Tipping the Velvet

Butches are different. We know this. Obviously. Here is a great example of just how different.  A few days ago, I wrote about the pockets in my new velvet suit coat. I bought that well-pocketed suit coat to wear to a black tie event, a lawyers’ ball.

[Side note (or maybe sidebar): there are many jokes here about lawyers, how can anything involving lawyers be a ball, hitting lawyers with balls, etc., but as a lawyer myself, I will not indulge in such jokes. You, dear readers, however, should feel free to do so.]

Yes, a ball. Like Cinderella. I would be happy to be Prince Charming and sweep my own lovely Cinderella off her feet. I’m not that charming, but one can always dream… Anyway, I digress.

So, my gorgeous fiancé and I prepared for the ball. She put together her lovely outfit. I pieced together mine. Tux shirt – tick, snazzy new bow tie – tick. I thought I would rent a tux, but changed my mind when I learned how expensive anything other than the basic tux rental is (upwards of $200). I ended up renting tux pants, shoes, and suspenders, and committed to finding and buying a jacket – that did not need to be altered and that was cheaper than the rental option. No small task.

How weird is it , by the way, that men and butches can rent clothes for a formal evening? I don’t like going to second-hand clothing stores, because the clothes were worn by someone else. But, a tux? It’s probably been worn by hundreds of men and the occasional butch. Seems gross when you really think about it. Think of all the things these rented clothes touch and do. At least you

don’t return the socks. Even bowling shoes give me a moment’s pause. Does that spray really clean them? Yuck. So why is formal wear rental acceptable?

For me, I get through it. It’s practicality. I don’t have five, six, seven or eight hundred dollars to buy a tux. So, I deal with it. I’m practical. But not stupid, so off I went to hunt and gather me a suit jacket worthy of a ball and a wannabe Prince Charming.

I found what I was looking for at Macy’s. A black, two-button velvet jacket with a faint pinstripe in it (very subtle). It was on a ridiculous sale and exactly what I was hunting and hoping to gather. I snatched it up.  At the ball, I stood out like a sunbather on a ski slope. All the men, and I do mean all, had on black tuxedos. Some much more stylish than others, but still. There was one gentleman rocking an ivory dinner jacket. That was a look I considered until GQ informed me that I couldn’t wear ivory until the summer – unless I was on an island. Plus, he was 80 if he was a day. I was the only one in velvet … And the Mohawk was also unique.That is, until we ran into good friends of ours. A super cool couple, very pretty and very butch. A stylish, lovely pair. Well, I’ll be damned if my butch friend wasn’t wearing a black velvet jacket. She looked awesome. We complimented each other on the velvet and had a nice exchange about it.

Ok, so here is the kicker – the thing that is different about a butch. I was GLAD to see my cool and stylish friend wearing the same or similar jacket as mine. I felt my style choice had been confirmed, validated. Yup. Velvet is in. Perhaps she felt the same.  If this has happened to my fiancé, I think she would have been very upset. “How could we have on the same thing?”“How embarrassing!”

“Who looked better in it?”

I can only imagine the questions. A lady or a femme would feel her outfit was directly diminished by the fact that someone else wore it too. As a butch, I felt happy to see my stylish friend in the same thing.

I know it’s butch to stand out, but it’s also butch to fit in. Be butch.

7 thoughts on “Tipping the Velvet

  1. Purses have to be designed by men! Its a big bag with no light and everything falls to the bottom. After a while they can be struff GROWING in there and we never know it! They have gotten a little better with cell phone and key pockets but they are on the outside of the purse…convenient for any pickpocket!

  2. I’m of 2 minds…I like being a butch who stands out as having a little more imagination in my clothing, I hate to be the butch in standard issue fauxhawk wearing board shorts in the summer or birkenstocks…
    But I also like going places where there are lots of butches that look like me because as a butch, there’s few places where we really feel like we ‘fit in’ and in fact, oft get treated as though we’re aliens and outcasts. long story short, good post!

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