My wife sometimes thinks as far as a half day ahead when considering what to wear. We cross dressers typically require a little more planning. Perhaps require is the wrong word. I, for one, rather relish thinking about what will work for Petra. And in so far as dressing en femme for the outside world is not a frequent event, I typically do have time to ponder on about exactly what I want to shimmy and slide into next time. Here at least, is a nice, low carbon emitting pastime.
I review 8-10 emails a day from various retailers promoting this look, pimping that coupon and generally provoking my next click with the promise that I too, yes even I, can look as beautiful as the remote, perfect woman pictured within that simply-must-have garment. I follow avant gardiste bloggers gathering intelligence from the glittering trenches of the rag trade. The other day in a dentists lobby the choice between Sports Illustrated and Elle was a no-brainer. I’ll take the pretty over the sweaty any day.
Out in the real world too. I can barely stop writing memos to self. Fueling up the car, hunting for a bunch of bananas less bruised, holding an elevator door open, all around me are women who made fashion choices that register a place on my long and largely unfulfilled wish list. The variety is blinding and crazy-making. I envy them the complexity, the exponential explosion of ensembles that somehow, by some miracle emerge from so many drawers, shelves and closets, so effortlessly assembled and lived in so gorgeously.
My wardrobe is largely built around the dresses that flash a little leg, the skirts that gently and surely constrain the stride within taut fabric, the suits that insist on mindful modesty sliding out of the car seat, or taking a tall chair at a long bar. I do not suspect that will ever change. Truly. The breeze between my knees is the wind beneath my wings. With that said, I am struggling with an urge, a yet unexpressed desire to get into women’s pants.
Now, for the benefit of visitors from The U.K., by pants I mean slacks, not knickers. Well tailored trousers that merchandize curves, lengthen legs, narrow waists and draw eyes from butt to buffed nails. If pants were good enough for Katharine Hepburn, surely they are good enough for me? … I think. There is a curious set of feelings aroused by this next likely fashion statement. I feel like I am considering a little act of sedition within a bigger act of sedition.
For me, and for a few of you perhaps, cross dressing is, in part, an act of rebellion. Even as we embrace feelings and needs deeply wired within, we are thumbing our noses at convention. Hello world, yes, this is me, in a dress. Maybe “passing” from afar but far from passing up close. And now I am considering taking the dress out of cross dressing. I spend years warding off the urge to dress, agonized over accepting myself when I finally realized the fight was futile and wrong headed, and now I want back into pants? How very perverse.
Pants might just represent an interesting fashion frontier though. I suspect that they might have the impact of cloaking me just a little bit --- who is expecting a cross dresser to cover up their legs after all? Slacks have an odd ambiguity to them. On a woman, they are statement ... "I can run with the boys, and look like a girl". This statement is pretty muted these days and demurred by ubiquity. But not so long ago, a grown woman in pants was challenging the status quo and being just a little cheeky. Well, I live to challenge status quo's everywhere, and with the help of my ample padding can be just as cheeky as the next girl.
Perfect pants are de rigueur for the modern woman, can fashionably rise to the requirements of practically any occasion and still possess all the liberation that their design naturally provides. And lord can they look good. I want some of that. I am man enough to admit it.
High-waisted, thin-belted, side-zipped, flare-legged, and long enough at the cuff to insist on a good heel. Paired with a smartly tailored, stretch cotton, French-cuffed, body-fitted blouse. A little bling, a big shawl and a bag to die for. I am looking forward to really legging it about this autumn in this imagined look. Ann Taylor and Macy’s are showing some terrific stuff. The endless racks of TJ Maxx are lined with options I have not taken the time to explore, besotted as I have been by the dresses.
I just feel like its time to mix it up a bit. How about you my dear? Do you have a perfect pair or do you remain faithful to garments with higher hems?
Happy dressing …