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Why do men wear women's clothes?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
It seems as if every time you read about some incidence of transvestism it almost always seems to be about a guy dressing up as a woman.



I wonder why this is so?



There are transsexuals, but I believe that is something different. My own personal opinion is that it is a genetic/biological mix-up. I am talking about straight, normally sexed guys dressing up.



I think one of the reasons may be that there are no truly men-only articles of clothing beyond maybe jock straps.



For example, the other day I was sitting in a meeting with a woman who was wearing a business suit, with the only real difference between what she was wearing and what I would get in the department store being the cut of the material.



Thoughts?
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post #2 of 26
Like, there is a genetic imperative for men to wear pants.



I think there are a variety of reasons. For some people, it's a sexual fetish. Drag is slightly different. Some people don't see why not.
post #3 of 26
Women have a larger range of clothing (styles, colours) to choose from.
post #4 of 26
womens clothes = fun and sexy!



men's clothes = boring. sexy if tight but most men dont wear tight clothes
‎"I just think there's something in being lost. I never feel lost. I just think, 'Oh. I've taken a diversion'." ~ Karl Pilkington
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‎"I just think there's something in being lost. I never feel lost. I just think, 'Oh. I've taken a diversion'." ~ Karl Pilkington
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post #5 of 26
I think it's a sexual thing.



The only cross dresser who I know of does so as he likes the way women dress and he wants to be like them. Yes he admitted he may be transgendered. When men dress up as women they always seem to go over the top and not that much like how a woman would dress. In a picture he sent me, he had a tiny top, fishnet tights and a mini mini skirt with a strange floral design.



Weirdly on Radio 1 today they did an article in which a presenter was "transformed" into a woman here



I think some women do dress like men, but it's not so obvious and not so frowned upon. For example wearing a tie, which can be either sex, but is more of a male thing. I guess male dress is not so interesting.



I've met a few trangendered people and it's about 50/50 men turning female and females turning male. Two of them are actually married to each other, which I think is pretty neat.
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkjobsluder View Post

Like, there is a genetic imperative for men to wear pants.



Maybe not pants, but we are social/tribal creatures. There me be a gene that motivates a human to look/behave like other memebers of his/her sex.
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post #7 of 26
They do it for me, because I like it!



(Sorry. Back to the orignally scheduled programming!)



As mentioned, I think there are lots of reasons. I like cross-dressing but since I am not a guy I can only guess that my reasons are some of their reasons.



It's fun.



It feels empowering to "try on" another gender. As far as that goes, it feels empowering to try on another personality of any kind.



It feels good, in some wierd way, to buck the general societal ideas of what is normal...to be "naughty".



Men's clothes are cool. The well-made ones have some tailoring details, etc. that most women's clothing does not have. I would guess that for some men, the variety, aesthetic attractivness and sensual feel of women's clothing is missing in most men's clothing and it is nice to try the variety.



I am an attention hound.



It can be a sexual turn-on. Something about putting yourself in someone else's, (even if you own them, they feel like someone else's)hopefully clean, undies and clothing is kind of intriguing that way.



It's fun to puzzle people. The shock value is great. but I guess that falls under "attention hound".



There is lots of stuff on the net about cross-dressing whys and hows. I have some links. maybe I will post a few some time when I am more together.



Sunny

edited to add another reason...It is an excuse to buy/make more clothes.
post #8 of 26
i tell thee, if skirts were seen as being more manly, I'd be more inclined to wear them! but in all honesty, they'd be much more comfortable than trousers, especially during the summer.
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by renaissancesun View Post

They do it for me, because I like it!



(Sorry. Back to the orignally scheduled programming!)



As mentioned, I think there are lots of reasons. I like cross-dressing but since I am not a guy I can only guess that my reasons are some of their reasons.



How can you crossdress unless you wear wear clothes cut for men instead of women?



Men wear jeans, women wear jeans. Men wear boxer shorts you can buy boxer shorts for women. Mean wear suits, my coworker was a wearing suit, but cut for a woman. There are even's men dress shoes or shoes that look like men's dress shoes cut for women.



