Dress

opera

I dress like I have something to prove. Which, of course, I do.

I think anybody who has struggled to explain or defend their identity will understand me: wielding that proof can be powerful, but it can also take a heavy toll. There’s not much room for experimentation or deviation. A comfortable identity allows for those things, but a guarded one does not.

Many times on Hchom, I’ve talked about my wish to dress more bravely, in a broader variety of clothing; but when I follow through, it always feels like I’ve given up ground. Rationally it shouldn’t be an issue, and don’t even get me started on how unfair it is that androgynous defaults to masculine; but alas, personal history seldom respects what is rational!

I’m not getting any younger, you guys, and I don’t know who I’m trying to impress with this shit. The world being what it is right now, I feel like I’d better step up and be myself as completely¬†as I possibly can.

So a couple weeks ago, I dove off the deep end and wore a dress to the opera. It must seem like a fairly underwhelming victory to anyone not inside my head, but this was my shot, and I took it. More than that, I thought it turned out rather boyish Рwhich is to say, I actually felt like myself.

12 Comments

Filed under Hchom, Outfits, Personal

12 responses to “Dress

  1. A post after my own heart. In case you’re interested, a colleague and I are having an extended conversation about exactly this over on our blog: https://queerhabitus.wordpress.com/. Cheers.

  2. I politely demand that you never stop Hchoming. These posts are now a fixture of my Monday/Wednesday/Friday lunch breaks and they always give me a nice case of the thinks and feels. I’m thoroughly impressed anytime someone pulls of boyishly chique in dress. Dang.

  3. Shanna

    I love wearing skirts and dresses in a neutral manner. Today I’m wearing a wool pleated skirt with a sweater, some stockings and docs and it has just the right feel for me. I tend to dress based on my emotions, and I don’t even know if using feminine and masculine are the best labels for how I want to feel because they seem to limit what they’re expressing, if that makes sense? That to be feminine is automatically be seen as “girly” and masculine is its counter. But I really have no better way to express it. And I go back and forth all the time based on how I want to express myself. I love florals, if it’s a floral dress I’ll balance it with chunky boots, cause I am a 90’s child. Or if I’m feeling slightly more feminine than it’s oxfords, and that’s generally as far as I go with a raised heel! For a while I was really enjoying having a completely shaved underside with my hair pulled up into a bun while wearing more feminine dresses, I like that contrast and balance.

    I also like seeing what’s happening on Japanese street fashion with guys wearing long skirts, and have you seen genderless kei? It tends to be very sugary but oh my goodness, so cool and fascinating.

    • That shaved underside thing looks really cool. My wife has considered that from time to time, especially when it’s hot out. I also love the Docs/chunky boots look. I hadn’t considered whether that had anything to do with 90s fashion influences (my high school/college years), but that makes a lot of sense. See also: plaid flannel shirts.

    • Marian

      This is exactly how I want to be able to approach it. And I don’t know, maybe it’s as simple as deciding that I will. Often I think that struggling with the whole thing has just become a habit I can’t kick.
      But yes! Japanese street fashion gives me faith that I can pull it all off, for myself. And generally, just the willingness of Japanese designers – even more traditional workwear/Americana ones – to bring those elements into play.
      I don’t know genderless kei, but I’ll look into it now.

  4. I’m struggling to express my thoughts on this without sounding like I’m just telling you what I find attractive (which definitely includes “boyish” looks, to be clear), so I’ll just say I think that’s awesome.

    Also, going to the opera in itself immediately earns you style points in my book.

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