I’m wearing a skater dress at the moment with a nice pair of tights. And had you asked me a few months ago what that meant, I wouldn’t have had a clue.

It’s been an education taking my wardrobe and driving more towards a neutral-to-slightly-feminine point. And it’s been the kind of thing I’ve had to learn by diving into the deep end of shopping.

What do I like? Shift dresses and skater dresses are both lovely to wear, though the cut can make a big difference for me. Maxi dresses are lovely because of the way they flow, good for warm weather or cold. I already knew that capris and knickers are largely the same thing, but women have more variety in the not-pant-but-not-short realm, something I wear most warm months.

Then there are skirts, sweaters, blouses, tights, and a pile of others that have subheadings I’m still yet to learn.

The closest comparison I can come up with experientially has been learning makeup: it seems to be the sort of thing that is learned socially or generationally. You sort of learn it by doing it, by messing up, and occasionally buying the wrong thing.

And, honestly, it’s kind of addictive. Women’s clothing is far more interesting than I had realized, with cuts and styles and brands and the like all with a great deal of depth. I have more to learn, and I have some items I’ve purchased that were probably wrong, but it’s part of the journey.

Part of learning how not to be embarrassed. Part of learning how to be comfortable, both in my own skin and in my new threads.

I’m just learning the language for expressing it.

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