New, I suppose

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Coder
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New, I suppose

Post by Coder »

Just a quick introduction. In college (early 2000's) I started wearing skirts to work (a graphic design studio, so wasn't too strange for them) and was a bit involved on some of the forums on the net. I didn't have the gumption to tell my family, and eventually stopped wearing them to work. Not being very social, I didn't wear them in public, especially since I didn't really go out except for necessities.

Anyhow, fast forward a few years, moved within the University to a different department, composed of mostly engineers, me being a ME grad, and a web developer - my "uniform" of choice are jeans and a graphic t-shirt, sometimes a nice sweater - I don't hate the setup. A few years ago the university president - and subsequently college dean - decided to do a huge investment in diversity equity and inclusion. This involved money, talks, compensated talk attendance, and at every staff meeting our unit gets to hear from our DEI representative. It can be a bit annoying at times (I accept them, but will they accept me?), but this whole DEI push has been gnawing at me like it never has before.

Part of this has to do with some skirts I've recently acquired* - partly because it seems the trans movement is pushing boundaries for us - and partly because they keep telling us that diversity is very important. And almost at every large meetup there is some sort of non-binary person in the crowd or giving a presentation, and no one seems to mind. At least, I don't hear any snide remarks or whatnot.

So I'm at a crossroads. Every day last week I changed into skirt/tights at the end of the day once everyone left, navigated from my office to an elevator to a downstairs work room, worked till the evening, and walked to my car - parking each day further from the office. Fortunately/unfortunately I did not come across many people at all while going from place to place, yet I'm still quite nervous about the whole experiment. I've attached photos of two of my skirts, to give a sense of my style. Please forgive the lack of ironing, and awkward stance.

I'm not sure where to go from here. I really want to do this, but I fear repercussions, coming out to my family, and people I know at the university who will likely never talk with me (I'm catholic, they are catholic, and I'm pretty sure our form of conservatism doesn't have any leeway for this sort of thing, and that is all I'm going to say about that).

So yeah, massive dump of information :D but posting online seems to help me cope!


*Ah, well, so here's the deal. I've bought some cool (pre-owned) skirts with neat details - on the cheap - of high end fashion labels (well, from what I can tell from my limited perspective anyhow). While my collection is a mostly a mix of cheap skirts, inexpensive brands, I've added a few higher-end pieces. There is something different about, say, how a Tory Burch skirt is constructed, cut, and more over some of the neat details that the designer might incorporate. That isn't to say a designer label is superior - but it feels so and that is oddly empowering. Oh, and knowing I paid say, $25 when it originally "sold" for $300 is comforting too.
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Sinned
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Re: New, I suppose

Post by Sinned »

The skirts are fine but in both cases the jumper rides up at the mid-front. Is that due to excess stomach fat or is the jumper just misshapen? If so try a different top. Otherwise, if the Uni is so dedicated to diversity they shouldn't give a fig about a man wearing a skirt. Religion also shouldn't be part of the equation. After all Jesus and the early apostles all wore a form of dress and the Catholic clergy wear a form of dress to this day. There may be special names for them but in the end they are just dresses. Go for it. Maybe you'll get a raised eyebrow of humourous remark or two at first. But it's amazing how quickly such things are accepted. Most importantly is that you have CONFIDENCE. If you feel ashamed and awkward then more will react to that than the skirt. A knee-length denim is probably the safest to start with and you should be able to pick one of those up in a charity shop cheaply. I have worn a skirt on some of our work external meetings and all my colleagues know I wear a skirt and they are supportive. What limits me more in wearing skirts is MOH's lukewarm response. Go for it, guy!!!! :)
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Re: New, I suppose

Post by Coder »

Is that due to excess stomach fat or is the jumper just misshapen
Took me a few seconds to realize what you meant by jumper :D I'm in the US, but have imported some clothes from the UK and forgot that's how you all reference them.

I was standing a bit awkwardly, but I do have some fat on my stomach, and I have bad posture which doesn't help. Everywhere else I'm skinny, and I've always had a good metabolism (probably is slowing down). I'm not clinically overweight, and it's not a full-on beer belly. But I want to lose the belly fat - I don't drink, never smoked, stopped soda years ago, eat relatively healthy, but do not exercise, which I'm going to start. The problem is, I don't want to overly change my structure (ie, not into body building), and spot fat removal is a myth which discourages me. My bigger fear is whether I have any visceral fat, but I've got enough things to worry about already.

I'd like to wear a more fitted mens t-shirt as that would go well with skirts, and my stomach has been in the way of that.
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Re: New, I suppose

Post by crfriend »

First and foremost, welcome aboard!
Coder wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:16 pm
I'm not clinically overweight, and it's not a full-on beer belly.
From the sounds of it, you're already pretty well on top of that without necessarily realizing it.

