Recent interpretations of Propertius 4.2 see in Vertumnus' shifting costumes a programmatic statement about the new poetics of Propertius' fourth book of elegy. The statue's ability to assume and shed identities with a simple wardrobe change mirrors the poet's desire to challenge the traditional generic boundaries of love elegy, dressing it up now in Roman themes, now in amatory ones. No doubt this is so. And yet, more generally, recent criticism finds elegy as a genre hospitable to interpretations that focus on issues of gender and identity. Indeed, as Marilyn Skinner has succinctly summarised, ‘texts of the late first century BCE are notorious for the phenomenon of “gender dissonance”…boundaries between ‘male’ and ‘female’ as essential categories of psychosexual identity fluctuate wildly and eventually break down.’ Propertius' fourth and final poetic collection provides fertile territory for an interrogation of gender, since it both highlights female voices—for example Arethusa, Cynthia or Cornelia—and explores moments of transvestism—for example Vertumnus and Hercules. I argue that when Propertius cloaks the speaking statue, Vertumnus, alternately in ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ attributes, he lays bare not simply poetics, but, further, he questions the very constitution of gender. In other words, Propertius probes the relationship between self-representation and identity and reveals that both are fluid and, more surprisingly perhaps, that the former gives rise to the latter.