FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: What Do You Wear When You Want To Feel Awesome?

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tea party (just image)

image by rory midhani

Hey there cherry chapsticks! And welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread.

Today I’m doing laundry because I have almost nothing to wear, which means I’m doing laundry in an outfit that would be otherwise appropriate for going out to a moderately dressy dinner because literally nothing else is clean and it takes dire need to push me out of my comfort zone, clothing wise.

For instance a few months ago I really needed pants and so I got some that are black but also white, and the black and the white are next to each other in a cheery pattern-like manner that also makes my butt look excellent in my opinion, and every time I wear them I feel like I’m giving the finger to my former internalized misogyny about whether it was okay to care about clothing (no) or various femme-related things (no) or to wear clothing that in any way made me look like I had put some thought into it (definitely not).

Anyway that same former internalized misogyny prevented me from thinking basically any thoughts about clothing at all for most of my early life, and then brokeness prevented me from thinking any thought about clothing at all for several years, and now everything I own is falling to literal pieces so I have to think about it anyway and so what I wanna know is, how did you guys learn this stuff? The other day on the internet I learned texture is a thing to think about, which explains why my black (fake) leather boots and black leather skirt and black leather jacket don’t just pop next to my black leather bag, and while I probably could have reached this conclusion on my own I’d really like to just know everything relevant immediately.

here is a photo of my laundry because emotionally I am not in a selfie place today. note the varied color palette.

here is a photo of my laundry because emotionally I am not in a selfie place today. note the varied color palette.

Anyway maybe you were really into Lip Smackers in elementary school or maybe figuring out that you look good in skinny ties instead of regular or bow ties changed your entire life or maybe you let internalized misogyny about the things it is okay to care or not care about prevent you from living your best life in patterned pants that feel like you’re giving the world the finger in a stylish sort of way but whatever the things that make you feel good when you leave (or don’t leave) the house are, I want to hear them.

Or maybe there’s something else you need to share — maybe you had this weirdly specific dream about the people in the apartment you can see into from yours or you had the best goddamn sandwich for lunch today or you tried to buy galpals.com for an elaborate prank slash future business proposition or you just had the busiest week of your life (let’s talk stress management because I need to get some) or your hair looks really good today or you subverted the patriarchy with a vengeance or you learned how to do a new thing or you forgot how to do a thing and now it’s driving you crazy. LET’S TALK.


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Carolyn Yates was formerly the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for Autostraddle.com. Her writing has appeared in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, Xtra!, Jezebel, and elsewhere. She lives in Los Angeles by way of Montreal and Toronto. Find her on twitter or instagram.

Carolyn has written 982 articles for us.

206 Comments

  1. my favorite clothes are no clothes. Also, i feel like the only to find your own style and fashion sense is by practicing, which makes your point resonate with me because I’m a broke college surrounded by fashionable youths and i just marvel at them.

  2. The multiple mentions of patterned pants had me cracking up,and this is why: while helping my parents move out of their house,my mom presented me with many boxes/journals from my preschool-elementary days. In a writing prompt driven kindergarten journal the question was asked ‘When i grow up I’ll be excited because ________’ my answer was ‘because i won’t wear patterned pants.’ complete with a sad face drawing of me in some crazily patterned pants,and the happy grown up version in non-patterned black pants.
    Now I’m wishing i had a pic of that goofy drawing.

    • I was also ALL about the patterned pants in kindergarten (what up, weird white and large semi-neon floral pattern leggings of my childhood that I had no say in wearing), I can definitely see being put off for life.

  3. This shirt and bowtie combo is pretty fucking rad, thrifted too (bowtie made from a thriftstore tie.) I feel awesome in it, and it’s kinda dressy but I can still wear it to class :)

    I also have an awesomely faded pair of jeans that fit perfectly and were once black. Soft pants are the best and my ass looks amazing in them.

    • I love old jeans! I have some that aren’t good for much other than lounging and maybe dog walking. But i do have one pair that is probably twelve years old at this point and still make my booty look great.

      Very cool tie!

  4. Sooooo One of my summer goals is to be topless outside this year. I think when it comes to internalized misogyny, I’ve been taught I have to hide or feel shame for my chest/nude body overall. I want to combat this politically and personally. I haven’t gone out in it yet, but I did just buy a mesh (see-through!) top and plan to wear it out at the local queer dance night this weekend.

    • I was taking to a trans masculine person recently, and he mentioned camping trips where the guys would go topless regardless of surgical status.

      I think that is awesome to be setting people and feel free to do that. Or to feel free to do it any time, trans or no. I personally have a lot of body shame and expressed my reservations at attending because a lot of my visual femininity is heavily reliant upon running water and access to facilities. I should probably work on that. My reservations, I mean.

      Anyway, rock it! Be bold!

      • Yes, I can speak from experience that camping trips are great for this. Admittedly, I was camping by myself when I was rocking out topless (and I ended up with mosquito bites EVERYWHERE up there), but it was totally worth the mosquito bites.

  5. Hmmm feeling ‘awesome’, depends on the target audience. If the audience is me (which it mostly is because I just can’t with people’s opinions anymore), it has to be comfortable – jeans, t-shirt, shirt, jacket comfortable shoes. If it’s to basically intimidate others into leaving me the heck alone and stop with their half thought out thoughts, then it’s a classic style dress, jacket and highish heels.
    Frankly I can’t see why I can’t go to work in my pyjamas – I’d be just as capable of doing my job in pjs as I would in a classic suit.

  6. My “power threads” as I like to call them change from time to time. For a while they were these awesome jeans, then a pair of boots, recently it’s been a black pinstripe vest, with an awesome fedora.

  7. I just had to jump into my first Friday Open Thread after some occasional lurking, because I’m wearing a tie at work today for just the third time, and I feel dapper af!

    I used to be afraid to be out at work, but now I’m wearing a tie and wingtips with an ALH. AND a very dapper person told me I tied my tie very well. So. Life is good. Happy Friday!

