The Fashion Agenda: End of Winter Stretch

 Banner by  Sid Champagne

Banner by Sid Champagne

Welcome back hunnies! 

Who's got class and style, and stretch for days?!

We do! 

A hip fashionista knows that nothing is more important than a good stretch every now and then.

Along with keeping limbs limber, the practice of stretching improves circulation and also works on an emotional level. No wonder our closets wouldn’t be complete without the breeze and ease coming from our most elastic styles.

What's the fashion world without spandex? What’s a young queer without a tight black something? 

Stretch comes in all types - this month, we show appreciation for the leather, the leggings the looks!

 

Beanies/Winter Caps

Keep the crown warm and cozy with this absolutely necessary accessory. All bodies release heat from the top and bottom. Wear a tight knit winter cap to complement your casual lower layers. There’s nothing like a warm knit beanie flopped over your ear tips on a chilly day. 

 Michael Kors/Macy's, click image to go to hat

Michael Kors/Macy's, click image to go to hat

 LD/Walmart, click image to go to hat

LD/Walmart, click image to go to hat

Sweaters

The classic, the essential - the look you cannot beat. The style that will never die. The everything sweater comes in styles from extra knotty and fisherman to the vintage ballerina looks with lace. Buttons, open cardigans, and soft pullovers all raise the caliber of any wardrobe. 

 Romwe, click image to go to sweater

Romwe, click image to go to sweater

 Mango, click image to go to sweater

Mango, click image to go to sweater

Current sweater trends include long-lines, heathered patterns, classic knots and stripes, cables, and crops. 

 ASOS, click image to go to sweater 

ASOS, click image to go to sweater 

 boohoo.com, click image to go to sweater

boohoo.com, click image to go to sweater

This one comes in extra gay. 

Sweatpants/Athleisure

We gays honor the stretch as the default fashion standard for creating space as a required accessory. We’re thankful to the stretchy knits and polys for a moment of complete submission to the moment. 

And between you and me, these are my favorite re-inventions ever. 

 asos.com, click image to go to sweatpants

asos.com, click image to go to sweatpants

 ASOS Curve, click image to go to sweatpants

ASOS Curve, click image to go to sweatpants

The casual jogger comes in jean, khaki, and many versions of stretch from actual athletic material to fresh and silky poly blends. The jogger will be best known for its rise in the the "Athleisure" trend of the rich and famous. The queers who rock these sweats are more than dope themselves. 

Pair your upscale sweatpants or joggers with the button downs and flats of everyday business or casual wear.

I'm at peak give-no-fucks when I wear my joggers to work, and to me it all feels very queer and revolutionary in denying respectability politics and rebelling against the corporate work world. For this queer boi, the highly versatile jogger speaks to a need to be 'at home' and comfortable in a body that faces a lot of backlash. 

So our comfortable and sophisticated looks stretch the imagination and add what really works to what looks really good. The jogger silhouette makes the skinny leg profile more dramatic, popularized in the last twenty years but first made hot by us in the 60s, let's be real. Let us never forget that the clothes we choose to rock are a reflection of our own lives, independent of sexuality, status, or employment binaries.

 Sweatpants inspiration!

Sweatpants inspiration!

I've been dying to get away with these in a formal environment - something about it feels like getting one over on all the staunchy, starchy systems that keep us buttoned up!

Screw the pants, and the zipper and the pleats! Get a neat jogger, with cropped ankles and a drawstring waist and wear freedom this spring - as long as they are as nice as pants, you are in the business-cas clear! 

Leggings, Tights, and Long Johns

We have to honor the most important staple of our winter wardrobe wonderland - tights and leggings. While the spandex and stocking family might send some back to the golden days, today we have patterns, colors and all the personality of a disgraced Olympic figure skater turned reality TV star.

 Balenciaga, Spring 2017. Photo credit Monica Feaudi /  Indigital.tv

Balenciaga, Spring 2017. Photo credit Monica Feaudi / Indigital.tv

Not just for working out anymore, these smooth operators do double-time to keep us warm and incredibly stylish. Under another garment or worn as the main piece, leggings combine comfort and fashion in a way not many other items do.

 Lane Bryant, click image to go to leggings

Lane Bryant, click image to go to leggings

Shout-out to the fierce femmes and fly guys who rock these - under pants, as pants, instead of pants. I'm grateful to my long johns for making all of my bottom half winter wind-proof. 

Scarves

Finally we have the ringer.  I'll admit, its an accessory even I've taken for granted - buying them basic and last-minute, as if the neck doesn't want to stunt too. The scarf is mostly underestimated until its too late...good thing I'm in tune with the times now. My partner picked up this reversible statement piece for less than $10 in January, and I've been rocking it ever since! 

 Photo credit Eleadah Clack

Photo credit Eleadah Clack

Scarves also come in a style for every season, so make sure you match the material with your need. The best ones are also the most functional! Go for the longest, thickest and widest versions in November-January (the wider the scarf the more warmth), and on cooler days in the spring and fall, mix texture and pattern to complement your ensemble. 

Scarves are the ultimate tool for combatting nasty nor'easters and wild midwestern winter storms. They stretch and wrap and wring to keep the fragile neck area free of chills. In the spring seasons, they make any outfit scream international sophisticate. 

Bonus tip: purchase your must-have accessory for next winter now, while everything warm is on sale!

How did you make out this winter? Let us know in the comments below! 

See you next month, sweethearts! 


Eleadah Clack is an organizer and author of The World Without Racism. Eleadah is passionate about creating effective change and being a leader in her community. Follow her on Instagram.