Saturday, 8 January 2011

The day I learned something about being a bloke

    It may be something on which I have commented before, and it's certainly something I find I share with some others in my position, the difference between my attitude to my appearance depending in which gender I am presenting. Simply put: as a bloke I am scruffy, as a girl I am obsessive. I hate dressing smartly as a bloke but live to dress smartly as a girl. Of course I understand that variety in a wardrobe is essential and were I to go full-time it would be difficult to imagine myself pruning apple trees in anything significantly different from the scruffy clothes I wear for that task at the moment, for example, but my point is that I never have the slightest desire to be smart as a bloke and the opposite is the case for my female presentation.
    You will never catch me wearing a suit to work. You wouldn't even catch me wearing a suit to work were I presenting female as it happens, in further reinforcement of my point above they do not work well on a girl of my size, forming a huge block of dark colouring that does little to flatter or divert the emphasis from my height. Plus Tim Gunn says they are dowdy, and who am I to argue with that, however much the 1980s might have inserted themselves into my mind as a teenaged closet t-girl!
    I had always considered my aversion to smart clothing to be simply part of being a bloke. You know, the slob stereotype. But if I don't fit in with the rest of being a bloke or the rest of that particular stereotype, why should I fit in with that facet? So a few weeks ago I decided to satisfy my curiosity, and asked a few of my male friends how much they cared about their appearances as blokes. My sample was limited as there are not many blokes who know about Jenny, but the answers I got surprised me. They are far more obsessive about their appearances than I realised. Sure, they might sometimes pay lip-service to a scruffy bloke idyl, but in reality they care about what they wear and about their personal grooming in a way that as a bloke I never have. C in particular was insistent about suit-wearing, he believes he does not give the right impression without one.  Particularly interesting though was this quote from K, who's a transman.
 I hated the girl I was seen as, so never took care in my appearance at all, was scruffy, was unkempt and didn't care what others thought...as male I am definitely somewhat different, I like to take pride in what I wear and what I'm seen as.
    And the moment I read that from K was the moment at which I realised that although I have spent many decades learning to be a bloke, there are aspects of it that I have just never "got".
    Will I make more of an effort with my appearance as a bloke? I can't say it enthuses me but I have to try. It is unfair on my wife to pair her with an oversized slob. Fortunately in exploring my female presentation over the last few years I have improved my general demeanour significantly and some of this has rubbed off on my day-to-day existence.
    But you still aren't going to see me in a suit.

12 comments:

  1. My poor wife proposed marriage because she wanted to fit in with her background and have a male on her arm when attending some of the posh events which she sometimes received invitations to.

    Sadly she did not tell me about this just the part about the huge tax advantage available to us back then!

    I just could not bloke it up for her and have felt regret for causing such disappointment for her.

    Caroline xxx

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  2. I guess that you will get the same reply from most Tgirls that we do not like our male self and therefore do not pay much attention to our appearance. My wife would like me to be more adventurous with my male dressing but is going to have to accept that I love my smart female clothes but don't care about my male ones.

    We are going to a wedding next weekend and she asked what I was going to wear. I would love to have said that I was thinking about my shoulderless party dress but instead said that I would wear what I always wear to weddings, a male suit.

    Louise

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  3. Could possibly be simply a form of rebellion against people's perception of you as a male. Awkwardly put. Perhaps it is you rebelling against the fact that you have to appear as a male rather than a female so you don't make the effort. On the other hand you make every effort as a female because that is how you want to be accepted.

    Shirley Anne xxx

    PS. Oh BTW The word verification worked this time. Still have to fill in the ID section each time though.

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  4. I guess I was lucky that I didn't ever have an office job, so I was rather less constrained in my dress before transitioning. I'm still glad to feel freer to wear what I want, now, though; though, as it happens, recently I've been in humungously large woolly pully and parka, that I'd have been comfy in anytime... I hope you find a good look for your bloke times.
    I quite like the Flickr Wardrobe Remix group, for the often rather individual take on clothes... the overwhelming majority of posters are female, but there are the occasional chaps too...

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/wardrobe_remix/

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  5. One of the reasons I stopped training in law in my late twenties was the sartorial culture of female lawyers: the skirt-suit, the collars over the jacket lapels, the heels, the makeup. Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh gag. I have frequently struggled with dressing as girl, and feel like I just don't have a clue.

    and I love the beautiful men's shirts I see - M&S Autograph, for a start. I'm quite happy to do jeans & t-shirt though.

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  6. Louise, just because you wear a suit it does not mean that you can't be subversive and fun and use it as a foil for some something softer and more feminine where they might have expected a shirt and tie.

    I was never able to wear blokes clothing and unisex does not find you a decent kind of employment. My wife thought I was stubborn but I was caught between lies.

    Caroline xxx

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  7. One of the reasons I left my old job was over the request I wore a tie. Stupid really, such a silly thing, but I hated it.

    I would never take a conract where I needed to wear a suit but nowadays I do take care of my mail apperance. HRT changed everything and it also affected Bob. I can't say that I have much interest in his clothes but I am totally fastidiuos about colour matching all the way to the socks - often changing my shirt in the morning to get it just right. I am a walking cliche though - wear such a lot of pink

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  8. I too feel some sadness that I've never quite lived up to being the smart bloke I could have been for Mrs. J.

    Fortunately i work in an industry where the dress code is like the famous "Wear something" of Sun Microsystems. Funny though, yes I go on about being scruffy as a bloke. But there are standards! One of our sysadmins wears the same t-shirt for days, for instance. I may look a little scruffy, but at least I'm clean and scruffy!

    Wardrobe remix looks kinda fun. I've wasted quite a bit of time paging through that one.

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  9. ......OK, I don't want to sound wierd but...I quite like being a smart guy too. Shock horror! Transvestite admits to liking mens clothes! Please don't shun me sisters!

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  10. Ah, too late, consider yourself shunèd! :)

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  11. Given my limited opportunities to present female, and encouragement from my wife, I often take a lot of care with my male dressing. I tend toward the colorful, including pinks and purples. On the rare occasion that I have to wear a suit, I will wear a colored shirt and busy tie, though impeccable. If I've gotta be a guy, I might as well feel alive doing it.

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  12. I'm afraid I can't summon up such enthusiasm, my heart just isn't in it. Wish I could, after all there could be a lot of fun to be had.

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