Happy Birthday To ME

Posted in Butch in the real world, Narcissism at its best, Totally Random on April 6, 2017 by sartorialbutch

I turned 40 last week. I’ve been suffering a multiple weeks long cold and so it wasn’t as exciting an occasion as anyone who loves me had hoped, but I did manage to have a quiet and delicious meal out with my love (and no children) and enjoy a very low-key day off on my birthday. Additionally, both the SL and I have been kind of down, we had planned a week long trip to Iceland for this Spring (again sans children, which might lead you to believe I don’t like being around them, which is totally not the case, we just haven’t had more than 1 night away from them in over 5 years and well, we need a break,) and for WHATEVER reason, after Jan 20, the probate and district courts seem to all have new orders and my bs adoption of my own kids has been stretched from a 4 week process to one that’s now going on 4 months, with no date in sight. I’m trying to not panic, but I’m not really good at that, and we feel like we most definitely can’t leave the country without that done. So boo. We’re letting go of that negativity by investing in a new chimney and roof (serious grownup crap sucks) and hope that we can keep our family warm and in a safe house for a long time. Sigh. Lemonade, right?

This year when people asked what I wanted I totally went practical. Socks and undershirts. Really. My sister provided me with 12 brand new V-necks of the Hanes variety and I was SO happy to throw out every other ratty-ass undershirt that I owned. Seriously, some of them were older than my oldest daughter and that’s just too long to have an undershirt.

I also got some brand new socks. For the past few years, Bombas have been my go-to. They have a buy a pair/donate a pair draw, and a motto of “bee better,” which is cute, but beyond social consciousness, they are damn comfortable and last a really really long time.

At around $12 a pair they are not the cheapest option on the block, but, clearly I’m not buying them every month and the way they hug my feet and stay up all day long AND have a bit of brightness to them (I only wear the black ones to work) that peeks out every so often makes me happy. They also have a no-show sock that works super well in Sperry’s and low sneakers.

My mom gave me an LL Bean gift card and after 3 years of looking at, but not buying, this lined flannel shirt will be mine.

With all the responsibilities I have and money typically being a constant stress (hey, I could spend that $70 on groceries, or retirement or college for the girls) I haven’t been able to pull the trigger on it, but now I can. So yay!

My love surprised me with a subscription to Universal Yums! A Universal Yum box is totally  not as dirty as it sounds, but a every other month box of delicious snacks from around the world will arrive on my doorstep. Totally up my alley! Bee posted about subscription boxes that ALL look awesome but totally out of my budget – this will be a nice little treat every other month!


Also on their way to me are a brand new pair of Keen shoes, for work. I have neglected buying new work shoes for a few years now and my trusty Doc Marten 8 eyes are getting tired and you know, sometimes you just need to treat yo self. And there’s just oooone more gift to me – I’m going to be finishing my arm sleeve tattoos over the next year or so. Because I have been in “professional” jobs forever and I promised myself that once I hit 40 I could get myself below the elbow tattoos. And so I will. I’ll keep you posted:) Have a great Spring everyone!



Posted in Personal grooming on February 3, 2017 by bee listy

Okay friends… have you heard that the president wants the women on his staff to “dress like a woman?”

Twitter, as usual, fails to disappoint.  There’s some great tweets out there– join in the celebration of women dressing however the eff we want.



Personal Shoppers?!

Posted in Personal grooming on February 1, 2017 by bee listy

Buzzfeed tried a gender neutral online shopper

Greyscale Goods
Would you do this?  With my current budget situation, I would not be able to afford this service but I think it’s a great idea. I also don’t think it would be as easy to shop for me as I am a fat person who struggles to find good fits in clothes that are designed for men or women.


The Bespectacled Butch.

Posted in accessories, Shopping on January 20, 2017 by bee listy

Butches love glasses. Butches also love contacts.  Butches really love sunglasses.

I know I’ve posted before about eyeglasses, but it’s time to update!

I first bought my glasses online about 8 years ago– honestly, I can’t believe it’s been that long already, but it has!  Just before the winter holidays, I updated my prescription once again and purchased a few new pairs so I have some reviews to share.

a caucasian butch female is wearing transparent glasses frames, her silver hair covering her forehead.

Percey in crystal!

