Playing Dress Up and Down: One Dress, Five Fits

For the first six months or so of being out as non-binary, I did not wear dresses or skirts. My body is still very “feminine” in presentation (I cut my hair initially but then became obsessed with the idea of growing it out in the very specific, tonsure-esque cut it’s in now) and I’m not sure when or how much that will change over the course of thew next few years. This made the idea of wearing clothing mainly relegated to women over the past century feel very dysphoria-inducing and shameful, like I couldn’t really expect people to believe how I identified if I dared to embrace all facets of my aesthetic proclivities.

One day I was reminded of this picture:

I love Kurt so much, but in that moment I was filled with bitterness: wearing this fit earned him a permanent pedestal in all starter-feminist tumblr accounts, he’ll always be considered a genderfucking icon, and if I were to wear the exact same fit as I look now, no one would look twice.

While I wait for the testosterone gel to kick in, I don’t want to stew in bitterness and jealousy, and I don’t want my crotch to be relegated to sweatiness and seams. I saw this dress, similarly floral and frumpy, at a vintage store in my hometown and immediately thought of how Kurt would’ve slapped it on without a second thought and with a cheeky grin, so I bought it.

It’s not quite the ideal Kurt dress, which would be buttoned down the front, collared, and v-necked top better show off a sliver of a grungy tee underneath, but I worked with it to produce the 5 below outfits that all feel pretty good to wear, gender-wise.

The Stoner Groupie

Chopova Lowena necklace (similar here), vintage tee, Big Bud Press pants, Nodress x Louis shengtaochen shoes

I usually wear the dress with this tee under it (the platonic ideal of a tee: thick, well-structured, vintage, has Bart Simpson on it) so I started there, wanted to pull a bit of an Amy Winehouse by belting it kind of low and letting fabric puff out over it, love pants under a knee-length skirt/dress as I’ve noted before, and added metal touches on top and bottom to ROCK N ROLL IT UP a bit! I LOVE the square toes of these shoes so fucking much. This look is put-together and reliable, but unfussy. My hair is doing something.

The Parent on a Sunday

Absolute Bagels hat, vintage bandana, Justine Clenquet necklace, Lauren Manoogian sweater, JW Anderson tote, SAS loafers, wild photoshop error via my incompetence

I love the high-low hem of this sweater over a dress or skirt, and immediately felt like an UWS dadmom out to fetch bagels for their children at 7 AM on a Sunday (from Absolute, of course). I can’t tell what the bright red is doing in conjunction with the flowers, but I feel like the bit of red in the cap makes it all make more sense. This has the insouciance of a bodega run fit.

The Romantic Tourist

Hat by Chuck, same necklace, thrifted belt, thrifted skirt, Teva sandals

I love creating lumps and bumps, as you probably know, so I pinned the skirt up and belted it below its waistline, then pulled it all the way up under my tits to create a romantic, poofy but unified silhouette. I love my “BATSHIT” hat by my friend Chuck and it seemed to make this a tourist-leaning fit, so I amiably wore Tevas. Ignore the doorknob, I’m still “working out the kinks” in my new editing software.

The Flower Adult

Wenjue Lu flower, same necklace, Collina Strada vest, Margiela tabis

I just wanted to wear the WL flower in my hair! The Collina vest is NOT worth the price above, I got it for like 1/4 of that, so don’t buy it but I love its way of making a rainbow color scheme feel neutral using color tricks, like rainbow static on a TV neutralizing itself. I wonder if any TVs do that anymore.

The Sloppy Coquette

Gifted bandana, same necklace, Shushu/Tong shorts, Maggie’s socks, Toga Pulla shoes, wacky-ass hair thanks to the humidity index in NY this week

I wanted the last look to have different bottoms, so I tied the dress up (another glorious lump!) and wore my favorite poofy shorts to balance out the chunkiness of the “top.” They always make me feel like a bit of a coquette, so I wore cuffed socks and quilted heels to complete the look.

I hope you enjoyed this Cobain-fueled initiative. If you did, please oh please share (tag me so I can see and thank you!), like, save, and comment on HR’s Instagram, check out the HR Patreon for as little as two bucks a month (extra posts, personal styling, and more on there!) or throw me a few shillings on Ko-fi if you’re able. Peace and love to all, and to all a good 4 PM!

<3 HR

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