Bust out the combat boots and toss out your razor, ladies.

…because according to Style.com, it’s trendy to be a lesbian. And apparently, lesbians don’t wear high heels. The article cites the rise of lesbian relationships within the fashion and entertainment community, postulating that the shrinking heel heights and androgynous styles of the moment are evidence of the growing popularity of the trend.

Fashion is nothing if not fickle and fleeting. Last year’s wide-leg pants have given way (back again) to the jean legging, and those leather shorts trumpeted in every August issue have disappeared from downtown. Anyone who ever purchased harem pants or platform flip-flops can certainly sympathize (and who hasn’t?). If you don’t like how you looked today, you can always beg your friends to keep the photos off Facebook and simply reinvent yourself tomorrow.

Style.com article

It doesn’t work that way when it comes to sexuality. The article may have been intended as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on changing fashion trends, but comparing tossing on a trendy shirt to coming out of the closet deserves a side-eye. The good folks at Refinery29 put it well in their commentary on the article, saying “While we’re glad to see that the fashion industry is resembling the vox populi more and more, it seems rather reductive to take an inherent personal characteristic and turn it into a social trend (not to mention an aesthetic — yikes)” (Refinery29).

I will acknowledge that being gay has lost much of the shock value of years past. The mainstream media increasingly represents openly gay men and women, with characters such as Emily Fields on Pretty Little Liars and Santana Lopez on Glee defying the lesbians-must-be-butch stereotype that still lingers in much of the world.

Despite this evolution, we’re still stuck with the polarizing idea that lesbians look one way and straight women look another. I often get asked if I’m a lesbian, which may have something to do with being a San Francisco-living, pixie haircut-rocking, bleeding-heart-vegetarian-feminist-activist-don’t-say-“that’s so gay”-in-front-of-me woman. If I choose to respond and tell the questioner that I find some women attractive but am married to a man, brows furrow and mouths open to ask the next invasive question.

“Oh, so you’re just doing that thing that’s cool now? Like on Jersey Shore?” Apparently Style.com isn’t the only one confusing personal identity with trends.

My clothes change with the weather, my mood, the music I’m listening to… it’s endless. But my core identity doesn’t change. And I believe that many people, gay or straight or anywhere in between, would feel the same.

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It’s Friday night

…and I have nothing to wear. Cue the skeptical look from my husband as he stares into the crammed closet that’s impossibly large for a San Francisco studio. Dozens of jackets compete for space with dresses galore and more jeans than I care to admit I own. My shoe collection could always use some work, but there’s an array of boots, both flat and heeled, along with sandals, pumps, the necessary ballet flat, and one strange disco-fabulous pair of glitter spike heels I’ve never worn.

“Seriously, Sarah? Nothing?”

My actual, absurdly cluttered closet. I'm baring my soul here, ok?
My actual, absurdly cluttered closet. I’m baring my soul here, ok?

Fine. I may be exaggerating a bit. But I’m going to go out on a very cliched limb and say that a woman’s closet can never be full. I have a constant thirst for new styles, for the perfect jacket/boot/scarf/fake collar that will bring my wardrobe to a whole new level. I run down the battery on my iPhone daily while cruising Shopstyle and Go Try It On, and there’s a constant rotation of sought-after pieces in my head just waiting for the next paycheck.

There’s only one problem. I’m broke.

Again, I exaggerate. I can pay my rent, bills, and (technically) my student loans. I’m able to explore San Francisco to its fullest potential, going out to dinner and enjoying a drink with friends. But outside of those luxuries, I’m not exactly rolling in hundred dollar bills (or really fives, for that matter). I’m guessing some of you understand my position, especially in a city where paying $1600 for a studio apartment is entirely reasonable. (Seriously, San Fran?!)

So, I’m on a quest to re-vamp my closet… Not necessarily its contents, but rather my understanding of it. I know there’s tons of untapped outfit potential in there, and I’m confident that I’ll rediscover pieces I forgot I ever owned. On my quest, I’ll certainly add the occasional worthy fashion item to my team, but I want to work with what I have and tailor it to my life in San Francisco. I’m always falling in love with women on the street (or at least their clothes), so I plan to camera-bomb the willing local fashionable and display their fabulousness here.

Beauty can absolutely be an accessory, so I may occasionally wax poetic on why I’ve paired a certain lip or nail color with what I’m wearing. But in general, I’ll leave beauty tips to the pros on my blogroll.

So, I hope you’ll come with me, whether you live a street away from my apartment or in a corner of the world in which San Francisco is only a big, red bridge and a loaf of funny-tasting bread. I think it’ll be a good time.

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