• Ben Pechey

Fashioning Ourselves


September is typically usually reserved for conversations about Fashion. I have forgotten how many years I have quoted the infamous Candy Pratts-Price’s legendary words; “September is the January of fashion”. However this year, I decided fashion can have a September off, but it is having a final hurrah today!


I have been dressing on the internet for over six years. That is a lot of clothes and a whole lot of styling. If you look back over the last six years you may not be able to see the changes you have gone through. I, on the other hand, have a visual diary of hundreds of outfits, and I can see myself changing over the years. 





The last two years have brought perhaps the biggest changes, as I really stepped into the fullest version of who I am. Embracing my beautiful non-binary identity has allowed me to rip up the rules of dressing to shreds and conform to only what I want. 


Losing the doubt took time, and there are periods when I see a tentative nature in the way I was dressing. However, the last two years have seen me throw those doubts to the wind. I have learned to only care about what is important to me. 





You would imagine that this is the happy arc of this piece - well perhaps it is. Yet, as with all elements of life, there is a price to pay. By stepping into my power of self firmly with the way I want to look, there is a cost to my happiness. I look a way that society cannot handle, tidy away, and categorise. 


To look overtly neither one thing nor another makes you a target for the brunt of discontent that others tend to forward your way when you represent a lack of order or disregard for the ‘rules’. I am sure you can imagine how hard this can be to bear - and it is the brunt all of the trans community faces.


I have talked at great lengths about this in my time on the internet and indeed my first book. However, there are times when I feel my choices in how I wish to look, have put me in harm's way. Over the years there have been times when I have toned myself down, made myself smaller, and reduced my happiness - and this has taught me one thing. 





Being yourself, honouring who you are - however that may look - is worth so much more than the pain our existence can sometimes cause. I wouldn’t trade who I am for a life that meant less risk, but meant I wasn’t who I truly am. 


How we chose to fashion ourselves - inside and out - is worth so much more than how anyone else may feel. Hold onto that - and remember just how much you are worth to yourself! 


Shot by Rachel Pechey