Friday, June 29, 2012

"Your color was a very pretty natural blush!"

March of 2011, was a memorable month for me.

One day that month (I really should remember the date, but I don't) I placed a large plastic bag in the trunk of my beautician's car.  In that bag were all my traditional ladies' slacks and pants, destined for her church's big rummage sale.  As I watched intently, she smiled at me, closed and locked the lid, then tucked the key safely in her purse. She gave me a hug, and a kiss on the cheek, then together we walked into the salon for my hair appointment.  I was kind of quiet, so she cheerfully reminded me that I'll love my new look.  And we kept walking.

It was the beginning of my "new appearance." That day I was wearing my stirrups, and giving up the bag of regular pants meant that from then on, my daily choices for both work and play were from among supremely comfortable (but very feminine) Capri and stirrup outfits like in the following pictures.  Bare shoulders and arms are sometimes frowned upon in a work environment, but my wardrobe of tops included a number of sleeveless blouses, which I would ultimately have to wear.  Thus I put a couple of sweaters at the office, year-round.  Whenever I came to work sleeveless, my arms and shoulders could be kept covered if appropriate. 

Just a sampling of a few work outfits:

                        On a cool fall day...stirrups, sleeveless top, sweater and flats to work.
                  Relaxing by the pond near home after work on a hot day, in Capri pants and flats.          

There were some rumors that guys preferred me in sleek and feminine outfits like this.  So they probably were happy on casual days, till the weather got warm and turtlenecks were put away!

                                                     Another great workday outfit...

The gals at the salon and at work, who were guiding " the new me" all insisted that I wear outfits like these to emphasize my femininity.  And the attention the gals at work gave me when I followed their wardrobe "recommendation" was always so enthusiastic and bubbly, that I found myself actually enjoying it.  After donation day in March, I was "with the program," freely wearing these outfits around my immediate co-workers every day.  But, my secret was not very well-kept,  and some realized I finally had no choice in the matter!

One day I met reality head-on.  The day before, the girls had insisted that I wear this particular outfit the next day, which turned out to be the day my department's Administrative Assistant (who made sure she wore nothing the least bit feminine) escorted me to my first meeting.  (For some odd reason the meeting didn't appear on my calendar, but was on hers - so it was a complete surprise to me.)  Once I was seated, she moved to a seat across the room, and stayed to take notes for the department (as well as to keep an eye on me.) 

Trust me, even though I was in pants, a top and shoes, that's where my similarity to males of the species ended.  It was (and still is) impossible to feel the least little bit masculine with my arms and shoulders bare, my tan stirrups (picture above) far more contour-hugging than men's pants, and my nude-pantyhosed insteps and heels plainly visible between the front and rear arches of my stirrups and my cute, but very obviously feminine, skimmers.  The guys were all businesslike, in shirts, ties, dark socks, and loafers, but I couldn't help notice their eyes focusing on (and roving between) my bare arms. contoured legs, and feminine ankles and feet.  I felt like a woman on display in a room full of horny men, and probably wouldn't have been any more uncomfortable if I had been wearing a business-length skirt suit and 3 inch high heels.

Yes, that first time, it was a challenge to pay attention during the meeting,  and I felt that I was blushing almost constantly.  But I had to get through it...and actually managed to survive!  The Admin Assistant said I did very well, even though she told me "You didn't need any makeup today, sweetie, your color was a very pretty natural blush!"

Luckily, each successive meeting became easier.  The guys started to give me more eye contact, with less checking out of my arms or ankles.  Because of that, I blushed a lot less.  Plus, a couple of the guys got laughed at, when I used some girly techniques to politely bring them in line after inappropriate comments. Although I truly couldn't appreciate it at the time, the girls obviously knew what was best for me, and planned and taught me well!

My stirrup and Capri outfits were pretty well-accepted by everyone at work, but the girls made it clear that they (and they told me this included the guys too) were prepared and anxious for my feminine side to take over. All the girls told me that I should start wearing dresses with dainty little kitten heels, jumper dresses with ballet flats, or tailored skirt suits with high heel pumps, all with full makeup and feminine hair styles.  I just didn't (couldn't) do it. And in retrospect,  now that I've retired, I sort of wish I had moved forward...with a support system like mine, I'd be wearing dresses or skirts every day now, and my transition would be long over.  But hindsight is always 20-20.

