What’s a gala to do?

I should be on my way to work, but I’m still in the clothes that I slept in.  In a few minutes I’ll go upstairs, shower, dress– but right now I’m dreading it.  Why?

Because tonight I have to attend a fancy dinner.

I know, I know: poor me.  I have to go to a fancy dinner.  The food will probably be delicious.  There will be dessert.  Somebody else will do the dishes.  What’s my problem?  Well, clothes.

As you may have gathered from my last post, my style isn’t the most gender-conforming.  I don’t identify as butch– far from it, in fact– but I do almost exclusively wear clothes designed for men.  My gender identity is closer to sissy, maybe.  Or dandy.  Or rumpled teenage boy.

In any event, the dilemmas of female-bodied person seeking out clothing designed for men– clothing that is even vaguely flattering– are numerous at the best of times.  Luckily, my formal wear challenges are usually resolved by my impressive collection of ties and bowties.  I iron a button down shirt, pull on a sweater, pick a coordinating tie and am good to go.  But now my wardrobe is in flux.

At 17 weeks, I don’t look pregnant– an aspect of body anxiety best reserved for another post.  I am, however, getting fatter.  The items in my wardrobe that are still fit to wear are dwindling.  Occasionally I will come home from work to a gentle suggestion from Sea that a certain item be retired.  But I’m clinging to what I still have.  The one pair of maternity pants and one pair of maternity shorts that I’ve purchased lie unworn at the back of my closet.  Behind the bowties, in fact.  Maternity clothing simply isn’t made for those on the sissy-dandy-rumpled-teenage-boy spectrum.

My clothing modifications so far have revolved around advice from the genius, though short-lived, blog Preggo Butch Fashion. Pants fastened with a hair elastic, covered by a cloth belt?  Yes!

But it is hard to elegantly tuck in a button down shirt into pants held up by a hair elastic borrowed from your partner.  The elastic would show.  Or the gap from the unbuttoned pants.  Or worse, the shirt would stick out of the fly. Also, I’ve only worn jeans for the past several months.  I’m not sure if the hair elastic trick will even work with my dress pants.  It’s too warm to wear a sweater.  I’m afraid the buttons on my button down shirt will pull.  In short, I’m in the midst of a wardrobe crisis, minutes away from going to hunt desperately through my closet, and probably only minutes more away from lying slumped in a pile of clothes pulled off their hangers, loudly sobbing that nothing fits.

At least I have the bowties?

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9 thoughts on “What’s a gala to do?

  1. Pants not fitting is such a hassle and if i buy new ones i would feel like a failure since im only 10 weeks along. i can relate. Is your style like Ellen Degeneres? Is it possible to keep your shirt untucked so you could do the elastic trick? Or if shirts must be tucked, could you do a cumberband/thick kimono style belt to hold it all in and disguise the elastic? I hope you have a great time at the fancy dinner. All else fails, just sit down the entire time, you’re pregnant. They will understand.

  2. La identifies as a ‘dandy’ and while I am currently the one trying to get knocked up, we’ve talked a bit about what she might wear when its her turn. While this likely isn’t helpful now, one idea we came up with is suspenders – both dapper AND useful. The idea is to get some really roomy old-man suit pants at the thrift store, an array of awesome suspenders, and then go the pseudo-clown pant route. Its not super fancy, but goes with a bow-tie motif.
    A friend of mine who does more masculine presentation just had a baby – but she got lucky and was able to go with a lot of hoodies and sweaters, because she was pregnant in the winter/fall. Sometimes at middle-aged gaywo stores, like Coldwater Creek or Chicos, they have stuff that is kind of drapey and businessy – and that could work?
    If you have insights, you should post them for the betterment of masculine-of-center pregnant people the world over.

    • Ha! So true. A few months ago I attended a wedding and ran into an acquaintance, who quickly announced that she was four months pregnant. I immediately looked down to her belly (being one of those jerks) and saw… a cummerbund.

  3. I’ve got a Bella Band (I think that’s what it’s called…) that I can use to hold up non-maternity pants. It’s basically a spandex tube that covers the top of your pants and goes under your shirt. Might help? Maybe not if you have to tuck your shirt in, though.

    I don’t know how much help I am, honestly. For one thing, I was showing at 12 weeks. By 17 weeks, I looked decidedly pregnant. I’m a little afraid of what I’ll look like in another 10 weeks, let alone 20. For another, while I don’t tend to dress in a terribly feminine manner, I don’t tend toward terribly masculine either. So I’m in a lot of things these days with way more floral motifs than I would generally go for, but I mostly just roll my eyes. I do have to say, though, that I have found the maternity pants with the stretchy panels to be super-comfortable. If your fashion sense, like mine and Gilda Radner’s, is based largely on what doesn’t itch, they’re kind of wonderful.

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