Suits This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Sometimes it can be kind of interesting to go clothes-shopping in the gender that isn't yours. I like the feeling of isolation as I stand in the men's suit section and the salesman doesn't quite know what to say to me. I walk up and down the aisles, looking at the suits, wishing clothing for women was so clearly defined. If you're a man and you go out, basically you're safe in a suit. They even tell you what size to buy.

No, I have to make my own decisions, try on the small and the medium to avoid hassle, pivot in front of the three-way mirror, and lament my hair, my face, my everything. Well, to be fair, all girls have to do that, except the lucky few who have transcended the boundaries of trends and fashion and wear what pleases them, in the size that pleases them, in the style they like best. Not me, not yet. But I'm trying.

I'm trying to break out of the mold I was given before I was born. You know what I mean. I was genetically designed to have to buy men's jeans because women's jeans don't fit me. I was genetically programmed not to be able to buy the pretty clothes my friends could because I didn't look like them, and I still don't. I look like my dad when he was in the army. He was pretty thin, too. But, he could wear a suit.

Do I really want to wear a suit? No, I guess I don't, I think as I move up the Armani aisle. How much do they want for these things? They're all the same. Every suit looks the same to me. Every maker, every color, every style looks like all the other ones. If I was on the subway and saw a man in a suit, I'd think he was off to work in some office somewhere, at a computer. It doesn't matter what he really does or who he is. If he wears the uniform, that's all anyone sees. And maybe the uniform pushes him into line, maybe he tries to live up to the costume.

"Can I help you?" says the salesman, a little nervously.

"No, you really can't," I say, and oblige his unspoken wish by leaving the department. Anyway, my life is pinstriped. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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