I'd address the posture aspect first, and having a ratty posture can dramatically affect other things as I found when I (re)injured my back sometime around 2002. Rather than "going under the knife", which was my then-physician's first choice after getting the read back on an MRI that was done, I opted instead for physical therapy -- and that made all the difference. I'd had a bad posture for decades, and that was stressing my skeletal structure -- and musculature -- in all sorts of bad ways that I wasn't even aware of. The injury made me aware of those in spades, and the therapists taught me how to re-strengthen the pieces that were out of whack and how to properly hold myself, and that has made a world of difference!

I'd not even worry about a small pot -- everybody has one except for the clinically (read, "cadaverously") underweight [0]; I'm very slender and I've got a little one. I actively use it as a slight stand-off for the front of my skirt which yields a bit of room for the biology below to not attract undue attention. By subtly adjusting other wardrobe parameters, it's entirely possible to minimise small matters; in the case of a bit of a pot, adjusting where (vertically) you place the waistband of the skirt can make a world of difference, not to mention where other components come into play.
My bigger fear is whether I have any visceral fat, but I've got enough things to worry about already.
A little bit is normal; don't fret over it. So long as your caloric and protein intakes are roughly equal to your "burn rate" you'll hover naturally where you are weight-wise. Increasing intake and maintaining the same burn will result in weight gain; maintaining intake and increasing burn via more activity (even walking is good) will result in a gradual weight drop.

Fretting over wearing a fitted T-shirt (are those actually made?) seems more about vanity than practicality.


[0] Do not confuse the rail-thin waifs one sees on the telly with reality, for down that road lies madness -- and likely a whole lot of hurt in later years.
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Re: New, I suppose

Post by Coder »

Fretting over wearing a fitted T-shirt (are those actually made?) seems more about vanity than practicality.
Don't know actually. I have a mix of t-shirts - some are smaller than the others, and I prefer those over my baggier shirts. In fact I feel like a slob with baggier shirts and don't wear them as often, if ever. Maybe I'll post a pic tonight of what my ideal skirt-wearing t-shirt is.

I'm not sure - though vanity could be driving it - but mostly it is about appearing neat/trim rather than baggy/sloppy. I grew up in the 90's, never really into grunge - but had my share of baggy trousers. I've since selected a reasonably-fitting bootcut as my preferred pants shape.
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Re: New, I suppose

Post by Sinned »

coder, I didn't mean to imply that you were really obese - it's just a possibility as to why the jumper ( cardigan, sweater, whatever ) didn't seem to hang right. Posture is another reason. Please treat it just as a query/suggestion. I have a bit ( ok, a lot ) excess fat around the middle so am not immune. Anyway that, to me, was more noticeable than the skirt. No offence meant and hopefully none taken. [Stops digging]
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Re: New, I suppose

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No offense taken - besides this forum being mostly anonymous, and while I am fearful of what everyone around me thinks, I don't take offense easily. The jumpers are both "significantly" wider than my body and more than I'd like, I've been meaning to alter them, though I've never "sewn" knitted wear (both have obvious seams on the sides).

I just finished a project building a large barn/workshop, and am resuming "normalcy". My life was totally on hold while I worked on the project, so perhaps this also accounts for my recent dip into this part of me again (not that I stopped, but I think all of my emotional energy was poured into that project).
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Re: New, I suppose

Post by skirtyscot »

Hello and :welcome: Coder!

I reckon a university is pretty likely be quite accepting, even before you mention the lengths your one is going to, to be inclusive. Wear a skirt tomorrow, put up with the reaction, and everyone will get so used to your new style by end of the week that it won't merit a mention. There's not a chance that your employer will tell you to go back to trousers, unless you're going to an external meeting.

Both your skirts are fine for work. I prefer the second one, it's a bit neater and I like the colour better, but it's up to you, you say you have plenty to choose from.

And do come back to tell us how you get on!
Keep on skirting,

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Re: New, I suppose

Post by Kirbstone »

Welcome Coder. Ah' to be young!

Good length skirts both. Prefer no. 2, but nr. 1 has pockets, which I like. Dark tights perfect for this time of year..
Ignore the FSP (Forun Sartorial Police). Wear just what you like, assuming you're still single. A partner will no doubt change all that! Your profile doesn't say where you live. Better that, otherwise they'll come an getcha :wink:

Tom
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Re: New, I suppose

Post by Coder »

unless you're going to an external meeting
Ah, well, the funny thing is I never have to go to external meetings, except one did occur last week and a skirt would have been fine, but then I'd have had a captive audience of three guys for a whole 40 minutes (each way) that it might have been awkward for them more than me :P. There's also the unknown/random site visit to a building under construction, but if I work up the courage I'll still have to wear pants to that meeting.

