All in Outfit

I half-laugh, half-cringe when I see photos of myself exhausted but smile a 'glowing in backpacker/hiker gear: The dorky short khaki shorts with the zippers not so seamlessly tucked along the bottom edge, where I zip on the bottom half to restore them to being slightly baggy pants. The "spots" bras - and I am a sport to wear them.

The summer between first and second grade, I had a favorite outfit. A navy blue patch-pocket t-shirt and a pair of denim shorts, off-white with navy and beige vertical stripes. I wore those clothes every day, pretending I was a boy without letting anyone knowing that that's what was on my mind.

Maybe it was being raised Catholic and having to wear uniforms — even in the heat of scorching 90-plus-degree days — made of unholy manufactured fabrics like Rayon, that I've never found much value in ritualized attire in service of presentation. Uniforms equal uniformity.

... while I was in the Army. Every day, get up, put on the same clothes. They do it intentionally. It reduces everyone to just as few points of difference as you can manage -- name, rank, service, a few other details depending on the particular type of uniform. But there's a lot of information in those other few points of difference -- height, weight, age, race, gender (or, nowadays, gender presentation).