A woman’s story about what she learned when she started wearing men’s clothing is going viral on the internet, and for the right reasons!
She’s worn clothing that leaves a mark for most of her life, she says. The backs of the shoes dig into the skin; bra straps leave marks on the shoulders; Pantyhose leaves red rings around the stomach, and at the end of the day you feel like you have plastic surgery marks.
Several months ago, she began wearing men’s clothing. She immediately noticed several major advantages: plentiful pockets, easier temperature control, and simpler dressing decisions. The biggest revelation for her, however, has been the huge difference in her physical and emotional comfort. This comes from an intellectual woman who has never had a problem with confidence and yet has spent more than 20 years wearing clothes designed to make her feel ill – both in her body and mind.
Like most women, she has been accustomed to scrambling out of her clothes at the end of the workday as fast as possible. She’d breathe a huge sigh after unbuttoning, unzipping, and peeling off her clothing, which signals her physical and mental release. Yet, despite this ritual, she took the discomfort and constrictions of women’s clothing for granted.
We rarely consider the chafing effects it has on our mind, though, despite the physical discomfort. A lot of her clothing never quite fit her, and she had to make sure she will fit in, she says. Wearing a silk dress or an off-shoulder shirt means constant fidgeting and adjusting, and every mirror, shop window, or any reflective surface is an opportunity to check our appearance.
To make things even worse, women’s clothing gets even more complicated and fussy in accordance with the formality of the occasion. Stilettos and backless dresses – the anxiety increases in direct correlation to the importance of the event.
She says that remembering just how self-conscious she’s been about her clothing at moments when her attention should have been directed elsewhere truly sickens her. Her eyes have been opened to it now, though, and she notices this discomfort everywhere: women hitching, fiddling, and hobbling, while men just peacefully go about their business.
She’s not always comfortable now that she wears men’s clothing, especially as her hallmark is a tie, but she can in no way underestimate the net effect of wearing clothing that is more flowing, looser, and cut for comfort.
She still mixes some elements of traditional femininity into her wardrobe, though: she wears lipstick and curls her hair, but one of the best thing about waistcoats, shirts, and trousers cut for men is that the clothing is designed to cover, and not the other way around. The relief she feels now, when her body is not the most salient thing on her mind, is incredible.
Her greatest challenge so far has been packing for holidays, or more specifically, what to wear to the beach.
She says that she is generally at ease with her body. She’s had two children, and she doesn’t care about her saggy bits. However, no matter how confident you are, beachwear presents a challenge for many people. It’s very difficult to feel free and easy under conditions where parts of your that are usually hidden are now on display.
Since trying menswear, her general rule has been to only wear clothing that makes her feel comfortable and allows her to make her own choices about her body. However, one exception to this rule is swimwear. A legsuit is probably the closest thing she could find in accordance with her principles – a one-piece suit that goes down to her mid-thighs.
While packing for vacation a few months ago, she found that thoughts of swimwear had her slipping into old habits. Coordinated tops and bottoms, comfortable yet complementary shoes, socks, tights, bras… Even though she has largely given up women’s clothing, women’s fashion had clearly left a mark that was really hard to scrub off. It was then when she paused and looked at what her boyfriend was packing: a pair of shorts, a pair of jeans, a few T-shirts, and just one pair of shoes. He did not exert mental energy trying to imagine just how fellow holidaymakers would perceive him and his body, he just took some clothing that he would need to enjoy his holiday.
With that, she tossed just a few of her T-shirts in her suitcase and zipped it shut. Dressing comfortably is not just a matter of finding well-cut clothes that are ‘breathable’. It’s a mindset.