Warby Parker remains my favorite for style, durability, price, and customer service overall.  I recently purchased Percey in Crystal.  With my faux silver/gray hair/dark roots, I dig on the look of the crystal frame.  They don’t do coupons, but they do home try-on of most available frames, and they do special collections every season that are pretty great. If you get a scratch within a year, they’ll replace the lenses in your glasses, and if you update your prescription and send in your old frames, they’ll update your lenses for only $50. I have done this a few times with frames I was super in love with. (Oh, marzipan tortoise Kimballs, i’m thinking of you.  My favorite glasses of all time, and I’ve been wearing specs for 30 years!)

a caucasian butch female person has very short brown hair and a black hat and holds a small plastic cup of champagne with their lips.

my beloved Kimballs in marzipan tortoise

Coastal makes a great product at a good price, and they arrive incredibly fast. I picked up the Randy Jackson RJX123-46 in tortoise, which they seem to be out of now. I love the fit and the look of these– they remind me a little bit of Moscot which I am in love with, but can’t really afford. (Last time I was in NYC, I went to the store and tried a bunch of them on. I was sad when I walked out because they made my heart beat oh so quickly.)  Coupon code FRESH30 for 30% off right now!

full face shot of a caucasian butch female with a dark roots/silver tips pompadour looks directly into the camera. she has blue eyes, silver earrings, and a black v-neck sweater on.

Randy Jackson in tortoise!


Because I have a hobby that requires me to look at small things up close for a long time, I have a pair of glasses that are my regular prescription with a magnifier of 1.5.  These are the Venus from EyeBuy Direct, which I really have been pleased with.  They make a good product for a decent price and shipping is pretty fast.  FRESH20 is a coupon code that works there right now.

a caucasian butch female wears large round tortoiseshell glasses

these are the Venus from EyeBuy Direct.

Glasses USA is having a sale right now– you can get 50% your first pair if you are a new customer. If you are a returning customer, the code everything35 will get you 35% off.  UPDATE: they’re having a flash sale : FLASH50


So I’ll have to update this post because I am going to order my first pair from Polette soon!

Instant Butch Cooking

Posted in Butch cooking school, Butch in the real world on January 9, 2017 by sartorialbutch

In the past I’ve written about ways to woo in the kitchen by making a great meal or even just a simple pot of perfect coffee. At this point in my life, my thoughts on kitchen work are what I think might be the same for covert military operations; get in, get out, leave no trace.

I mentioned in the last post that we are now a family of 4 and that I work out of the home and my wife works (so so hard) making sure my kids (and me) are taken care of. Both are challenging roles but we both end the day with the same question – What’s for dinner?

I bought, on the recommendation of many friends, this Instant Pot from Amazon when it was on sale during Black Friday/Cyber Monday. I figured if it helped cut down on cooking times just a few times a week it would be worth it. instant

What we’ve found is we’re not just using it for breakfast or quick dinners (which it does, beautifully) but for staples of our diets that normally come from a can or take hours to make, like black beans. Now we can make a huge amount of perfectly cooked black beans that stay in the fridge all week for us to make quick meals out of.

It makes perfect rice. You can make (with jarred sauce and chicken parts) a passable tikka masala meal (and rice cooked in a separate bowl in the pot) in less than 25 minutes without having to stir or watch. Things that were once delicious but annoying to do while having to do a zillion other things have become quick and simple – seriously – I can make a weeks worth of steel cut oatmeal for breakfast in less than 20 minutes without doing anything but putting a bowl with oats and milk/water inside the pot and hitting the start button.


It sounds silly to wax poetic about a beefed up crock pot on steroids, but honestly? It’s giving me back little pieces of my life. I think the same is true for my wife – more time together, just playing with the kids as a family, or having time to spend an extra 10 minutes just talking to each other is changing how we do things – for the better. I can spend a few extra minutes a day working on art/music/reading without feeling like I’m ignoring helping out in the house.  We get all of this AND we still get to eat well, which can be a struggle.

I won’t front and say that dinner sometimes isn’t chicken nuggets and leftover kids mac and cheese – but lately, more often than not it’s delicious ribs we cooked in 40 minutes without watching, or a pulled pork shoulder that was done in an hour instead of six of them – and leaves decent amount of leftovers so I’m not spending money buying lunch at work.  And by having breakfasts ready to go in the morning we are feeling less stressed AND getting where we need to be (mostly) on time.

And, ok, if you still want to be fancy and impressive? I made the stock for pho by using some simple veggies/spices and roasted beef rib bones that were left over from our Christmukkah feast. It took about 5 minutes of active prep time, cooked for 90 minutes or so, and was perfectly fragrant and delicious. It took more time to clean and prep the cilantro and other pho add-ins than it did to cook!












The IP takes on dessert too – these mini cheesecakes were made in no time by one of our IP pushing friends who brought them over for a family meal recently, and they were DELICIOUS.


While this post may not be sexy – and also may come off as my own personal infomercial – I’m hoping to turn some reluctant cooks into owners. It’s great for keeping heat out of small kitchens/apts/warm weather locations, it only uses one pot to make your whole meal, and doesn’t require anything but an outlet to work.  It’s helping us save some money, which is a constant struggle, eat well and healthy, which is also a constant struggle, and is helping us find more time to be a family – or to take a few minutes for ourselves. Which is, for me, right now at this point in my life one of the sexiest things I can think of.

