On crossdressing

Discussion of fashion elements and looks that are traditionally considered somewhat "femme" but are presented in a masculine context. This is NOT about transvestism or crossdressing.

Re: On crossdressing

Postby crfriend » Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:18 pm

That's a great write-up, Pelmut, and hits the salient points pretty well square on.

Society seems subliminally "prepped" for there to be some form of subtext in areas such as this -- mainly because some of those may involve sexuality -- and typically makes that assumption, even if it is demonstrably wrong. Sometimes folks even get disappointed or baffled when told there is no subtext. Sometimes one cannot win.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby dillon » Wed Mar 09, 2016 5:53 am

I agree with your synopsis, Pelmut. The thing that has traditionally distinguished crossdressers from simple "men in skirts" is that total look factor, i.e., dressing to look like a woman versus integrating clothing (recently) associated with women into a style that is unique yet still principally male. That factor has distinguished the many crossdressing sites from Skirt Cafe as well. I'm not intending that as an attempt to make this site in any way exclusive; there is strength in numbers and balkanization hurts everyone; people who live in glass houses and all. But the themes are slightly different, and I think Skirt Cafe has a unique niche and mission that should be preserved.
Last edited by dillon on Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby renesm1 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:30 am

dillon wrote:I agree with your synopsis, Pelmut. The thing that has traditionally distinguished crossdressers from simple "mei in skirts" is that total look factor, i.e., dressing to look like a woman versus integrating clothing (recently) associated with women into a style that is unique yet still principally male. That factor has distinguished the many crossdressing sites from Skirt Cafe as well. I'm not intending that as an attempt to make this site in any way exclusive; there is strength in numbers and balkanization hurts everyone; people who live in glass houses and all. But the themes are slightly different, and I think Skirt Cafe has a unique niche and mission that should be preserved.


Agreed. I was thinking that myself on the train today. This site is all about men who want to dress how they please. but it is not about trying to become a woman or pass for one.

I know a few people have passed through here and gone on to be women they always felt they were, and also men who have come here after they thought they had to do the whole pretending to be a woman schtick, realising that this was not what they really wanted.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby Bamaskirting » Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:50 pm

Crossdressing does not necessarily mean trying to pass as a woman though
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby Kilted_John » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:17 pm

That's the usual definition, though. Otherwise, someone who happens to be wearing socks from the distaff side would be considered a crossdresser.

Personally, I would rather see the term go away. Even though I frequently wear dresses and have long hair, as well as a body that's somewhat female in shape, I still don't consider myself to be crossdressing, since I don't otherwise try to make myself look female.

Use the tv term to cover those who are trying to pass, then just leave the rest of us alone.

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Re: On crossdressing

Postby dillon » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:57 pm

Bamaskirting wrote:Crossdressing does not necessarily mean trying to pass as a woman though


I think we will disagree on that contention. By tradition, it has. That doesn't mean successfully, but making a distinct imitation, and more often than not in private.

We have not really considered changing the traditional implication of the term on this site, but I'm sure that could be debated among us. The fact that some of us, myself included, go beyond the solo application of a kilt or skirt to our fashion choices is the reason that we have this (Freestyle Fashions) forum.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby crfriend » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:30 pm

dillon wrote:We have not really considered changing the traditional implication of the term [crossdressing] on this site, but I'm sure that could be debated among us. The fact that some of us, myself included, go beyond the solo application of a kilt or skirt to our fashion choices is the reason that we have this (Freestyle Fashions) forum.

The notion has been brought up before, and the way that I personally deal with it is to avoid the overloaded term (and its pseudo-scholarly identical twin "transvestism") altogether. That's why I (speaking personally, again, not as an administrator here) get the hair on the back of my neck up when folks mention it -- precisely because I view the term as inapplicable (given the overloading) in what we're after here.

The above having been said, I completely understand that some folks here accept and, perhaps, embrace the term. Given my locality and upbringing simply cannot -- and that's due to the way the term has evolved into entirely lopsided application. If one wants to masquerade, that's fine; but how about guys who aren't interested in that but who want something better than twin-tubes?

"No. I am not a "crossdresser". I'm a guy who happens to be wearing a skirt at the moment. How about that woman over there wearing dungarees?" (Although "dungarees" are an obsolete term. So what.)
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby dillon » Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:07 am

To me the term still implies a wig, gaff, and falsies; I hope we can leave it for the sites that specialize in it. Although some would think that a skirt and tights is enough to qualify.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby Caultron » Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:43 am

dillon wrote:To me the term still implies a wig, gaff, and falsies; I hope we can leave it for the sites that specialize in it. Although some would think that a skirt and tights is enough to qualify.

