Why I don’t wear costumes at Burning Man

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Why I don’t wear costumes at Burning Man

I’m the Crossdressing Mormon Anarchist. I’m that guy who will show up to your party, a business meeting, or a first date wearing pantyhose, heels, tailored shorts and a blazer. When people find out that I’m a Burner, they almost always include, “I want to see all of the pics of you in your costumes at Burning Man!”

I hope you are ready to be underwhelmed by my answer.  I think most people assume I’ll take my normal look:

and multiply it by BURNING MAN YEAAAAHH!!!!

They conjure me in ridiculously flamboyant heels, weirder tights, skirts, all manner of sartorial debauchery.

At the risk of disappointing you all, Here is a picture of my typical Burning Man attire:

There are two basic reasons I don’t wear crazy costumes at Burning Man:

  1. I’ve already Radically Self Expressed all year long: Radical Self Expression is one of the “Ten Principles of Burning Man“, it’s the one that gives permission to people wear whatever they please – or nothing at all.  Most people spend their days wearing clothes they’d rather not be in, to jobs they’d rather not do – I understand their intense desire to let loose and wear all kinds of weird shit. Hell, back in my mail man days, a part of me died when I had to start wearing a uniform for 60 – 70 hours out of my life every week. I was like a broken stallion. In a mail truck. Bringing you pizza coupons every Tuesday. And your power bill.  Conformity for conformity’s sake has always made my guts uneasy.  I radically self express every day, all year long – I spend my days doing work I love, dressing exactly how I want to. I don’t have any fashion wiggles to get out of my system when I arrive in Black Rock City.
  2. Style vs Fashion: Burning Man is an opportunity to be completely genuine, to abandon social norms.  This includes dressing like the masses. See point #1.  There is a growing “Burner Look” in Black Rock City. Function gave way to form, which gave way to fashion. It’s kind of a cool look – don’t get me wrong. And, there are so many sexy people out there – holy shit. That being said, “the burner look” is a thing. It’s becoming more and more of a fashion show. While I’ve always loved style, I’ve never cared for fashion – they are two very different things.  Style is rooted in a deep knowing of one’s self and the boldness to be it. Fashion is all about following instructions. Dress the way the fashionistas have instructed you, and you too, can be cool. We are social animals – the temptation to fit in with the crowd is deep in our DNA. For me, Black Rock City is the one place where that thought should be the furthest from my mind. Hence, my completely boring, functional desert style.

Nevertheless, Black Rock City is still the most inclusive, loving, open minded, egalitarian city on Earth. Being mindful of these things is how we’ll keep it that way.  Fortunately, the worst judgement that gets passed on me for being a dude out there with a decent haircut,  normal clothes and horrible dance moves, is that people often think I’m an undercover cop. (Yes, there are cops everywhere out there, and a surprising number of them are undercover).  Not my favorite thing – I guess that’s the price I pay for being authentic.

Not gonna lie though. Just the thought that some might think I’m a cop is enough to severely tempt me to don some glittery fairy wings, striped tights, pink tutu, and a sequined captain’s hat.

Happy Burn!

Ask Me Anything Q&A March 2018

Jessica Wise

founder – The Litas

Devin Townsend

recording artist

Pat Bagley

Pulitzer finalist political cartoonist

Sean Whalen

men’s coach

Robert Clark

National Geographic photographer

Kurt Bestor

Composer, pianist, trumpet player Kurt Bestor

composer

Richard Dutcher

black and white portrait of filmmaker Richard Dutcher

filmmaker

Marianne Willamson

author & spiritual teacher

Steven Wilson

Grammy nominated musician & producer

Peter Breinholt

Singer / songwriter Peter Breinholt photographed by Paul Duane

singer / songwriter

Genpo Roshi

black and white portrait of Zen Master Genpo Roshi

Zen Master Genpo Roshi

  • How can I stop stressing over the judgement of other people?

  • Flowers: Practical gift or waste of money?

  • Is photography still an art form or is it less hip now that everyone can do it?