Since becoming "one of the girls" in March, I can better understand why we're always chilly, while the guys are too warm. Our clothes are much flimsier than the guys, and they expose more of our skin. The girls told me that once I'm wearing those cute sundresses they've picked out for me (to keep my arms and legs on display), I'd find it even more chilly in the air conditioning.  It's just another of the things we gals must endure, in order to look pretty for the boys...

One day in October 2011, when I had my hair done, my beautician was wearing a pretty black sleeveless shell, a pair of gray pull-on pants, and peep-toe 2" heels. I commented on how nice she looked, though she wasn't wearing her usual skort or skirt. She smiled, and asked if I recognize the pants.  I told her that I used to have a pair just like that.

Then came her confession: "These ARE your old pants, honey. Since we're both the same size, when you brought in your donation last spring, I went through your stuff and picked out four pairs of pants that I liked, and bought them before they ever hit the rack. So now you know that at least some of your clothes went to a good home!" "Well, they look really cute on you, much more feminine than they ever did on me." "And you look so much more feminine in Capri's and stirrups than you ever did in these pants, sweetie, that I'm really glad you gave them up."

"So I guess since we both look more feminine, we both came out ahead, didn't we? Now I'm curious, though. Are you planning to wear my old pants for dress, or just casual?" "Most likely for beauty conferences I attend, though I'll enjoy wearing them to your hair appointments.  You can plan on being relentlessly teased about my finally being able to 'get into your pants!'"  I blushed and said "Well, it's true...they were my pants at one time, and now you've gotten into them.  So, you and the girls earned the right to tease me.  I'll probably just blush for you - I do that very well."

"Well, sweetie, can I expect that going forward, you'll be here each time in skirts or dresses?"
"No, I don't have enough of them yet, but I'm working on it." "That's an easy thing to fix. We're both plus-size girls, sweetie, and we've confided in each other that we wear the same dress size. I'm going to be donating some of my skorts and blouses to the next rummage sale. So till then. each time you come in, I'll have one of my older outfits in the car. You know which ones they are...I've seen you ogle me when I was wearing them. When you arrive for your next appointment, the receptionist will usher you right into the ladies' room. Quickly take off your stirrups and blouse, fold and put them in a bag. Then hang it on the outside of the ladies' room doorknob, to be picked up by whichever of the girls comes by first, and wait patiently in the ladies' room. Keep the door locked since you'll be wearing just your bra and pantyhose. The girl will bring me the bag, and when my prior appointment is finished, I'll take it out to my car, returning with an outfit for you. One of the girls will pick up that bag, hang it on the ladies' room doorknob, and knock, so you know you have something to put back on. After you get dressed, come on out to the salon, check the mirrors to see how much prettier you look wearing a skort and ruffled blouse, then model your new outfit for us, and spend a few minutes talking with the ladies. They'll all be friendly and genuinely supportive of you - and happy that you've chosen to become one of us. Socializing will help you get comfortable with your new appearance."

"Since your old clothes will be safely locked in the trunk of my car, you probably will have realized you won't be changing back.  Once we're finished with your hair, we'll apply lip liner and a coat of bright red "kissable lipstick" that won't require touch up that day, paint your fingernails a matching red, and give you some business-appropriate makeup.  If the girls like how you look (and I can guarantee that they will, since they all think you should be wearing dresses) then it becomes your newest outfit. You'll be wearing it when you leave the shop, and .you can be sure that lots of female eyes will be watching as you walk across the parking lot and get in your car! "

"As for your stirrups outfit - I'll wash it and put it into the rummage sale in place of my skort and blouse. They don't care what they get to sell, and I might even be buying it. Stirrups are a retro style I haven't worn yet, and I think they'll look good on me. Since I want to try a pair, I know yours will fit me, and this way I don't pay much."

I laughed to her that it would be fun for me to be wearing one of her cute skort outfits, and have her working on my hair while wearing one of my stirrups outfits. She said "That's definitely going to happen, sweetie - remember, girls trade clothes all the time!   And my plan is going to drastically enhance your girlie appearance over a several-month period, while painlessly eliminating stirrups from your closet, one pair at a time. Just make sure you're always wearing your stirrups and an old blouse to every appointment, have your legs freshly shaved and in new pantyhose, because your skorts will be a couple inches above-the-knee, short enough to showcase your legs!"

Her plan has actually started, but that's a topic for another post!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Who Is That Girl? Part 1.

