Split personality; or, What on Earth am I going to wear for ‘dress down day’

For a charitable donation tomorrow at the New Job we humble workers will be permitted to wear whatever we please. Within a strict set of parameters. Nothing offensive or insulting, the sort of thing.

This is causing me somewhat of a dilemma. What do I wear? It’s perfectly easy to decide most of the time, because I have to wear office clothes, so, a pair trousers or skirt, and a smart top with a suit jacket or shawl cardigan.

But what do I wear when I don’t have to wear office clothes? This is the same question I ask myself at the weekend.

I’m torn between jeans, shirt and a jumper, with my DM’s, or a dress and tights with knee length boots. The choice is between being feminine and masculine in my clothing choices. I’m too fat to pull off the androgenous look easily, so that’s a no go. I want to wear both at once.

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I know absolutely that that day I will wear a pretty dress and girly shoes. Other days I wake up and decide it’s a jeans and shirt day. Then there are the days when I’m not fussed either way, I’ll wear whatever is cleanest and fits.

And then there are the days when I want to wear all the clothes because the mix of feminine and masculine match my state of being at that time. Finding the right balance is the problem.

It is always going to be a problem. I have only recently, in the last year or two, become comfortable with expressing more feminine parts of my nature. I was a bit of a boy when I was a girl. Growing up, with the horrors of teenagedom made me uneasy in my body. All the other girls were wearing bras and short skirts, plastering on make up. I vowed never to wear a skirt after I reached eleven years old, hated the thought of make-up, avoided wearing bras, because they were an acknowledgment that I was in fact female, and I suspect some of my weight gain was a subconscious attempt to hide my maturing figure.

I didn’t want to be female. I enjoyed books in which female characters became masculine – male – to the outside world to get where they wanted to be in life.

Age, and a vague emotional maturity, has changed that. I know I’m female and I quite enjoy it. When I lose weight (which happens rarely and takes a lot of work) I have curves in all the right places; I don’t look too repulsive. But appearances are secondary. I’m more comfortable with who I am inside. It has taken a lot of time to get to this point of self-acceptance.

Sometimes I feel ‘feminine’, sometimes ‘masculine’ but most of the time I’m at a point somewhere between the two.

And it’s all right.

And now I’ve written that down, I feel better.

But I still don’t know what to wear tomorrow. Do you think I can get away with a dress and jeans?





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