Archive for the Butch in the real world Category

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!


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?

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.

Pushing away the rock under which I have crawled

Posted in Butch in the real world on March 23, 2011 by sartorialbutch

Yeah. I make promises and don’t keep them, but only when it comes to blogging. The reality is that life is freaking CRAZY right now, and I barely have time to get all the things I need to get done for my life to flow correctly, never mind actually going shopping, or thinking about shopping or finding something awesome to post about.

The real truth is I’ve been keeping a secret. Kind of a big one that I still get nervous about talking of, but…now is a good enough time as any for the reveal:

Hi. That’s our thumb-sucking little girl. My wife has been incredible, growing this little person for the past 22 weeks, and I can’t wait to meet her this summer.


A baby. And a little girl at that! I mean, I can’t wait to be a daddy, but how is the world going to get that? How is she? I need to figure out something for her to call me because I don’t feel like anything starting with “m” works for me.  I have been wanting to be a parent for so long, that I’m sort of shocked with the trepidation that I have now that my dreams are almost realities.

And speaking of girls – She’s not even here yet and people are so ready to throw gendered bs on her already! How can I combat this? I mean, we’re in no position to turn away any of the stuff that people are starting to give to us, but so. much. PINK. I can’t wait to wear matching clothing with her though. I’m keeping myself from buying her teeny tiny matchy sneakers as it is. Yes, I know, I’m ridiculous.

Speaking of pink and girly things – I love pink. I really do. But….It’s weird. I love girls in dresses. I LOVE girly girls. So why does it fill me with fear to potentially raise a girly girl?  I’m “supposed” to be beyond this, but I’m secretly hoping for an adorable tomboy who likes to get dirty and play sports with me.

I know this is probably disjointed and not really expressing my thoughts well but – any butch moms/daddies out there have any advice?

Yes, I’m cross-posting. Sue me.

Posted in Butch in the real world on July 2, 2010 by sartorialbutch

So, I don’t know if I mentioned it before but I have started writing a bi-monthly  (ish) column over at  I’ve been talking more relationship/sex/being type stuff rather than the fashion talk I usually do here – but as it’s pride month- or it was when I wrote it – and, well, I still have been seeing a bunch of not-nice butch behavior both in my real life and on the web, I thought I’d re-post this weeks colum.

A few weeks ago I wrote about how I try to walk through my existence with confidence and kindness. I linked that column here, too. And when I spoke at the fashion show I did at Re/Dress NYC last month, the idea of being butch with confidence and kindness was one of my main focal points. And I think this is a good thing.  So, anyway – here is my latest –

Happy Pride Month everyone!!

Being as it is Pride month and all, I thought I’d continue on my previous column where I talked a little bit about my philosophy on life; living with confidence and kindness. In order to do this it is imperative that you do not cut others down.  I know that seems like a no-brainer but really, it’s something that I see all the time.  If I’m being 100% honest, it’s something that I know I’ve done in the past as well, sometimes it made me feel better about myself by cutting someone else down – for whatever reason. Fashion? Looks? Relationship status? Identity? Yeah, I’m guilty of all of that.

But it’s something I’m working on really really hard. And sometimes, when the world brings us down so much, it’s easiest to judge other queers because their idea their own identity isn’t how we see ours.  And that’s scary because if my idea of butch is totally different than someone else’s idea of butch, then who’s right? Is it me? Is it them? Truth of it is – it’s both.

Admittedly, there are lots of things that other butches do or claim that I don’t understand fully – or at all – and may never. But that doesn’t mean that it’s bad or wrong or un-butch. I’m a self-proclaimed faggoty-butch. I’m not a tough guy. I’m not stone.  I hate bugs.  I scream at the smallest moth or fly.  As much as I like owning power tools, I rarely use them for things other than hanging art.  I haven’t ridden a motorcycle in over 10 years, and as much as I love the idea of owning one again, mostly, it scares me silly.  I enjoy fiber arts. I sew. Mostly, I can make PJ bottoms, aprons, and cloth diapers, but am working on other projects as well. I love Broadway show tunes. And, as many of you know, I love fashion.  All of these things, and none of these things define me, or make me more or less butch than any of my brothers and sisters.  But pick any one of them, and it’s something that I know another has used to cut me down.  Sometimes it’s to my face, often it’s not, but I know it’s there.  And so do you.  And it’s not cool.

We can make it stop – it’s 100% do-able. And when you learn to walk confidently and kindly in your own skin without making others feel bad in order to do so? Well, that’s (in part) what makes you irresistible to others.  And that’s where I’ll be taking this in my next installment….stay tuned!


Posted in Butch in the real world on June 23, 2010 by sartorialbutch

Ok, so a very awesome young butch, K, emailed me the following this week:

Dear Sartorial Butch,

I find myself with quite the fashion dilemma, and am writing to see if you might be able to help me. I’m a seventeen year old butch, and am out to my friends, but closeted to my extended family at the request of my parents. Most of the time, my folks don’t care how I dress. Which is nice.

Unfortunately, one of my cousins is getting married in a few months, and I’ve just learned that it’s going to be a black tie wedding. It seems that it’s not even the nicer meaning of “black tie” where there’s a bit of flexibility. It’s firm; all the men must wear tuxes, etc.

I haven’t worn a dress since I was fourteen, and cringe at the very thought of having to wear not only a dress, but a dress formal enough for a black tie event. Is there anything other than a tux or a formal gown that’s formal enough for me to wear to the wedding? I guess I could punt and wear a dress if I really have to, but I wanted to exhaust all my other options first.



Ok. So I talked with a friend – and together, our advice was that K should probably talk to her parents, because the sight of K in a dress is probably going to be worse than K in a tux – cuz there isn’t anything more awkward than a butch in a dress.  But I wanted to throw this out there to you guys to see what you think K’s best bet is.

So – what do you think K should do???

I’m too sexy

Posted in Butch in the real world, Narcissism at its best with tags , on June 8, 2010 by sartorialbutch

It feels like forever ago, but it wasn’t THAT long – two weeks ago I did a butch fashion show, called “Sartorial Summer” at Re/Dress NYC.  The wonderful Bevin had told me early in May that she’d named the show in part due to my blog, and well, plans just exploded from there. I talked a little bit about being confident and kind, which I wrote a bit more about on this week also.

I have to be completely honest – talking in front of people petrifies me.  As does even the THOUGHT of modelling, down a runway, for ANYONE other than, well, you know, making fun of modelling in my own house in my boxers.  But as this has been the year of grabbing life by the horns, I thought, why not.  Plus, it meant I got to hug my mom really quick like, and get some REALLY good deli food.

I digress. The event was awesome and the store was PACKED and I had some surprise visitors from across the Hudson, AND also got to see some friends that I’d not had the pleasure of seeing in a looong time. But really? I was so so nervous.  I did get to meet some awesome new folks, including DapperQ! Here are two pics from the event taken by Jeep Wheat (thanks!)

I love the funny faces I’m making. Not. I don’t know how that happened, that must just be my model face. I kind of like how it looks like Bevin is posing with me in the shot, rather than me just walking by which is what actually happened.

Those are in fact my kicks. My favoritist pair.

Anyway, it was a great time, and a great learning experience for me. AND I had fun.

Up next? The new suit came out SO good. I’m so so pleased with it, and am scrounging for photos to show you!

What’s new in your wardrobe?