Unless you put on a fake mustache I can't see how you *could* crossdress.
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post #10 of 26
Aren't the buttons on women's clothing on the left? The pink cardigan I had had them on the left, whereas the rest of my button-up clothes had them on the right (unless it is different in the US; then reverse the sides).
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loki View Post

i tell thee, if skirts were seen as being more manly, I'd be more inclined to wear them! but in all honesty, they'd be much more comfortable than trousers, especially during the summer.

That would be hot.
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by beforewisdom View Post

How can you crossdress unless you wear wear clothes cut for men instead of women?



Men wear jeans, women wear jeans. Men wear boxer shorts you can buy boxer shorts for women. Mean wear suits, my coworker was a wearing suit, but cut for a woman. There are even's men dress shoes or shoes that look like men's dress shoes cut for women.



Unless you put on a fake mustache I can't see how you *could* crossdress.



I do wear clothes cut for men. Well, mostly used to. Not so much any more, that certain areas of my body won't fit in them. I also simulated facial hair. There is also this thing that can be done with a pair of rolled socks....



Also, some women's clothing syled like men's can give some of the effect of cross dressing. There is a lot of attitude change involved, I think.



I have only done it a few times and want to do it again some day. I was going to for Halloween but, as usual, my kid's costumes took precedence.



Sunny
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by renaissancesun View Post

I do wear clothes cut for men. Well, mostly used to. Not so much any more, that certain areas of my body won't fit in them. I also simulated facial hair. There is also this thing that can be done with a pair of rolled socks....



LOL! Were you passable? Did you go out? Wow, that takes guts, you have my respect.





Quote:

Also, some women's clothing syled like men's can give some of the effect of cross dressing. There is a lot of attitude change involved, I think.



How do you think your attitude changed?
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post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by beforewisdom View Post

LOL! Were you passable? Did you go out? Wow, that takes guts, you have my respect.



How do you think your attitude changed?



Heck yeah I went out! That was the whole point! Actually, this started when I was in high school and a friend and I (and my mom and brother) used to dress up and take pictures doing silly stuff. I have one pic where I am wearing a union suit (long underwear) and a John Deere hat and my friend is in the bed next to me with an "old lady nighty" and curlers in her hair. One of my dad's rifles is between us and I am looking at a copy of Field & Stream. We were making fun of the stereotype that my family fit so well into in so many ways. I think I pass pretty well in that one. If I can find it and get my scanner to work some time I will put it in the gallery. That was a really fun part of my life. I think I laughed more then than any other time.



A couple couple of times I went to clubs in male garb. I don't know what other people thought. I was just having fun.



I don't know how passable I was. I never asked any. Judging by people's responses I was. I don't think I could be now though.



My attitude...I will probably say something that will irritate someone but it is just my experience, nothing else. Also, I have never really thought this through to this degree so I am processing as I go along.



I think dressed as a man I felt more comfortable projecting confidence that I did not really feel, being a young woman who felt somewhat victimized and powerless. I also think I was making fun of machismo and playing with it, appreciating and enjoying it at the same time. There is a reason that so many men act "macho", I think. There is a sense of power and a sense of being a force of nature that goes with it, as well as it being an act to hide thier lack of power. It is overt as opposed to the more subservient, covert, manipulative "power" (control) that is the stereotype of women's power I didn't really feel like I had much of either kind but I have played with them both. My natural states seems to be somewhere in the middle, and I think much more genuine, now.





I think what draws me to it now is that I like drama, but not the harmful, turbulent kind that people screw thier lives up with. More of a playful, intentional satirical kind. It is like some kind of magic to me. I think it is also an outlet, a way to try on attitudes, in public, that I might not yet feel quite safe or confident enough project normally. Not sure about that part.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loki View Post

i tell thee, if skirts were seen as being more manly, I'd be more inclined to wear them! but in all honesty, they'd be much more comfortable than trousers, especially during the summer.



i like skirts on guys and

you actually have to have some ballpower to wear a skirt if you're a guy

so i say just do it one time ..... it doesn't have to have flowers all over it, ya know ?
post #16 of 26
ballpower.
post #17 of 26
clothing items do not have any specific gender or sexuality attached to them. it is simply a piece of cloth, in various shapes, used to cover the body. Our cultures attach meaning to these pieces of cloth and often use them as sex-and-gender signifiers.