I know they've had to all have run into a skirted male downtown once in their lives, but (and I'm not judging) my only encounters have been as follows:
  • A dude wearing a black skirt, vibram 5 fingers, and a black t-shirt that was laced with profanity. Kinda gave off a not so nice vibe - but hey, it's hard to tell when passing someone on the street and he appeares to be scowling
  • A guy at the post office, crochet sweater, long hair, ankle-length skirt, large hobo (the style, not like, a real hobo) purse, and elf ear tips (from a distance they looked real, but were obviously glued on plastic when standing next to him).
It's hard for me to see me in light of how others might see me, which scares me the most. If I had a wife or girlfriend I would rely on them for some guidance. And I know others will still judge.
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Re: New, I suppose

Post by Freedomforall »

I really like those skirts. Can you share where you purchased them? I think they both look great on you. Are you wearing a belt?
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Re: New, I suppose

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Coder wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:32 pm
It's hard for me to see me in light of how others might see me, which scares me the most.
Here are a few general tips:
  • To thine own self be true: Do not attempt to be someone who you aren't. In the short term, that also means not trying to be somebody you want to be. Your behaviour will rat you out.
  • Trust your instincts. It something feels "off", it likely is.
  • Stand tall, and this does not mean assuming a military posture. It means being proud as a human being who has a place in this world.
  • Know your environs. Not every place is safe for outliers of any type. See "Trust your instincts".
  • Where possible -- and wise -- push your boundaries. Occasionally "get uncomfortable". That's one of the ways we grow.
If I had a wife or girlfriend I would rely on them for some guidance. And I know others will still judge.
With luck, the former will come with time, confidence, and persistence. The last will always be a constant, and that should be their problem, not yours.
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Re: New, I suppose

Post by Coder »

Freedomforall wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:36 pm
I really like those skirts. Can you share where you purchased them? I think they both look great on you. Are you wearing a belt?
No belt, waist fluctuates between 30-31". I also cheat with a padded shorts thing, helps keep unbelted skirts on, makes things more modest - a trick I discovered a year or two ago. It reduces the comfort factor, unfortunately, but the benefit is a better fit with certain skirt shapes.

The first (green one) was a direct purchase from an independent fashion label. I'll check on the brand when I get home, but I recently tried to find it and couldn't. It is just a bit too snug (size 8, I really hate vanity sizing) - may move the buttons - but then I'd have to extend the wrap with duck fabric.

The second is by Kate Spade - Judy skirt - size 8 fits perfectly - eBay.
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Re: New, I suppose

Post by Freedomforall »

Thank you for sharing. I recently did surgery on one of my skirt to reduce the waist size. It was one of the most complicated alterations that I have done thus far. I was very happy with the results. For those that might be interested here is the video I used. The video is of jeans being altered, but it wrks great for denim skirts and maybe more.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjdFeo-7DOM
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Re: New, I suppose

Post by Coder »

Well, another late night at the office - we have a holiday party coming up and I got the task of 3D printing some snowmen, assembling, and decided that this could be a good way for me to get more comfortable @ work (but unseen, unfortunately).

Odd that photoshop keeps cropping my head off :roll:

Not 100% happy with the whole combination, I think the tights should have been a lighter color or navy to match my shirt (erm, what do I know), as well as the shirt could have been lighter in color or a neutral. I tried wearing short socks with the shoes ("Red or Dead" brand, for the UK members), but didn't like how the socks looked.

This is a good example of how I like my t-shirts to fit - not super tight (my ribcage is kinda wonky), and on the shorter side. Unfortunately, mort of my shirts fail in one or both of these aspects.

I didn't tone down the color in photoshop - but the skirt colors are a bit more muted. Oh, and it has two deep pockets.

Finally, probably won't post pictures to this thread anymore, but figured this was a good wrap-up.

Finally finally, two other observations. 1) I parked really far away this time. In a remote lot where one has to walk down a long winding path along trees. It was just a bit scary - not so much the fear running into anyone, but more so getting mugged. This part of campus is really safe, but still, it occurred to me that from a distance, obviously, I wouldn't look like a bloke. At the same time it was cold out - 29F - and I couldn't imagine anyone stalking that path at that time. 2) While it wasn't super cold tonight, it was last week and I gotta say - I've now done just jeans, jeans+tights (ick), skirt+tights outdoors for a reasonable amount of time, and pants alone are really cold! I mean, I'm actually surprised at how cold jeans are. Where (well, when) did we as men go wrong?
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