The Stylistic features conversations about fashion, art and lifestyle with a variety of interesting gents. Today we meet 34 year old Event Producer Devon Devine, of San Francisco, California. We discuss his style, his crew at Hard French, and being a big guy living in the bay area.
How has your style evolved over time?
I grew up an awkward chubby gayboy who never really fit in or had a community that spoke to him. In 2001 I moved to Olympia, Washington and finally found this group of outcasts who had created their own scene. These folks were making art, and music, and films, and there were record labels and touring bands – it was just SO PUNK.
So many of them were queers and fat and they created their own style with the resources available to them. I remember helping my friend silkscreen t-shirts for his band and realizing I didn’t have to buy one with a cool design in my size – I could just MAKE a cool design and put it on a tshirt I already owned. It was through the lens of this queer punk scene that I learned so much about what it means to be fat and to own [that] and to tell fashion to fuck off so I could create my own style. I’m still trying to figure out what that style is – but now it’s got an aging punk edge to it.
I’m attracted to denim and plaid button ups, plain t-shirts, lots of earthtones, and the hoodie under a jean jacket look. I’m also into dressing up now; a plain sweater vest with a fancy button up, some vintage wingtip shoes and a cute bowtie to bring it all together.
You seem to be a creative type of guy. Can you tell us about some of your artistic endeavors?
I’m part of a crew called Hard French, a collective of six folks who produce a monthly outdoor soul music dance party with a creative/artistic element to it. In true chub style, we have free BBQ ’til it’s gone and we dance it out to all vinyl soul music from the 50’s and 60’s. It’s a parade of fashion featuring everything from dandys and drag queens, to bow ties, to DIY handmade outfits.
One thing I love about Hard French is that we really honor unique, individual style in people of all sizes. As a chubster, I’m constantly inspired by the different ways folks my size put their style together and Hard French is excellent eye candy inspiration. Admittedly, I’d love to see more big men there.
What’s it like living in San Francisco?
I love living in San Francisco. It’s a haven for the weirdos, queers, and punks and that history has shaped the community I connect with here. At any moment you might find yourself admiring these crazy scenic views of the skyline at Dolores Park, or you might end up deep in a basement dance party. It’s hard to live here, it’s expensive, and it’s a hustle, but the folks who know the hustle make it work because the adventures you can create for yourself in the city are limitless.
Where are the best places for a big guy to shop in the bay area?
Levi’s is great for jeans, and workwear stores like Arik’s in the Mission are good for plain t-shirts and belts. I shop Camper in downtown San Francisco for shoes, and Mission Thrift for big boy shorts, swimming trunks, and vintage bowties. Of course, Chubstr is a great resource that can lead you to lots of good online shopping.
Outside San Francisco, I’ve found great button-ups at Fat Fancy in Portland (Check out Chubstr’s review of Fat Fancy), which is hands down one of my favorite places to shop.
What are your fashion essentials?
- A jean jacket
- A sweater vest and a nice button up shirt
- A plethora of bowties
- A nice pair of wingtips
- Levi’s 501 jeans
- One stand out accessory – Babe Alert Jewelry’s crystal necklaces make me swoon.
Can you share some tips or style secrets that work for you?
Get a seamstress who will hand tailor all of your clothes. I can very rarely wear anything straight off the rack. Your button up shirts don’t actually have to button up if you wear layers. Girl pants from Old Navy have been my jam ever since a tip from my fat friends Zavisha and Reno. I get them hemmed to a skinny jean and the denim is stretchy so they’re really comfortable.
What’s next for you?
I’m heading back up to Olympia next week to be a camp counselor at queer rock and roll camp. I’m also co-writing a feature length screenplay inspired by a short film I starred in 10 years ago. I’m working with my friend DavEnd on her project, “Fabulous Artistic Guys Get Overtly Traumatized Sometimes: The Musical!”, featuring a dapper fat femme flower dandy lookin for love on the internet. I’m also hoping Hard French will start traveling and putting on events in other cities!
Learn more about Devon and Hard french here and here.