The Best Everyday Fashion Tip I've Learned From A Drag Queen
My mom was obsessed with drag queens well before RuPaul's Drag Race existed and her adoration of the art form passed down to me. Yep, mum was taking fashion and beauty tips from drag queens before I was even born. She even got a job once because she set her makeup with hairspray for an interview, just so she wouldn't break a sweat in the middle of summer.
Drag is a performance art that relies on aesthetic almost as much as talent. Often as an exaggeration of femininity and beauty ideals, drag queens are celebrating all the things that women have been shamed for in the past. As my own personal look is exaggerated and glamorous, drag queen style appeals to me like no other.
A regular drag night I attend in Manchester, UK, called Cha Cha Boudoir is a throwback to iconic queer film documentary Paris Is Burning. The evening is almost a competition, with different queens performing. And the queen who collects the most fake money — which is handed to guests upon entry — wins! It's fun, it's inclusive, and it allows me to celebrate all things drag while actually contributing money to the scene as well as having a brilliant time.
So I decided to chat with Lill, one of the Manchester Queens (#manchesterqueens on Instagram), about her top fashion tip: The one thing drag queens want you to know. Her advice is the ultimate way to take your outfit from average to iconic.
So how do you take your style from zero to hero(ine)? Lill's advice is simple, but needs to be taken into consideration in the early stages of outfit planning:
Wear all of one color top to toe. Match your hair, nails, shoes, and bag to it. People will think you have made more of an effort than you have and may even call you a vision in (insert color here).
This definitely makes sense to me. Wearing different shades of one hue — or even utilizing a statement color recurring through your outfit — will likely lead people to thinking you put in a whole load of effort that really only consisted of buying a few accessories.
If you already have a favorite color to wear, this one should be easy: Just put all your items of that color together. If not, the next time you're shopping for a specific event, keep this idea in mind. I mean, who wouldn't want to be "a vision in pink" or green, or blue, or red.
Lill's other sartorial and beauty tips were a little more drag than I can imagine the average woman wanting. (Although TBH, I lapped them up.) One was to collect old records from a thrift store, snap them in half, and use them as a fan. Since they're so cheap, it won't matter if you lose them. As a fat girl, I can attest to the fact that having a fan on the dance floor can be so much more than a fashion statement. And I'm not even wearing the layers of makeup and padding that go into drag!
Her last tip was definitely my favorite, although Lill doesn't take all the credit for it. "They say if you have a hole in your black tights, just color your leg in," she tells me. "It adds some extra flair when you take them off. Is it a tattoo ? A mole? Who can say? But it sure looks trend driven."
It's a good tip if you're out and about with access to a Sharpie and not a brand new pair of pantyhose.
But even I (a lover of all things kitsch and outrageous) can admit that the number one tip award has to go to Lill's color-blocked styling. It's a simple way to make an outfit your own, and have your fashion prowess stand out.
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Images: Courtesy Lill/Rudy & Razz