There is an enormous amount of stigma attached around machismo in the our gay world. Some gay men simply do not want to ‘look gay’. That’s a whole can of worms I just dropped so for this moment we focus on shopping. Shopping is for girls and sissy boy’s has been the message spread in mainstream media of the past. To break away from this thinking is not so easy for some of our gay brother who are trying to hold to there ‘manliness” or not comfortable in their gay skin they have been born into. Otherwise known as internal-homophobia. I fall prey to this as well. After buying a delicious $20- salad recently from San Francisco’s Firewood Cafe in the Castro district, I found myself rolling down the sides of the ‘retail shop’ looking bag, so I wouldn’t look like a gay on a shopping spree. But indeed I was carrying fru-fru salad. Things that make the gay in me go hmm. AB
I found this great read in The New Yorker called Real Men Don’t Shop, Help for the fashion phobic
ABSTRACT: ON AND OFF THE AVENUE about menswear. Brooks Brothers is still a fine place to go for unpretentious staples like khaki summer suits, oxfords, and button-down shirts. At J. Crew, purveyor of the I Don’t Care look, broken-in chinos, pre-faded T-shirts and madras shorts abound. In the Ralph Lauren mansion, the polo player logo appears on shirts and knits, sometimes three inches tall. Paul Stewart dresses men who want to look quietly dapper in suits of mixed American and English design. Bergdorf Goodman Men’s has exquisite Continental suits at exquisite prices. Designers include Isaia, Etro, Dries Van Noten, and Thom Browne. Tom Ford is no place for the unhip or chunky. Featured pieces include cashmere sweaters, ermine suède loafers, and a navy mohair blazer. John Varvatos, the rock-and-roll duds purveyor, features a pre-wrinkled black-and-white plaid shirt and leather-and-waxed-canvas laceless wingtips. At Paul Smith: a silk pirate blouse, a pullover with big beige dots, a metal cockroach keychain, socks patterned with monster faces, and straw trilby hats. For optimal fit at Seize sur Vingt, the tailors in Hong Kong will need to watch a video of you. At the Kiton boutique, each suit is the work of twelve to fifteen tailors, priced commensurately. Michael Andrews Bespoke creates suits from over five thousand fabrics. Bills Khakis offers twill, poplin, and chamois trousers, and kilts. For jeans, consider Levi’s, or Earnest Sewn. For shirts, Twenty Peacocks does custom-made or ready-to-wear from classic to funky. For audacious trim, see Lord Willy’s. Steven Alan specializes in reverse-seam button-downs, and Odin features labels such as Engineered Garments and Commes des Garçons. Billy Reid is good for Southern prep mainstays. Dave’s is a great outlet for jeans and work clothes. At Freemans Sporting Club, you can acquire suspenders, a dive watch, and other masculine items. For ties, try Saks or Barneys (Zegna, Brioni, Paul Smith, Armani).