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This fruity lavender shirt will be the first and last Medium that I buy until I’m at least 30.

June 12, 2010

We went to H&M on Thursday evening to spruce up our summer wardrobes. First of all, I hate going downtown — sometimes I feel like Powell Street is worse than Times Square, but then I remember that it most certainly is not. For some reason, whenever we go to H&M together, we end up staying for nearly two hours. It’s so overwhelming, and by the time we get on Muni to go home we’re both sore and worn out beyond belief.

I have two new shirts and some fun, very disco boxer briefs. The main reason for the trip was so I could get something summery for Frameline’s Opening Night gala on Thursday, but most of what I tried on had a really uncomfortable fit. H&M’s cuts are pretty inconsistent, I find — but then again my body type is rather inconsistent as well, and it’ll be a long time before I feel validated in expecting that men’s fashion will ever be designed for curvier bodies. In the end, I bought my very first men’s medium button-up from there. It was a defining moment and that trip made me vow to a healthier lifestyle in the coming months because I’ve worn a small or extra-small for as long as I can recall buying men’s button-ups from H&M. They are always slim fits — I like them that way and so does my girl — and if I shop at other stores (namely Banana Republic ) the smalls tend to be too baggy, still.

Curves

I tend to associate baggy with sloppy, though I understand why dykes & co. like the way it hides things, and how comfortable baggy clothes can be. In general I don’t try too hard to conceal my curves. I’d be no match for these hips, even if I did try — and in my own experience, donning baggy jeans to hide big hips just draws more attention to those areas. But I try to smooth out my curves into nicer looking, angular and linear slopes, if you will.

Layering is great for smoothing out lumps and dips, and as far as I have found, it’s the most effective method for how comfortable it is. The San Francisco climate is particularly convenient for folks who layer for these purposes because one can count on it to be cold and/or windy enough to warrant extra layers. In general I have about 3 layers underneath my actual “outfit” — binder, beater, and plain white undershirt (tee) — and that works really well for me. Sometimes the temperature climbs to a point where it becomes uncomfortable, but those days are truly few and far between. Luckily it’s never humid, so I’m able to handle the weather pretty well under all those layers.

My jeans situation is pretty simple. I have never actually tried to fit into men’s jeans, but just by looking at them I know it is impossible to fit into something so straight. No pun intended, I swear. All of the jeans in my current pants cycle are from Old Navy. That’s mainly because they’re so cheap, and I go through a few pairs every year (thigh rubbing, yeah yeah). They have some nice slimmer styles, and I like the way skinnier pants look with my shoes. Many of my most endeared pairs of jeans have come from the Gap, too. They’re much better quality and those cuts are reliable and predictable (Old Navy is terribly inconsistent), but at least twice the price.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 9, 2010 10:16 AM

    Interesting – you don’t hide the curves except for binding your breasts? Can I ask why? Interesting dichotomy

    • August 10, 2010 2:05 PM

      That’s a good question — I’ve never given it much thought, but as I said above I don’t really have any means of hiding my hips and butt except for wearing baggy pants, which in my experience tends to accentuate the overall size of my lower half. I do find that the extra layers (binder tucked into boxer briefs, then an a-shirt, then a white undershirt) flattens out — though also bulks up — the curves around my waist.

  2. August 11, 2010 2:09 AM

    So..the binding etc – do you want a male body? An androgynous one? How do you feel about your breasts and hips? Hope you don’t mind all the questions, I’m just really interested.

    • August 13, 2010 10:27 AM

      I certainly don’t mind you asking! These questions help me learn a lot about myself, so thanks for engaging. I don’t feel particularly attached to my breasts — and while I don’t plan to surgically remove them, I would probably be inclined to do so if they were larger, because they’re pretty small and easy to conceal. So I guess the most straightforward answer to that question is that I would prefer to be flat chested but I’m not in a position to remove what I have.

      I dislike my hips and have disliked them for a long, long time. However I never perceived that as related to a gender dysphoria, merely that it was something that females, more often straight women, learn to dislike about themselves. Again, though, I’m not inclined to reduce the size of my hips by anything other than working out and eating better. I sometimes think about how great it is that testosterone redistributes fat around the hips, but it’s not a very serious consideration right now.

  3. August 14, 2010 2:11 AM

    Yes – I’ve talked to a few straight friends recently and we all agreed that we were not particularly attached (haha) to our breasts. Does the binding ever cause you backache? If I could dream up a body for myself I’d pick an andro one, but since I have the one I’ve got – which still isn’t thoroughly femme, I’m fine with it.

    • August 14, 2010 3:20 PM

      It rarely causes my back to ache but it puts a lot of strain on my shoulders, and I noticed it affected my posture in the beginning, causing me to hunch forward. But different binding methods affect posture differently. Out of curiosity, do you bind?

  4. August 14, 2010 7:06 PM

    No – to be honest I never even thought of it as having anything to do with me until I started to notice “radical masculinity” etc in the butchosphere. I don’t intend to – simply because a decent bra keeps the occasionally mildly irritating breasts sorted and I just don’t have gender issues at all (millions of other kinds though lol) and I’d read it caused back pain etc, which made me sad, but then I googled + there was precious little evidence. Obviously everyones “gender performance” is entirely their own right + business – but I’m always fascinated. I’m gender non conforming myself, but kind of…not conforming to either of the two on offer in societys little binary. Sorry if I’m not making sense.

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