two babies basicly look the same. you put one in pink pjs and one in blue, there's a cultural assumption that pink=girl and blue=boy. interestingly enough, in the late 1800s, the opposite would have been true. pink, being a derivative of red or in the red family, was considered a 'power' color and therefore a signifier of boys. Blue, being a color that is calm and soothing which is a trait considered feminine, would signify a girl.



skirts or skirt-like shapes are also cross sexual. kilts, sarongs, and variations still exist in many cultures and are worn by men (in some cases, exclusively). they are considered masculine garments. There isn't much difference between my cargo kilt and my plaid kilt in cut. my husband can wear my plaid kilt (or could, if it were the right size), but our culture doesn't allow him to wear my cargo kilt because it's not 'traditional' and therefore 'not masculine.'



shoes, clothing, make up, nail polish, hair coloring, hair length--none of these things has particular, or inherent, meaning. Throughout time, men and women have worn wigs, make up, all manner of clothing (including pant-like on women and skirt-like on men) in all manner of colors, and all manner of shoes (originally, high heels were for men only). Different cultures, at different times, have assigned different meanings to certain clothing items. Women who were 'mens' items were considered deviant; men who wore 'womens' items were considered deviant. But, it isn't the items themselves, but rather the meaning attached to the items that made people 'normal' or 'deviant.'



many people like to assign a particular sexual meaning to an object. He wears women's clothing because of sexual confusion, fetish, or sexual need/desire. It could be that he simply finds this particular item of clothing a more comfortable expression of who he is. Men who wear eyeliner are not often trying to be women, anymore than they're trying to be rock stars. perhaps they feel that they look good that way, that it expresses who they are. And besides, i think it's sexy. Nail polish too, and long hair, and skirts, and high heel shoes, and whatever else.



People should be free to express themselves. clothing, hair, shoes, makeup, colors--these are ways of expressing oneself to the world. If a man wants to wear a skirt, then he should. it certainly doesnt' mean that he has some strong-sexual urge, fetish, or gender identity problem. It simply means that he prefers it--for a variety of reasons (which may or may not include sexuality, fetish, or gender identity concerns).



i prefer pink camouflage pants. that doesnt' make me a commando, hypermasculine, or a covert operative in fairy land. it simply means i have a preference for the cut and color, i find the fabric fun, and as a socio-political statement, it sort of stands the concept of war on it's head or works against or opposed to the concept of being covert at all (hiding and sneaking around). So, it has the meaning that i give to it, rather than the meaning given to it by our culture.



there's a great first wave feminism writing about women wearing pants. It was a HUGE issue back then. women could be arrested for indecency--particularly if they wore them in public.
post #18 of 26
sunny points out an interesting element too. i'll elaborate on it from the perspective of a 'drag queen' or 'cross-gender performance artist.'



a dear friend of mine is an award-winning 'drag queen.' he's an amazing preformer. To him, gender is a form of farce. sometimes, he goes 'hyper masculine' like sunny described. he'll 'drag king' himself--though it's hard for a little guy like him (he's probably 5 foot 5 inches and about 110 lbs--very thin). he 'butches up' a best he can, and then will do a performance as this with his partner, another award winning drag queen. They'll play stereotypes, do songs and dances, and the like. Other times, he goes hog wild as a drag queen and preforms these little odes.



to him, it's looking at what gender is, what it means. what are we assigning to this or this or this. he exagerates both 'masculine' and 'feminine' movements. One of the best performances i ever saw him give was one of as a women talking about her life--her love of her vibrator now that her husband was too busy watching sports to have sex with her. In drag, he would then do impressions of men, including weird 'gay' men that this 'housewife' didn't understand--complaints about cross dressers too, and how weird they were. It was absolutely amazing work. We actually took my in laws to it--and they said, after the show, "that one lady was hilarious. she was so right, cross dressers are weird. . .." and then we introduced them to our friend, ANDY and they were like--that was a guy, cross dressing? talk about 'passing!'



in any case, his whole point is that it's fun to see what is available to us to express ourselves, regardless of biological sex. He doesn't preform because he gets off on it or its sexual for him--it's art. it's part of who he is and what he wants to express. He doesn't want to be transsexual, he's very happy as a gay man and loves being a man. But, performances give him something truly special to create and portray and challenge.