To me, men who impersonate women are transvestites and those who wear even one item normally worn by women are crossedressers. But there are degrees of crossdressing, ranging from a single item to full drag.

But of course opinions on these definitions will vary.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby r.m.anderson » Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:21 am

So what's a bloke going to do with UNI-SEX clothing - ah one size fits ALL ?
Except for forums like this one the crossdressing term is not used a great deal if at all.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby phathack » Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:17 pm

Some clothing is cut in such a way as to fit the different proportions of a woman, and these is no way those would ever look good on my middle aged overweight body.

If you consider crossdressing to simply be wearing "Womens Clothing" then I'm crossdressing 95%+ of the time.
Most of the time I wear Jeans to work and I now prefer a couple of different brands of jeans that are only available in women's sizes. I also like wearing leggings, yoga pants, skirts, tights and shoes with heels on them, most of them are in womens sizes as well.
So does that make me a crossdresser? That's for you to decide.
I simply choose to dress in a style that appeals to me, the fact that I may choose a skirt or leggings instead of mens slacks or jeans is simply my way of expressing myself. I have been doing this for 10 years now and the only comments I have ever gotten are "Those pants really fit you well." or "where did you get that leather skirt? i love it."


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Re: On crossdressing

Postby Ralph » Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:51 pm

Kilted_John wrote:That's the usual definition, though. Otherwise, someone who happens to be wearing socks from the distaff side would be considered a crossdresser.
Personally, I would rather see the term go away. Even though I frequently wear dresses and have long hair, as well as a body that's somewhat female in shape, I still don't consider myself to be crossdressing, since I don't otherwise try to make myself look female.
Use the tv term to cover those who are trying to pass, then just leave the rest of us alone.


I don't think you can get any group of people to unanimously agree on a "usual definition" of the various terms, either now or historically. My friends in the UK tend to -- but not always use "transvestite" to refer more to fetish dressing, that is for sexual pleasure, vs. "crossdresser" for someone who dresses as a woman for non-sexual reasons. My friends in the US generally (again, with lots of exceptions) tend to use the two terms interchangeably. I usually lean towards the "both terms mean the same" camp because my inner linguist insists that they're the same word, only one in English and the other in Greek.

From my perspective, crossdressing has no dependence on physical appearance or motives; it's just a definition of clothing choice. By *my* understanding of the word, I do feel that a person who deliberately chooses to wear clothes that for whatever reason society has decided are meant for a person of the opposite sex, that person is crossdressing. In the strictest technical sense I suppose it's true that a person wearing clothes meant for his or her biological sex except for socks meant for the opposite sex would be crossdressing, although that's such an unlikely hypothetical I can't imagine why anyone would do that barring some kind of foot fetish ("not that there's anything wrong with that" :) )

There isn't really a universally agreed-upon distinction between those who crossdress for sexual pleasure vs. those who want to present themselves as the opposite sex either part-time or full-time vs. those who just like wearing clothes meant for the opposite sex while continuing to identify and present themselves as their biological sex. We can invent terms of our own ("casual crossdresser", "freestyle fashion", "bloke in a frock") but we're unlikely to get the outside world to agree with our definitions. We're really kind of outcasts from both worlds -- the "vanilla" world sees us as perverts, and the transgender world sees us as a cheap imitation mocking what they take seriously.

I agree, though, that I wish they could quit trying to label and pigeonhole us and let us dress however we like in peace.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby Bamaskirting » Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:30 pm

Whatever the term. Whatever the true definition. I'm going to continue doing it.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby dillon » Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:05 am

I will remain reluctant to accept the term as applying to what I do. The online dictionaries often define it as "wearing the clothing of the opposite sex", but then when you look at the examples they give, they imply the intent to look like a woman. So the term itself may not bear any motivation or reason, but the inferrence - to impersonate a female - is pretty clear. I object because if trousers can be either men's or women's, why am I limited in what I can wear by having to endure a label with an inaccurate image associated? Women don't have to. I couldn't care less about what the PC buzz words may be for the moment; next year the PC term will have changed again. I'll reject this label and all others. In this realm, labels = definitions, and I'll reserve the right to define myself.
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Re: On crossdressing

Postby Sinned » Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:01 am

Well said, Dillon. I do agree. :D
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