Saturday, September 22, 2007

La Gringa reflects on things sartorial, or
Tim Gunn, please help dress this dyke!

Okay, now this may not exactly come as a surprise to those of you who know me in real life, but for the rest of you: I have absolutely no fashion sense whatsoever. If it fits, and it's clean, and it doesn't chafe, and as long as it doesn't involve heels, dresses, skirts, or clothes that need dry cleaning, I'll wear it. (Let me reiterate: La Gringa in a dress = Sasquatch in drag. Just so we are clear.)

Indeed, I am the epitome of the phrase "fashion-challenged".

I seem to have developed a basic uniform: jeans or khakis and a button down white Oxford. Topped off by a pair of Converse All-Stars or hideous and tattered Teva sandals. This uniform rarely varies from season to season. (Let's just say that - if you were to simply go by how I was dressed? - you'd have to look at my feet to tell if summer had arrived.) This is not to say that I actually look good in these things; this is simply the easiest and least expensive way that I have found to keep from being buck-nekkid on the streets of New York City everyday.

Now, don't get me wrong. I wish I had fashion sense. And I also wish that fashion made sense. It is perhaps the latter statement that has caused me the most trouble throughout my adult life. Fashion makes no sense at all to me. This is perhaps why I am secretly addicted to television shows like What Not To Wear, Tim Gunn's Guide to Style and Project Runway. It is somehow refreshing to find that there hominids who walk the earth who have developed an even worse sense of fashion than mine.

I secretly wish that Tim Gunn would show up at my door and whisk me away to that secret place where the fashion gene is installed. But here's the thing: I don't dress like a girly-girl. I don't like it. I never have. My secret fear is that I'll be kidnapped by the scary loud chick from What Not To Wear and forced to try on one icky dress-and-heel set after another until I am - of course - forced to kill her in self-defense.

The problem inherent with these shows is that they just assume that traditional female clothing is the best option for every woman, and it's not. For a very long time I tried to dress the way that society thinks is the way women should dress. It made me crazy and uncomfortable. I felt constrained and unnatural. Although I don't self-identify as butch (I kinda don't get the labels, but that's my problem, not yours), I present as more masculine than feminine and I'm comfortable with that. I like suits and pants and flat shoes and I even like neckties (although I have yet to master the Windsor knot).

So here's a challenge to Tim Gunn:

Can you do a show about someone like me? A chick who feels more comfortable and natural in masculine clothes? Can you throw out your ten rules about what a woman should have in her closet? I guarantee that - while I may admire the little black party dress on someone else - you will never get me into one. And if you value your life? You won't even try. I mean, you're a big fashion queen anyway - and we love you for that! Surely you must have some dykey friends that need fashion help. Let me be your test case, Tim! I'm ready for the challenge. Are you? Come on, Tim. Dress this dyke!


La Gringa


Chris, The Book Swede said...

That would be an interesting episode! ;)


Maryelizabeth Hart said...

Arrrrgh -- I was lured here from LJ!

Er, anyone you can think of with a similar body type whose style you admire and would feel comfortable in?