  • What is your dream motorcycle?

  • How can I find my own unique clothing style?

  • Do women like men that Crossdress? I get asked this question SO MUCH… I decided to do a video exclusively about it:

Watch the Facebook Live recording here:

 

The most custom suit known to man, by SheSpoke Custom

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Ah, I’m so excited to write this post! For a little over a year, I’ve had something on my dream board: I’ve wanted to take my signature look to the next level. Jacket, tailored shorts, dress shirt, tie, pantyhose and heels. That’s how I roll. I like how it looks, I like how it feels, and I love what it represents. That being said… I have always known that there is room for improvement in how I execute my personal style. I have a strange build, certain parts of me are a bit long, some a bit short. Some too big, some too small. Consequently, it’s hard to find things that really well.  Every now and then I find something off the rack that seems to do the trick; these few items become prized possessions. I’m betting you have the same things in your closet. It’s one thing to find a suit that fits you really well; it’s quite another matter to be crafting this crazy gender-blending look and to find pieces that a) coordinate b) fit well.

This is where SheSpoke Custom comes into the picture. SheSpoke Custom is creating a custom suit for me, to my exact specifications. Every dimension of my body was measured. Every detail down to the color of the stitching on the button holes is a custom feature of this new suit.

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My suit gal from SheSpoke Custom, Shantel Sorensen, measured me in 28 different places to create a shirt and suit that is fits me perfectly.

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Every last detail of the suit is customizable, including my name monogrammed on the inside of the jacket.

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We had what felt like hundreds of fabrics to choose from. Shantel made it easy to find combinations that fit my style and personality.

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I’m having a suit made, comprised of a custom jacket, matching tailored shorts, and a custom dress shirt. I can’t wait to experience quality clothing that’s been made just for my unique shape.

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Shantel came to my place to measure me and help design my custom suit. She made the process of choosing all of the options super fun. She’s knowledgeable about current trends, classic styling, and what works best for various body types.

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Here’s the deal… Get in touch with my suit gal, Shantel Sorensen – Tell her that Paul Duane sent you. She will take amazing care of you. (I know that many of you who are reading this live outside of the Salt Lake City Metro area. Shantel is available to travel nationwide for suit fittings. Ask her for details on that).  You can reach her at: Shantel@shespokecustom.com  or, at 801 891 9168   or www.SheSpokeCustom.com

If SheSpoke Custom can make a custom suit like this for me, just think what they can do for you!

The finished product!

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What are the rules for wearing pantyhose / nylons / tights?

When should I, shouldn’t I wear pantyhose, nylons, or tights? What are the fashion rules for hosiery?

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Clinton Kelly from “What Not To Wear” answers:

“I can talk about pantyhose for an hour straight. There are better ways to wear hose than others. One way is to trick people into thinking you’re not wearing hose but they need to match your skin tone — if your legs are two shades darker than the rest of your body, that looks weird. The other option is to go completely opposite with fishnets, or pattern tights, or opaque.”

And he elaborates in this video:

So there you have it!  Either wear them like you mean it, or go with the super sheer styles that disappear on your legs.

Master Clothier Frank Bennett

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“Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”, they say.  To what extent do first impressions matter? SHOULD we care about what we, and other people, look like?  How do you develop your own sense of personal style?  Master Clothier Frank Bennett, from the SLC office of Tom James, joined me in the studio today to talk about the power of proper clothing in furthering your personal goals.

Visit Frank at Tom James: http://www.tomjames.com/frankbennett

He can also be reached at:

Office: 801-990-0015
Email: f.bennett@tomjames.com

 

Should Pantyhose be Part of Professional Attire in the Summer?

legs1Even though business casual has enjoyed it’s heyday in the professional work environment for many years, the pendulum has been swinging back toward dressing up more for work. This often means legwear for the ladies. During the  fall, winter, and spring, it’s not too hard to justify wearing a second skin over one’s legs, but in the summer time, the question becomes more visceral. “Do I really need to wear pantyhose to work in the summer?”