For starters, just a little background about me: I'm 63, an "only child" myself,  straight, retired, married for getting close to 30 years, with one grown child, and a better half who's somewhat tolerant, though occasionally I catch flak about my femininity.

When did I start dressing?  Well, that's a long story...goes back to childhood.  Because of that, "prehistoric" pictures are scarce! 

My father was a busy executive, spending every day and many evenings at work to provide well for his family, and thus didn't take much time with me. I spent my days, and most of my evenings, with my mother.  No baseball, football, hunting, fishing, etc.  Thus I never acquired a tolerance of,  or ability in, sports.  (How many kids do you know that actually failed gym class?!  And, how DO you fail gym class???  Not really sure, but I managed!)

To this day, on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high), my interest level in sports is somewhere around Minus 25.  I've absolutely no interest in playing or talking about sports, hunting or fishing.  And I don't drink or smoke. So, I really don't fit in well as a typical guy.

Instead, my preference is to sit and talk with the girls.  This happened a lot through life, even at work, right up to the time I retired.  Whenever I chose to sit with the girls at lunch break instead of staying at my desk to work, they included me in their discussions.  Occasionally the girls gave me suggestions (with pictures) as to what dress or skirt outfits they think would look good on me, what shoe styles and what size heels to wear with them, and pictures of different hair styles to try.  Other times they included me in their talks about dating, relationships, how to handle situations with boyfriends, and treated me just like one of the girls.  The last year or so, I wore my flats Mondays through Thursdays, and several other girls usually did, too, for solidarity.  Like these:

It was fun to wear the same type shoes as the other girls.   And on casual Fridays, often I found myself wearing the same color Capri pants and Keds as at least one other girl.  I suspect none of this did anything to further my masculine image! 

I can recall 'way back in the 1950s, when I was still too young to be left home alone, accompanying my mother to various department stores as she shopped for dresses and other finery befitting an executive's wife, and watching while she modeled her various options.  I spent far and away more time in dress and lingerie departments than any other boys my age, but having had so much practice at being there, I didn't see it as a problem - it just seemed natural.  I wasn't at all embarrassed by being around femininity, though I noticed that if any kids were present besides me, it was always little girls in dresses.  And I suspect that spending so much time around females and their clothes may have been the "seed" to cross dressing, which eventually germinated and took root. 

While I tolerated my time in dress shops, because I had to, I really hated shopping for boy's clothes.  So they always just "appeared in my closet."  I never participated in buying them...Mother just got them for me.

In the early 1960's (while having problems with other kids in school after relocating with my family) I started getting into mother's lingerie, and trying on panties, bras and stockings whenever she wasn't home.  This continued for several years, through another change in schools due to another family move. Stress-related?  Probably.  I was never caught - or at least I escaped being confronted about it.

By my senior year in high school, I had made a local switch in schools, and my social/academic situation was much improved, so experimentation with things feminine just "went away" on its own.  And once in college, I was one of many students in a big college on the west coast, so I was too busy with academia to worry about pantyhose and a commuter student I had no social life whatsoever.   My first job in the early 70's provided the same backdrop.  No time for social life, though things were basically good...two jobs, two new sets of experiences...meeting new people, moving ahead, then finally,  a guy, and not in a dress!

Part Two Follows...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Who Is That Girl? Part 2.

So the better half and I married in the early '80's, with one child.  Life was good...though there were some hectic times, a voluntary job change and a move to New York.  I became involved with contract work, and times stayed good for a while.

Then in the very early 90's I ended up out of work through no fault of my own, with little money. Stress personified.  Unemployment insurance was helping pay the bills, but I still had to find work.  So, for many weeks, I was on the road looking for work, and that left me with evenings on my own. 

I recall it evening, after no lunch and a skimpy dinner, and after hearing "don't call us, we'll call you if we want you" at least six times, I was drawn to a Sears store in the Binghamton, NY mall.  I went inside, and for some reason my legs carried me into the women's department.  I still can't explain exactly why...   There I found a friendly, older sales lady to help me find something "for my wife, who is my size."  I'm sure she saw right through my words, but she wanted the sale, played along, and when I left, I had a dress, slip, bra and small purse in a shopping bag.  In addition, she helped me get a pair of women's shoes, too, "for my wife."  But, in reality, for my "softer side."

The next day, I was still in Binghamton, and finished applying at a company, when I noticed the beauty salon down the street.  How I ever found the courage to walk in and ask if they could do some makeup for me, for a "party," I still don't know - but I ended up with an appointment for the next afternoon.  "Don't forget to wear your girl clothes, though - you're going to look more like a girl when you leave!" 

