Life doesn’t get any better when there is an abfab clothing store in town that is owned by gay men who love fashion but do not care to sell expensive clothes.
Spark a.k.a. ‘Cockers’ sells fashionable men’s clothing, shoes, jewelry and underwear (I particularly have enjoyed their wonderful selection of affordable shoes) as well as an equally large collection of women’s attire.
I had often dated men who needed ‘cuter shoes,’ a phrase I repeated one too many times. My solution to men who had not-so-cute shoes were to gift them shoes for some occasion–Birthday, Christmas, Valentines, etc.; however, never found it terribly interesting to pay retail prices at department stores either.
Nordstrom Rack typically provided a great selection/prices for men’s shoes, but I found it to be a rather unpleasant process to dig through their piles of disorganized mess.
Then a former friend of mine, who was a very well-dressed gay man, introduced me to Spark. They have a pretty display of shoes along their wall, and fabulous shoes could be found at $20 on sale and no more than a $100 at regular price.
This particular day I decided to walk into Spark because my boyfriend had invited me to a Sunday Superbowl party and I was not sure how I felt about going to a Superbowl party. Football had always been an American ‘culture’ that I had a hard time relating to and finding appreciation for. I enjoyed Soccer. I liked watching Basketball, but Football? It seemed to be terribly testosterone driven, and I had avoided being assimilated into that part of the American culture at all costs. I had to go buy a dress and feel emotionally stable before I could enter this ‘football party.’
It was BINGO. I found these two absolutely fabulous dresses that spoke of uniqueness that could only be found in expensive department stores, or gay stores where many of the female clothing items were geared more towards the drag queen audiences.
The warm reception and help I received from the men who worked in the store were just as comforting as my mother’s home-cooked dinners also. When I picked up the drag queen sequins dress, the older gentleman working behind the jewelry display case shouted, ‘OMG you would look so cute in that! Wear it to the grocery store!!’ In regards to my search for ‘non-pointy-toe shoes’ (I think pointy toe shoes have had their run in the fashion industry and are on the way out the door unless you had already previously owned them) the gentleman sighed a big relief, “Oh you have NO idea how refreshing it is to hear that! I CAN’T STAND those pointy toe shoes!” It was nice to speak to people who were of the same thought.
The Superbowl party turned out to be a blast since my boyfriend’s family/friends made the most amazing home-made appetizers and had plenty of people who weren’t necessarily there for football, but more for the party aspect of the event. I still could not take away from the gratitude I felt at the recharging experience the gay store provided for me, and will continue to do so in the future 😉
629 South State Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84111