When most people think of cutting edge fashion icons, drag queens probably aren’t the first people who come to mind. But “ladyboys” and “T-girls” are more than just men parading around in wigs and dresses. Drag queens turn femininity into a performing art, reshaping themselves with makeup and padding to emulate the female form.

RuPaul Andre Charles is arguably one of the world’s most famous drag queens, and in and out of drag, he’s got an impeccable sense of style. In his 2010 book, “Workin’ It!,” he presents his personal take on style and what it means to him:

Having a great sense of style is more than being able to put the right combination of clothing together to look clever and chic. It’s more than having a keen eye for home design and a knack for turning a simple party into an unforgettable event. Having a great sense of style also includes how well you’re able to love yourself, and the ease with which you balance your ego and spirit.

In honor of RuPaul’s 53rd birthday (November 17), we’re sharing his best fashion and beauty advice from the book, along with a few of her most glamorous looks.

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Confidence. If you believe it, then we can see it.

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Don’t be afraid to find out what you’re really working with. Identifying your weak areas is the first step in showcasing your strong areas.

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Just as with clothing, hair must fit your body proportions.

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If you must buy a trendy item, buy the inexpensive knockoff. It’s not worth paying big bucks on a trend that will be over tomorrow.

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If you’re dressing to please other people, you’ve lost yourself. Plus, other people are too self absorbed to notice or care.

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The colors that make you feel a rush are the ones to gravitate towards. Trust the rush when choosing your colors.

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All thoughts manifest in the body and on your face eventually. Be mindful of your thoughts. Think peaceful and forgiving thoughts and be beautiful.


Featured image via Politico