Wes and Tan discussing a best look during a fashion consult.
This was such a great moment with Tan.

Disabled But Not Really-ness Fashion With Tan France

Wes and Tan discussing a best look during a fashion consult.
This was such a great moment with Tan.

I loved the time I spent with Tan France.

I’ve always been a person who loved fashion, but after my injury, I never could find clothes that provided true comfort and style. When Tan and I met at Ulah, I didn’t know what to expect. I’d never been there. And I’d never had another man pick out clothes for me. I was just gonna wing it.

Turns out that Ulah was such an awesome Kansas City store. And the swag in that place—sheesh. The fashion-focused owners offered a warm KC welcome, and I especially appreciated that since it was my first time in a store like that. After my initial nervousness, Tan and I began to connect. Yes, it was awkward at first with cameras all around us while we conversed. But Tan was so nice, and his energy made me comfortable quickly.

While Tan and I were looking around and chatting, it was interesting to see how passionate he was about fashion. I looked at Tan like one of those guys in the movies working in a nice suit shop. But really, he was the truth. Tan’s passion came through to pick clothes that complemented me well. Matter of fact, I did a photo-shoot right after. Lol.

One of the most memorable parts thought was just talking about life. Tan and I got deep into a conversation about acceptance. It started when Tan told me to ask him any question and said he’d answer it. Acceptance was the topic that came to my mind. I’m constantly in a world where I’m seeking acceptance. And I knew that I was around 5 gay guys who had found enough acceptance to be confident in who they were. So, I asked Tan how he got to that point. Man, his response was vulnerable and powerful. You catch a glimpse of it in my Queer Eye episode, but that moment felt like so much more.

Tan showing Wes his custom fitted suit at Ulah KC
Tan showing Wes his custom fitted suit.

What Tan France expressed about acceptance is something that I will hold on to. I’m not the one to tell his story, so I’ll just say he is truly genuine in every aspect of his life. And the process that got him there is a story the world should hear. That time in the shop seemed too short, but I was glad to have such real conversation with Tan.


Fast forward to my time at my newly re-designed home, and I had another awesome Tan moment. He showed me my new closet that was filled with things that fit me and my personality. But when Tan pulled out that custom-fitted suit—mind blown! The design was superb, and the makers of the suit, IZ Adaptive, outdid themselves. Shout out to the whole QE fashion design team who worked with Tan. They got all my measurements on point. This new wardrobe has been a huge help in expressing myself and my organization more fully through fashion.

Tan France, thank you for showing me a new light in fashion. You gave me the ability to be comfortable and swagged out. You helped boost my confidence to a whole different level, and man, I will forever love you for that. My time with you was nothing short of amazing. I now see fashion in a different lens, thanks to you and the QE team.

Edited by Writing Help KC


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