First shirt and tie

My GF and I celebrated our 11th anniversary yesterday. Since we’d be capping off the day with dinner at one of my favourite bistro’s, I decided to do a little shopping and pick up a shirt and tie–my first.

We drove into the nearest city where there are two men’s clothing stores. Unfortunately (at least in this case) I am NOT man-sized! I have a 12 1/2″ – 13″ neck, and both stores don’t typically carry any shirts that have a neck smaller than 14″. I would have to special order. I was a little surprised, “well, where do teenage guys buy a nice shirt then?” and was informed that teenage boys tend to start out with a 14″ or larger neck size. Both stores suggested that I check out the boys department at Wal-Mart. That didn’t sound too promising, especially since I wanted a quality shirt and tie.

I felt a little deflated. Clothes shopping has never been very fun for me–I find it stressful. Once again, I found myself in the middle. I don’t like the look of girls clothes and they don’t fit right anyway. I have small hips and a short groin-to-waist. Men’s clothes are too big. The boys department? Usually my best bet.

1st-shirt-tie-jan08So, I found myself in the 12 and under section at Wal-Mart. Nothing was 100% cotton, and everything was made in China. Sigh. I found a size 16 2-shirt combo. (16 is not the neck size–they size the boys’ stuff differently from mens’.) One white shirt and one blue shirt. I pulled one out of the package and held it out: no way was that going to fit, it looked tiny! As there were no sizes larger, I decided to give it a shot and was surprised that it did indeed fit!

I found a similar issue at the tie rack. The ties were huge–long and wide. They made me look small. Then I noticed a lone skinny tie, 100% silk, in plain navy blue. Perfect!

While I was searching the shelves, a salesperson approached and offered some help. She asked, “Do you need these for work?” Instantly, Kate Bornstein (the original Gender Outlaw) and her penchant for humor popped into my head, and I replied, “No, just for fun!” A mildly awkward question was easily diffused.

The receptionist at my chiropractor’s office graciously helped me with my Windsor knot.

I wasn’t able to get home before dinner to iron the shirts, so I looked a little like I’d just come out of a package, but man, was I super comfortable in that shirt and tie, or what?! I won’t be buying a new wardrobe just yet though since testosterone will/would make my neck grow, so perhaps going the cheap Wal-Mart route was best for now anyway.

Oh, and dinner with my sweetness was excellent, the food and company.

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