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Does Wearing Women's Clothing Make You A Cross Dresser?

Updated on March 14, 2010

Let me cut to the chase on this one real quick. No. Especially not if you're a woman, but also even if you're a man. At least, to my mind at least, the act of simply wearing clothing designed for women does not make a man a cross dresser. Some men wear skirts and lingerie and other items of women's clothing for no other reason than the fact that they like them. They are not trying to be feminine, they are not trying to pass as women, they are simply men going about their day in skirts or lingerie or whatever pleases them.

As I've said so many times before that I'm surprised my fingers don't bleed from typing it one more time, as a woman, I can wear whatever I want. I can put on jeans and a hoodie and go out in the world and not receive any negative attention at all. A man, however, will usually receive some form of attention, and will most certainly be breaking a norm if he goes out in a frilly skirt. And there is where we have the inequality and also, the line, I think, between cross dressing and just wearing women's clothing.

If one wears women's clothing to feel feminine and to appear feminine, that is cross dressing. If one wears 'women's' clothing because one likes the style or one finds it to be comfortable, that is not cross dressing. That is just dressing.

Unfortunately, from a distance, it is impossible for people to tell which category a man falls into, therefore all men seen wearing women's clothing are treated as cross dressers in spite of the fact that women wearing men's clothing are almost never considered to be cross dressers.

It's obvious, but worth stating that femininity and masculinity are not attached solely to clothing. It is possible for a woman to cross dress too. Simply wearing men's clothing won't do it though. In order for a woman to be considered to be cross dressing she will probably have to cut her hair short, attach some facial hair of some kind and really butch it up.

It would be nice if, in the future, we became more accustomed to seeing men in clothing traditionally deemed to be 'female'. This would result in people being less quick to judge every man who likes something that currently bears a 'women's' clothing label, and it would allow more definition between men who like to wear women's clothing and women who like to cross dress. Is this definition important? In some ways yes, in others, not so much. Men who aren't trying to achieve a feminine look and who don't wish to be treated in a feminine fashion because of their clothing often object to being lumped into the cross dresser category. However, it should be noted that being a cross dresser is no better or worse than simply being a man who likes to wear women's clothing. The line between the two is often blurred and many men travel between the two positions. Thus we should accept and be tolerant of both.

Judge not, lest ye be judged, as someone famous once said.


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      Doug 7 years ago

      I don't worry about the labels. I do like to appear feminine sometimes, but I usually don't make any effort to hide the fact that I am a man.

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      Melanie 7 years ago

      I wear women's clothing whenever I can. Actually, there isn't a day that goes by where I don't have some article of women's clothing on. I love the variety of styles, colors and fabrics. I love the way women's clothing feels. Given the choice, I would scrap all my men's clothing and opt. for women's clothing as my dress of choice.

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      brasspanties 7 years ago

      Brilliant insight, Hope. Imagine, if we ever do conclude that revolution you have written of, walking into a department store and the department signs read: Tops; Bottoms; Underthings; Shoes; etc. instead of Men's Wear; Women's Wear; etc. Imagine the floor space with a rack of shoes, high heels and steel-toed work boots, sandals and sneakers grouped by size for your selection with no gender-specific label. Choose a shoe that would be fun or pretty or utilitarian or sexy as opposed to Men's or Women's. Imagine a rack of night clothes, pjs in cotton or satin or lace, short nighties or long flannel night shirts, all together for one to choose from as one is so inclined, without concern that our sexual orientation will be questioned if we pick something that would have been considered inappropriate for ones gender prior to "the revolution".

      Viva la Tolerance

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      Dataman 7 years ago

      It's exactly how I feel. I like to wear some Women's Clothes. Panties, Shirts, Jeans. I don't want to be a Woman or even pass as one. Still a Guy in Women's Clothes. Tried the Dress thing. Did not work.