it's part of the reason why we love him so much. he's an amazing artist. And, he does go out in drag--usually to events. AIDS walk, political rallies, and so on. and it's always obvious drag--crazy wigs and hats, overdone make up, particularly glamorous dresses. The breast cancer fund raiser was something else. He had this huge pink wig and this gown style from the 1700s that was only ankle length and did the whole day-long walk in 6 inch platform heels. many women were offended, but others were inspired. his dress read: breasts don't make a woman; woman makes a woman. when interviewd about his costume, he explained how a dear friend of his had lost both of her breasts to cancer and felt that she was 'less of a woman.' and he asked her, what is a woman? is she only her breasts, her vagina? am i any less 'a woman' on stage in dress than you are--am i more of one? just be yourself, honey, and you'll be whatever you want to be. She was also at the walk with him, topless with two big mastectomy scars with the words "ain't i a woman?" written on her chest. Powerful stuff.







i love art.
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by beforewisdom View Post

It seems as if every time you read about some incidence of transvestism it almost always seems to be about a guy dressing up as a woman.



I wonder why this is so?



Yeah, there pretty much are no female transvestites because wearing traditionally male clothing, like blazers, pants, ties, etc. is normal and acceptable in our society. So are other male norms, like short haircuts. A woman wearing a suit and short hair is always more acceptable than a man in a dress with long hair. (or even a man in a suit with long hair).



BTW, does anyone know a cool place to buy men's waistcoats (vests) that have cooler patterns on them than paisley? I need some cool vests.







The Rev
post #20 of 26
I saw an interesting documentary a couple of weeks ago about drag kings:



Quote:

In Ladies as Gentlemen, a feature documentary in the spirit of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, we tour North America in a motorhome with a lively ensemble of drag kings (women who dress as men) as they perform a politically charged burlesque in cities as diverse as Biloxi, Mississippi; St. Louis, Missouri; and Toronto, Ontario.



This cinema verite road movie paints a portrait of attitudes about sex, tolerance, gender, family and identity, and introduces audiences to the complex world of drag kings.



The drama of the film lies between the kings interpersonal relationships and their interaction with their American and Canadian audience members.
post #21 of 26
there are many female transvestites and transgendered women and transsexuals. women, who dress as men, to pass as men. Women can and do wear men's clothing--men's cut clothing, quite frequently. It's just not considered as shocking as a man wearing a 'woman's skirt." to see a woman in pants, nowadays, isn't a big deal. no one pays attention as to whether those pants were bought in the mens section or the womens section, whether that shirt was bought in the mens section or the womens section. The cuts are different, but i can buy mens shoes in my size (just as my husband can buy womens shoes in his size).



it is quite simple for me to cross dress, and i often do. i buy many shirts (particularly certain styles of sweaters) in the mens section. I wear pants (particularly cargo pants) that are mens cuts. I wear kilts (including ultilikilts) that are really 'made for men' and i buy a 'men's size' using a men's sizing chart available (i just buy a really small size).



But, because it isn't 'shocking' to see women in these items, because i'm not trying to be a man or even make a statement about masculinity and femininity (which, btw, some men who wear womens clothing may not be either), it's not considered 'shocking' or deviant--so it's no big deal--but it's still, officially, transvestitism.
post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by msbunnicula View Post

I saw an interesting documentary a couple of weeks ago about drag kings:



It sounds interesting!
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post #23 of 26
I just thought of this woman...fun stuff.



http://www.kezarcelts.net/duncan/
post #24 of 26
When I worked in a department store, there was a man that used to come in and try on womens bras and would buy them too. One day one of the staff saw him at a supermarket wearing one with a see-through women's top over the bra.
post #25 of 26
http://www.geocities.com/FashionAven.../hispages.html



This is one of the sites I have bookmarked about male to female cross dressing.
post #26 of 26
Ok, who here has heard of Eddie Izzard?? He is a transvestite comedian and he is HI-LARIOUS! Just thought I'd mention that.



But seriously, I used to think that transvestite meant you had to be gay, but most of them are heterosexual. I remember the first transvestite I ever met. He dressed like a young hippie chick all the time in flowing skirts and birkenstocks and things, and I swear he was the biggest playa of women I have ever met. I guess it's a good angle; "look at how sensitive and in touch with my feminine side I am, now lets hook up."
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