Archive for Ginch Gonch

Gifts for…..

Posted in Tips and Hints with tags , , , , , on December 2, 2009 by sartorialbutch

I don’t want to be so exclusive here that I proclaim this gift giving guide for butches only – there’s lots of non-butch identifying people who would probably love a lot or at least some of what’s on this list.  I’m going to go with lots of pictures, but not necessarily sources because hey, you’re original and I know that a little crafty internet searching will yield some pretty amazing results as to where to look for stuff.

Unless you know the person you are giving a gift to really well, I’d stay away from clothes. Shirts, ties, etc – if your wrong on sizing or style, it’s hard to negate the “return” trip to the store. As for gift cards? As a last resort please, unless you know that’s what they really really want or need. I like getting them sometimes, but only as gifts from peripheral people, the ones who don’t know me well enough to actually dig deep and figure out what it is that I really want.

I’ve talked about some of these items before, and yeah, my girlfriend will likely have an easy time of things, but these are in line with items that I’d really love to see under my menorah.

I LOVE collar stays. Love love love. Because I am kind of forgetful about things and these can likely take a beating through the dryer and not bend or melt all over the place. They definitely make a shirt pop a little bit more and keep the corners of the collar from curling up. I wouldn’t mind engraved ones, either….

Also along the lines of “tie accessories,” I’m really kind of into the following as well. Tie bars and collar pins. Ok, I’m actually not into tie bars as much because they aren’t centered and I have this thing for symmetry, and tie pins tend to mess up ties so I stay away from them, so i do the tuck in the label thing and hope for best. But for collars that do NOT have buttons or slots for collar stays they are really neat – basically a long pin that goes from one collar edge, under your tie, to the other. Neat.

Other clothing accessories that would be appreciated?  How about watches, cuff links (if they have French cuff shirts,) and belt buckles. There are some really amazing and cool belt buckles to be found out there,  and can really take a well put together outfit to another plane of awesomeness. Stay away from buckles that light up, open beer, etc unless you know that she’ll really like that. I tend to favor giving gifts that will be loved and used more than once.

I’m also considering trying out bracers/suspenders  and seeing if that’s a look I can rock. I like how they look, and think they might be an excellent accompaniment to my work wardrobe.

If you’re intimate with the butch you’re buying for, a cool pair of grown up “Underoos” from Ginch Gonch will be totally loved, though stay away from utilitarian underclothes like undershirts and socks – that’s what parents are for.

Tool boxes: for tools or…other stuff. Very cool, and I tend to favor the big, red, clunky metal kinds that you can easily find at your local hardware store. Speaking of local stores – buy local! When you do that more money is pumped into your local economy than if you purchase your goods at big box stores. As much as I LOVE the mall, I try not to buy stuff there unless I can’t find what I’m looking for locally.

Also? Butches (not all, but pretty much every one I’ve met) love technology. iPods, Iphones, Blu-Ray, big screen, Wii, and computers are all big ticket items and costly, but if you’re looking to give that kind of a gift? Go for it.  Butches also  (ok, maybe just me) like sporting goods. Even if we don’t play the sports all that much, we love ’em. So if your girl needs a new baseball glove, or cleats, or lacrosse stick (even though she doesn’t play but wants one,) or boxing gloves…well, that could be a great idea.

Is your butch a foodie? How bout a gift certificate to a local swanky restaurant that she’s mentioned that she’d like to try? Or maybe one that is already a favorite but not often visited? More of a cook? Take a look at her knives. I tend to favor German knives, my pick being Henkels, though Wusthoffs are great too. Critics call them heavy but I love the way that they feel in my hand and on the cutting board.  There are also some Japanese knives, like those made by Global that are lighter and very good quality – though sometimes the angle of the blade is different than the German knives and that’s something to be considered.  Gist is, if she loves to cook but only has a $10 supermarket chef’s knife, then ANYTHING is going to be an improvement.

If knives are already taken care of then see what’s missing in her kitchen! I’m a HUGE fan of French-press coffee and totally offer that up as a really nice gift giving idea, perhaps along with a grinder and some beans and…..see how easy this is?

Speaking of hand made gift certificates? You can NEVER go wrong with these, or any kind of home-made gift. I enjoy sewing and last year I made all of the people I love PJ bottoms made of fabric that I thought they would best like. These were a HUGE hit and I know I get thought of every time they are worn, and usually that provokes my friends and family to give me a phone call to tell me that they are wearing them RIGHT NOW and that they love me. This is an awesome side-effect of home made gift giving and I highly recommend it.

Last night I received a lovely bottle of scotch as a gift, which not only warms my stomach but my heart too. If your butch likes scotch, or wine, or some other type of liquor but wouldn’t normally buy it for herself, then this can be a nice gift idea. I don’t recommend wrapping up a six-pack, but who am I to judge, and if that’s what will be liked, then go for it!  Also, bar-ware, cocktail shakers, personalized napkins – all good ideas for someone who likes to keep a well stocked bar.

With the many ideas and starting points that I’ve given you here, and the nearly infinite array of home-made gifts that you can think up, it should be pretty easy to shop for the butches in your life this holiday season, whether you have unlimited budget or no budget at all.

What are some other gifts you’d like to open up this holiday season?


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Have I mentioned how I love you in your underwear

Posted in underwear with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2009 by sartorialbutch

I think a good place to start is at the beginning.  I’m going to begin with underwear, the first article of clothing that most of us put on our bodies in the morning. This is of course unless you go commando, which honestly isn’t something I particularly recommend.  Aaannnyway,  I don’t know many (though I’m sure there are some) masculinely-expressed or butch people who wear feminine underwear. For some of us, our undergarment choices help define how we express ourselves – not just to the people who get to see us in our skivvies, but is a boost to our own self-esteem as well.

