Who am I? What we wear is, in a way, how we tell people who we are. You could drop out and enjoy punk music without a Mohawk or safety pins through your ears. You could smoke pot and listen to jam bands without a long flowing skirt and dreads. You could like football without wearing the jersey of your favorite player. But, we all tend to use our clothing and style as a way to broadcast something about the world. It can say I'm serious, I'm fun, or leave me alone. It can be how we find our peers and our community.
Before transition, my style tended to be all over the place. I'd find a random dress or skirt I liked and add it to my closet. Heck I even owned pink. Sure, I tended to veer into goth territory, but I also, like I said, owned pink too. Really, I was just grabbing anything I wanted to try because I was still trying out the role.
Even after transition, I still feel like I'm trying on roles. Maybe everyone feels like that all the time. When I first came out full time, my style was fairly preppy. It was my first time working in an office while presenting female so all I wanted was a style that was conservative, professional, and bland. Yes, I wanted a bland style because the last thing I wanted was to stand out or get attention.
But as I head toward my first year of full time, I'm been feeling the urge to express more of my own favorite style - goth. I can't help. I love wearing black clothes, black nail polish and bold makeup. But obviously I can't go too goth. Not at the office at least.
|I save that for church.|
So I've set myself a style goal. All my new work clothes are going to help me achieve (and perfect) the look of Business Goth. Actually, my partner and I didn't even come up with that phrase. It's a thing! So, I created a new Pinterest board. Yes, I do have a Pinterest account that I barely use. You can follow me if you like.
Previously, I mentioned my love of Vivienne Westwood clothing, especially the blazers, but I can't remotely afford them. Call me crazy, but I don't quite want to have to pick between a blazer and rent. But, one nice thing about fashion is that it changes from season to season and the rich people will get rid of their old clothes. Then the fashion peasants like me can get their cast offs!
So my plan was to head up to the Upper East Side of Manhattan where there are a number of slightly fancier thrift shops where once can occasionally find some really great deals on super expensive designer clothes. To prep, I looked them all up online and compiled a list along with an optimal route. Then I could take the train to 96th St. and walk down to 62nd so I could get them all.
Three hours, two miles, eight stores, and probably a good gallon of sweat later I had found nothing. Absolutely nothing. It was so frustrating. Most of the stores didn't have any blazers at all. I guess maybe it wasn't the season for them? Do thrift shops have seasons? I don't think they do. Yet there I was. Defeated, with sore feet, smeary makeup, and a broken heart, I headed home. Perhaps my blazer, and the rest of my business goth style was going to have to wait until autumn or winter.
Well, needless to say I was super frustrated. I wanted my blazer dang it! Well, it wasn't Vivienne Westwood, but I ended up going to Ann Taylor later that day. I thought why the heck not try one more place? Believe it or not, I finally found an amazing blazer. It fit great and it was on sale! Then I did that trick where you got to the store's website on your phone while you're waiting in line. I gave them my email and got a 20% off coupon in my email. It was priced at $160.00 and I got it for $59.00. I was quite pleased.
The next day I wore it to work with one of my black shifts and my new fairly comfy sandal heels. Well, I felt awesome, pretty, bold, and professional. For once I didn't feel intimidated by all the rich, beautiful, stylish women who work in and around my building. Heck, I didn't even have to listen to Bikini Kill in my headphones and secretly think to myself "I'm not one you and I don't want to be."
Interestingly, the only comments I got from my coworkers were questions about why I was bothering to dress up in a suit for work. See my office is kind of weird. All the men wear suits and ties and the women dress a thousand times more casually. I've even seen women in T-shirts and leggings. It's weird. Well, I felt like a blazer so I rocked a blazer.
When I came home from work, I asked my partner Kath to be my photographer. She was nice enough to capture a few pics for me. The only problem is that a black blazer on top of a black dress looks amazing in person, but it gets a little lost in photographs. Ah well. I still liked the look.
Right now I'm not planning on any major clothes purchases since I'm saving up for my upcoming trip to Germany (exciting!). But, I've already noticed my weight loss has gotten to the point where it's begun to affect how my clothing fits. Talk about a fun problem. So in the coming months (if I can keep the weight down), I'll need to get some new basics anyway. Having a style goal for my wardrobe will make that really fun. I can't wait till I have a unified style down.
I am envious - you are going to Germany. Which of the cities will you be visiting?