A couple of weeks ago, I decided to run an experiment on myself to see how I would feel leaving all skirts, heels and other gender non-conforming clothing out of my wardrobe. The experiment was simple enough: go a week with only wearing “normal” men’s clothing.
Well, it was a surprisingly horrible week and here’s why.
But before I get to the why, I should probably address the thought I know is running through your head at the moment: why would you ever do that to yourself? Fortunately, the answer to that question is fairly straightforward.
When you get so wrapped up in something, sometimes it makes sense to take a step back to gain some perspective on the whole topic. I have been regularly wearing skirts and other gender non-conforming clothing for a couple of years now and have never really taken a purposeful break to reflect on it.
That was exactly the purpose of the experiment. I wanted to better understand why I like wearing these clothes so much and why they are so meaningful for me. I figured a little bit of self-reflection couldn’t hurt. Of course, I’ve already done a lot of reflection on their meaning to me and have written about this topic in my post, “Why I Wear Skirts and Heels, or Why Showing Your Feminine Side Makes You More of a Man”, but I wanted to see how I would feel about it after a short hiatus.
During that week, I didn’t go anywhere or do anything special, I just lived my normal life in “normal” masculine clothing: jeans and button down shirts or t-shirts. I didn’t wear any shoes with heels and I certainly didn’t wear tights, leggings or dresses.
Essentially, I stuck with clothes you would find in a typical men’s department at a run-of-the-mill department store. Believe it or not, I still have some of those in my closet, even if they don’t get worn all that often.
I thought it would be an easy week. Boy, was I wrong.
Every morning, the first thing I would do when getting dressed is open my closet and cringe at my clothing selection. I couldn’t help but cast longing glances at my pile of folded skirts and the heeled boots lined up on shelves.
Normally, I look forward to getting dressed in the morning, but it became a chore. Of course, before I started wearing gender non-conforming clothing, I didn’t think twice about it, but once you get used to the wonderful selection that clothes from the women’s department offer, it’s insanely difficult to go back to just plain men’s clothing.
Throughout the week, I noticed three main points that kept creeping into my mind.
It Was Boring
This should surprise no one at this point. Not only was I entirely bored with my clothing selection, but I found that I was missing the thrill of wearing something non-mainstream, whether it was at home or outside.
When I go out in a skirt, for example, there is still a hit of adrenaline that courses through my veins when opening the door. That happens regardless of whether I am just checking the mail or going to the store. I am so used to it by now that I hardly notice it.
I do, however, notice when it isn’t there. Opening the door to go outside in normal male clothing was so entirely anti-climactic that it almost became tedious. Until this experiment, I hadn’t realized that wearing skirts or heels makes even the simple things in life, such as checking the mail, more thrilling and pleasant.
Apparently, I’m a beskirted adrenaline-junkie.
Everything Was More Relaxed
The consequence of everything being so boring was that it was generally more relaxed. Since being in typical men’s clothing meant that there was no hesitation or adrenaline-shot when going outside, it meant I didn’t have to expend as much energy on it.
I have written about building up the confidence to go out in public before, but even though I am confident when I go out, there is still a hurdle I have to overcome before crossing the safe threshold of my front door. That is the same hurdle that sets the adrenaline loose in my system.
Since that hurdle was no longer existent, it meant that checking the mail or going grocery shopping was easier. I needed to expend less energy to do perform these mundane tasks. Since I wear skirts most of the time, it felt oddly energizing to not wear them since I had more energy left over than I usually would after such a task.
That said, would I give up wearing skirts for a little more energy? Absolutely not. In fact, I don’t think I could anymore.
I Craved Wearing Skirts
It was surprisingly rough going a week without wearing skirts. In fact, it proved to be an impossible goal, but I’ll get to that in a moment.
As already mentioned, I would cast longing glances at my pile of folded skirts every time I opened my closet. Even at night when getting ready for bed, I would feel a twinge of disappointment that I was just taking off boring jeans instead of a skirt.
They were constantly on my mind and it had me wondering when I had become that truly addicted. While out shopping or taking a walk, I would watch women wearing skirts and catch myself daydreaming about being beskirted once more.
That might seem extreme, but it made me come to the realization that they have become a part of who I am and how I perceive myself, essentially a part of my identity. Putting on a skirt makes me feel more like myself than wearing regular men’s clothing and so when I can’t wear them, I feel like I am leaving part of myself behind.
The experiment was surprisingly difficult to get through. In fact, it was so hard, that I couldn’t help but slip on a skirt one particularly warm afternoon because I almost felt like I was suffocating in my shorts. Also, I may have cheated a little on one of those days by wearing a utility kilt, justifying it to myself that it is, after all, a garment made for men.
So even if my experiment wasn’t as uncontaminated as I would have liked it to be, I still feel like my ultimate goal was accomplished: gaining some perspective on the topic. Skirts have simply become a part of who I am and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
Frankly, after the week, I don’t know how I used to only wear plain, boring, men’s clothes and be satisfied with it. In fact, in hindsight, I don’t think I was actually ever satisfied with it. Since branching out into the women’s department at your run-of-the-mill department store, I feel more confident and satisfied with myself than ever before.
My name is Alex and I am a skirt-addict.
Have you ever stopped wearing gender non-conforming clothing for any period of time? If so, was it purposeful or were you forced to by circumstances? What did you learn from it? How was the experience for you? Let us know in the comments below!