So the next morning absolutely flew by.  I had to take the afternoon off the job search, changed clothes and ventured outside for my makeup application. There was no choice but to walk in as a "guy in a dress." The customers in the shop stared at first, but that stopped when they saw the girls and I were having fun with it.  And the girls found me an inexpensive wig too, so I looked "sort of" presentable when I left.  (Unfortunately there are no pictures - digital wasn't around then, and I didn't have disposable funds to buy film for my camera.)

I drove around after my appointment (getting my first experience driving a manual transmission while wearing a dress),  went into a few stores. and recall getting more double-takes and strange looks than I care to think about...far more than I get today.  But my heart was pounding and I remember enjoying it all.   After the rush...came relaxation...turns out wearing dresses was a great stress reliever.

Whenever financial stresses built up while I was at back at home between job hunting trips, I experimented with the better half's things.  She was a substitute teacher part-time...unexpected early quits caused a couple of "busts," when she found me wearing her clothes. I got all the usual questions about "do you like men?" etc.  To which I could honestly say "no, only women."  But instead of giving up cross dressing, I just took my old wardrobe to the attic, timed things better, and "getting caught" ceased.

That was the same time frame when I had to be out in the cold New York State winters.  She got me into pantyhose and tights for warmth.  And she was OK with my wearing them whenever I wanted.  I don't honestly remember how I got into panties - I think it was abrasions from the tighty-whities I used to wear, and panties were soothing.  But in any case, those also started to populate my underwear drawer, with no issues.

Once the job situation settled down, we settled near Washington DC, with pantyhose and panties now a part of my everyday wardrobe.  Androgynous or indistinguishable women's things kept finding their way into my closet, and there were no issues or complaints from the better half.  Stirrup pants became much more plentiful during this time frame, as well.  Originally bought for winter wear, they just sort of took on a life of their own and I found myself wearing them more and more often - much softer and more comfortable than menswear.  I got a bunch of summerweight stirrups, and subsequently they became my primary casual pants.  I started to grow my nails longer than a typical male's in the mid to late 90's, and for a time, did my own gel manicures (complete with the grinding tool and UV light) with instructions from a sympathetic beautician. 

In about 2002, I began venturing out and about again, because I met a crossdresser with an accepting wife at an antique car show. (If you have read prior blogs, you know I have an antique car).  Can't recall exactly how we got on the topic - wish I could - it would be interesting to remember!  After communicating by email, a few weeks later he and his wife met me at another car show.  In their hotel room that afternoon, they helped me to actually begin to look like a completely confident woman for the first time. (Fortunately I did find a pic of that!) 

It felt absolutely glorious - better than ever before!  He (in male mode) took me by the hand, and together we walked through the hotel and around the car show...I was in heaven!  That get-together actually took a fair amount of courage and trust on my part...once they had me fastened into a corset and slip, pantyhose on, with the dress zipped up (I couldn't reach it myself), wig and breast forms on, platform sandals strapped on, and full makeup applied, with my male clothes, keys and wallet locked int their room upstairs, they could have abandoned me in the parking lot, gotten in their car and gone to dinner and a movie - and I'd have been in really deep doo-doo!  But it worked out perfectly.

For a while, this was an arrangement made in heaven...  I drove to quite a few car shows in his home town over a three year period (an 8 hour drive one-way) to be able to dress and go out after the show and the following day.  And that's where in 2004, we had our professional makeovers done together - strangely enough, arranged by his daughter, who knew the owner of the shop! 

It was an absolutely fabulous evening - from about 6:30 to 10:30 PM...   Expensive, but fabulous!  I still have the pictures...the one above is a sample.  Some have been reduced to digital format for posterity, and I think they truly portray me in a good light.  It was something I someday hope to do again!  All of my visits to Kath's place were wonderful experiences which I will never forget, and her family was very understanding and helpful!  My experiences cross dressing there are something that the better half still does not know about to this day.

A year or so later, Kath lost interest, and gave up dressing.  But I didn't!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My New Blouse.

Another Goodwill find...for $5, and I couldn't resist the vivid colors! 

This one wasn't new... there was a very strong perfumed scent to it. So, it's fun to know my newest blouse was formerly owned and worn by a woman. Hopefully she enjoyed it as much as I am.  I'll wear it proudly and as often as possible, in her honor!

