A reasonable number of historical figures are known to have cross-dressed to varying degrees and for a variety of reasons.There is a rich history of cross-dressing found in folklore, literature, theater, and music. It was once considered taboo in Western society for women to wear clothing traditionally associated with men, except when done in certain circumstances such as cases of necessity (as per St.
Gender disguise has been used by women and girls to pass as male in society and by men and boys to pass themselves off as female.
Gender disguise has also been used as a plot device in storytelling and is a recurring motif in literature, theater, and film. Historically, some women have cross-dressed to take up male-dominated or male-exclusive professions, such as military service.
A transvestic fetishist is a person (typically a heterosexual male) who cross-dresses as part of a sexual fetish. said he often wore women's underwear under his military uniform during World War II.
The term underdressing is used by male cross-dressers to describe wearing female undergarments under their male clothes. Some people who cross-dress may endeavor to project a complete impression of belonging to another gender, including mannerisms, speech patterns, and emulation of sexual characteristics.
Cross-dressing has been used for purposes of disguise, comfort, and self-discovery in modern times and throughout history.