    • Yay! Wearing a tie is the next step in my “journey to wear clothes that I feel actually comfortable in,” after buying men’s jeans and several button downs. In the past whenever I dressed super femme, I always felt awkward and uncomfortable, like I was playing dress up as someone else. Now I get that my style is far more butch and that I feel super confident rocking jeans, a button down, a sweater, and Sperrys and a bralette (because I hate underwires).

  8. I like to shower while my roomate is at work, and spend the whole day surfing the internet in nothing but boxer briefs and glasses.

    Usually for tumblr posts of other girls in boxer briefs and glasses.

    On the bright side, now when I get that confusing feeling where I’m not sure I want to be someone else, or make out with them, the answer is yes.

  9. I’m wearing that sweater that you like because it’s cold today but also those jeans that we both hate because Laundry so like, I’m in a place of attempting to forgive myself when I am forced to phone it in. I think it is because my hair is so long! I will be excited to get it cut soon and feel dapper/worthy of cultivated fashion choices.

  10. Really anything that shows off my boobs (and accompanying boob tattoo) is a good way of feeling awesome for me. I’d say that 80% of the time I dislike having a relatively larger chest, but during that 20% it’s great. And anything glimmery and gold! And heels…but just to stand or sit in. When I attempt to walk in heels I end up looking like an ancient, teetering old man.
    I NEED ADVICE THOUGH. I went on a lil’ road trip (I got there at noon, then left the next evening) last week, to see a girl. And…I don’t know what to do. I loved it, LOVED IT, but I was awkward as anything (physically, verbally) and The Conversation didn’t come up. I also booked an AirBnB, because I didn’t want things to be weird, although she offered for me to stay with her. She’s SO HARD TO READ GUYS. SO HARD. And then, so many things are wrong: she’ll be out of the country this summer, she lives in a different state anyway, she’s five years older, she does things like fish and go muddin’ and eat grits and I…don’t.
    BUT she’s so great. Her heart is huge. She goes out of her way to help people. She’s so NICE to strangers and friends alike. She’s such a positive person. She’s so culturally sensitive and smart and has had all of these amazing experiences. She loves kids and dogs. She’s adventurous and likes to get out of her comfort zone. She’s not arrogant. I could listen to her stories for days. I love her accent. She’s super adorable, just so cute.
    BUT I tend to idealize people at first only to have it blow up in my face. I JUST FEEL SO CONFLICTED.
    She leaves the country in a week. What do I do.

    • I should also mention, we checked and OkCupid told us we’re a 99% match. Which…doesn’t mean anything. Or it could be a good thing? Or a bad thing. I knew a 99% match once (we did not meet on OKCupid)…and, uh, she’s still a sore spot…

    • My two cents: clear communication is the best path, even if it is scary and nerve wrecking and messy and confronting sometimes. It helps you live out your own truth and stops you from becoming a creature of regret. Go get her, tiger. (In a totally sexy consensual manner.)

    • So much “yes” to silvercake and crispy and communication! If you like her, tell her. Also do it now, in person or not in person but before she leaves the country and you can’t talk about it in person for months.

      (If you’re not sure, or think things will be complicated, or are worried about grits, and those things are enough to stop you, then let them stop you, because if it feels right they shouldn’t be.)

  11. CROP TOPS. Carmen’s post on crop tops a few weeks ago helped me discover my new love for showing my belly. I’m going to wear a crop top on Sunday to my theatre company’s launch party (which you should all come to, if you’re in NYC: https://www.facebook.com/events/1423817867921116/. You can win tickets to FUN HOME on Broadway!)

    So much body love going on right now. I think I’ll pair a crop top with a maxi skirt and BAM all the hotness.

    • I am so enthused by your love of, and commitment to love, crop tops. I ordered a plus size bikini, and I’ve been nervous. BUT I always read your posts on the FOT, and you seem pretty steady on your shoulders, especially for someone involved in the theatre (who I’d expect to have dramatic leanings), and when you wrote about your crop top experience, I dug out my tube top dress and was like fuck gender/genderqueer conformity, I am gonna love my naked shoulders! And when my bathing suit gets here, I may feel like a man in a bikini, but that’s okay, because BOOBS. :D. In closing, thank you for inspiring me.

  12. Schuyler Fisk (KRISTY) in the Babysitters Club has been my primary style inspiration since 1995. I think if BSC Kristy and Kristen Stewart were to collaborate on an outfit for the Gap catalogue, that’s how I usually dress when I’m feeling awesome.

    I’ve never posted a picture before, you guys. I’m really nervous about it.

  13. High waist-ed pencil skirts – there is literally no other item of clothing that makes me feel like I rule the world. I’m getting into patterned skirts and bought the cutest black one with light pink flowers that I paired with a nice blouse for my job interview yesterday.

    Hopefully the interviewer was like wow this person is awesome I can’t not hire them AND has they have a great sense of style to boot.

  14. Just a short post today… Busy week at work.

    Clothes. We have a love hate relationship. I mean, I like hats and vests and slippers and PJs. But I hate doing laundry and shopping for clothes, and I don’t own anything remotely formal. Thankfully, it isn’t required for my job. My work attire is PPE and GMP. Lab coats are sexy!

    But in terms of at-home attire, my go-to outfit is generally a fleece beanie, down vest, jeans, and baggy button-up. I love fleece and down and hats. I’m always wearing hats, sometimes even in the lab. Hats just feel like a safety blanket of sorts.

    In other news, I just finished “Dante and Aristotle Discover the Secrets of the Universe ” in response to a recommendation on last Friday’s thread, and it was so heartwarming! I finished it in 2 days.

    • Yeah hats!

      I need to get back to that book. I was trying to read it during a real down time, and just broke out crying one night while I was reading the
      ***********************************SPOILER warning******************

      Fever dreams part (I doubt even think that’s really a spoiler, but better safe than sorry!)
      ********************************end spoilers*******************************

      I put it down and haven’t gone back. I did like it. I just couldn’t keep reading for whatever reason.

