In February, we published a list of Six Butch Things that NOLA visitors and locals can do with their better halves (or thirds, or quarters; we don’t know your lives).
As fun as many of those suggestions were — hi, Sector 6! — we thought we’d better offer a few counterpoints, a few to-do items for the swishy, swirly set. If you’re one of those who likes to let your femme flag fly, then get out your glitter pen, girlfriend, and take a few notes.
1. Dig for a new ‘do and some bling for your ringlets
In a city where many people devote entire rooms of their homes to costumes, it should come as no surprise that New Orleans is full of wig shops, and one of the best is Beauty Plus (1101 Elysian Fields Avenue, corner of St. Claude). This one-stop glamour shop is piled high with wigs, weaves, falls, hair spray, nails, clothing, makeup, and enough rhinestones to last any pageant queen several sparkly lifetimes. The place is usually busy, so don’t expect workers to wait on you hand and foot, but it makes up for it with rock-bottom prices.
2. Order a custom wig for your next Drag Race audition
If Beauty Plus seems like too much work and you’d prefer a bit of pampering, venture into the French Quarter for a stop at Fifi Mahony’s. This place has it all: a beautiful front room chock-full of makeup and jewelry; a wig room where customers can try on hair to their heart’s content; and a great salon, just in case your hair is long enough to jack up on its own. Don’t see what you want? Fifi’s can do custom jobs to suit your whims, complete with rainbow colors and a dizzying array of accessories.
A photo posted by Funky Monkey (@funkymonkeynola) on
3. Find a fabulous frock
You’ve got some new hair and some finger bling. Now, you need the rest of your ensemble. New Orleans has so many places to shop for gowns, capes, and other dramatic ensembles, it would be impossible to scratch the surface in one wee paragraph. Instead, we suggest a visit to lower Decatur Street (start at Esplanade Avenue and work your way up to Jackson Square) and Magazine Street (keeping a keen eye on the blocks between Washington and Louisiana Avenues). Shops like Kruz, Le Garage, and Funky Monkey have everything from mainstream ready-to-wear suits to jangly, ethnic ensembles to kitschy vintage wear.
4. Don’t neglect the unmentionables
Of course, you can’t go gallivanting around in your latest off-the-shoulder couture without something sassy underneath. New Orleans has quite a few homegrown lingerie boutiques to keep you tucked in and feeling fine, no matter whether you’re trying to keep up a manly, womanly, or genderqueer vibe. Trashy Diva has about five different locations across the city, each with its own special focus. The vintage-cut dresses are adorbs, but the corsets are really where it’s at. If you’re in the Lower Garden District or Uptown, check out Basics Underneath and House of Lounge, the latter of which has a reputation for amazing menswear for the boudoir, too.
A photo posted by Buff Beauty Bar (@buffbeautybar) on
5. Polish your look
Once upon a time, seeing a guy in a nail salon was a curious and rare event. Now, dudes across the butch-femme spectrum are getting mani-pedis, facial treatments, and even bro-zilians. (Yeah, we hate that term as much as you, but apparently, it’s a thing.) There are scores of salons to choose from, including quick and cheap spots along Canal Street to higher-end studios that soothe the mind as well as unruly cuticles. Most major hotels have at least one on-site offering, but there’s also Paris Parker, Buff Beauty Bar, and the ever-popular Belladonna Day Spa.
6. Cast a bewitching spell
Last but not least, make sure your entrances are as enchanting as you are by getting in touch with your witchy side. Sure, you can visit the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum for candles and bags of gris-gris, but there’s more to this city’s spiritual side. Two of our favorite shops are all devoted to stones. French Quarter Gem & Lapidary has a massive selection of crystals, semi-precious stones, and jewelry to get your juju flowing. At the other end of the Quarter, you’ll find Earth Odyssey, which, in addition to wearables, also has geodes and other geologic eye candy — perfect for focusing your energy, or just providing a focal point to your fave tablescape.
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