I’m not as frustrated by my body…

Someone wrote…

I’m not as frustrated by my body as I am with the fact that the clothing I want to wear isn’t cut for it.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on March 2nd, 2011 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 28 comments »

28 Responses to “I’m not as frustrated by my body…”

  1. Drew

    Oh, yes. Someday there will exist button down shirts with sleeves that don’t got three inches past the end of my fingers and trousers that are cut to accommodate these hips. Some day.


  2. George Grey

    Absolutely. That’s an attitude I learned from fat acceptance bloggers, but I find it applicable to clothing yourself as a genderqueer.


  3. Andronymous

    I mean this in no sarcastic way: learn to sew! Even if you don’t have the problem of clothes being cut for a different-sexed body, everyone should know how to at least back stitch by hand. I can’t tell you how many articles of clothing, both “W” and “M” cut, that I’ve been able to wear by sewing them in or adding fabric or what have you. And it’s fun!


  4. Anonymous

    Yeah! I kinda wish we could go back to having local tailors that could fit clothing at least kinda to suit. That or people should all grow up learning to sew. That’s what I mostly do…but it’s still really annoying to sometimes find clothes you like that are so beyond fitting you that no amount of altering will make them ever fit just right. :/


  5. Lanthir

    I’m biologically female, but at least 90% of the “girl’s” clothes I’d otherwise like don’t come close to fitting my body shape. “Men’s” tend to come closer in terms of proportion, but it’s hard to find them small enough.
    As most of the other commenters have said, I’ve simply had to learn to sew and alter. The benefit of this is that I don’t have to wear “girl’s” clothes or “boy’s” clothes. I can just wear *my* clothes, and not have to attach a gender to them if I don’t want to.


  6. Will



  7. Anonymous

    I feel your pain. female-bodied, too tall for women’s clothes; too lanky, and simultaneously too curvy, for men’s.


  8. Jasper

    Oh ye gods, I am with you on that one. I’m slightly too hippy for most of the stuff I like to wear; shoulders and all fit just fine (I don’t usually mind long sleeves), and I rarely have trouble with trouser lengths, but my stupid girly hips get in the way >:/ One of these days I’m gonna learn to sew more than just buttons and patches and make my own damn clothing.


  9. Leonard

    THIS. THIS 100%


  10. kendall

    I am 6ft tall so by default I’d been wearing men’s wear for a long time, but it does make me more aware of my hips, tshirts with band logos warp and look sloppy and distorted.


  11. Jessica

    Is this not exactly and precisely the reason for http://genderplayful.tumblr.com/ ?

    I tend to wear clothing as concealment rather than enhancement. Maybe someday I’ll be able to wear something that actually fits.


  12. CT

    This, yes. So much yes. Trying to find work-appropriate clothing that fits my body and fits *me* is a trial.

    OTOH, it’s why my feet are one of my favorite body parts. Men’s shoes fit really well!


    Jessica replied:

    Green with envy… No regular shoes, neither women’s nor men’s will fit my feet. Incredibly wide, narrow heels and high arches.


  13. Lisa

    I saw the most perfect jumper ever today. It wasn’t as perfect when I tried it on. I feel you. I can’t believe the design of clothes are so different between male and female.


  14. Meike

    I completely agree with this. It’s taking a while, but I think I’m finally figuring out how I feel about my body in relation to my gender. Methinks I doth protest too much about my body, and instead should take the energy from bemoaning my hips and barely-visible (through my clothing) boobs and just learn to sew clothes. Today was the first day I bought an article of clothing with the intention of taking it in to fit my frame better, and I’m excited to see where this takes me.


  15. happeningfish

    It’s the reason I started sewing. And you know what? It is so much bloody fun. Plus you really start to care about your clothes and you end up with stuff that is not a painful reminder of what you’ve “settled for”, not an approximation, not a compromise. It’s all you. Go go go for it, seriously!


    Jessica replied:

    My Aunt used to sew all her husband’s suits. She could do anything with fabric. My partner is a creative genius who can make just about anything. Me, my skills are more mundane: give me a pattern and I can make something that will fit somebody. I do not have the knack of modifying designs to actually fit a particular person. I am full of respect and admiration for those with these skills.

    But then my partner would just say, “Go for it! you never know what you can do till you try.” Oh, to be so fearless!


  16. Nicholas

    If you can’t learn to sew, find a tailor! I found an excellent tailor who was courteous, and took the women’s XL coat in, and made it fit excellently on my body. She was very reasonable, $40 to tailor a peacoat with both inner/outer elements, and did it so skillfully, it took me quite a while to find where she had even touched it! I get compliments on it all the time, and it makes me feel great about my body! (She even said, “Yes, that coat was made for a woman twice your size, I was surprised I could do it but it looks great on you!”


