AI: Shopping for Clothes by Gender
I have small feet. They’re smaller than the size that men’s shoes start at most stores, so I generally buy my shoes either in the kids department, or in the women’s department. I prefer buying kids shoes because they generally cost less, and are less likely to look feminine, but shoes from both departments can fit me just fine.
Recently someone I was talking to was surprised that I would consider buying anything in the women’s section of a store. She said she thought I would never want to go there again, or do anything that might feel like it denied my gender identity. I was sort of surprised by this, as I feel pretty secure in my gender presentation, and I don’t feel that wearing shoes from the women’s section threatens me at all. Feminine looking shoes would not be to my taste, but why would I care what department something came from if it looks good on me and fits well?
Do you wear things from only one department in the store, or will you go anywhere that has something you like without regard to it’s gender labels? Are you willing to shop in the kids sections if things there will fit you, or do you find that demeaning? Does shopping feel like a threat to your identity, a way of expressing it, or neither? How do you choose your personal style?