I love fashion. I don’t know why. It’s not just because I am an out and about crossdresser. I have always loved to shop. And so it became the ultimate pleasure when I could now put on a dress and browse the boutiques until my heart’s content. Having a male figure presents some unusual challenges as you know, nothwithstanding that we have no clue on sizing or what goes together when we first venture into stores. Talk about the “pink cloud” and the teenager mentality. If we’re lucky and find a willing and sympathic saleslady who actually has an eye for fashion and is more interested in us than just an immediate sale, then perhaps we may come away with a presentable outfit. But if you have attended conferences or been to events like Sparkle, then you know some of the OMG outfits that the girls wear. If they are married, then obviously their female partner has not seen them yet.
I’ve been able to pursue my interests as a fashion writer for our wonderful community now for almost 18 months and you can find fashion articles under my byline in the Tri-ess Mirror (U.S.) and Repartee (British) as well as on TG Forum, TG Reporter, and in the Pretty T-Girls online magazine. Soon my articles will also appear on an Australian fashion website and I manage to dispense useful advice on our yahoo group, the TG Woman. This blog is my personal view of the fashion world for transgender women, but I have also created a much larger and more comprehensive website called Sister House that
deals with not just fashion but the larger world of transgender women and the many issues that we face. This blog and the website hopefully will command your interest through resources that you have not seen before and serious writers from within our community and from the greater world of women’s fashion that will help you to reach your own personal goals and be not just a fashionable women, but a stylish women who receives looks of admiration instead of chuckles when she walks down the street. And in between the serious advice is sprinkled some humor so you can walk away beautiful with a smile on your face.
Now some may say, I’m just not into fashion, but when you walk out the door, how you look is how you are perceived. And I have to believe that most of you want to be well thought of if you are interacting with the general public. Anything may go at a support group, but in the real world of women, they are critical of each others appearance.
Now ladies, this is not rocket science but it does take a little effort. I have been there and done that and have the scars and discarded piles of clothes for goodwill. I know the problems you face and the embarrassment of not quite getting it right. So I am here as your sounding board with helpful advice that you can take home and put into practice immediately. Now I can tell you from experience that fashion is here and gone tomorrow. The fashion mags and bloggers will tell you about the latest trends, if you can make any sense of 20 plus trends that all seem to duplicate each other from season to season. Remember when they brought out uggs boots? Yea! ugh is the word.
What we are really interested in is “style”. According to Oscar de la Renta, “Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself”. It is said that New York women are among the most fashionable women on the face of the earth. They are also among the least stylish. Confused? If so, you aren’t alone. You’re just among the many people who confuse stylish with fashionable. We will deal with both so you can learn how to use fashion to create your own personal style that reflects who you are.
Jill Chivers talks about the difference between fashion and style and it’s worth a few minutes of your time to read her words. The bottom line is fashion is what is currently in fashion right now, that is, what is being featured in magazines, on TV and on the fashion runways. Fashion is what is trendy right now. Style, on the other hand, is unique to everyone. This is the person’s own opinion, their own choice in clothes and accessories. Style is something that has been modified and customized on an individual level to suit each person’s own personality and body.
Mr. de la Renta, the amusing raconteur, tells of a very stylish—and very large—friend of his named Chico. “One day I said to her, ‘Chico, what is your formula? Because let me tell you something—you always look so great.’ And she said, ‘Ladies of my size always want to dress in black because they think they can hide their weight better. But I gave up on that a long, long time ago. I now think of myself as upholstery. I upholster myself in the most extraordinary colors and I become a beautiful couch!’ Chico was a wonderful woman,” he added as we laughed.
So please join me as we explore this wonderful world of fashion. I assure you it will be fun. I am not some young and thin clotheshorse that can wear anything and look good. I work at it and have been rewarded on a few occasions with compliments on my dress from other women without them knowing the underlying truths. So anything is possible. But I will have been successful if you end up as the well-dressed and confident woman that I know you to be. I look forward to many conversations with you.