  17. Cassandra

    There are several options here! A lot of cities still have tailors and sewing shops that can alter clothing for you. Bigger department store chains also have alterations departments. Bridal/tuxedo shops normally have tailors on staff. When all else fails, hit up the local college or community theatre. We’re magicians with alterations and are also rather decent at fitting women in men’s clothes and men in women’s clothes since there is so much genderplay in theatre. Happy hunting!


  18. Anonymous

    THIS. I can never find men or women’s clothes to fit me. Women’s are too tight/curvy, men’s are way too big, and no pants are ever short enough. It’s impossible.


  19. Clare

    an approach i have found to work for me is not to worry too much about using clothes to turn you into a female – it is more about how to express the different person you are using clothing and style cues – some of which may be female, some more androgynous etc.
    Its an approach where you are the original person but expressing more of who that person is as you discover him/her. I like to look very femme in a complete way, but if i cant i use lots of bracelets, scarves, hats jewellery etc etc. AND i cultivate lots of women friends to think about increasing the range of such cues.!


  20. Kim

    To the people suggesting people sew or pay a tailor – not everyone can afford the latter (many already have to settle for some of the cheapest clothing they can find), or has a body that makes the former possible (by either hand or by machine). It’s fine to suggest it, but to make out like “everybody should” (as though everybody can) is just ableist.


    ian c. replied:

    agreed on this one. I like to sew when I can, but it takes a *long* time to make something fit right, and I have to work at my job as well as work on my fashion! (tragically!)

    I have an awesome seamstress friend who is psyched about “empowerment through clothing!”, but I feel like I can’t ask her to do too much work for free for me, or to go over-&-above a friendship-type help commitment — she has to work too. also, unless you know what you are doing or have the time to do things over & over again, often things don’t come out looking like you want them to…

    and there is always that frustrating feeling that “a person with —– type body would just put this on and it would fit perfectly; I can’t believe I’ve done all this work to get this into some approximation of looking halfway decent.” not to dissuade anybody from jumping in to sewing / modifying their clothing… you can totally get awesome results, even as a beginner at sewing!

    …but it’s definitely not a solve-all to the problem of having a body that doesn’t look right under your preferred clothes. :(


    Jessica replied:

    It IS frustrating in many LGBT/TS venues that the problems and solutions that are on the agenda and being discussed are those of the relatively affluent people.

    If there is a unifying demographic among T/TS people it is their economic marginalization and relative poverty. And yet so many people in these communities do not feel they have an audience or a voice because their participation is subtly means tested. In all the debate on and around ENDA, for example, it is the rare voice who says that these changes will be largely theoretical for people working two or three temporary minimum wage jobs.


    Kim replied:

    Exactly. The same thing happens where I live. People talk about the inability to dismiss someone for being “transgender” (the specific wording used in the laws here) as if it solves everything related to retaining employment, but not the fact that people who aren’t working full-time (as in hours per week) don’t always have such protections, and can be fired almost immediately and without reason. Given the overlap between this and at least one psych’s insistence that people transitioning retain a certain amount of paid employment, it just shows that some very privileged people (including some mid-life transitioners, affluent politicians, and doctors) are deciding the needs of a group that is often varied in the real-world effect they get out of such changes. And none of this seems to come up in debate or discussion here either (or any other intersections, for that matter).


  21. Anonymous

    Yes! I want suits and nice shirts and beautiful fine wool vests and ties and pants that are the right size and shape! (Then again, I want that every day, no matter what I’m wearing, because I’m 4’11” and every pair of pants everywhere is too long.)


  22. Levi

    On the other hand, one of the great pleasant surprises in my life was that my first package of boxer-briefs wasn’t loose in the crotch, as I’d expected. Maybe we’re not as different as they like to make us think we are.

    (Being emphatically curvy and over 6′, I also (necessarily) enjoy altering my own clothes. For great prints and cheap stuff you don’t have to worry about destroying, thrift stores are love.)


  23. Moose


    My boobs are too big to fit into those sleek, androgynous button downs. Ah, well. I’ll have to queer it up some other way.


Leave a Reply

Can I show your picture? If you have a Gravatar associated with this email address, it will be displayed as your photo. If not, I'll just put a picture of a fork next to your comment. Everybody likes forks.

Be nice. Judgmental comments will be quietly deleted and blacklisted. There's plenty of room for those elsewhere on the web.

For legal reasons, you must be age 13 or older to post a comment on Genderfork.

You can use some HTML tags for formatting, e.g. <em>...</em> for emphasis (italics) or <strong>...</strong> for strong emphasis (bold) or <a href="http://(url)">...</a> for links.

Back to top