Since I was a little girl, I loved men's clothing. Having an older brother with a keen interest in the military, I had a sincere admiration for uniforms and especially camouflage wear. But suits, those were the true object of my affection. Especially waistcoats and ties.
It's not that I didn't like girly things, but something about a woman in a suit just appealed to me. And not a suit substituting pants with a skirt – the real deal. I used to muse, and still do, over images of the bold screen legends of the 1930s, Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo.
Sworn enemies by the way, they simply ooze glamour and confidence, sporting their suits, casually holding a cigarette, staring from the studio photographs, "eyes weary with the thought of sin" (in Dietrich's very own words).
Despite my love for what men would typically wear, I have never been confused about my role in society.
Several years back, dropping my son off at school in die foundation phase, I recall a little girl being confused upon seeing me dressed in a waistcoat, tie and sports jacket.
"Mommy, is that an aunty or an uncle?" I heard her ask her mom as they passed me. The mom, clearly a little uncomfortable with the question, yanked the girl by the hand and quickened her step.
In fact, being a single parent at the time, a fair answer would have been: "I am both." But how confusing that would have been to a child of six?
Sometimes, however, life calls upon us to not only rise to the occasion, but to dress for it accordingly – whatever it takes.
Timothy Leary said that "women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition" and I couldn't agree more. I am hardly gearing up to join the war of the sexes, but in fact I am an advocate for self-knowledge.
I don't really "do" Women's Month, meaning that I don't indulge in celebrations to harness myself as a woman. I don't particularly enjoy odes and adulations.
But what does speak to me, is the way women show fortitude in August by coming out as they are – in their full splendour regardless of circumstance.
A case in point was the Doek Festival hosted last weekend. I marvelled at the head wear, but moreover, at what was quietly shining from the photographed women's eyes.
What appals me though is that two men, pretending to care about the safety of a festival goer walking home that night, proceeded to point a gun at her, took her ATM card from her bra, forced her to divulge her PIN code and withdrew her money.
Wolves dressed in sheep's clothing.
My young friend from the Eastern Cape dropped by this week to share his concern about the gang violence among the youth in KwaNonqaba.
"There is too much anger. The anger is because people do not know who they are. And if you do not know who you are…." He doesn't finish the sentence, just shakes his head.
And so August ends. Doeks, high tea dresses and finery are stored safely until Women's Month comes knocking again next year. In the meantime, too many of us seem to be suffering a deeply rooted dress code dilemma.