In the early 1900s, Madam C.J. Walker turned her homemadeRead more...
Welcome to the world of cross-gender dressing
Nowadays, the gender binary is becoming less and less relevant, but nonetheless, many of us shy away from cross-gender dressing.
Sure, Jaden Smith might be wearing skirts and designers are increasingly sending genderless garb down the runway but, how realistic is it for a woman to wear men’s clothing in real life?
One writer, Lucy Rycroft-Smith, decided to find out, documenting her experience for feminist webzine The F Word.
She was inspired by the ‘Octieber’ challenge – a month long sartorial celebration of neckwear – and wondered, “What might happen if I wore a tie everyday?
Working in a big city and commuting for four to five hours each day, going shoulder-to-shoulder with men in suits – shirts, brogues, three-pieces and all –was going to be no mean feat.
But, as technically ‘masculine’ as tailoring might be, Lucy found comfort in menswear she had never been privy to before.
While Lucy documents that dressing formally as a woman typically means flashing more flesh, tight-fitting clothes and high heels, dressing like a man offered her a sort of nonchalance.
She found that the surmounting variety if outfit choices she faced wearing women’s clothing didn’t exist. Here, it was a matter of deciding between a few suits, shirts and a handful of ties.
The differences extended to footwear too as Lucy went about her business in shoes that were far more comfortable than she was used to.
After 30 days of wearing men’s clothes, Lucy became an ardent menswear devotee, ditching her bra and trading in heels for brogues but while she found solace in suiting, it left her disgruntled with the state of archaic womenswear standards.
“I’ve never worn clothes that have made me feel so comfortable, made it so easy to regulate my temperature and have been so simply flattering – never.