Yarnageddon

Based on a True Sweater

Jun 29, 2006

Drag?

So. I have loved the menswear look for women for as long as I can remember. Many times in the last many many years, I have tried to pull off the shirt-and-tie look, and I don't think I've ever actually left the house in it before. (I got enough practice at it, though, that I can tie a tie on myself without a mirror.) Last week it all came together in my head: I have the right haircut, a shirt and blazer that fit attractively, pants to match the blazer, and a buttload of neckties (hoarded to make things with). I tried it on and loved it, so I wore it the next night to my last bookkeeping class, then out with some friends, to celebrate being done my course. I asked my friends, "What do you think? How does it look?"

One friend said, "You are in drag."

To be clear: I appreciate my friend's honesty. That's really how he felt, and even though I felt a bit crushed for a little while, I'd rather hear that than "You look really great!!" if he didn't mean it. He's not a good liar, and the lie would have been useless anyways. My other friend did say "You look really great!!", but I'm pretty sure he meant it.

When I was younger, I would just wear what I wanted, even if it looked totally bizarre. I was not often bothered by what people thought of what I wore. (Sharon, vouch for me here: I used to wear pretty weird outfits.) My fashion sense was (still is) very subjective, shall we say; it's just more low-key now that I'm older and have less to prove.

So why did I give a crap that my friend, who's a pretty conservative dresser, felt that I was in drag? Well, I'm actually thinking of dressing like this for work and stuff, once the weather is cool enough. (I don't work in a business-dress office, so I don't need uptight business clothes.) I don't really want to go to work in drag, though I'd happily wear the look on my own time, drag or not.

When my friend Julie was over the other day, I put on the outfit and asked her to take a few photos. (Aren't these great photos? Click for big.)
So tell me, dear readers, what do you think?
This outfit on me is:
a) Drag
b) Cute
c) Both a & b
d) Stupid
e) Other

"And remember, this is for posterity, so be honest."

36 Comments:

At 4:23 AM, Blogger AmyP said...

Honesty? Erm... OK. I go for cute, but in danger of getting into drag. Having said that, I was once assumed to be a boy at school and was shouted at by a teacher as such! So, I may have gone a little too much the other way. So you can basically ignore me! :D Clear as mud?

 
At 4:45 AM, Blogger Ginny said...

A little bit drg (which is great) and DEFINITELY cute!

 
At 5:14 AM, Blogger Zak Greant said...

I would vote for c) - definitely cute and, with the tie, definitely drag.

Hrm. Makes me think of Victor/Victoria... mmmmm... Julie Andrews in drag...

 
At 5:50 AM, Blogger Inky said...

I'd say you look adorable but it's drag too, and slightly "new wave" with the buttons on the lapel. But I like it MUCH better than if you were going for the "annie hall tie look."

if you like it go for it. I never dress very, uh, typically, either.

 
At 6:10 AM, Blogger Sheila said...

I say "c" as well but leaning heavily toward the drag side of things. BUT . . . if you like it that should be all that matters! Maybe if the shirt were a different color, it would be less like Johnny Cash and less like drag so you could try that too.

 
At 6:31 AM, Blogger Visa Lisa said...

A definite C from me. It's traditionally men's wear, so cross dressing, but I'm a HUGE fan of Eddie Izzard so I'm very open minded to this phenomenon and LOVE it dearly! And his choice is much more controversial. And it's cute. Not Just because it's you, but that is probably a big part of it though. Love it. Love you.

 
At 7:07 AM, Blogger jodi said...

c), absolutely. Drag IS cute, for those who can look cute in anything. I love this look.

 
At 7:45 AM, Anonymous lala said...

CUTE! (Of course, I would say that.) I love it when girly girls wear boy clothes. Which I, personally, don't think is drag. Just super cute.

 
At 7:56 AM, Blogger amy [Knitty] said...

It's absolutely cute and the only thing slightly draggy about it is your lack of any makeup. a little lip gloss, some mascara and you'd clearly be dressing for cute, but being a girl.

is it bowing to the patriarchy to say that makeup does make a difference? not tons, but just a teeny wee bit.

