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Are We What We Wear?

Cristy always makes me smile....

By Cristy Garcia

This is my face, the face that appears in all my photos here (reminder: this was originally posted on Cristy’s Flickr account), although with different hairstyles and colors. In most scenarios it is our face that distinguish us from others, but it seems that, in our photographic community, what is most appreciated is the clothes we wear. If you think about it, it kind of makes sense given that, at least for a crossdresser, what you wear is what makes others perceive you as a woman. I often say that for me it is all about the clothes but in the sense that I just want to look the part and not become a woman. When looking at photos of fellow TGirls or of genetic women, for that matter, I pay attention to how she is made up, her hairstyle, her poise and deportment, her attention to detail and yes, what she wears, but that is not what is most important. For those who consider feminine illusion and art, every little detail is important. You could wear the most feminine and delicate dress but if you do not adopt the right posture and attitude, it will not look as fine as when you take care of other details in your presentation and body language. By the same token, you could wear a burlap sack and if you have the attitude and poise, you will make the sack look fantastic!

For me, looking delicately feminine is much more important than looking “sexy”. When I dress and go out, I appreciate what other women think and not what men think. Like I have always said, I dress for myself and for other women and not to attract men’s attention. As is the case with genetic women, I have learned to stand the pain of beauty but have also come to appreciate the comfort of a pair of sneakers and a simple relaxed dress. I don’t follow fashion but take from it what I like and suits me and incorporate it in my personal looks. I wear what I like and not what others suggest I wear unless I agree with the suggestion. Wearing the same dress as Kim Kardashian will not make me look like her and, as a matter of fact, I consider her dress style vulgar, and her body proportions exaggerated, to be delicately feminine. She is the type of woman who dresses for men to lust for her but is not a good stereotype of femininity.

In conclusion, what do you value when looking at a photo of a woman? How important is what she is wearing or not wearing? How important is her deportment and attitude? When you dress, who do you dress for and what do you want to achieve? Is it really me in this photo or is it just my face on another body and does it matter? If you were to run across me on the street, would you be able to recognize me through my photos? Do you really need to see what I am wearing here if this is really me? The list goes on and on and I respect every person’s motivation and taste and I mostly appreciate when my photos are interpreted in the way I intended when I decided to share them.


9 Responses

  1. Hi Cristy:
    Interesting and thought provoking stuff !Like you, my alter ego is a creation of my imagination, and as such takes on the characteristics of the type of woman I would like to know, or be. I have tried the overtly sexy style – it doesn’t work for me, I feel ridiculous. In real life, I would not be drawn to such an individual so it is not comfortable for me to emulate. However, when I choose styles that reflect my actual tastes an philosophy it is an easy, and correct for me at least, persona to inhabit.

    I do try to be subtle tho when observing the styles of women I might see. Look too intently, and it’s easy to send the wrong message!

    1. Hi Kris,

      You make a good point in how we have to be subtle when observing how women present and dress. I am sure that none of them would think we are checking them out because we are studying their deportment. However, movies, videos and photos allow us to learn without taking chances.

  2. I’m with you Christy! Based on what I’ve seen in your Flickr account, it looks like we share two hobbies and I see definite parallels between the two. Both hobbies are very detail oriented! In each case, each is a series of individual experiences and I always take a moment to perform a critical evaluation of what I accomplished this time, how I can do it better next time and what I might want to introduce the next time to improve the experience. This gives me things to work on to improve my skills and improve the next experience. What you said about looking the part and not being a woman applies also. I used to obsess over every detail and it tended to paralyze me. Again, this is true with both hobbies. Looking more at the big picture has helped me immeasurably in both cases and as a crossdresser has allowed me to get out the door and be my female self in the world. I’m still very much a work in process and hopefully someday I can approach the standard you set for style and appearance!

    1. Lauren,

      The more effort we put in any activity we pursue in life, the more satisfaction we will derive from it, as long as we do not get obsessed with unattainable goals. What we find important at one point in time, it becomes irrelevant other times. As an example, I have mentioned here before that padding was important for me before and, today, it is something I am pleased to have abandoned. I feel equally presentable and authentic in the feminine illusion and much more comfortable. In order to get away without the padding, I had to reduce my clothing options to loose, yet still feminine clothes. I have never been happier with how Cristy looks!

  3. Cristy,
    Very interesting question , I guess in basic terms what does define us ? But this poses the question what we think defines us may not be what other people see in us . You say you don’t dress sexy but to some people you could well be .
    Even to me as a full timer I still have to give this some thought , who do I dress for ? Nowdays that is simply answered by where am I going and what is the weather doing and to some degree what other women might be wearing in the same circumstances , so I can definitely say I don’t dress for men .