Have an IP? What do you LOVE cooking in it?

Etsy finds

Posted in accessories, Gift Giving, Personal grooming, Shopping on January 5, 2017 by bee listy

I started cross-stitching many years ago. Mostly I do portraits, but sometimes I do other stuff. I do have an Etsy shop, and I like to use Etsy as a place to find fun and interesting things.  One of the things I appreciate about Etsy is that you can find a lot of unique and handmade gifts, as well as a lot of fun queer and feminist gifts.

Here are a few things you might appreciate. (Click on the image for a link.)

Apple Watch bands

Posted in accessories, Shopping on January 3, 2017 by bee listy

Nearly a year ago, I purchased an Apple Watch for myself.  It was one of the few “congrats to myself” gifts I gave myself when I got a new job and moved across the country.  I got it with a green sport band because it was the cheapest option–I already knew I was going to buy a few different bands for it, because that’s how I am. (My analog watch before this had bands I could change.)


Apple Watch 38mm with green sport band

Right away, I started shopping for some super awesome additional bands because I appreciate the versatility.  I wear my watch every day, and really appreciate being able to change the band to go more with whatever I’m wearing.

So far, I’ve purchased 4 extra bands for my watch.  Two were purchased on Amazon– one is a copy of the Apple Milanese loop which I adore, and the other was a blue weave purchased for a special occasion.  It didn’t make it on to my wrist though–it ended up looking cheap and purple.

Silver apple watch with silver stainless steel metal band with magnetic closure

Apple watch with stainless steel Milanese loop band

The other two were purchased from two different shops on Etsy. The first one is a black and red striped band that I purchased from Made by Kong.  This is an incredibly sharp looking, sturdy band. It has softened up a little bit with wear– if I wore it daily, I think it would soften up more, but I only wear it from time to time.

Apple Watch with silver accents with a black and red striped band

Made by Kong, sold on Etsy

The second one is a black leather band from Toltec Wear.  I am happy to report that this item is really beautifully made, soft supple leather. I had a great customer service experience with them– the original band arrived and was just a little bit too short, so they sent me a replacement within one week of contacting them.

Apple Watch with black leather band featuring silver grommets

Black leather from Toltec Wear

So now my watchband wishlist:

Subscription Boxes

Posted in Personal grooming on January 1, 2017 by bee listy

Almost a year ago, I got a new job and moved from western Massachusetts, USA to northern California, USA.  This is literally 3000 miles across the United States, and culturally a world away.

I love northern California.  I can’t even imagine living anywhere else right now. I love my job, the city where we live, the amazing adventures we can have in short drives (Tahoe! Yosemite! San Francisco! Marin/Sonoma/Napa Counties)

As a congratulations to myself gift, I chose a subscription to the Sprezzabox. I was super stoked to receive my first box– a neck tie, pocket square, lapel pin… all cool stuff.  I did the Sprezzabox for 4 or 5 months before I decided to cancel because I wasn’t really using the stuff in the box. I don’t wear neck ties– when I wear a tie, I wear a bow tie.  The pocket squares look sharp in my drawer of stuff–but really, I don’t wear them either.  In a few of the boxes, I got lapel pins that I have worn, and a few other neat little accessories like a shoe horn, some fancy man eye cream (which I never used because I am dedicated to my Enchanted), and in one box, a cigar cutter. I do not smoke cigars.


I think these may be the only things I kept from Sprezzabox

So I canceled. I sold the lot of neck ties, pocket squares, a fish hook tie clip, and the cigar cutter on Ebay.  I didn’t get my money’s worth.  In hindsight, I should have just sent the box to Jax. (Sorry buddy.)

I thought I could find a subscription box that would be cheaper and give me what I want– bow ties.  So I found Swag Ties. I received two ties, and then they stopped coming even though I was charged for 4 months of the service in advance.  Then inexplicably, I got a refund.  Their website doesn’t really say anything about what’s going on– so I’m just gonna accept that it isn’t happening.  The two ties I received were decent looking (one had owls, the other was just kind of modernist) and seemed to be well made.  So it goes.


My two Swag Ties are in the front– gray with stripes and cream with owls

So then I found Bespoke Post, which has INCREDIBLY cool stuff.  The set up is cool too– the first of the month, you get an email reminder to log in and choose a box. You don’t have to pick one, but if you don’t opt out, they’ll charge you and send you the box of the month.  The box I got, Concentrate, was amazing. It was a cold press coffee situation, some fancy bitters, and two really cool cement desk accessories. I haven’t ordered another box, but not for lack of attractive options– it’s just not really in my budget right now.

