Like so many creative endeavors in life, this one, too, is borne of frustration. I routinely peruse websites highlighting new bespoke fashion with an eye toward classic looks, going back as far as the 40s, the 20s and prior. I love the look of handmade, finely crafted items made in small production runs by artisans. I favor patterns and fabrics that have endured through the ages: wools, twill, tweeds, vintage or selvage denim, distressed and well-loved leather. Yet as I discover these items, time and again I find myself without access to them for the simple fact that they are made for men.
In many cases, this fact is not enough to dissuade me; I don’t mind wearing clothes made for and marketed to men, except for the problem of fit. This is particularly troubling when it comes to shoes, for it seems that unless I want ballet flats or heels, I am relegated to trying to find shoes originally made for men that invariably do not run small enough. There simply are very few options created for women in the style and look to which I aspire.
I’ve started this blog as a sort of combination stylebook/wishlist, to track those things that catch my eye, to suggest to creatives that they might have a market for their products among women, and to give like-minded people a place to contribute to the dialog. “The Female Dandy” as a name is a placeholder in that it may be mutable and evolve over time, as I hone my eye and attempt to develop my style and wishlist into something more cohesive.
Am I just simply talking about women doing men’s drag? Of course not; it’s not that simple, and of course while there may be some inherent gender play involved, on the whole, and more so for some people, in particular, in my case it’s actually the opposite: I’m interested in repurposing clothing that was initially designed for men in such a way that allows me maximum flexibility to create my own look and still retain my femininity (as I see it) in my own image. Simply put, I want to wear the clothes I want to wear. Now I just need to find them.
Are you with me?