 
At 7:57 AM, Blogger morgan said...

I would go with c! Its a bit of both but very cute on you. You pull it off quite well!!

You could always throw them for a loop with some bright red lipstick *hehe*

 
At 8:07 AM, Anonymous Jean said...

Feh! B, all the way. Totally cute :)

 
At 8:15 AM, Anonymous Steph said...

I would say C, but in the nicest way. I like it because it messes with gender--I'm reading Gender Trouble (Judith Butler) right now, about how we "perform" gender and I'm in a resistance to gender norms phase.

But to be less theoretical--you look great. It's a bit dressy and a bit sassy and I like it.

I've always liked the men's wear for women look too. Go for it!

 
At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is your fusty old m-i-l darlin', and I think you are cute as a button in that outfit. You could pair the coat/tie with a skirt and there would be almost no doubt as to the gender of your dress, *if* being mistaken for a lad from the back bothers you. (Didn't my son once wear a skirt to make a statement?) I'd add a bit of madison ave (i.e. lipgloss and eyedressing) to add zing to your beautiful face.
You know what would also be cute? One of those puffy men's bow-ties in a wild print, like Hello Kitty or Zebra! Lord, I'm going to have to go look for a suit jacket and man shirt now. With my 1/2" of hair ..... Love you, Deb

 
At 10:10 AM, Anonymous ang said...

DRAG? you are NUTS! Since when does a woman putting a tie on mean she's dressing drag? Definitely cute. If you had a mustache I might be inclined to say drag - but you don't. (Thank God) It would be super cute with a skirt.
Not that I am comparing you to what's her face - sk8r boy chick - I'm kinda happy I can't remember her name, but has anyone said she is dressing drag?
I have a vote for B and I would like to minus 5 votes for A.
I was in the pool in a bikini the other day and a certain little boy told me i was a nice 'boy' (repeatedly, even after being corrected) apparently I don't need to dress in drag.
Now I feel like going on about the use of the word drag to me mean's more then wearing the traditional clothing of the opposite sex, which may not be true. Perhaps now we need a definition of 'drag'
Can I fill up your comments?
when men dress in drag I think of drag queens - when they are just wearing women's clothes in everyday they become transexuals or crossdressers (well some of them)- am I right?
Oh somebody shut me up!!! MANDY HELP!!!!!!

 
At 10:34 AM, Blogger Steph said...

Mandy,
While I'm not as liberal as Ang when it comes to clothing, (or should I say conservative? especially in terms of fabric use - did you hear about the bloated whale bikini? heh heh)... I'd have to agree with her here. You're not in drag.

You look quite cute. Ready for class at Hogwarts, perhaps (that is meant to be a compliment). Now, if it were me and I was planning my outfit rather than running out the door screaming "Shit, I'm gonna be late" as I usually do, I would add some accessories to "glam it up" a bit... earrings, rings, etc.

Since I'd end up looking like a short man in a jacket and tie, I would probably wear a nice silk scarf instead of the tie. But if the tie is what makes the outfit for you, well, then go with it. Maybe top it all off with some lip gloss and eyeshadow.

Seriously, though, you can wear whatever you want, as long as you do it with confidence.

(and as long as Ang isn't behind you asking if you've got your "wife of a rock star outfit" on. yeesh).

 
At 10:38 AM, Anonymous Cookie said...

I'm going with C, and I was going to say the same thing Amy already said. Make-up or maybe a girly skirt would feminize the outfit. I think the make-up would be more subtle, but if you're like me, the aversion to wear make-up is stronger.

 
At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Rachael said...

Oh, no! Quit thinking like that, my dearest! You look a: HOT. b: like you're happy. Not, in my book, like drag, because you're not hopped up on mean-making testosterone, and you're not sporting sideburns and a small mustache, and you're not binding your breasts. That, to me, where I'm from, is where drag STARTS. You just look great. Enjoy.

