For Trans Women, Fashion Is More Than Just Clothes—for These 4, It’s Everything

For Margot Stacy (she/her), a 33-year-old executive assistant living in Dallas, it wasn’t always clear why she loved to experiment with the way she dressed. Stacy spent a majority of her life shape-shifting into different “imagined subcultures,” forever looking for one that fit. “It wasn’t as much gender play in my youth,” Stacy says. “I’d go faux punk [with] spiked hair [and a] Viva La Bam [look] for a time, then, weeks later, “Kanye backpack rapper by way of Hollister” style—all while surrounded by a sort of unstyled early-to-mid-2000s milieu.” But while Stacy found it easy to change up her style back then, nothing ever really stuck. “Fast-forward almost 20 years, and I come to acknowledge my own transness, and it all clicks for me,” she says. “All the manic obsessions and identities I’d taken on were centered on this thing about me that I never had a language for. My syntax had just always found expression in appearance and personal style.” Fashion gave Stacy a way to nonverbally demonstrate something that she didn’t even know about herself yet. Now that she does know who she is, fashion’s role in her life remains equally paramount. “I feel like I emerged through all that multitude of experience and into owning my transness, which for me means, well, I finally know how I want to dress and present,” she says. “I’m not reaching for something to stick [anymore]. I’m here, and despite not having lived out for even a year, my style is fully fleshed [out] and crystallized.”

These days, after spending her first year out cooped up mostly at home due to COVID, Stacy is ready to show off the person she’s become as well as the developed sense of style that she could only debut after coming out: “I’m finally… out. So I dare not stifle that by denying [myself] the languages of fashion and style.” For her, getting dressed every morning is now an experience that warrants overwhelming amounts of gratitude. “I just find so much joy in crafting an outfit. It’s a build of creative energy for me, and I love beginning my days in that mode, which also goes back to my transness and living out,” she says. “Being trans is euphoric to me, wherein all my creativity finds its ultimate site of expression.”

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