  15. Blazers. All about the blazers. Oh and I have these jumpers from Uniqlo which are super soft and make me feel better. I am wearing one of those right now.

    I wish I felt more awesome today, but the UK election results are such an unmitigated disaster that I’ve been distracted by negative thoughts (mostly just “why???”) all day. Urghhhhhhhh.

    • Totally feeling you on the election front, I’ve spent a lot of today cursing the first past the post system and my invisible vote in a safe Tory seat.

      I am wearing my favourite denim shirt; it’s part comfort clothing, part badass uniform.

    • Agree r.e. Election although I did a happy dance/leap around when Farage didn’t get his seat. I live in a Tory stronghold where UKIP did better than labour, frankly terrifying. Wishing I could emigrate right now. Uniqlo are the makers of my fave plaid and my super cosy longjohns :) they do comfy cuddly clothes so well.

      • I’m with you re: Farage, so glad that wanker didn’t get in. That’s one of the two positives from this election, the other being that Paddy Ashdown now has to eat an actual hat. Maybe Farage can give him a fedora.

    • The election results have been so sad and I agree with the “why????” and also some “I don’t understand!!!”.

      I had my ears pierced recently (in my 20s) so I’ve only just discovered the power of earrings to make a normal outfit into an ‘I’ve made an effort’ outfit. So lazy and so fun!

  16. I haven’t yet unlocked this mystery. I think there are awesome discoveries coming over the course of this summer, but up to now I’ve always felt “bluh, whatever” about what I wear. I look forward to changing this.

    • romantic fluff or fantasy/sci fi or ideally a combination of the two. I like getting sucked into a story but not being super involved/difficult to read. Also something longer, otherwise I end up having to carry a bunch of books.

    • Everything – I load up my instapaper account and library ebooks and buy trashy magazines I don’t read in my real life and just go for it. Essay collections or very episodic memoirs are excellent because I get easily distracted when things are happening around me and it’s easier to think in terms of chapters or essays than books.

  17. Hi Folks, I’m mourning the loss of my confidence jeans. My legs looked not stumpy and short in them… But after 3 years the crotch wore out and they had to go. Sad times.
    So generally I feel good in skinnyish jeans, no socks, Vans and a loose tee (preferably with cool logo or picture or print, I have an awesome dinosaur one) with the sleeves rolled to show my tattoos…although not right now as righty is still healing from Sunday and is scabtastic, hence still no pic-next week I promise.
    However tomorrow for work I have to look smart and I am completely stuck, I have full on black tie or I have breezy wedding dapper but I have nothing between plaid’n’denim and that… HELP! What do I wear. The weather is not helping…stupid rain.
    Sincerely – Soft butch in need of advice.
    Hope you all have a great weekend :)

    • I mix the casual and the black tie. . . nothing like a satin lapeled tux jacket, button up, tie, and jeans. -unless you can’t wear jeans to work :( then wear the fancy pants and dress them down with a tee and sweater.
      Dude you got this.

      • I can wear jeans, I think I may go with this plan, the missus came up with similar so with a consensus of 2 it’s the winner. I hope you guys are right and that I have got this. Grey cotton drill brogues? Although shirt wise I am nervous, I’m not sure I can find a non plaid button up. I may have to shop pre work. Oh god.

  18. You guys, my life changed the day I realized I could wear skinny jeans.

    I was working at the mall, folding clothes, talking about clothes, and I complained that my legs were really short and my co-worker commented on how I always wore baggy, boyfriend cut jeans. She was like “you know, if you wore skinny jeans, your legs wouldn’t look so short because they wouldn’t be lost in so much fabric.” It had never occurred to me that I could wear skinny jeans because I am not skinny.

    And then I bought skinny jeans for the first time ever and people told me it looked like I lost 15 pounds. IT CHANGED MY LIFE.

    My best look is skinny jeans, ballet flats, ironic graphic tee, a cardigan, black ray bans.

    • Preach! Skinny jeans ain’t just for the skinny. They destumpified the look of my wee legs, and I’m sure they made me look taller. I was a skater jean kid and then discovered I had decent legs. :)

  19. Hiiiiiiiii sweetie doodles,

    I’m really into sundresses with pockets, I got a new favorite thrifted eshakti one last week for $10, and I have worn it 3 out of the last 7 days, I feel so cute in it.

    But also anything jersey. I usually wear high waisted skirts on days I have to look professionalish to be like whatever, my butt is covered, look, there’s my waist, who fucking cares, let’s do this work thing.

    Today my hair is on a good still curly 2 days post shower, and I feel very cute. They also played prince on the radio this morning while I was driving to work, and I passed my licsw exam (it’s over!!!) so it’s been a good week. It’s the trans film festival this week in seattle, so going to see shorts tomorrow, and they’re showing the incredibly true adventures of two girls in love, in all its dorky earnest splendor, and I am going with some of my favorite friends who like 90s deep lez like I do,
    But yeah clothes. I super like them but am also trying to really intentionally wear the ones I have and not just keep shopping. Bc budgets/consumerism/life.

  20. I’ve loved reading this thread. Right now I’m back backing with my wife and so my fashion sense is gone out the window- like we are sewing our clothes back together at this stage! The one pair of trousers I still love to wear are a pair of beige ‘steampunk’ trousers I bought in Berlin 5 years ago. They are high waisted with five buttons instead of a zip and I feel butch and powerful as hell in them. I agree that texture is important; I’m into it generally like with food and paintings and so why not fabric? I’ve even a Pinterest board dedicated to ‘texture’.

    • *backpacking :/
      I also feel really good in anything black with an interesting back situation i.e straps, lace detail, cut-out etc. I get to express my kinky side with this under-as-outer wear option!

  21. I would post a picture of my current favourite outfit, but I fail at laundry so it’s lying in a crumpled heap somewhere.

    What makes me feel awesome generally depends on my mood, my feelings about my body and the day. But forgoing underwear is usually a good start (also helps my laundry situation).

