Masc/Femme: Reclaiming “Basic” Fall Fashion with Maggie McGill

Welcome back to Masc/Femme, a new series in which fashionable queers show how to style a single clothing item in multiple gender-affirming ways. This month, YouTuber Maggie McGill steps things up in a seasonal tee.

My style can be described in three words: comfortable, casual, and seasonal. My closet is packed with sneakers, jeans, plaid button-ups, and an excessive number of graphic t-shirts. Using these basic pieces along with accessories and makeup means I can authentically adjust my gender presentation on any given day.

My Centerpiece:

I’m a very chill person, and I think my style reflects that. However, there is one thing about which I am not very chill at all, and that is autumn. Classmates I haven’t spoken to in years will tag me in fall and Halloween Facebook posts. I have an autumn Tumblr. This is what I’m known for. So I just had to share this adorable pumpkin t-shirt from &Morgan, an Etsy shop with simple graphic shirts for any Halloween queen or farmers’ market aficionado.

My Masc Look:

Photo via the author

When I dress in a more masculine way, I feel absolutely suave; in this outfit, I’m ready to ask out a pretty girl and take her on a romantic hayride through our local pumpkin patch. I paired my tee with a lush brown velvet vest (similar style here), high-waisted cropped jeans in olive green (similar jeans in straight sizes here), brown hiking boots (similar style here), and polkadot pumpkin socks (similar style here) for a bit of fun. This mix of casual, professional, and utilitarian is a delicate balance, but easy to master if you start with a basic color palette (in this case, orange, green and brown) and go from there. I threw my hair up in a donut bun to compliment this soft butch look.

My Femme Look:

Photo via the author

I’m most comfortable in androgynous clothes, so when I wear a femme look, it can feel like I’m performing — but instead of shying away from that feeling, I like to run with it. For this look, I knotted my t-shirt into a crop top and paired it with distressed cropped jeans (similar style in straight sizes here and plus sizes here), a knit poncho that’s basically a wearable blanket (similar style here), and soft matte brown booties. I chose neutral accessories to balance the brightness from my hair and make the t-shirt the focus of this ensemble, plus a two-toned lip (try Colourpop’s Prim and NYX’s Exposed for a similar look) to give my outfit some edge.

Fall fashion has been sold to us as a thin, conventionally attractive white girl in Uggs, but I’m here to reclaim it for everyone who doesn’t fit into that tiny box!

You can see the first installment of this series here.

Maggie is a creative introvert who produces fat and queer fashion and lifestyle content for her YouTube channel and blog. Maggie lives just outside of Washington D.C. with her partner and works at a local non-profit. Her goal is to use her skills in video and story telling to inspire, create change, and connect with her community. You can send Maggie love and pumpkin emojis on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook.

Maggie has written 1 articles for us.

13 Comments

  1. I just found a new instagram follow! I love this – gender presentation is so much fun to play with and I’m so happy that Autostraddle includes links to both “straight” and “plus” sized options! It makes my heart so happy. No matter your body type you should be free to express yourself and your identity any way you like <3

  2. YES!!! I also feel like femme is a performance when I wear / present it, and I often feel most comfortable in some form of androgyny so this article not only made me feel so SEEN abut also has amazing fashion advice. THANK YOU!!!

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