Sin Jawns Style: Profiling Taylor Stocks
Hello Racket Readers!
Welcome back to Sin Jawns Style, the column where I profile local humans with a style that I admire. In this edition, I profile Taylor Stocks, a multi-talented individual who I have known for a few years now and met through working in adjacent buildings. Every time I have laid my eyes on Taylor an aesthetic based compliment lept from my lips (I can’t help it). Taylor is one of those people that generally looks amazing all the time even if it is in a simple outfit, you just know that the colour palette is going to be on point.
However, my admiration does extend outside of Taylor’s aesthetic accomplishments. Taylor also performs as Doctor Androbox, one of the city’s most renowned drag kings, especially known for Drag Storytime. As well, Taylor is one of the trans-youth voices that’s work is part of the play transVersing. This play is one of my favourites and it also includes the work of Violet Drake, Daze Jefferies, Fionn Shea, Perin Squires, and Dane Woodland. It was originally produced for the stage by Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland and For the Love of Learning and the paperback of the play includes the dramatic text by Berni Stapleton and Sharon King-Campbell (it’s worth a read for sure). Here is what Taylor had to say about personal style.
(This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.)
Can you describe your approach to fashion?
My approach to fashion is a blend of gender-variance and comfort. As a genderfluid person who is chronically ill, I aim for outfits that can accommodate both my health needs as well as the instability of my gender. I don't always aim for androgyny; after all, common images of androgyny often skew masculine. For me, I can be just as much of a man wearing a dress as I am while donning a suit. It is important, however, for me to aim to wear a mix of garments that allow me a spectrum of gender expression throughout a day. Every now and then I experience a day where I'm super masculine or hyperfeminine- those are the easiest days to dress for.
How has your style evolved?
It took me many years to figure out how clothing designated for men or women specifically can work together in complementary ways. I had to do it in steps. At 21, I decided it was no longer okay for me to solely wear sweatshirts and jeans, so I would try once a week to build an outfit that was feminine and thoughtful. At 24, through my transition, I learned how to dress my male self. In the years since I have experimented playing mix and match with my binary wardrobe to create something in between that expresses who I really am. Finding a common palette has helped me gender blend my closet, though when in doubt, I stick with a grey or black base and add a pop of bold colour.
What are your three key style essentials?
1) Brightly coloured pants.
I am a big supporter of these, particularly with neutrals.
2) Snapback Hats.
A snapback is one of my favourite ways to masculinize my outfit if I'm wearing a dress.
3) Big scarves.
A big scarf can be a great way to soften a suit to give it a more feminine look.
What is your best style advice?
I have discovered it useful to find individual pieces that make me feel really feminine or masculine so I can balance out an outfit with just one addition. I'll note that I understand how the world interprets gender through clothing, and this has helped me make sense of my style. However, that doesn't mean a skirt or a dress actually IS feminine, so if ignoring gender labels entirely works for you, have at!
How did you develop your drag aesthetic?
Doctor Androbox has been many years in the making. Shortly after beginning my side gig as a drag king, I felt the pressure to conform to masculine stereotypes and silhouettes while on stage. It was only when I got more comfortable being a trans man in my daily life that Doctor Androbox took his true form- covered in sequins and feathers, nary a pair of pants in sight. I have no skill with a sewing machine, so it's been important to keep my eye out for pre-made pieces I can transform with a bit of hot glue and sheer force of will.
Who is your drag style icon?
If I were to pick a style icon for Doc, it would definitely be Elton John. I do find it slightly ironic that I wear way more makeup as a boy than as a girl- there's a gender lesson in there somewhere!