  22. OMG one of my favorite power looks this days is button down, patterned shorts, backwards hat and boat shoes. Yes, frat boy casual. Lol.

    Other than that, I’m super comfortable and confident in a good pair of straight jeans, button down, skinny tie, and a good haircut.

    In other news, awesome things are happening with formerly-straight girl. Can’t believe it’s taken so long to get to this point, but I’m making my big move tomorrow! Wish me luck!

  23. Hey love bugs! I have NO fashion sense. Like none. People are always trying to dress me and then I just feel uncomfortable, so I put on just whatever it is I feel like wearing, thankyouverymuch.

    Ok so, if I’m heading out and feeling fabulous/wanting to feel fabulous, I have this one pair of black jeans that fits me like jeans should fit. I mean they’re the exact right size for my hips/thighs/butt region AND they’re the perfect length for my short ass legs. I usually pair them with my black boots because they make me walk like the badass I pretend to be in my head. This gets tricky in the Miami summers, because it’s too hot to wear anything at most times. But I make it work when it’s not hell hot. Shirt-wise; whatever shows off my awesome bewbs, and sorta matches. If I’m just gonna be home and need to feel better than I do at that moment, I get completely nekkid and stretch out in bed. Works every time.

    In other news, I started working last week!!! It’s my old job, part time administrative assistant, but it’ll pay my car note and cell bill, which is all I need at the moment. And tonight, we’re having a graduation ceremony for one of our special ed programs and I get to play photographer, so that’s gonna be fun. I’m actually kinda sad to see these guys go, since the program opened just as I was starting this job back in the day, so we’ve kinda grown up together. But, they’re off to do awesome things, and that’s just the best thing, really.

  24. For a few years after I came out, I felt like I couldn’t wear dresses – or any femme attire, really – because PATRIARCHY and because I grew up in a religion that mandated dresses at church so I had a really complicated relationship with femme-wear.
    BUT, I’ve sort of come around from that and recently found myself rocking cute dresses and heels and growing my hair out of the pixie it’s been in for 5 years. Obvi dressing MOC is awesome and fabulous, but i’ve been happy to discover that I can feel AWESOME in dresses and still be my queer self. If that makes sense.

    At the moment I am watching ALIAS (seriously, that show was awesome) while I delete out of date/misogynist books from my library teen collection.

    • SAME about all that stuff except Alias. Today I bought two old lady shirts that made me think of floral-print ankle-length dresses and I didn’t even care. I like ’em and Imma wear ’em!

      • Lol okay so my scrolling made me skip your middle paragraph heh I don’t do dresses and heels, but I’m no longer strictly in men’s clothing. I wear funky prints and colors and kind of say fuck gender stereotypes, including the queer ones. :)

  25. I have this shirt that says plot on it and has a picture of a plot diagram. When I wear this shirt I feel awesome because #1 It is a comfortable shirt and I think it makes me look good. #2 It is punny and people always ask me what it means which allows me to look at them like “you really don’t know what it means. it says it right here!” #3 who doesn’t like a good climax. Amiright.

  26. SPEAKING OF CHERRY CHAPSTICK.

    After wearing chapstick every day for decades, I am now allergic to it. Help.

    I thought it might be the petrolatum, but I am even more allergic to Burt’s Bees lip balm, which is petrolatum free.

    I am currently using either use Goldbond lotion OR Vaseline instead of chapstick, but if they mix at all, then it’s bad again. Both require reapplying constantly which is a bummer because I work in a lab so it’s complicated protocol to put my hands on my face 100 times a day.

    The corners of my mouth have been cracked since October. I can only use little spoons and I really miss yawning without pain. Plus I look weird and it’s bumming me out.

    I haven’t tried carmex yet, and I read online that Aquaphor sometimes works for ppl who are allergic to chapstick.

    Someone suggested I may be allergic to lanolin, alone or in combo with other things, but I don’t think so because Goldbond has lanolin and I can wear that. So unfortunately, I have no idea what I’m allergic to (single or combo of ingredients) other than above.

    But I’m willing to roll the dice and try your suggestions here, dear savvy straddlers!

    The clothes that make me feel most confident are soccer cleats but only if I’m in the middle of a rad soccer game. Not for wearing at work. That would be wrong.

    • I became allergic to Chapstick about 4 years ago and switched to Lip Service from lush which has saved me. It’s lanolin and petrolatum free. My lip crack hell ended super fast.

    • Omg are you listening to yourself? You work in a LAB and you are *putting your hands near your face 100 times a day*?(!!!) Go out there RIGHT now and try everything you haven’t tried!

      Okay, freak out aside, I’m sorry you’re sad, and I’m bummed that you have to use little spoons and can’t enjoy it. Using tiny silverware for fun is one of the merits of adulthood. I hope you get better so you can frolic in your lab and yawn openly.

  27. Well as kid I wore a lot of shirts that were aimed at the young male because we are never taught was trans is or how to dress dapper as a kid. Now I am trying to dress more andro/neutral and queer and looking at pics of all the dapper queers for ideas. I am trying on different lipstick colors to see what works on me. I think reddish-purple and reddish-brown so far look the best on me, and I don’t look as nice in aqua shades.

    So, because some people are borderline creeps; I had a guy who works in my building ask me “but, why?”, when I told him, “no touching” when he patted me on the back. Ugggh really? I just kept on walking.

    This morning I essentially told my father to stop using male pronouns again(cause he called me sir) as that’s not me, nor do I like it. He still didn’t get it, but my mom just said something to the effect of, “some people don’t like those words so maybe you should stop if Alex is asking you to.” That oddly made me feel good.

    Last week I went to Slater Kinney out at the Hollywood Palladium and they totally just owned it! They are all just a bunch of cuties. And there were sooo many adorable queers at the show it was just great. I took my smaller camera with wide lens because I was worried my regular camera maybe too large to let in.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post.

    • Wow, good on yer mom! “… so maybe you should stop if [person] is asking you to.” So simple, yet so (apparently) difficult for some folks.

