Dress shopping and gender bending: why I'm wearing a suit and a veil

March 4 | Guest post by AnotherMystery
Ever think of juxtaposing your veil with something more masculine? Like AnotherMystery's outfit idea, or tigers&kittens' mother-in-law's veil that she paired with her father's pilot wings. (Photo by Wild Daisy Art Photography)

I went to try on dresses. Me — in all my genderqueer/butch/transmasculine glory — in a traditional bridal salon, trying on wedding gowns. And it was fabulous. I got to have fun with my fiancé and my best friend. I got to look beautiful and revel in my feminine side. Got treated like I was special, and got compliments from random strangers.

I fell in love. I found "The Dress." It was a simple form fitting satin sheath dress with a strapless sweetheart neckline, a keyhole back, and a lace overlay that extended into a chapel length train. It showed off my ass and my hips amazingly, it was light and comfortable, the train felt special, and I looked gorgeous. I felt sexy, and paradoxically I felt really butch. The incongruity of my short spiky hair, muscular arms, and boyish posture with a feminine gown was really cool.

But I didn't buy The Dress. I'm not going to wear The Dress or any other dress. That's not the point.

Finding The Dress, and loving how I looked and felt in it, actually put me more at peace with my decision to wear pants. Falling in love with a dress helped me examine what sort of self-presentation is important to me for my wedding day. It helped me assess what feminine aspects of the dress I liked most, and figure out how to incorporate them into my attire.

So here's the current plan: I'm sticking with my original idea of a white waistcoat style vest, and men's dress slacks. But I'm going to splurge and have both vest and pants custom made for me so they fit right and show off my curves.

I also decided I'm not going to wear a men's button up shirt and tie under the vest; instead I'm going to wear tank top with a bit of lace showing on my chest. I think the lace under the vest and bare arms will look much more androgynous than a shirt and tie, and besides, I like my arms!

And since the thing I loved most about The Dress was the lace overlay with a long train, I'm going to incorporate that into my look by wearing a chapel-length lace veil.

The TL;DR version: I fell in love with a dress, but I definitely still want to wear men's pants and a vest. And I'm buying a chapel-length lace veil to wear with it.

How are you integrating both masculine and feminine elements in your wedding day attire?

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  1. Oh my goodness, that sounds absolutely gorgeous.

    Pretty please, when you're back from your wedding and floating on a luscious bed of married happiness, please send in a photograph or three of your outfit? I wish for vicarious delight! and congratulations on your engagement, chuck!

    72 agree
    • Thank you! And don't worry; I have every intention of submitting our final wedding photos to OBB (so keep an eye out next fall!)

      Also– "floating on a luscious bed of married happiness" just kind of made my day, I'm going to have to remember that one!

      19 agree
    • Yes, please! Also, it would be pretty awesome to see a picture of you in The Dress That Wasn't. Your description of the contrast sounds glorious.

      12 agree
  2. This is so amazing. I'm still figuring out how to present my identity most authentically and this sort of outfit integration is a super cool way that I wouldn't have considered before. I hope you submit your wedding to OBB — I want to see!

    5 agree
      • I loved this outfit, it kind of makes me want to do something similar but with a skirt rather than trousers. Either that or tie-dyed purple dress. One thing I do know for definite is that when I get married (need to actually find that special someone first -_-) the dress or skirt will be midi-length and paired with kick-ass boots, Dr. Martens, Demonia or New Rock, not sure which yet XD and if I've started wearing them by then a corset will likely be involved.

        1 agrees
  3. That sounds like an AMAZING outfit, and you have just given me an idea about what I want to wear for a major work thing I have coming up. \o/

  4. I'm planning on going in drag. Like not just cross dressing by wearing a wedding dress, but a full on multi costume, 20 second costume change, lip syncing, dancing, big hair, fabulous makeup drag. As a dfab* genderqueer person who enjoys performing as a queen, my version of drag recognizes the different facets of my identity. My aesthetic as a queen borrows from both male queen and femme female aesthetics and rejects both as being too limited. By taking my commitment outfits to that level, I'm refusing to be or appear binary.

    *determined female at birth

    7 agree
    • Now that I have a name for it, my new aspiration in life is to be a dfab drag queen.

      PS- send pictures!

      1 agrees
  5. You are a spectacular writer, and will be a spectacular bride.I can't wait to see it all in person. Made my Mountain reservations already !

  6. That sounds awesome! I love the mix of masculine and feminine elements!

    One of my favorite ladies-in-men's-clothing weddings had one of the brides in ivory slacks and jacket, with a drapey tank underneath, and a birdcage veil to top it off. Super cute.

    2 agree
  7. I really love this! I hate the gender stereotypes that revolve around weddings (and everything else). It's cool that you went out and found a perfect dress, but if that isn't you, it doesn't matter. I think your plan is awesome and I hope others feel the freedom to find their own wedding day look.

    2 agree
  8. Absolutely love it. I love the juxtaposition! And Another Mystery — is that a Dar Williams reference? Because that would kind of make my day.

    2 agree
    • Thanks! And yes, my username is a Dar Williams reference; I like to think of that song as my personal theme song.

      2 agree

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