I’ve had this post in my drafts for a while because while it is a post I’ve been wanting to make, I’ve never been fully investing while trying to write it. I think I’ve expressed everything that I wanted to in this one, however. So, enjoy! (two posts in one day, whaaat?)
Being honest, I love shopping. Buying new clothes was always such a fun adventure for me before transitioning, but now I’m finding it to be more and more tedious. Here’s my problem: I am a small person- I stand at about 5’4 and am pretty slim. In “women’s” clothes (and I say “women’s” with quotation marks because I believe clothing shouldn’t have a gender but alas, it still kinda does) I was a small, sometimes a medium. Now that I’ve started shopping in the “men’s” section, a size small is still too big of a fit for me. Being a small trans person makes shopping really difficult. The men’s section is designed for cis men’s bodies, not afab bodies, and I have yet to find a store for androgynous or gender neutral clothing for any body type.
The thing is, I just don’t feel comfortable in feminine clothes anymore. I find a lot of clothes designed for cis women are very form fitting and I hate the way they make me look. That being said, I also don’t want my clothes to be super baggy, which is where my problem with the “men’s” section comes into play- a “men’s” small is like a large on me. The t-shirts fall just shy of the top of my knee and the stitch that is supposed to sit on my shoulder hits way too low. Very rarely am I able to find masculine clothes that actually make me feel good. It’s kind of stupid, but when masculine clothes don’t fit me, I feel kind of invalidated. Like my body wasn’t made to be masculine; which leads into dysphoria and anxiety about not passing.
Packing my clothes this summer in preparation for moving back to university really made me realize how uncomfortable I am in feminine clothing. At that point, I only had about 4 t-shirts I felt comfortable in, and I didn’t want to pack ANYTHING else. Of course, I had to take my clothes with me to school, because what else was I gonna wear?
That summer I went shopping and found out West 49 has jeans that fit me. I bought three new pairs of jeans from there and felt really good about myself then. Throughout the school year I slowly began to rebuild my wardrobe with clothes I found that actually did fit me. They mostly came from West 49 and Bluenotes, but even then I hardly found t-shirts to fit. I found Forever 21 carried “men’s” sizes small enough to fit me, and so I bought all my clothes there any time I could.
Now, all my feminine clothes are in a storage bin under my bed, and I have enough masculine clothes that actually fit me. Shopping still kinda sucks, because I still have trouble finding clothes that will fit my body type, so I still experience a lot of passing anxiety in that respect. But my wardrobe is slowly filling up with clothes that really match how I feel on the inside, and I’m very happy with that.