Anonymous asked: "I recently came out of the closet. For years I tried being more girly because thats what everyone was expecting from me but I was never comfortable that way. Now that I’m out and I’m dating a wonderful girl I want to push away all the girlyness I have. I’m not sure how I can do that without winning the lottery and buying a whole new wardrobe. Any advice?"
I was once in a very similar spot. A few months into my new-found identity, I did some cleansing and removed every item from my closet that I knew I’d never wear again (goodbye, Bat Mitzvah dress!) I was left with about 5 items of clothing and 2 huge bags to give away. I gave many things to my femme friends, and still need to donate the rest.
There are probably masculine presenting people and transfeminine folks in your area who would want to get rid of old clothes that might fit you! If you are new to the community and interested in making some new friendsicles, you can look for a queer listserve in your city (in Boston it’s The List) and put out a notice that you’re looking to do a clothing swap!
You obviously can’t get a whole new wardrobe in one day, but you can start off with some basics. Like, a pair of multi-purpose pants that you feel absolutely spectacular in and can wear 4 times a week.
Basic khakis like these can be worn both at work with a button-up and blazer, or at home with a T-shirt. Gap Lived In Slim Khaki, $59.95 (25% off with code GAP25)
Go to your local thrift stores and just try everything on (We’ve got some expert thrifter advice coming later this month!) I highly recommend buying your mens or boys’ button-ups at thrift stores and getting them tailored if necessary. Find ones that fit in the shoulders, chest, and sleeves, and then adjust the length and width at a tailor (making it clear that you want it to remain a men’s shirt.) I know it seems like a lot of work to put into a thrifted shirt; but I swear it’s the best way to get a well-fitted shirt for cheap!
One pair of oxfords should keep you afloat for now in terms of nicer footwear! You may get lucky and find some vintage men’s shoes in a thrift store that fit you. Otherwise, something these Madden Girl Women Jacobz Oxfords at Amazon for $31.77 would go well with those Khakis.
Put together at least one casual outfit and one outfit that is more formal. Accessories will go far when you’re trying to stretch your wardrobe. A few pairs of ties in different styles can change the look of the same outfit. Play with tucking in, untucking, and top button-swag, to give your limited apparel a different look.
Congrats on your newly discovered identity, and have fun!
Cover image: www.storagecabinet.top
As Qwear's Founding Editor, Sonny’s work centers around envisioning a future in which the clothing people wear does not dictate their chances of survival. Sonny was awarded 2015 dapperQ of the Year and was the first trans blogger to be sponsored by Topman. In March 2016, Sonny spoke at South by South West's first official queer fashion panel.