In this great article by blogger Melissa Henderson, she shares some perspectives from a few high caliber women on when pantyhose / tights are needed at work.  She shares insights from a couple of different women on the subject:

Mona Lisa Jackson, Owner of Coeur Lingerie and Toy Boutique says:

“I believe that you are not fully dressed unless you have on stockings. Dressing down is one thing, but when you are getting fully dressed up—when you have your heels on, and you have somewhere that you need to go—it’s not appropriate to not have on stockings. If it’s a corporate setting, they should have stockings on. It’s unacceptable. Even in the summer? Absolutely! As much as you don’t want to hear that, and it’s hot as hell, it’s appropriate. Nowadays, I even see the newscasters doing their TV segments and they don’t wear stockings—you can tell, and it doesn’t look nice. I would recommend Fogal from Switzerland. I’m going to start carrying them soon…”

Jennifer Gach, Accessories Editor at ELLE Magazine, says:

“I think that hosiery in the summer is perfectly appropriate [especially in the workplace]. It’s more a matter of personal preference and comfort, but I think it’s best to stick to sheer options during the warmer months. Sheer, nude, or black can be nice with a summer dress—especially with a bit of texture, like a ladylike pointelle.”

Genail McKinley, a mid-level senior executive at PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC), says:

“I spend over three hundred dollars a year on stockings and I only wear them in the winter, fall, and spring. I don’t wear stockings in the summer—it’s too hot, and I like to wear open-toe heels. I usually go to Duane Reade or Century 21 for bargains. I go through like three pairs a week! They always rip; I should adapt to a better brand, but Duane Reade is everywhere! My co-workers don’t wear stockings in the summer either. That’s an after-thought. If I have a big meeting with clients, or a review, I usually just wear a pants! Case solved.”

Read the entire article here: http://www.levoleague.com/fashion/pantyhose-in-summer

 

Mormons and Modesty

Mormons love them some modesty… but does their stance come from a place of respect or misogyny?  Recently, an Orem woman decided to be offended at a series of t-shirts at a Pac-Sun store. They were screen printed with various black & white photos of women. The women were in bathing suits and other sexy outfits. She protested, asking the store manager to remove them from display so her son and other people wouldn’t be able to enjoy looking at images of healthy, sexually mature women be offended by them.  She spent $600 of her own money to buy out the stock of shirts. Here’s the story:

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57562382-78/shirts-cox-display-orem.html.csp

There is a certain perfection in this.  What you resist, persists.

Those shirts just became hot sellers.

Recently, a leader from the LDS church, Ted R Callister, delivered a speech at BYU Idaho in which he essentially laid the responsibility squarely upon women for men’s tendency to think about sex when they see healthy, beautiful women.  For the uninitiated, Mormons like to use certain euphemisms:

“Morality” this refers to whether or not you are obeying the Church’s rules about sex, the “Law Of Chastity” (which is  that you can only have sex withing marriage. That’s it. No exceptions.)  For example, “John has been having trouble with morality” means “John has been fucking his secretary behind his wife’s back”  and “Bill has been having immoral thoughts.” means “Bill has been thinking about sex.”

Have you ever noticed that the military doesn’t call things what they really are?

  • bombs –> “ordnance”
  • weapons –> “assets”
  • torture –> “Extraordinary rendition”
  • dropping bombs from planes –> “air campaign”
  • people –> “targets”
  • innocent people killed –> “collateral damage”

Euphemisms are used to detach people from the relationship between words and the actions the represent. It is information warfare, it is brainwashing, it is deception. It’s a way to get people to do things they normally wouldn’t agree to do.   I digress.  Let’s keep talking about “morality”.  Listen to the talk yourself, pay attention to these winning phrases:

“Our dress not only affects our thoughts and actions, but the thoughts and actions of others.”

“the dress of women has a powerful impact on the minds and passions of men, if it’s too low,  too high,  too tight it might prompt improper thoughts in the mind of a young man striving to be pure.”

