Dressing as an Asexual, Part 2: Practice

This is Part 2 of my submission to the May Carnival of Aces. This month, the Carnival is about “Asexuality and Gender at Play” and it is being hosted by Demisexual and Proud.

I suggest reading Part 1 first.

The following are some of my favourite outfits. Since I’m not in any of the pictures, you’ll have to imagine me wearing them. I’m tall-for-a-woman/average-for-a-man height and pretty skinny. (At least by North American standards. In Japan, I was definitely tall and not particularly skinny.) I’m flat-chested and have dark brown hair in a “boy cut”. I look pretty white, but if you look closely you can also see the traces of my South Asian ancestry.

This is not meant to be a representative sample of my clothing. In the winter (which in this part of the world lasts about five months) I generally wear jeans or other warm trousers with sweaters. At work, I wear nice skirts and sweaters or blouses. Of the outfits pictured here, I’m far more likely to wear outfits #1 and #2 than the others, with outfits #6 and #7 usually reserved for when I want to dress up.

What this sample will give you, though, is an idea of how I like to dress, and the kind of clothing I choose to wear when not constrained by weather or professional considerations.

outfit 1

  • Denim blue zip-up hoodie sweatshirt. This was given to me by a family member, either as a gift or as a hand-me-down.
  • Light, long-sleeved, blue plaid button-down shirt from Old Navy. I fell in love with this as soon as I saw it. It’s my shade of blue, and I really like the pink stripes in it, too. (I actually love pink, but I think it makes a better accent colour than a main colour.) I often wear it with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows.
  • Rose pink camisole.
  • Men’s boot-cut jeans from Old Navy. These are my standard trousers; I have multiple pairs of them. I find men’s trousers in general fit better than women’s – though I still usually need a belt for them.
  • Black belt.
  • Grey Tilly hat, given to me as a birthday present last year. I’ve wanted a Tilly hat for a long time, and now I have one!
  • Black & red men’s socks, purchased at Sears. R.I.P., Sears.
  • Brown women’s Keen casual shoes. I saw these a couple of years ago and considered them a while before deciding to buy them. Then they disappeared, and I spent a year looking for them before I found them again. They are actually marketed as women’s shoes and have a pink design inside just to prove it! In practice, though, I think they’re pretty unisex.

outfit 2

  • Spring green camisole.
  • Collarless purple tie-die short-sleeved button-down shirt, purchased at a stall in the Market downtown. This is probably the oldest piece of clothing here. I got it either in undergrad or in late high school.  It’s light and loose-fitting, perfect for hot weather.
  • Navy blue cargo capris from Eddie Bauer.
  • Black belt.  Because it’s apparently impossible to make pants that both are comfortable to wear and won’t fall down!
  • Blue Croc clogs.  I purchased these shoes twelve years ago, shortly before moving to Hong Kong. I figured these light-weight, breathable, plastic shoes would be perfect for H.K.’s hot, humid, rainy weather – and I was right!  I wore them all over the S.A.R., both city and countryside. I definitely got my money’s worth out of them that year, and, when it was over, the clogs came with me to Vancouver, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Toronto, and back home. I’ve found myriad uses for them, including, most recently, as house shoes.  A few months ago, I noticed with much dismay that one of the straps had broken. I haven’t decided yet whether I should try to fix it, buy an identical pair, or accept that the Croc phase of my life is now over.  Either way, though, this is hands-down the best footwear purchase I have ever made in my life!

outfit 3

  • Navy blue long-sleeved undershirt from Uniqlo (in Japan).
  • Burgundy red and ivory white tank top, purchased at a stall set up in my university’s student centre when I was in undergrad. This tank top, like the others on sale with it, is actually made by sewing together pieces of old clothing. The top part seems to have come from a yearbook shirt (you can see the words “Yearbook Staff” across it). I bought two tank tops at this sale, the other one being a mix of a timber wolf shirt and a rainbow tie-dye shirt. I love both of them and wish I could find similar clothing somewhere.
  • Navy blue knee-length pencil skirt, bought for me as a present in Australia. One of the skirts I will wear both to work and in my free time.
  • Grey leggings.
  • Blue & grey socks.
  • Black ankle boots.  I really liked these boots when I found them, but they’ve been a big disappointment to me. They started to leak within a few months of purchase, and the soles are now seriously coming apart. I still wear them occasionally with skirts, but they’re only suitable in the driest weather. I might switch them up for a pair of Blundstones if they go on sale somewhere. Thoughts?

