Clothing Culture at the Lesbian Conference

If you’ve been reading Dressing Dykes for a while, you might have noticed that it’s been quiet here for the past couple of months. While I’ve been posting more frequently on Instagram and TikTok, full articles take a lot of time and research and my time has been taken up by spreading the history ofContinue reading “Clothing Culture at the Lesbian Conference”

The Lesbian History of Short Hair

Appearance is more than just clothing. It is our skin, our nails, the tilt of our mouths or the furrows of our brows, the tattoos that may adorn us and the hair on our heads – or our legs, or our armpits. Of course, most of my work culminates in a study of garments, asContinue reading “The Lesbian History of Short Hair”

Sailor Outfits and Lesbian Culture, 1920s-1930s

The sailor aesthetic is irrevocably intertwined with queer culture. The job description of “sailor” has a straggeringly gay history and the aesthetic has been used time and time again in gay fashion, media, music and more; think Tom of Finland or Pierre et Gilles. I use the word “gay” because, more often than not, theseContinue reading “Sailor Outfits and Lesbian Culture, 1920s-1930s”

From Ugly to Chic: Lesbians and Dungarees

Dungarees – or overalls – have lived many lives. The word “dungarees” originally referred to the fabric that was first used for them, which came from the Indian village of Dongri and was named “dungri.” When, necessitated by the industrial revolution and enabled by the British Empire, the fabric was exported to England to beContinue reading “From Ugly to Chic: Lesbians and Dungarees”

‘Roots’ Style: Black Lesbians in 1980s Britain

I recently came across the term “Roots”, or more specifically, “Roots lesbians.” It was while I was researching for my article on lesbian feminist dress codes, and I made a note to come back to the term and find out more about it. However, once I got around to doing this, I found it toContinue reading “‘Roots’ Style: Black Lesbians in 1980s Britain”

From Anne Lister’s Closet: Top Hats or Bonnets?

When studying the history of lesbian fashion, someone who I come back to again and again is Anne Lister. This is because of the wealth of evidence that she left behind, not just of the clothes that she wore but how she felt about them, from the perspective of a woman who we know lovedContinue reading “From Anne Lister’s Closet: Top Hats or Bonnets?”

Cross-Dressing Dykes, an Eighteenth Century Spectacle

A confession: This article was never meant to be about cross-dressing dykes as an eighteenth century spectacle at all. In fact, it started out as an analysis of the fashion of one cross-dressing dyke of the eighteenth century, Mademoiselle de Raucourt (1756-1815). I will be writing about Raucourt, in all her theatrical, French, lesbian glory,Continue reading “Cross-Dressing Dykes, an Eighteenth Century Spectacle”

From Lavender to Violet: The Lesbian Obsession with Purple

How many times, in the history of lesbian fashion, is purple on the periphery? Within this blog, it crops up repeatedly, an Easter egg for the eagle eyed. There’s the hand-made t-shirts of the Lavender Menace, lavender in colour as well as in lettering, at once an insult and a rebuttal. There’s the bright purpleContinue reading “From Lavender to Violet: The Lesbian Obsession with Purple”

Lesbian Feminist Dress Codes

Today’s article is a reflection on lesbian feminist dress codes. It is not an endorsement of every single lesbian feminist idea or rhetoric, but neither is it a dismissal of the movement as a whole. I’m acknowledging lesbian feminist fashion (or anti-fashion)’s place within a broader lesbian fashion history and asserting that the clothes wornContinue reading “Lesbian Feminist Dress Codes”

Feminism and the Fashioned Lesbian in 1910s Japan

The first issue of Seitō was published in 1911. Named by its founders in reference to the Bluestockings of 18th century England – a group who we might now call ‘proto-feminist’ – the publication was run by women, for women, promoting equal rights for women through literature. It ran for a period of 5 years,Continue reading “Feminism and the Fashioned Lesbian in 1910s Japan”