Looking and feeling your best is an art form, and LGBT community most definitely has distinct ideas about how to best achieve this goal. From fashionistas to stylists and designers, many of our brothers and sisters pride themselves on staying ahead of all the latest curves. And whether it’s shopping in chic boutiques or cobbling together something retro—or a drag look—at a thrift shop, they’ve shown that they have what it takes to carefully construct a look for the world. So here are our readership’s recommendations for the keys to looking and feeling your best—including where to doll up your best four-legged friend!


Place to Shop for New ClothesH&M

H&M takes the top spot this year. Now with two local location—one in Opry Mills and the other in Cool Spings—H&M offers fashionable clothes for men, women, and children for relatively affordable prices. And since the two locations often stock different clothes, you can alter your visits between locations for twice the shopping. The LGBT community adores this place, as any visit to the shop will clearly demonstrate, and that enthusiasm has barely waned since Nashvillians first slept in their cars get in line when the new location opened last year.


Place to Shop for Used ClothesGoodwill

Thrift shopping offers the sense of satisfaction at knowing you didn’t pay dozens of times more than cost for your latest outfit. Sure it takes some skill to put together an outfit so well that no one realizes you spent $20, and not $200, on your look, but that’s part of the fun, isn’t it? And, let’s be frank, why should only those with platinum cards get to look like that? From everyday low prices to daily deals and frequent shopper programs, Goodwill is again our favorite place to pull it all together—and the proceeds still people who otherwise may have trouble finding work. Win-win.


HairstylistDerrick Lachney, Fresh Salon

For the second year in a row, Derrick Lachney topped the best hairstylist category. Working at Fresh Salon on Demonbreun, Derrick has styled for celebrities like Kelly Pickler, Kacey Musgraves, and Hillary Scott. He’s been doing hair for over fifteen years—since graduating high school—and most of that career (besides a stint in DC) has been in Nashville. Derrick is most well-known for his skill as a colorist—last year he also won Nashville Lifestyles’ Best Colorist this year too!” His customers can’t stop raving about his work, and in a town known for its “blondes” that’s saying something. Derrick loves his job and his clients. Last year he told us, “I really enjoy being with and working with different people every day. Some of my clients have been with me over ten years and building that relationship is one of my favorite things.” Aside from his work, Derrick is also active in the LGBT community as the founder and organizer of the HotMess sports leagues, for which he and some of his team were featured on the July 2014 cover of O&AN.


Tattoo ShopAlchemy Nashville

Located on Fatherland in East Nashville, Alchemy Nashville is this year’s readers’ favorite for getting that body art you’ve always wanted. There is perhaps no other category where word-of-mouth is more important. Sure, you can get a bad haircut, but for the most part you can grow that back out—laser removal is not so simple. Alchemy is Tai Orten’s private studio and operates by appointment only, so get in touch with them when you’re ready for a consultation.


Massage TherapistDale Parker

This year, our readers chose Dale Parker, founder of Athletic Performance Massage, as their favorite massage therapist in town.


GymDowntown YMCA

Two years ago, the Downtown YMCA tied with Planet Fitness, to whom it barely lost last year. This year the YMCA took back the top spot, thanks to its excellent facilities (including a rooftop pool), prime location, and, in all likelihood, the prevalence of gym eye-candy. Oh, and the classes and programs, from spin to nutrition education, are top notch!


Pet ServicesThe Dog Spot

The Dog Spot is again our favorite place to make sure our four-legged friends also look and feel their best. It has been named “Best of” by the Nashville Scene on a number of occasions as well. The Dog Spot offers professional dog grooming, daycare, and boarding services, and with three locations—East Nashville, West Nashville, and Mount Juliet—they’re also conveniently located. For you overprotective owners, webcams allow you to look in on your pooch when you can’t be with them!





Photo courtesy of Red Bull

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Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

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Post-Covid travel planning

Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?

For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:

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