Dress Your Body Type

Susan Herr, dapperQYour old pal dapperQ is not going to perpetrate like she knows much about wedding gowns.  Over the past year, my focus has been on creating community for genderbenders who want to stylishly incorporate men’s fashion elements into their wardrobe. For dapperQ’s, the challenge is how we fit our hips and boobs into clothing for which such niceties weren’t intended.  To do it well, we’ve gotta face facts about how our bodies are shaped, selecting pieces to accentuate our best features. 

Of course, the same is true whether you are genderbending or genderblending.  To be consistently well dressed, you need to understand what styles are best for your body type.  After answering four questions from Joy Wilson’s Shape Guide, for instance, I find that I am “sassy strawberry.“  You may not be surprised to learn that, because of my broad shoulders and slender hips, strawberries like me can have “an athletic, even boyish look.”  Fortunately, according to Joy Wilson, I can soften that with the right wardrobe.  Puffy sleeves and halternecks (?) are absolute no-no’s.  Hey Joy, how about my Stetson?!

Which brings me to the importance of proportion for ye whose search is for the perfect bridal gown.   As I already admitted, I don’t know Jack.   So I copped the diary of my friend David Cobell who has dressed brides for decades with fancy pants like Reem Acra, Helen Morley, Robert Legere and Kleinfeld.  I knew he was bound to have written something on the importance of proportion in bridal gowns and Volume 32 didn’t let me down: 

I have worked with many women who desperately want to love a style they have either found on-line or always dreamed of.  Whether it’s because they love the designer, the bows, the full skirt, the beading or the neckline, they’ve got their heart set.  When they look in the mirror, they can see that something isn’t quite right, but they can’t put their finger on it.   As often as not, what they are missing is the key that makes everything beautiful – balance!

Lest the gay man hijack the fashion column the butch dyke (yawn), here’s what dapperQ can confidently add on the topic:

Be intentional.  There are a wealth of resources that will enable you to identify which styles are most likely to likely to flatter your gorgeous bod.   It’s knowledge that will help you step up your fashion game long after the big day.  Take full advantage, using bridal planning as an opportunity to bring even greater intention to the lives you are planning. 

Shop Together?  If both of you are wedding in gowns, give your salesperson a run for her money by asking her to consider how your gown choices can best compliment one another.  I know you want to surprise each other but one transgression that may be in order for same-sex brides is seeing how your gowns look side-by-side.

Got internalized homophobia?  It can be really scary to storm the gates of marriage privilege by being openly gay brides shopping for openly gay gowns. Weddings are nothing if not opportunities for growth on a million and one levels. Ask for recommendations of where others have felt comfortable.  Bring friends.  Do what you need to feel comfortable in your selection process.  Don’t shortchange yourself! 

Support one another.  One great thing about same-sex couples is that we are much more likely than hetero couples to conduct these explorations about body type together.  Use this opportunity to communicate to your partner what you love about your body, what you’re not so crazy about and how your mate can support you in the lifelong process of learning to love it.

Got further questions or recommendations on your gown buying experience?  Share them on dapperQ.com’s homepage by adding the #dapperQ hashtag to your Tweets or drop me a line: sh@dapperQ.com.  I’m eager to find fashion forward and the fashion fearful brides and grooms among us.  


“Gays who wed today are pioneering traditions that will long inform those who follow in our footsteps.” That’s according to dapperQ, a.,k.a. Susan Herr, a Brooklyn-based writer and entrepreneur who produces dapperQ.com – for those “transgressing men’s fashion.” In this exclusive with GayWeddings.com, dapperQ is gleefully expanding her portrayal of transgressive fashion to include gay wedding wear.