I have always found women’s clothes very pretty. Unfortunately, I considered them forbidden fruit for too long, but now I dare to wear them myself. It feels like an upgrade every time. I feel prettier and happier. These clothes just feel so nice.
It’s all those details that make it special: a puffed sleeve that decorates the shoulder, a lace trim around the neck, a floral print on the blouse, the fabric of a skirt that caresses the leg… So many variations, so many choices.
I can’t answer the why question, but recently I got a new insight.
Last week I bought three new items: a chiffon blouse with flower print combined with an opaque jersey top, a soft knitted sweater with colorful stripes, and a bordeaux blouse with short sleeves. I bought these in a store, and tried them on there too.
I have the routine of looking up my new clothes afterwards on the brand’s website, and saving the images. Every now and then I look at them again, e.g. to see what the models look like in those cute things. This week, a new feeling came to mind. A feeling of connection and relatedness. “Hey, look, we’re wearing the same things!”
By wearing similar clothes, people indicate that they belong to the same group. Supporters of a soccer team wear the colors of their team. In this way, they indicate that they are connected to each other. “This is our club.”
I too want to belong to a club, the club of women (cis and trans). Dressing like them is a way to communicate. I try to form a bond. “I am like you.”
Over the past few months, I’ve also learned that little is as satisfying as seeing that desire to belong confirmed. Even being ignored on the street when I’m dressed as a woman is a confirmation. Nothing seems to be wrong, so what I’m doing is normal. Even more gratifying, of course, is when a saleswoman in the store treats me like a woman. Or when I chat with a trans woman who sees me as her peer. Or when I have a conversation with a woman who suddenly is talking about “We women…”.
Clothes are not just clothes. We use them to communicate. We use them to express our identity. We tell everyone what club we belong to.