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In our new series, “Stuff I Use,” celebrities and influencers share their shopping styles and the everyday basics that help them get it all done.
Caldwell Tidicue hates shopping. Belovingly known as Bob The Drag Queen, the non-binary performer,podcast host, activist and now fashion designer would rather catch up with a friend or play Super Smash Bros than spend a day galavanting between shops and stores.
“Shopping stresses me out,” Bob,who uses he/him and she/her pronouns, told HuffPost. “Particularly for clothes. I have childhood memories of having to try on clothes at TJ Maxx for hours. It felt like hours, just hours, of trying on clothes at TJ Maxx.”
Thanks to living in New York City for 12 years, Bob said that shopping conjures images of blisters, being too cold outside but too hot in the store (or the other way around) and carrying more bags than there are seasons of “Drag Race.”
“There’s no going back to your car. There’s no place to hold your things. The first thing you buy, you’re still holding it when you buy the last thing,” she said. “A lot of that has carried over with me, here in LA, even though I have a car now. When I go shopping, I want to get the one thing I need.”
Though she’s now become famous for her distinctive style, Bob shared that growing up in Atlanta, she wanted to dress like her peers.
“When I was younger, I was really into, like, trends,” she said. “Like middle school and high school, the trends of the Atlanta young Black scenes. I was wearing race car jackets. I was wearing these like anime shirts, like these button-up shirts with anime all over them. Hawaiian shirts were really big for some reason... I was really into that.”
Ironically, following trends is what inspired Bob to start making her own clothes, in her own style ― something that’s helped her stand out and succeed through her career.
“I got into this one model where it was cool to like, bleach your pants, like customizing your own pants,” Bob said. “It was the first time that it didn’t have to be a label. An old pair of knockoff jeans or cheap jeans or Walmart jeans —you could tie them up and spray paint them, and do all these things to customize your clothes.”
Throughout her career, Bob’s sewing talents and strong creative eye have continued to flourish. In 2016, her ability to make show-stopping outfits helped Bob win Season 8 of “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” (beating Drag Race fan faves and otherwise iconic queens Kim Chi and Naomi Smalls). In 2020, Bob premiered in HBO’s first unscripted show, “We’re Here,” with fellow queens Eureka O’Hara and Shangela, putting on one-night only drag shows across small towns in the U.S. And now, in 2022, Bob is about to launch her own clothing line.
“It’s called House of Bob. We’re gonna drop it in the next couple of months,” she said. “It is size-inclusive, gender nonconforming, it is very comfortable and I’m excited for you all to see it. I get to make clothes that I know I’d wear. I have an out-of-drag aesthetic that I really have a lot of fun playing with.”
As a touring queen and TV star, Bob travels a lot. She prioritizes comfort and function, and would rather call for takeout than make a four-course meal at home. Whether she’s penning new jokes or laying out business plans, Bob keeps everything digital. Not one for notebooks or sticky pads, the self-proclaimed “Google Docs girl” wants it all on one place — her 2018 MacBook Pro. She’s into oral hygiene, audiobooks, plain black socks and quick trips to the big box stores closest to her house.
Most of all, Bob the Drag Queen is encouraging people to be — and dress — as themselves. Though she may hate shopping, Bob cites thrift stores and the gender section you’re not used to shopping as the best places to find unique pieces ― that, and getting yourself a cheap sewing machine and teaching yourself how to sew.
“Fabric is just clothes that have yet to become clothes,” she said.
From flossing sticks to Michelle Visage’s memoir, here’s the stuff Bob The Drag Queen uses to keep it all together.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.