I remember reading an essay in a queer anthology years back that talked about a young butch’s struggle with reconciling her gender/identity/orientation and her relationship with her family. Things came to a head when she was visiting home during a college break, and her father found her men’s cotton boxers in a combined load of laundry. He flipped, she initially got ashamed, and it was one of those topics that could have easily been hidden from daylight forever. She took her father to task, educated him about who she was, and sent a clear message to her family that she was proud of herself, and the identity she was growing in to.

I think that for a lot of us this is a common theme. I remember purchasing my first pairs of boxers. I didn’t really know what I wanted or what I liked or what would be comfortable; I just remember buying them with the same surreptitious feelings I’d had when convincing my girlfriends to buy me porn from straight bookstores. I got them home, put them on, looked in the mirror, and liked what I saw. Finally wearing the right underwear made me feel at home, and this one event began a love for selecting what I consider to be the best in men’s underwear.

Continuing with my full disclosure theory, I should tell you in advance that I spend more on underwear in a year than some do in a lifetime. Really. It’s nothing for me to drop upwards of $30 on a pair of underwear. Admittedly, I’m a little snobby. But that’s not the point here the point is the information part, so I’ll get to that.

There are LOTS of choices to be made when selecting men’s underwear. Cotton boxers. Stretch fabric loose boxers. Boxer briefs. Trunks. Bikinis. HUGE sub selections within those categories. But I’ll narrow it down to what I think the best choices are.

I think that cotton boxers and the stretch fabric loose boxers tend to bunch in really bad places for female bodied people. Yes, everyone is different and your experience may not be the same as mine (and I welcome your feedback) but this has held true for many that I know.

I also typically enjoy brands that are favored by gay men, as opposed to say Hanes or Fruit of the Loom – easily accessed supermarket brands. I like having to put a little effort into it.  This is not to say that I don’t own anything by those brands (love FotL undershirts) but wearing “designer” underwear brings out the inner fag in me, and it’s a feeling I really really like.

Underwear made from a cotton/spandex blend are usually the most comfy and durable. I like ones with a 95% cotton 5% spandex blend. The following “types” are usually found with this fabric mix:

Thongs, bikinis, regular briefs. I don’t find these to be comfy. You may, and I encourage you to experiment. I know butches who like men’s bikini and briefs, but to me they feel to much like woman’s underwear, and tend to ride up uncomfortably into my thighs.  I also find that they aren’t cut to fit curves as well (because they’re not) and don’t make me look as good as I know I’m capable of looking.

Boxer briefs, due to their “cling” factor, are a favorite amongst butches, but for me, well, I’m not that tall, and I find that the length comes down to just above my knee and tends to not be the most comfortable choice.

My ultimate choice for men’s boxers is the “trunk.”  The cut is similar to the “boy cut” girls’ underwear style, however these extend further down the thigh, and tend to not ride up very much at all. They also have the thick stripe waistband of which I am particularly fond. Here is one of the “Love Kills Slowly” line by  Ed Hardy.

ed

They cling to you but (if fitted correctly) not uncomfortably so, and they tend to make your behind look great – which is helpful for me because I don’t have much of one. Additionally, most of them have just a small pouch in the front which will lay flat for regular wear, and for not-so-regular wear, will accentuate your “assets” nicely, lends some extra support and, if wanted, provides concealment.

Now on to procurement. As I mentioned before, I’m a snob. My favorite underwear manufacturers are typical gay-boy favorites. 2Xist, Calvin Klein, Ed Hardy, Ginch Gonch, and Diesel are pretty much at the top of my list. 2Xist is actually my favorite, and they make what I find to be the longest lasting, best wearing and washing trunk available. Admittedly, this comes at a price;  they range between $18-$28 a pair. Sometimes they can be found on sale at local discount department stores (I got my first pair at a TJ-Maxx) but truthfully, I much prefer online outlets for underwear purchasing. International Jock is, in my opinion, the best site for this kind of shopping, and they often have really good sales and closeouts. An example of the 2Xist brand:

2x

I also want this site to be relevant for everyone, not just those with deep pockets or those willing to eat ramen instead of real food to look good. I understand that for many, a wardrobe budget isn’t going to be blown on what most aren’t ever going to get to see. With that in mind, I have found that my favorite company 2Xist actually has an offshoot brand called Evolve. They make underwear exclusively for Target, and you can buy 2 pairs of their trunks for $8.99. While not quite as well made as the parent brand they are very well priced and accessible, a “best buy” in the arena of underwear.  Sportswear manufacturer Adidas also makes a very cost-effective line of trunks; I’ve found them at Kohl’s (about $10-$12 a pair) and other like department stores.

I hope that this post has given you some encouragement and inspiration. I have found that nearly all of my intimate partners have appreciated the care I’ve taken in selecting my underwear – especially if I pick out a VERY special pair, (the most whimsical – and pricy – of which can be found at Ginch Gonch) it NEVER goes unnoticed. Or unremembered.

ginchgon

I’m a fairly muscular and somewhat stocky butch, without much curve or ass action going on, and so of course my opinions are going to align with that body type. And likely you’re different – admittedly I’ve never met a butch that didn’t look good in trunks, but that’s just me.

What kinds of underwear work best for you? Where do you like to shop for them?