outfit 4

  • Blue scoop-neck skin-tight mini dress with elbow-length sleeves from H&M (in Vancouver). I originally bought this for Hallowe’en. I sewed some gold ribbon onto the sleeves, pinned a Starfleet insignia to it, and wore it with black leggings to be a science officer from the original Star Trek. Otherwise, it’s really too short to work as a dress on its own, but it makes a good undergarment.
  • Blue patterned knee-length apron dress. If you’re wondering what an “apron dress” is, I don’t blame you – this is the only one I’ve ever seen! It’s basically like two aprons, one for the front and one for the back, joined at the neck like a tabard. You slip it over your head, tie one pair of strings around your front and the other around your back. I picked it up during a New Year’s shopping spree in Japan. One of my friends had invited me to spend the New Year’s holiday with her, and on New Year’s Day we made like the other Japanese people and hit the mall for the New Year’s sales. I only bought three items of clothing on that trip, but I still wear all of them.
  • Burgundy red leggings from Garage.
  • Ivory white shawl with a tulip pattern on it, bought on the same shopping spree as the apron dress. This is one of those clothing items I bought on a whim and am really glad I did.  It buttons together, so I can wear it as a kind of half-cape over my shoulders when I’m at home, or as a kind of over-skirt around my waist when I go out. Great for winter!
  • Blue, red, & white men’s socks from Sears.
  • Big fuzzy blue indoor socks with a teddy bear pattern and rubber dots on the soles. These were given to me by a friend while I was living in Japan because I’d been complaining how cold my feet got indoors.

outfit 5

  • Azure blue short-sleeved tunic dress purchased at an outdoor equipment store. I spent way more money on this dress than I would normally, but I saw it and loved it and figured it had been long enough since I bought clothing that I could splurge on one super-nice thing.  I’ve only had it for a year, but I have found it very convenient for the summer – even if that only lasts two months!
  • Navy blue ¾-length leggings with a lotus pattern on one leg. This is the third item from the New Year’s shopping spree, bought at the same store as the tulip shawl.
  • Raspberry red women’s Keen sandals. These were given to me by a friend. Or possibly they were lent to me. I’m still waiting to see if my friend is going to want them back. In the mean time, I’m not sure I actually need another pair of sandals, but I do find them quite comfortable.

outfit 6

  • Lilac purple camisole.
  • White shirt with ¾-length sleeves and blue embroidery. Purchased in Mexico by a friend.
  • Amethyst & quartz bracelet. A souvenir from a friend in Japan. It also, coincidentally, contains some of the ace flag colours. It would be cool if I could get some onyx beads and have them interspersed with the others, but I don’t know how to do that.
  • Blue knee-length skirt from Eddie Bauer (in Japan). Another of the few items here I’ll happily wear to work or for leisure.
  • ¾-length blue leggings.
  • White foot socks.
  • Black Mary Jane-style Alegria shoes. This is another pair that I saw, thought about, decided I wanted to buy, went back to the store to get them – and found that the store had gone out of business. I travelled around the city before finally finding another store that sold them! They’re comfortable, dressy enough for work, and sturdy enough for lots of walking.
  • Turquoise blue scarf with an elephant pattern embroidered on it. Purchased in Thailand by a friend.

outfit 7

  • Coral pink, ankle-length, sleeveless sundress. Purchased in England by a family member. I’m not generally big on dresses, but I have to admit there’s something very handy about being able to slip a garment over your head and go, “Ta-da! I’m dressed!” I mostly wear it when I want to be a bit dressy, but it is also comfortable enough to work as casual wear.
  • Blue-green shrug sweater with ¾-length sleeves, bought to go with the dress.
  • Brown Birkenstock sandals, given to me as a birthday present last year. I had to look all over for a place that sold Birkenstocks with the back strap on them. When I found one, I learned that I’d just missed their annual Birkenstock sale. So I put the date of their next sale into my phone, and returned there a year later to get them 25% off. (Clearly, I care a lot about footwear!) I’m still getting used to them, but I like them so far and I’m hoping to get good use out of them.
  • Women’s sun hat, white on the outside, red & white floral design on the inside.  Purchased a few years ago at a hat store near my house.

3 thoughts on “Dressing as an Asexual, Part 2: Practice

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