December 8, 2012

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Looking Professional and Thinking You're Gay

The addition of a lady briefcase to my life briefly inspired me to dress slightly more professionally. And if my skirt actually covered my ass, I would have totally pulled it off.

shirt: Zara, skirt: ASOS, boots: Stuart Weitzman, bag: Sienna Ray & Co.

As I was wearing this outfit (underneath a coat) on the Subway, a well-dressed man sat next to me and by his body language I could tell that he was going to speak to me. About the subway, my friend Jason once wrote, people are "as close as physically possible and as far as emotionally possible," and I completely agree. When I know a stranger is going to strike up a conversation, often times a wave of dread rushes over me like when my Ethics teacher senses the increasing weight of my eyelids and cold calls me in class.

"What do YOU think?" he'll ask, with an emphatic finger point in my direction. "Umm... uh... I guess...well I think... I don't know," I stammer, while simultaneously shitting my pants.

It's not that I'm unfriendly, but 90 percent of the time I'm on the train, I'm starving and exhausted, on my commute back from a reporting assignment in the depths of Brooklyn or Queens. I'm on a mission to get home, put on my pajamas, eat the contents of my refrigerator or order enough takeout for 2 or 3 and pretend that it's not just for me. "We'll have..." I always say when ordering.

Nevertheless, the well-dressed man sits next to me and after a few seconds of my aforementioned feelings, he said, "I can't decide what part of your outfit I like best." I laugh (awkwardly, of course) and replied, "well, have you decided?" and we exchanged pleasantries and so began a conversation about fashion. Specifically, how women's wear is increasingly inspired by menswear, and how in recent seasons menswear has become more inspired by women's wear, which is indicative of cultural and societal shifts as fashion trends usually are. (Once in a while I attempt intelligent conversation.)
We got off the train at the same stop, and exchanged the standard nice-meeting-yous before we went our separate ways. Then he asked me for my phone number. 

This, my friends, is my problem. I think everyone is gay. If you're a guy and are wearing nice pants, I'll probably think you're gay. If you're well accessorized? Definitely gay. If you talk to me about fashion, excluding the typical straight guy, "so how do you think I did?" inquiry, gay. If you compliment my outfit? You must like dudes. When having a debate with a fellow female about whether a guy we know is gay or straight, 99.9 percent of the time when sexual preference is in question, I will answer with a wholehearted "'mo."

I think this is a result of watching too many TV shows created by Ryan Murphy, and having grown up on the West Coast. The straight man's wardrobe is usually jeans and a tee, Tevas and a Cowichan sweater, or something terrible and riddled with douchebaggery (depending on what type of West Coast straight you are.)

But New York is a different animal. In general, people seem inherently more concerned with appearance and sartorially inclined. In Vancouver, I don't think there is a single straight man that works in fashion. In New York, there are many. And naturally, when I meet them, I assume they are gay. Sex and the City did not adequately prepare me for this.

Is there such thing as homophilia? Or gaycism? Because I think I'm a gaycist. I'm sorry, men of New York. If you hit on me, I think it's because you want to borrow my clothes or hope I have a brother.

My sense of direction has finally sorted itself out in this city, perhaps my gaydar will recalibrate too?
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  1. I think that is too funny and so true for most of us women. Nowadays as fashion especially for men is ever changing, it really is hard to tell who just really is into fashion and likes to look good.

    annpaige - new post "my platinum journey"

  2. love these boots!
    kisses from milano!

  3. So did you give him your number! hahaha
    Just started reading your blog and loving it

  4. So? Did you give him your number?!


  5. Don't forget about the westcoast plaid! I think I'm a bit gaycist too. I need me some NYC exposure.

  6. your outfit is fab! did you give him your numero? and, I hope to run into you in the city. come to Bond st- it's most photogenic for moody street shots what with its cobblestones. plus Mile End is ideal for post-shoot snackies.

  7. I just laughed my pants off reading this post! Being a Born and bred NYer I can see how most would assume the majority of men here are gay! Too funny. Great professional look BTW!