is wearing plaid, silk, leather, lace, stiletto's, or cowboy boots. When a woman presents herself with a sense of self-confidence, that's really all she needs. The rest is simply window dressing...

Olivia Mistelle Maxell's picture

Wait...I'm not cool or

Wait...I'm not cool or attractive if I wear a long sleeve shirt under my white tee? No shit? I won't ever get laid by hot women with substance again? I had no idea! that chick with the amazing rack and sweet round ass (with a masters degree in psychology I might add) who eagerly grabbed and pulled me into the walk-in (of a straight club) and went to town licking, touching, and rubbing all my girl spots, doesn't count? I was wearing a cool hat and long sleeve shirt under a tee shirt with Levi's jeans and black leather low cut biker boots, too. Hmmm....I brake all the fashion "rules" but yet still manage to get laid. 

Be yourself and the people who appreciate that will come to you. Those are the ones worth fucking. 

KL's picture


ew. the phrasing. not you, per se.

Lots of love.

Olivia Mistelle Maxell's picture

How's this

Confidence intertwines with style. From my experience I've been able to attract intelligent, sexual, passionate, gorgeous women (that were not emotionally starved) by being myself. Now, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and not everyone likes the same thing.  If I like and feel comfortable with who I am and how I look--it projects. A lot of women find that a desirable quality. I know I do. 

It's attractive when women are willing to dig a little deeper rather than pick at the surface. Trust me, I've had my share of females in plastic Barbie doll casings and it's a turn-off for me.  

Better? Smile

Not2Taem's picture

Veeeeerrrry Interrrresting

So, you won't change your style of dress based on peer pressure, but the writing you're willing to diddle for them?  :confused:


Olivia Mistelle Maxell's picture


You make an interesting point but......:) 

Fastgurrrl's picture


I thought the way you wrote it the first time was just fine. *ahem*


Olivia Mistelle Maxell's picture


MacLass_19's picture


I must go to the wrong clubs.   Wink


[edit to add...]  

I'm pretty sure you'd be hot even if you were wearin' a flowered hawaiian shirt, and checkered corduroy pants... I'm just sayin' !

Olivia Mistelle Maxell's picture


ha-ha! Um, well, maybe I'll do that and see what happens--:) Thank you for that, though. It was def cool to hear on one of the shittest (is that a word?) days I've had in awhile. 

Ah, it's weird...I go to straight clubs and pick up women. I go to gay clubs and the men hit on me. 

skate's picture

Again, there must of been a

Again, there must of been a rogue element of common sense lingering around the club, lol.

As for style, the thing not to do is look at magazines, etc.  There is one way to have style, and that is by living an authentic life.

Olivia Mistelle Maxell's picture

word to your mother

word to your mother

MacLass_19's picture

Living an authentic life.

Skate, that's beautiful. 


minniesota's picture

Being on top.

Imma wear a tee on top of a shirt today because I don't have to teach tonight. Or maybe on top of a long underwear shirt because it is effing cold here today!

In any case, I am definitely on board with something being on top today.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

Not2Taem's picture

Striped oxford and thermal

I have taken to wearing a stiped camp shrit with the sleeves rolled and buttoned over a thermal shirt for cold rainy weather. I have also been known to put my school T-shirt over a button up when I am required to wear it to a function.

KL's picture


no to Details. the prof can pull off the butch fag thing, but few others can. if you want to know what to wear, watch the outsiders and dress exactly like all those guys. or, any of the guys in stand by me. lastly, if you  need to refer to a mag, look at Nylon guys. it works. seriously, if you wear pleated jeans or gay little hats or mock turtlenecks, you will not get laid. not by anyone worth fucking, that is.

Lots of love.

minniesota's picture

What? What?

What? What? I wear Mock Turtlenecks from time to time and have never found them to be a barrier. Tongue

I'm with you on the pleated pants, though. Also, I find the oversized tee, baggy pants look,  so, so boring.

Do wear a hot jacket.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

skate's picture

Yet another reason not to live in a city

pleated pants & turtlenecks worn by butches

Diana Cage's picture

yet another reason TO live in a city

tight sweaters and short skirts worn by femmes

skate's picture

Well I'm with you there.

Well I'm with you there.

Robin Rigby's picture

As a general rule, women

As a general rule, women should not wear pleated pants.  Pleats accentuate even the tiniest belly.  Men carry their weight above the waist, that's why they can get away with it.  Go with the flat front khakis.  Seriously.  

karrr's picture

that's how pleated pants get

that's how pleated pants get trendy, is the models wearing them have no stomach, and usually no curves, so the pleats actually help... Wink

Olivia Mistelle Maxell's picture

I dunno about the hat thing.

I dunno about the hat thing. I have some cool Dirty Gentlemen hats and I'm still able to fuck high fem (hot) women, that are just as gorgeous as yourself. 

che's picture

Ha ha, I think I'm a buy-er

Ha ha, I think I'm a buy-er too. My GF says I'm femme but dear lord, I hate shopping.  Unless it's for books... I love bookstores...


#3... great advice.  My girl and I need that right now.  Thyroid problems in one of us and depression in the other - agh.  

Rusty's picture


I would take any femme shopping with me except a girlfriend. I don't care what your ex wore and how nice you think it would look on me. Back off. Same goes for hair cuts.

Caveat: according to my mother I don't shop; I buy. Apparently there's a difference and the fact that I'm on the wrong side breaks her heart.

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

Robin Rigby's picture

Rusty, we need to find you

Rusty, we need to find you better quality girlfriends.  I have bought clothes for my exes but I would never suggest that one wear something because it looked good on a prior one.  They were 3 very different women with 3 very different styles that would not translate to each other.  

All you lurking ladies- send me a love note so I can screen you for Rusty. Smile