      And Sleater-Kinney? Sounds like that was amazing. I’m having a little envy moment here.

    • I have this sorry-not-sorry urge to punch your dad. I mean, I know it’s not cool to talk smack about other people’s relatives, but seriously. Blah. *HUGS* You’re so awesome and I’m glad you’re being you and exploring lipsticks and andro stuff, and have a mom who stood up for you. That is all such awesome stuff! Okay, all those warm fuzzies make me feel less violent, but I would for sure wag a stern finger at him, given the chance!

    • Aaah Sleater-Kinney! *starts dancing to “A New Wave”* Glad you enjoyed it. :) And you caught Carrie mid-kick, maybe?

      Also, good on your mom for giving the verbal smackdown to your dad. And creepy guys need to be shipped off to an island.

      Yay for trying out a new look! Lipstick is fun.

      • My goal was to catch her full kick, but my other camera is hair faster than the one I normally have with me, so mid-kick it was.

        Also, to be fair to my father he was nice enough to buy me a w computer and other than not respecting my pronouns is a loving parent, just from a different era and culture.

  28. I bought a nice pair of black skinny jeans last week. Only when I wore them out for the first time did I realize they only had back pockets. I really don’t like having to fondle my ass every time I reach for my car keys, but on the other hand, they make my legs look fantastic. If I really want to feel confident, though, I go for a short to mid-length dress and low heels or flats. Idk, I feel more natural when I’m not wearing pants.

    This was my last week at school and my work-study job! Crossing my fingers that I can sustain a part-time weekend job along with my internship this summer.

    • This has happened to me with so many pairs of pants I don’t understand why it’s a think. I am fine with keeping things in my back pocket if I am walking around or whatever but I’m not sure what to do with my phone once I sit down if I can’t move it to a front pocket. Put it on the table and be rude? Hold it and be ruder? Put it in my bag, then panic that I lost it because I never put it in my bag? (What do you do in dresses? Is there an obvious solution I am missing)

      • I know! I’ve accidentally sat on my phone too many times to count now. And my car keys. And the classroom keys. Usually I settle for putting my phone on the table and, if I’m sitting with someone else, determinedly not looking at it.

        With dresses, I think you usually have to settle for bringing a bag ): Which I dislike because it requires me to put thought into dragging it around with me rather than just, you know, sticking crap in my pockets as the situation requires. Somebody market more dresses with pockets, please.

  29. I went to private school for like 11+ years so I’m still not really comfortable with the whole ‘you don’t wear a uniform everyday in the real world’ expectation. My family is trying to get me at like halfway okay to look at and I can get a strong I feel good and look good maybonce every two weeks.

    I went on my first ever date (well w/ someone I might have interest in) & I’ve been like on cloud 9 ever since. Even though it’s not gonna work/didn’t work it’s like this is something people know about & i dont have to hide anymore & i feel okay???? Idk it’s kind of lovely

    I’m trying to be an adult and keep going to work and keep up w therapy and projects and maybe do school (which terrifies me)? I’m exhausted I wanna sleep for two weeks.

    Hope everyone is doing well!

  30. I came into a pair of pointy-toed black Chelsea boots this past December and I had never particularly been interested in owning Chelsea boots in the past, but DAMN they make me feel like a fucking rockstar when I wear them with black skinny jeans. That’s basically what I live in now.

  31. Black in case of doubt.
    Black when insecure.
    Black or red when I wanna get laid.
    All red when I REALLY wanna get laid.
    Butt Naked more often than I really need to be. Mostly when my roommates not home and I´m feeling good.

  32. I’ve expressed how I’m shooting for a look that I like to call “witchy femme” before. So the things I really enjoy wearing are accessories that look like they world be some kind of enchanted or cursed artifact in media involving witches. Like my raw smoky quartz necklace. (Sorry the brightness is weird on this, it was a silly Photoshop thing I was doing, I made it super dark originally. Someday I’ll have my pc back and I can adjust it on the original image!)

    Though now that I’m inked, tank and sleeveless tops are so going to make me feel awesome once it gets totally healed. I really love when my tattoo barely peaks out of something, like “wouldn’t you like to see more?” Just in case anyone missed it last week:

    Also less blood and irritated skin in this pic.

    I’m still in love with the design!!! Working with the artist was so cool. I only had a loose idea of what I wanted, and a picture of a friend’s tattoo which was awesome and trans pride-y but I didn’t want to copy. Ainslie came up with this and I really think it’s great. I hope that comes across like I’m praising his artistic ability, not some “skill” I have for picking out tattoos or something. The Trans pride colors are there, and to me the heart represents loving myself as I finally embrace my identity and become who I was meant to be.

    Still ups and downs, but today I feel good.
    <3

    • The tattoo is awesome, but let’s talk about definition! Muscle/tone envy! (I’ve had to cut my workouts way down because I’ve been sick, sticking to cardio… Any time I see definition these days, I’m like “aww yeah, I bet you work that muscle real good… I bet you work it til it can’t take anymore.” Which frankly makes me a creep, but like who cares, I’m living vicariously, okay?)

      • Well, I have 29 years of testosterone to thank for the musculature. I had periods when I would hit the weights pretty hard, my thoughts being “if I bulk up and can’t look feminine anymore, I won’t want to.”

        Didn’t work, and I learned who I really am.

        Early in transition, I was very self-conscious about my arms. Now I’ve started lifting some just to make sure I do stay toned!

        That picture was from October. That would’ve been eight months on HRT. I see big differences in my face. This is kind of embarrassing, but I’ve been wearing tank tops around my apartment to keep my tattoo open to the air as it heals, and earlier I was flexing some in the mirror. Not in admiration, but just because I wondered how much atrophy I’ve really had. I’ll have to measure, but I was still shocked at my arms and shoulders.

        That’s life. And people do compliment my arms. Tone and definition don’t bother me. A lot of the bulk has gone. The softening thanks to the subcutaneous fat layer has helped me feel much better about things.

        I’m rambling. Thank you. As for your workouts, you’ll get back to it. Feel better!

