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Whenever the topic of passing comes up in conversation, inevitably, the talk turns to what we wear. Most trans women feel the best way to pass, is to blend in, and to blend in, we need to dress in a manner consistent with the way today’s women dress.
I may be in my own camp when it comes to this issue, but I have to disagree with the notion that blending in helps us to pass. In my mind, when we blend in, we simply aren’t being noticed or scrutinized as much.
Additionally, I don’t have much desire to wear what other women are wearing. Personally, I like to look well put together whenever I go out, regardless of what I’m doing or where I’m going. In short, I prefer to dress “up” rather than opt for a more casual look. That’s my sense of fashion and a personal choice, I know, but I’ve found that dressing up has always worked for me.
In a recent discussion with a friend, she chided me a bit for wearing a skirt and high-heels on a recent shopping trip. She reminded me that women just didn’t dress that way anymore when they were out shopping. She was worried that my wardrobe choices were causing me undo attention.
I’ll concede the fact that most women choose comfort and convenience over higher fashion, but it simply isn’t true that I’m alone in my wardrobe choices. When I’m out, I see other women dressed the same way I am, and while I’ll admit there aren’t many, there are enough, that I don’t worry about being singled out. And honestly, the last thing I want to do anyway, is to blend in. I actually like the attention my appearance garners, because, it makes me feel as though my efforts are being acknowledged.
Of course, I’m not going to choose club-wear or and evening gown to go to the mall, but feminine business attire, or a fashionable skirt and shoe combination is perfectly okay in my book. Dressing appropriately actually has less to with what you are wearing and more to do with how you carry yourself. So, in my estimation, as long as I am being lady-like, I can dress the way that makes me feel feminine, pretty, and happy.
I am just a girly girl at heart, and my wardrobe choices reflect that. And, since I don’t generally concern myself about passing, I feel as though I can dress in a manner that pleases me, rather than subscribing to an aesthetic I don’t agree with. Obviously, I understand the reason why many ascribe to the concept of dressing down, and I would never criticize anyone’s desire to do so. Ultimately, it all comes down to a matter of personal comfort, it’s just that I happen to be most comfortable when I’m dressed up. My wardrobe choices, I believe, have led to positive interaction with others and is why my feminine presentation seems to be so well received.
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