I was an early fan of The Tie Bar.  I am sure they do a bustling business as it is, but they could add a subscription box and I would 100% get on board. They have ties, pocket squares, socks, lapel pins, and more– they could put together themed boxes (preppy, modern, whatever) and make tons more money.  If you haven’t shopped with them, I can’t recommend them enough. They make an excellent product, sell it at a very reasonable price, and ship it to you quickly.  You can set up a wish list which is pretty cool. Free shipping on orders over $50 makes it so that I usually wait until I’m ready to buy 3 ties and then I get them at once.

Now that you’ve heard about my experiences with subscription boxes,  I’m curious what experiences you have had with subscription boxes and if you have any to recommend/avoid.  Also, if you have any ideas for possible boxes, that would be fun to consider as well.

Thanks for reading! I really am truly glad to be back!


Turning the page

Posted in Butch in the real world on December 30, 2016 by sartorialbutch

Nothing like a swift kick in the pants to put things in motion. I know that Lao Tzu said that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,” which is nice, but mostly, I just need a boot in the butt to jump off the cliff – and this blog certainly got one. This piece appeared last week on Slate, and well, we kind of got called out in it.  And it’s true. We’ve been missing for a while, I admit it. Even before we went real silent, Bee was pulling through with a smattering of posts but my mind and heart were elsewhere.

Becoming a parent in 2011 pretty much shifted my attention away from myself and directly towards my family. Buying clothes and shoes and ties and all the things I love wearing as part of my “look” very quickly shifted to needing food and formula and paying the mortgage and the gas bill. Overnight we went from DINK’S to a 3 person family where one adult worked outside the home and was responsible for keeping everything financially afloat, and one adult did amazing work at home caring for an infant, then toddler, now bona-fide girl child. And we loved it. So much that we welcomed our second daughter in 2015 and now there are 4 of us, but same constraints keep my focus on what we need to survive as a family – and sometimes it’s really hard.

Meeting the needs of my growing (and always hungry) family cut out pretty much all of my extra spending money. It’s kind of good that I had so many shoes to rotate around because outside of the thrill of buying new stuff, now I try to not wear through too many things because personal spending has been pretty much at a stand-still for 5 years. And I’m ok with that. I make it work. I still dress exactly how I want to but, it’s toned down a bit to be more kid friendly. Because it only took one near strangulation attempt to get that my ties weren’t going to work during play time, and if I wanted to jump right in to play before bed in the limited time I have with my girls between getting home from work and night night for them, well I had to make some adjustments. And that’s ok too. We’re people, we grow.

I do want to acknowledge that for many, right now is not as warm and cozy a time to appear different as maybe it felt to me 5 years ago. New laws about bathrooms, refusal of service, and flat out discrimination  have a lot of people on edge and may  not be dressing how they want to out of fear that they will be hurt, emotionally and/or physically. And this is so not ok, but I get the preservation of self.

What has been made clear to us is that there is still a need for what we did/do. So, while it may not always be me or Bee (we’re looking to expand our team to meet the needs of our community) we will make sure that somehow, some way, The Sartorial Butch will rise to the challenge and address the issues that butches/dykes/queers/bois/studs/trans/genderqueers and others who may be masculine of center are dealing with right now. We’ll be here for advice, commiseration, and cool sartorial stuff. We’ll answer questions, listen to and address YOUR concerns, and while we’re not sure how this is all going to look, we do commit to being here.

Thank you so much for reading – SB


Hey folks…Bee Listy here! It’s great to be writing in this space again!  We’ve been so quiet for such a long time, and I didn’t realize how much I was missing this community until I started thinking about what I wanted to say coming back.
For me, the last four years have been a real challenge– I moved from Cincinnati, OH to Springfield, MA then to Sacramento, CA — all moves focused on my career in higher education administration. My now-wife has made all of those moves with me, and now that I’m feeling more settled in this new spot, I’m excited to make time to be present in this space and with this community again.  My style has certainly shifted significantly–what worked for me sartorially in Ohio and Massachusetts don’t really work for me here in California.  Sacramento is pretty great and my job, while professional, has a really casual vibe for work wear.  It seems that the whole state does.
I’m excited to be back, and I’m ready to talk glasses and shoes and accessories with all of you again.

Saint Harridan

Posted in Personal grooming on November 27, 2012 by bee listy

Good afternoon… Bee Listy here to signal boost something important to our community.

I imagine that a great deal of you may have heard about Saint Harridan.   If you haven’t, it’s a clothing company founded by Mary Going to focus on great suiting for people who want to wear suits but have not always had the best experiences shopping for them.  I dream of being able to afford one of their suits someday.  Today, they launched their Kickstarter campaign and I wanted to share that with folks in case you are able to be a backer, or want to publicize the information to other people you know.

I really encourage you to read the blog to get more information about how the company came to be, and what they are about.  Also, check out the info about their PopUp Tour 2013, and you can look at the model search on Facebook.  (Feel free to cast a vote for me.)