          • Yeah. A lot of trans women overcompensate for their feminine feelings. I’m going that increased visibility thanks to people like Laverne Cox and Janet Mock and so many others will help the next generations not have to live with internalized transphobia like we did.

            I try to do my part as well!

        • Yeah, I was wondering when I said it if it would make you uncomfortable to be outright hit on for something that might still make you feel squicky in your own skin. It sounds like you’re wrapping your head around it. :)

  33. My boots + anything. I wore a tube-top dress deal last week (first dress I’ve worn in a year… It happens like three times a year), and I wore my green Palladiums with it, plus a little Rosie style head scarf, and felt awesome. Today it’s man shorts and a tank. Plus boots. Awesome.

    Also, this week was harrowing emotionally. I started my step 4, which involves writing down every person, institution, and/or principle I have ever resented, feared, had sexual conduct with, or harmed in any way – from age 0 onward. Oh, and why. And how it affected me. Just the list of resentments was 8 pages long. Bruuuuuuuutal. So NOW I bought old lady shirts at a Sally Ann, plus a new bolo tie and I am fucking excited about it, but it doesn’t stop me from knowing that I have 8 pages of resebtments, and that I now have to face the daunting task of saying *why*.

    I need a drink. But not really, obvs. But really, but not really, ya know? ;)

  34. it’s raining and muggy out here and looks like it will carry on through next week, but any excuse for boots is alright with me.

    I sometimes settle into a “outdoorsy gay aunt from Maine” aesthetic feat. layering/denim/flannel/LL bean and I’m generally happy with the results

    sleeveless everything because I’m learning to enjoy being in this body and recognizing that I don’t have to hide myself away from the world in a pile of cotton blends and overly large jackets

    happy friday, greenbeans. sending love and allergy meds to anyone else suffering from sinus hell <33

  35. My confidence outfit consists of black jeans, leather boots, a grey blazer, and this tegan and sara shirt

    In this outfit I made out with a straight girl I had a crush on for like 3 years. We were both drunk, but she told me I looked cute in my blazer. I’m pretty sure tegan’s face helped draw her in.

  36. Internalized misogyny kept me from wearing certain things for years. Only in very recent memory (which makes it sound like im Gandalf in the archives of Minas Tirith) have I begun to wear dresses and skirts and femme-y things. And makeup, too! I was one of Those People who turned up my nose at “girly” things, even as I secretly wanted them, I think, because of all that internalized grossness. Now I have some spiffy dresses (one is so 1940s esque and was like $7 thrifted omg it fit me) and skirts and shirts.

    Unfortunately most of my clothes don’t fit me because I gained weight at the end of last year. So none of my shorts fit! I had to buy new shorts! All I want is my shorts to fit, you guys. It’s gonna be summer; I must inflict my pasty limbs on the public or else I’ll melt!

    It’s been a week since an awesome festival, so im all, Take me back to last week! haha.

    • Hey you beautiful thing, you! This is such a positive post, what a gem. :) Inflicting pasty limbs is happening at warp speed next weekend when I go topless tanning at a non-nude beach. I recommend it. Trust me, you will not be thinking about your shorts and neither will anyone else :P HOWEVER, I am buxom lady of a plus size, so if you wanna send me a private message with your dress size, and are interested in receiving mail, maybe we share a similar size and I can send you some secondhand goodies (I only shop thrift) :)

  37. My uniform of choice for taking on the world consists of:

    Skinny jeans (either dark wash or black)

    My 13-year-old pair of Chuck Taylor All Stars (Despite having a sneaker fetish that would rival most basketball players, these are my favorite shoes and I will never get rid of them. They have literally walked around the world. I just had to super glue a part of the sole…)

    A graphic tee (Again, this is another addiction of mine. My graphic tee game runs deep. I can’t pick a favorite.)
    Blazer

    Long strand of pearls doubled up.

    My favorite black wool wide-brim fedora.

    HOWEVER, I live in Florida now, which is basically hotter than a pussy covered in Siracha this time of year, so it’s hard to wear my signature look. I omit the blazer, replace the long jeans with shorts, and I trade in my wool fedoras for my summer hats. I have a few favorites from Peter Grimm that I rock when it’s 90 degrees.

    • Hello other person with a sneaker fetish :) Do you have many many many pairs but wear only one or two pairs…? Cuz that’s me. I have some beauties. Also I recently retired my Vans which sound like your cons, they has been everywhere I had been for around 5 years, my toe came completely through and I made them my filthy studio shoes. They became unwearable in the rainy British weather as it was leaking in from all sides including the soles. Opposite problems!

      • The black Chucks are my favorite despite only having 4 pairs of Converse in my shoe arsenal. I just picked up a pair of oxfords covered in Bart Simpson graphics yesterday that will be in heavy rotation. I wish they were hi’s, but they’re pretty sweet so I couldn’t pass them up, plus they were 50%. I have more Adidas Superstars than anything else. I also worship my decade plus old pairs of Doc Martens that are English made, not the Asian crap they’re selling now.

        It’s a pleasure to meet another sneaker-head! :D

        • Those Simpsons oxfords sound sweet. I picked up a pair of Star Wars vans sk8-hi’s this week half off, they are sick! They have hibiscus flowers all over and a sneaky Yoda sitting in one here and there. Subtly nerdy. Mostly I have vans, not going to lie, stacks of vans. Although I have a sweet pair of turquoise and neon green suede Nike Blazers that I picked up in Barcelona a few years back which are amazing.

          • Oh dude! I Googled those shoes…they’re freaking dope as all hell! I have to get some of those Star Wars Sk8-his! They’d be perfect work shoes. I go to a lot of comic cons for my job, so they could be a business expense right? :D Not to mention, they have a great summer vibe to them.

  38. Has anyone been listening to Lane Moore’s/It Was Romance’s new album?? I am super obsessed with the song Chances right now! It’s been on repeat for two days now… I think my gf might be ready to never hear it again haha.

