Marquis Neal Wants You to Find the Joy in Getting Dressed

While getting dressed in the morning can sometimes feel monotonous, Neal—who uses they/he pronouns—has adopted a philosophy of positivity, emphasizing the joy in picking out clothing every day—as evidenced by a grid full of dancing “Get Ready With Me” videos, which he shares on his growing TikTok platform. As a queer, nonbinary, plus-sized person, they are deeply entrenched in an industry that is not always willing to make space for them. Yet Neal is undeterred, building a presence off of his unadulterated love for fashion, and his equally pure approach to style. “I’ve always wanted fashion to seem approachable,” he says. “Getting dressed is your opportunity to decide what it is that you would like to place forth into the world for other people to see.” 

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Marquis Neal boogies into frame to a foot-tapping mashup of Olivia Rodrigo’s “bad idea right?” laid over Britney Spears’s “I’m a Slave 4 U.” They’re shirtless, wearing a pair of pink-and-white checked pants (save for one cobalt blue square), and a pair of sheer black socks. They take the audience through the minutiae of getting ready, donning a pink sheer long-sleeve, hot pink shorts and matching over shirt, a navy puffy vest, a black crossbody purse painted with mushrooms, a handful of silver rings, a baseball cap, and white slides, dancing every step of the way.

TikTok content

But for Neal, discovering their queerness is what really opened the fashion floodgates. “Finding out that I was queer, my mind suddenly opened up an entire passageway for fashion, so I used that as a catalyst to explore as much as I possibly could,” they say. After this revelation, he began experimenting with style, wearing dresses, skirts, makeup, and mixing menswear and womenswear. To this day, their personal style is still malleable, a hodgepodge of colors, textures, and shapes that Neal uses as a billboard to express who they are, a philosophy which they describe as “Same girl, different day.” They count Chopova Lowena, Tanner Fletcher, and Charles Jeffrey Loverboy among their current favorite labels. “That’s the most empowering thing about being queer. We all look and express ourselves so differently,” he says. “There’s a way that it’s expressed that is so different and beautiful.”

منبع Neal grew up in Vancouver, Washington and ascribed to the late-aughts fashion du jour: mall prep. “It was Hollister polo, jeans, the whole thing,” they say of their early approach to style. Much of their inspiration came from the internet. “I had a friend who used Tumblr, and they were always on it, and I was so interested in it. I found out that there was something called the plus-size community on the internet.” Neal was primarily interested in accessible, affordable fashion for all body types, rather than what they saw in high fashion: “I’d never studied runway, I knew nothing about luxury fashion, and I couldn’t access it because I didn’t have the money to do it.”