“Women particularly can leave a lot to the imagination and in the process contribute to their own self-respect and to the moral purity of men. In the end, most women get the type of man they dress for.”

You can read / listen to the talk in it’s entirety here:

https://byui-media.ldscdn.org/byui_ft/devo_audio/2013-01-22-DV-Callister.mp3

http://www2.byui.edu/Presentations/Transcripts/Devotionals/2013_1_22_Callister.htm

Mormon-Modesty-MemeKristin B. Hodson, MSW, LCSW, Founder/Executive Director of The Healing Group, called in to comment on the situation. Hodson is an active member of the LDS church. Her status, along with her profession of being a sex & relationship therapist, make for a fascinating perspective.  Check out the podcast to hear what she had to say.  Hodson’s work can be found at:

www.thehealinggroup.com

http://www.realintimacybook.com/

Today’s Show is sponsored by Poplar Street Pub! GO get a burger there. Seriously.  242 South 200 West SLC, UT. www.poplarstreetpub.com

 

 

Megan Ashley Beckham – VOX Magazine

vox magazineToday I interviewed Megan Ashley Beckham, founder of Vox Magazine, which is about to make it’s print debut.Beckham is an entrepreneur on a mission to say and create something of consequence here in SLC.  A magazine about fashion, culture, and entertainment, she’s here to use those mediums to communicate higher ideas of authenticity, creativity, and freedom.

vox-magazine.com

Articles / quotes / links referenced:

http://elitedaily.com/life/culture/the-actual-difference-between-women-who-are-hot-and-who-are-beautiful/

“Fashion is made to become unfashionable.”  – Coco Chanel

“Fashions fade, style is eternal.”  -Yves Saint Laurent

“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” – Gore Vidal

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” -Thomas Jefferson

“If you can create something time cannot erode, something which ignores the eccentricities of particular eras or moments, something truly timeless, this is the ultimate victory.”- Dr. Ferry Porsche

Today’s Show is sponsored by Poplar Street Pub! GO get a burger there. Seriously. You will thank me.   242 South 200 West SLC, UT. www.poplarstreetpub.com

Versace just gave you permission to wear a skirt, dude.

Call it a sign of the times, call it a relief for closeted transvestites, call it too-haute-for-it’s-own-good-couture, call it what you will, but this just happened: Last week in New York, Donatella Versace unveiled the new Versus collection by Versace. The women’s wear was funky, young, and edgy, as one would expect. The men’s wear included mini skirts and dresses for those packing an XY chromosome.

642680-versace-versus-collectionWhile this is not specifically about legwear, this does herald  the progression of men’s fashion across traditional gender lines.  A significant part of our reader base is made up of men who enjoy wearing women’s hosiery (and often other accoutrements and clothing items), so this does become very relevant. After all, last year, Itallian fashion designer Emilio Cavalini blew up the fashion blogosphere by announcing their tights for men.

I’m pretty happy to be living in a world where, when it comes to fashion – anything goes.  Donatella Versace just gave you permission to wear a skirt, gentlemen. Who’s up for it?  The real challenge is in finding ways to blur the lines with taste and style.  Have any of my male readers created a look that integrates both the masculine and feminine?  Do you integrate pantyhose or other hosiery into your wardrobe? Are you a man in tights and a skirt? If so, let’s hear about it in the comments below!

 

Pantyhose: in or out of style?

I see this question all of the time – people are wondering if sheer pantyhose are in or out of style.  It’s a fair question, as we spent the last decade worshiping Sex In The City’s bare leg look.  As with all trends, the bare leg is waning, and legwear is on it’s way back in.

Below are some excepts from the news and fashion media, commenting on the resurgence of sheer hosiery. Let’s start with Miss Sex In The City herself:

Sarah Jessica Parker rocking some sheer nude pantyhose. Buh-bye bare legs.

Kate Middleton — the style ambassador for England — has singlehandedly resurrected the 1980s nude-tights craze.

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