  39. I’m super late to this party. It’s weird because when I posted on Jezebel, I could never stay up late enough to actually contribute to the conversation. But… Autostraddlers are early posters. Anyway… I wanted to post anyway because I have had a great day today! I haven’t slept in a while because I had to do my final project for my last class of my PhD (exciting, but not that exciting because I have a lot of other things to do still), but this morning my girlfriend surprised me by coming over with food and flowers and spending the day with me. We had an amazing day together and I realized that I really just want to tell the whole world that I’m in love with her. And then after all that my neighbors came over and it seems like they want to be friends, which is really exciting because they are gay ladies and I don’t really have any local gay lady friends. So. I’m just really happy about my day and I wanted to share.

    Oh! Also, re: fashion. I have always had a super weird time with fashion for so many reasons, but today my experience was that I was wearing a really weird, post-sex comfy outfit when my neighbors came over and I felt slightly awkward, but also proud of myself because I was wearing clothes I actually wanted to wear rather than clothes I felt like I should wear. So. That’s me. :)

    • That does sound like a day by golden pond :) Also, I noticed the same thing about the party starting early here, but it’s really because the Autostraddle crowd is spread all over the world, so the time zones could be 12 hours apart… Somewhere, always, someone is waiting up for the Autostraddle FOT to start. That’s usually me ;).

  40. First of all I have to second everyone who said that no clothes is the way to go. I’ll follow that up with something I read the other day about queer relationships.

    Curious: SO…who wears the pants in the relationship? (pertaining to a lesbian couple)
    Couple: NO ONE! The relationship works best when no one wears pants!!!

    I like to wear button up things with either my black pants that are not jeans or red chinos (? not sure if they’re chinos though) I have these chukkas made by a company called SeaVees that are also black. What I love about them is they’re actually made for women feet but retain that masculine look. Plus they’re black =) I noticed I’m a lot about the details too. Like colored shoelaces or cufflinks that will match my tie.

    My mom actually likes that I dress the way I do now. She even appreciates the bowties and ties. LOL.

    I don’t usually wear anything but jeans or shorts and a shirt but when I really get into it you can catch me looking like this.

    This was my birthday.

    This was the time I wanted to look dapper every day so I dressed like this to go to bevmo and when i was asked why I looked so nice buying liquor at 2 in the afternoon I said I got a promotion. BOOM.

    PS DEER CUFFLINKS #klubdeer5ever

    This is my bowtie collection. Not featured: neckties

    PS cats are fine, they have been lying about on the floor per my wife because it’s pretty much summer in the Philippines.

    Excited to see you all on Mt Feelings!!! Come fistbump me!

  41. Something that makes me feel awesome is when I wear one of the bowties I have crocheted, and then I end up in great conversations because of it. I’ve had them mentioned in group presentations by professors (which is weird), but it’s also how I met my current partner. She was like: hey I really like your bow tie (she was also wearing a bow tie). and I was like: thanks, I made it.
    And thus – via bow ties – a romance was born.

  42. Red shoes! My power shoes are red patent Cole Haan Loafers that I got at a hella good sale.

    About 10 years ago my 85 year old powerhouse of a coworker told me that if I ever needed to feel some extra oomf, to wear bright red shoes. She said it is a bold choice and that boldness will resonate as personal power.

    She was so right.

    also, she said never accept pearls as a gift because it is a sure sign of death within a year.

    so… she got the shoe thing right for sure though.

  43. What I like to wear:

    1)Jeans and t-shirt.
    Nice, clean, weekend jeans and t-shirt. Not the ragged, dirty jeans & t-shirts I wear at work every day (I’m a joiner).

    2) Nothing!! – preferrably outdoors in the sunshine.
    This option sadly is not viable very often at all…

    3) In the summer, when it’s properly hot, vest and hot pants. But then I feel crap when I get comments from idiot men in the street, so I don’t wear them in the street. :(

  44. My week was awful and I may or may not have written a mini-essay on how a lunch with my ex might lead to murder and then matricide. It’s kinda funny but makes me seem even more off my rocker than I think I might already seem.

    Boots to ground me, sweater to surround me.
    That’s been the basics of what to wear to take on the world for me since I was fourteen, I’m entering the age wear I have to find the grown up version(s) that don’t radiate hostility or aggressive masculinity and it is haaard.
    Deep down I still love looking unapproachable and I don’t think that is a thing that can be “fixed” even if it were just a root and not an integral truth of me.
    The thing some people would call a root for my preference of unapproachableness would be this man my godmother dated when I was about I think 5 years old. He looked at me, looked at me in a way that I knew just knew in my little bones was wrong. I could not explain why it was wrong, and would not be able to for a shorter amount of time than one would expect, so I told my mother.
    She listened to me, she took me seriously and this man seemed off even to her so she made sure us kids were never alone with him. In my life my mother has failed me, the failure that stung the most was beyond her control and I understand that now but I won’t forgive her. I can’t, it’s beyond me.
    But this thing when I was 5 she has my eternal gratitude for listening to me and listening to her instincts as a woman and a mother because so many kids don’t get listened to by their elders about how things and people make them feel.
    It turned out that this man my godmother knew had been married before had been divorced not because the marriage just fell apart, but because he raped his stepdaughter who he claimed seduced him. She was a minor child. How the fuck that man didn’t spend the rest of his life rotting in jail I would wonder for years after my mom told me how good it was little me listened to my instincts during a you should trust yourself more pep talk. The reason why of course is children make terrible witnesses, they’re kids and they are just so scared.
    I was years younger than his stepdaughter and he was probably thinking I would make an easier victim and worse witness.

    TL;DR My first experience of being looked at in a sexual way was when I was about 5 years old, some people think that’s the sole reason why I like looking “scary” and my toxic ex treated me like a whiny baby because it’s not like he touched you and you better in cute clothes, why don’t you want to be cute.