 
At 11:58 AM, Blogger Robin said...

I think it is totally "b" cute! The blazer is feminine and you could wear it with a skirt for a retro prep school look. With vest perhaps? How about killer boots? Or knee high socks? You carry a tie well and I think it looks great. If you had a men's cut blazer it would be more of a "drag" outfit.

 
At 4:01 PM, Blogger Deb said...

I'm with Amy- add the makeup, and (dare I say) a flower in the lapel. I feel that if you are going to wear something "different"- treat it like a costume and really do it up. Add some wild colour, or line the jacket with something crazy, or wear a tie with a rhinestone pin as a clip-caricature the look and make it work for you. But- lipstick is good.

 
At 4:02 PM, Blogger Deb said...

And loosen the tie.

 
At 4:56 PM, Blogger knitty_kat said...

Hmm, the tiny amount of make up would be good.

I was also going to say, a different tie or something with a more girly flair?

Definately cute - it's your style, make it your own!

 
At 5:44 PM, Anonymous Stella said...

I think it's A & B. But drag is totally OK! Who cares, as long as you like it.

 
At 7:21 PM, Blogger Sharon said...

B, B, B, cute, cute & cute!
Yes, you did wear some weird outfits as well as have some interesting haircuts & colors however I do remember that time downtown Calgary how you were the focus for that TV news report: “Fashion on the Streets” with your tiger print scarf for a skirt. You opened my eyes about fashion, you created some great things, as well as the some odd stuff but you have really matured not meaning in age but in your skills as a seamstress and as a knitter. To think there are books now about the things that you have always done, such as altering every piece of clothing that you ever bought. You are always (more than a few) steps ahead of fashion!

 
At 8:07 PM, Blogger Jessamyn said...

Totally cute! I wear my husband's ties frequently, and nobody has ever told me I looked like a boy.

 
At 9:59 PM, Anonymous Bel said...

Ok, this is totally bugging me... I know I've heard that quote before. What movie is that from?!?! I don't care what you wear, you're awesome.

 
At 2:36 AM, Anonymous Annarella said...

b definitely b :)

 
At 5:43 AM, Blogger wenchlette said...

b, I love it.

 
At 1:05 PM, Blogger goddess_spiral said...

You look very cute and I don't think you look like you're in drag.

 
At 6:37 PM, Anonymous indigirl said...

OK, why are "drag" and "cute" mutually exclusive? Grrr.

Anyhow, politics aside, you do not look like a Drag King in the slightest. You are not a: sporting fake facial hair or b: looking masculine.

You look cute. And happy.

 
At 4:00 PM, Blogger Anastasia said...

It's definitely cute and I SO wish I could pull that off!

 
At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Ande said...

Gosh, you are so cute! I had a beautiful double breasted man's suit in a rich brown stripe back in the day. I wore it with burgundy suspenders and burgundy brouges and my burgundy striped tie. With my short hair I looked like a full on drag king!
I'm thinking you will have to wear some make up and do something wild with your hair. Then look out! Hot, hot,hot coming at you! Mwah!

 
At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cute and androgynous. One of my favorite looks when I was in college. Go for it!
Alison

 
At 6:25 AM, Blogger jo said...

One more for very cute. You pull it off really well and don't look like a boy at all. But I have always loved androgynous looks - boys in skirts / dresses / make-up and girls in suits and ties.

I like the "new wave" look too - with the lapel buttons.

 
At 4:08 PM, Blogger Alison said...

I'd say (c) -- I think girls who look like boys are sexy, and vice versa, too. But I don't think you could ever be anything but cute, Mandy. :)

 
At 5:39 PM, Blogger ladylinoleum said...

Girl, I wear crocheted bacon so I'm probably not the best person to chime in on this one, but I think you look awesome! The look is great!

 
At 11:32 AM, Blogger Elaine said...

I love this look on you. I think it's cute with a drag edge. If you wanted to push it more towards cute I'd suggest darker, shiner lip stick and a light sprinkling of bangs across your forehead. You are nearly too precious for words.

 

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