    The very basic question for most of us is what takes us over the gender line , personally I have no doubt it’s hair , in my case a wig , followed by the correct level of makeup and then comes the choice of clothing . There is another aspect of this definition as I discovered when using my strimmer , I still had makeup on with an old wig , I chose to wear women’s style overalls with red piping and female steel capped boots . After a few hours I was well covered in debris but through it you could still see my hairstyle , some makeup and a female figure because I was wearing forms , some men think women look sexy in overalls , all I could think of was taking a good shower !

    Before going full time I would only dress for social outings at my transgender groups , on the whole most do tend to dress up a little OTT , in those circumstances the public accepted us for what we were , crossdressers rather than women . Going full time meant I had to rethink what my needs were and where my journey was going . Initially I thought I could deal with being both genders , I soon realised my dysphoria made it more and more uncomfortable returning to male mode , I finally had to decide living as a woman and presenting as such was a better place for me . So I am very much what I am because my clothes define me quite clearly as female , I soon found people respected me for defing myself as such .

    Please take care when calling it a hobby for many of us it is an unsuitable definition . If your family don’t know about your needs would your explanation be insulting to them ? I nearly ended my life over the problems with acceptance , I know other people who suffered in similar ways , sadly some succeeded . Hobbies don’t usually cause such heartache and trauma . I admit I took me a long time to come to terms with some calling it a hobby , having a collection of beautiful clothes and shoes doesn’t mean the same thing .

    1. Teresa,

      As you rightly say, it is different for every person, even when there are similarities. I am a CD and not a TS, therefore, like Lauren, I feel comfortable calling it a hobby; although it is not a hobby I pursued but rather one that is a part of my being since birth. I derive the same type of sensations and pleasures that I get from other hobbies I practice and this is why I don’t the term inadequate. I understand that for trans women, like you, it is how you feel you have to dress and, as in the case of genetic women, it is just a natural and daily thing to do. I would assume that for a drag queen, it is part of their job as performers and, also, not a hobby.

      Having said that, the way things are rapidly changing in gender definition and what is characteristic of each of the countless variants, there will be a time in which clothes will no longer correspond to one gender or the other(s). I hope that day never comes because it might no longer be interesting for me and many others to crossdress.

      As always, thank you for sharing your view from a trans woman point of view.

  4. Cristy,

    My goal when I first started going out in public was to blend in with other women in my age group so I would not stand out and be noticed. However, with the norm today being that many woman “dress down” on so many occasions, I soon discovered that was not the image I wanted to present. I also discovered that I did not mind being noticed by both women and men. However, I do not dress for them, I dress for me although, like you, I do appreciate what other women think of my appearance when out. I felt I wanted to present as a nicely dressed, stylish and attractive middle-aged woman who is able to dress somewhat younger than her actual age. Doing so makes me feel feminine and very comfortable even if I am doing something as mundane as going food shopping.

    When I look at a genetic woman now I often evaluate what she’s wearing, why it does or doesn’t look good on her and would what she’s wearing look good on me. I have also occasionally noticed something funny while looking at women who are part of a couple – while I’m checking out the woman, the husband/boyfriend is sometimes checking me out! Living life as a woman can indeed be so very interesting.


    1. Funny that you mention about looking at women who are part of a couple. It reminded me that I have caught myself, as Cristy, checking women out, but not necessarily to study her but rather in the way a man, which I am, looks at an attractive woman 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your views, Fiona.

  5. Cristy/Fiona,
    It’s a very interesting point about the way men and women check each other out , they tend to use words in different ways . If a man finds a woman attractive it ofte has a different meaning for a woman to comment another woman looked attractive . I admit it can be problem to a transgender person because on occasions it does have the double meaning , that’s the twist we have to live with .

    One aspect I really do enjoy is being able to talk and comment with women on clothes in general and to items they choose to wear . Often at my painting group the lady who sits next to me will ask if I bought an item we were discussing the previous week . There is one aspect women don’t like talkling about and that is dress sizes , I’m usually a UK size 12 or sometimes a 14 so when I mention what size I bought the other ladies tend to glance at each other because most are a size or two larger than me .

    Give fashion enough time and you’ll find some styles come back into favour but I agree with you I hope the the changes don’t go any further and hopefully femininity comes back . Evenso not dressing as a woman isn’t an option for me , in fact I have to smile that on some occasions I might be the only one wearing a skirt and makeup at my social events but the following week more appear in skirts with a little makeup ( no I don’t mean the guys !! ).

    As far a drag acts are concerned , I think you’ll find they have different reasons for performing . I’ve only been to one show and my feelings were that he/she was a great singer but she found she couldn’t make it in male mode but found a niche as a female performer . We can’t seam to escape the fact that being crossdressed we intrigue people , I enjoyed that aspect for s

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