This outfit has received several compliments from women, who all commented favorably on my choice of Capri pants, cute little flat sandals and a bold-color summer weight blouse. (Of course, guys just presume I'm female and pretty much ignore what I'm wearing, which is typical male behavior.)  One of the ladies even went so far as to suggest that I should be wearing white denim mini-skirts instead of Capri's in hot weather, and I'd be even cooler. That's a radical suggestion for this old girl, but I really hope some day to make it my reality.

Unfortunately, the better half isn't a fan of this blouse. She says the sleeves are too short. No problem, I'll just roll them up for summer...and the problem disappears!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Do Three Feet Make a Yard?

This picture is of one of my car's "feet" - 14" Radial tires on stock rims - and both of mine, at the car show...

The nice things about having similar feminine buckle-on sandals in 3 different colors (black, tan, white) are: they will coordinate with many outfits; they minimize the different tan lines visible on the feet, allowing for a more concentrated tan; and they work perfectly with or without pantyhose. 

The last one is particularly important in my case, because the doctor says I must wear pantyhose (and give up wearing panties and socks due to the heavy elastic) for assisting the circulation in my legs. The day after the doctor's order, my better half immediately cleaned out my underwear and sock drawer - all socks and all but two pair of panties (one black, one white) went to charity, She holds them, and only gives them to me on days when I get my pedicures, or when it is very hot. Car show days definitely qualify as "very hot." At least lately....

For show day,  I found my white panties and white sandals sitting with my Capri's and sleeveless top.  My better half supported my wearing them all day to be more comfortable in the heat.  "You have brand new sandals, so you certainly don't need any other shoes."   And, she was right, they were much cooler than my flats as well as more female-friendly, since all the other women were in their flip-flops. The only comment from one of the girls was:  "Sweetie, you really need to get some pretty color on those toes!"  Yes, my sandals are definitely suitable for all day wear, any time, any place.

Let's hope that continues!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Car Show, And a Flirt or Two...

Today my car was awarded a trophy...and in the process I had a few interesting encounters. Initially, I thought I hadn't come up as feminine on anyone's radar screen. But as I was to soon discover, I was wrong...

First, since there was a flea market nearby, there were lots of women around. Many of them walking by smiled at me and said "Hi." And I said "Hi" back to each one of them.  They didn't do that with the guys they didn't know...just the girls.

Second, a lady who had accompanied her husband to the car show, and who was sitting nearby but facing in my direction, was in conversation with several nearby guys. But she seemed awfully "nosy" and kept looking up at me as I sat talking with another woman (one of the relatives of a flea market vendor.) Every time I looked up, the nosy one averted her I suspect she was trying to figure things out!

After the judging was finished and the paperwork turned in, one of the judges (a guy) who had been around me and my car several times during the day, walked up behind me, paused, and used his fingers to casually fondle my long and by-now-windblown hair for a few seconds, as he said "beautiful car, Miss." I looked up, gave him a friendly smile (yes, I was wearing the melted remains of light makeup and lipstick) and replied "Thank you, kind Sir!" in my normal voice, then just pretended it hadn't happened. But I marveled that a middle-aged guy would actually be that forward with a girl he didn't know. 

Afterward, I began to wonder if that was his "fun" and "subtle" way of telling me that I'd won a trophy. That apparently was the case, as my car was indeed awarded a trophy. 

But he truly made my day by addressing me as a female, and even more so by playing with my hair.  Other than a male hairdresser I had for a couple appointments years ago, that hasn't happened since grade school! However, there are a couple of major differences between then and now:  back then, about five girls were doing the playing, and my hair style, clothing and appearance were unambiguously that of a young boy.  That's certainly not the case any times have changed! (And for the better, I might add!)

Interestingly, after that playful exchange, the woman who had been watching me intently, abruptly quit! She didn't look up again. I guess she finally decided I was a girl, after seeing my interaction with the guy who was flirting with me.  And the guy must have liked what he saw!

Here's what I was wearing...all from the ladies department!

On the way home, a dilapidated heap of a car pulled into the turn lane to my left at a stoplight. I knew the car was there, but sensed multiple eyes staring at me. So I looked up, and there they were - a carload of teen boys, staring at both my car and at me. After the car show incident, I felt a bit devilish, and as their light turned green, forcing them to start turning, I gave the boys a coy smile and a wave, and watched them as they turned down the side street, still staring.
Girls can have so much more fun with little daily events than guys!!