Monday, February 11, 2019

Dress Shopping and Gender Bending

I went to try on dresses. Me — in all my genderqueer/butch/transmasculine glory — in a traditional bridal salon, trying on wedding gowns. And it was fabulous. I got to have fun with my fiancĂ© and my best friend. I got to look beautiful and revel in my feminine side. Got treated like I was special, and got compliments from random strangers.

Photos by Angela Cappetta.
I fell in love. I found "The Dress." It was a simple form fitting satin sheath dress with a strapless sweetheart neckline, a keyhole back, and a lace overlay that extended into a chapel length train. It showed off my ass and my hips amazingly, it was light and comfortable, the train felt special, and I looked gorgeous. I felt sexy, and paradoxically I felt really butch. The incongruity of my short spiky hair, muscular arms, and boyish posture with a feminine gown was really cool.

But I didn't buy The Dress. I'm not going to wear The Dress or any other dress. That's not the point.

Finding The Dress, and loving how I looked and felt in it, actually put me more at peace with my decision to wear pants. Falling in love with a dress helped me examine what sort of self-presentation is important to me for my wedding day. It helped me assess what feminine aspects of the dress I liked most, and figure out how to incorporate them into my attire.

So here's the current plan: I'm sticking with my original idea of a white waistcoat style vest, and men's dress slacks. But I'm going to splurge and have both vest and pants custom made for me so they fit right and show off my curves.

I also decided I'm not going to wear a men's button up shirt and tie under the vest; instead I'm going to wear tank top with a bit of lace showing on my chest. I think the lace under the vest and bare arms will look much more androgynous than a shirt and tie, and besides, I like my arms!

And since the thing I loved most about The Dress was the lace overlay with a long train, I'm going to incorporate that into my look by wearing a chapel-length lace veil.

The TL;DR version: I fell in love with a dress, but I definitely still want to wear men's pants and a vest. And I'm buying a chapel-length lace veil to wear with it.

See the whole photo shoot. This gender fluid wedding dress photo shoot gives zero f... about the "gender binary".

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