    Fuck you toxic ex I look way sexier in my sports bra centered wardrobe, also it makes me feel more confident and not like I’m trying to be a woman I’m not so that just brings the sexy up to 11.
    The sports bra boyshorts combo I have that kind makes the bi pride makes me feel awesome, but what make me feel the awesomest I Can Kick the World In Its BIG DUMB FACE no matter what else I might have to wear is my long black sports bra because I let loose from the noose. \m/

      • From previous FOTs I know you know what it’s like to be let down by parents and those special moments where they don’t. Or maybe important would be a better word than special.
        Most comfortable I’ve been with myself since I can’t remember when just struggling with the fact making others uncomfortable on purpose is a part of me. Shades of guilt about it. Boo for all the toxic exes, it’s not just the time they stole when you dated em but the time you spent after trying to detox from their toxicity.
        Trying build a self is hard enough.

  45. Ooh. It depends on where I am. At work, my black shift dress makes me feel like I can be the CFO some day. Or I’ll randomly wear a suit to the office and freak everyone out. (My office is business-casual, so separates rule the day there.) If I’m going out, white button-down shirt, skinny dark-wash jeans, heels, makeup and a fedora. I should add a bow tie to this some time and freak the guys out. I think my style is slightly FOC but with some masculine elements thrown in? Yeah, let’s run with that. Basically I want to dress like Katharine Hepburn.

    In other news: I’ve been having my period for six weeks, so a call to my doctor is in order. I feel disgusting and defective as a result. That and I have finals this coming week. On the plus side, I walk at commencement on the 15th, and three of my favorite professors are serving as marshals, and my amazing, wonderful tax professor marshals my group (MS Accounting). My mom is driving in to be at the ceremony. I’ll post pictures of me in my regalia. And I’ll be done with my degree in July!

    • I had the never ending period thing before and it was a seriously unpleasent combination of annoying and alarming. I ended up getting diagnosed with PCOS, which is luckily not serious and can usually be controlled with birth control pills. I HATE going to gyncologists, so I definetly feel your pain. Don’t put it off though – it took me several weeks to get an appointment, and if it’s already been six weeks you don’t want to wait too much longer to find out what’s going on. Good luck – I hope everything is OK and the problem is resolved soon!!!

      • Thanks. ☺️ I’m afraid I’m going to get blown off by my GYN – I had an IUD removed at the beginning of March (ugh, last reminder of my ex-husband) and she might blame it on that. I have two cousins on my dad’s side with PCOS, and my mom had ovarian cancer at 43, so I feel like a ticking time bomb down that way, anyway. If I wasn’t so young (33), I’d say remove it all.

  46. Last night I went to a party at a friend’s house in fake leather jeans that laced up the sides, a flowing black shirt with a cape attached, and shimmery blue lipstick. I felt like a fucking queen.

  47. In 5th grade I owned a pair of black corduroy pants with iridescent glitter dots all over them. I loved those pants so much! The first day I wore them to school I got made fun of in a fairly serious manner. My one friend told me everyone else was just jealous but it was too late I never wore those pants again.

    For a happier corduroy clothing moment… I recently acquired army green high top corduroy sneakers from Goodwill. I removed the patches they came with (all with the number 61 on them) and sewed on cooler patches. Including a Tegan and Sara patch and some legit old Girl Scout patches that my best friend dug out of her childhood things and mailed to me. <3

  48. I just started wearing leggings every day because I was sick of welts from thick pants/belt combo, and I FEEL FREE. They’re way comfy, and I am less self-conscious than I was in the baggy pants. I wore loose fitting stuff thinking it would make me feel more comfortable, and while I rocked it hard, it wasn’t me. I’m at my best when looking like the New York Dolls and a peacock raised a child in a cat café.

  49. I’m really into self-made muscle tanks right now. I’ve taken every old black t-shirt in my closet and cut off the sleeves. I think these make me feel fierce because they’re very “fuck your standards,” ya feel? They cover my boobs (which are supposed to give me worth) and show off my arms (which are not muscly and mostly fatty but I don’t give two shits). It also allows me to express my more masculine side alongside my femme-ness. Like, I can have long blonde hair and make up and red lipstick on and wear a bro muscle tank and boots and feel bad ass.

    Also, I LOVE statement lipsticks. My two faves are MAC’s Viva Glam II (the ultimate red, looks great and stays on forever), and MAC’s Smoked Purple. Super dark and scary and makes me feel fantastic.

  50. Wearing totally smooth pink nylon undies under my jeans, a soft 100% cotton guaze colorful top, and a pastel ball cap to work to remind me what a sweetass loving little bottom girl I am!

  51. When it’s cold weather, I have this pair of leather boots that make me feel like I can stomp over the world and also are the comfiest shoes I own, so that’s a win-win.

    Since it’s officially summer, I’m most comfortable in board shorts and a sports bra (and some sort of bro tank if it’s a public place where shirts are required), and also my PFD and skirt (but I really want a new helmet because I look like a huge dork in a really unflattering way in my current one & also it doesn’t fit super well since I bought it when I had long hair, and without said hair it’s now too big), mostly because that getup means I’m about to do some badass stuff.

  52. I usually wear a sleeveless satin/silk shirt with jeans or nice shorts.. Some times I wear a similar shirt with dress pants or a pencil skirt. My favorite colors are teal, aqua and lavender.

    So essentially a cross between carrie brownstein, bette porter and the little mermaid. :)

  53. To quote Vince from “Mighty Boosh”: “You need to accessorize!”. Basically, wearing some small items like badges, brooches, multicolored necklaces, rings, earrings (sometimes all at the same time xD) always makes me feel like an invincible hippie.

  54. Truth be told, I’d be perfectly content never wearing anything more than a t-shirt and boxer briefs. Unfortunately, if I go further than my apartment parking lot pants seem to be necessary. On those occasions, my go to outfit is this super soft pair of jeans that makes my ass look fantastic without being too tight and a white v-neck (this one to be exact: http://mobile.walmart.com/ip/39098918).

    Also, also after years of wondering if guy’s speedos would make better bathing suit bottoms than what’s available in the women’s section, I finally tried on a pair. Major success!

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