Friday, August 31, 2012

How’s Your Swing?

2012-08-31_paula-g_200 Today, I am happy to present another guest post by Paula Gaijkowski, who earlier this month contributed "Frequent Flier" to this blog.

How’s your swing?

If you’re a golfer, you recognized this as familiar greeting between other golfers. Golf is a remarkably simple game to the casual observer; hit the ball into the hole. Not unlike being a transgender woman, which in realty is astonishingly complex and multifaceted.

For years, I was a casual golfer. I’d take my clubs out of the basement, dust them off, and hit the course two or three times a year. It’s no surprise my game stunk and I was getting no better. I searched for the quick fix, new driver, new balls, a book, and maybe a couple of nights at the range. Nothing changed.

Years ago, I got a new job and made friends with a golfer in the office. We started going to an indoor range nearby and took lessons during the winter. The instructor taught me one thing that I have carried forward into many things in life. Most of golf was played in my head. It’s a mental game, especially your swing. The mechanics and the physicality of your swing has to be learned and stored in your mind and pulled out without thought or effort. It needs to become a natural part of you.

Hopefully, I haven’t lost you yet; here’s where I tie the two together: it needs to be natural and instinctive, just like a being woman.

A few months ago, I had a great trip to Chicago and enjoyed several days out en femme. The last day there, I was too exhausted to spend the time getting dressed and ready, so I was outside enjoying the day at the Oakbrook Mall.

In front of the bookstore I saw the prettiest girl. I watched her with envy as she walked through the courtyard and perched on a bench. Everything about her was feminine, fashionable, smart, and beautiful. I looked her over as another woman would and made a mental list of all the effort it took to look this good: the hair, makeup, matching jewelry, eyebrows, her lashes, manicure, and pedicure, shaved smoothed and tan legs, designer shoes, and purse. It all looked so natural, graceful, and effortless.

Yes, effortless, just like the perfect golf swing.

So I ask you? Are you pulling your clothes and makeup out of storage like I did with my clubs and expecting magical things to happen when you dress en femme?

My friend and I took a few lessons, but continued to go to the range twice a week for a year; it became habit. On our lunch break Tuesday and Thursday we were there. If I was bored or idle somewhere, I’d practice my stance, swing and follow through without a club. I practiced putting in the basement instead of watching TV after dinner. That September I shot 78 in a tournament. The year before I never broke 100!

I don’t golf anymore, but I do present as a woman. The last two years have been very rewarding. I have improved my image and have done things I have dreamed about for years. Just like the example I gave using golf, it takes effort to appear effortless just like that pretty girl in Oakbrook. If you look around our community online, you will notice the girls who look good, really work at it. It takes time. This is a lifestyle. You need to set goals and work toward them.

I always dreamed of going out in public as a woman. When I turned 50, middle age crazy took over and I began working on it.

First I began losing weight; nothing makes you feel or look better than being physically fit. I went from a size 26W to a 16 Misses. How you lose the weight is another issue all together.

I began buying makeup from a very helpful sales associate at the NARS counter. Every couple of weeks I’d buy another piece of cosmetic and she would tutor me. Kasey was the first person who taught me not to be ashamed of being transgender. I would practice at home even if I wasn’t getting dressed; I would apply my makeup getting better each time. I’d watch YouTube tutorials when I couldn’t practice.

I saved up and bought a good wig. Wig stores are all transgender-friendly! If you don’t believe me, call one; be polite and honest and tell them you are a transgender person looking for a wig and would like to come in. I guarantee you are not the first.

Once you have the hair, learn how to style it. Ask you your wig lady for lessons. I have had several classes where my wig lady taught me how to style and comb out my wig. After the classes practice, practice, practice.

I found a gender therapist and for the first time in my life spoke openly and face-to-face with someone about this. Speak with any girl and she will tell you this is a big part of self-acceptance. Because of this, I was able to shed the guilt and shame I struggled with for years. I was also able to understand where I wanted to go with this. That’s when I set my goal: being able to go out in public as a woman on a regular schedule.

Get a big sister; connect with another girl online or in person, even if you meet in drab as friends. Having someone like yourself to support each other is important.

Practice your voice. Smart phones have recording apps. Use your feminine voice every day. I recite a memorized speech each day during my drive to and from work. After several months, my voice started to really sound natural.

Become a student of fashion; find a transgender mentor and study other women. Which one are you? Find your style and not your fantasy.

Movement is my goal for this year: walking, posture, and body language. I am hoping to find a coach or modeling school to help and then practice. In the meantime, when I shop the mall at lunch, I put my body into girl mode. Nobody notices and even if they did, so what??

So much of my presentation has become second nature to me now. I walk out the hotel room door, smile, at the maid, stop at the front desk, without trepidation or anxiety. This self-assurance is contagious to everyone around you. It validates your appearance to them.

When I visit cosmetic counters in girl mode, I am always open about being transgender. When you get this close to a person, they can tell you are transgender. The sales women seem to love the diversion of having a transgender customer. We always have great conversations and I always ask them about my appearance. Most often, the words I hear are “poised,” “natural,” and “classic.”

They say 90% of presentation is attitude and confidence. This takes effort and work. That confidence and attitude comes from the steps I outlined above.

My point is it takes effort to look effortless. This effort is all part of being a woman. Please remember to enjoy the journey, the practice, the friendships, the accomplishments and even the failures. Then when you walk through that door dressed for a day of activities, you won’t even think about your swing --- it will be perfect.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Have Something


Now, I have something and it is bad news.

Living part-time in girl mode and part-time in boy mode is an expensive proposition.

Maintaining two wardrobes is one expense. I admit that I pay much less attention to my male wardrobe than my female wardrobe, but it is an expense nonetheless.

Vacationing is another expense. My girl mode and boy mode must take separate vacations because my spouse does not want to vacation with my girl mode. I have no problem with that, but two vacations are not usually in the cards financially.

A dress bought here and a dress bought there is an expense, but it does not have the same credit card shock as a four or five-day trip away from home. Multiply that by two and I can smell plastic melting in the morning.

After doing the math, I have concluded that I cannot afford a trip to Atlanta to attend Southern Comfort Conference.

Sorry to disappoint you, but no one is as disappointed as I am.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2012 Miss Trans of Poland

2012-08-28_miss-trans-pl-2012

Fifteen girls competed in the second annual Miss Trans pageant in Warsaw’s club Le Garage on June 2. The club and the Trans-Fusion Foundation organized the event.

Pageant judges included Anna Grodzka, the first known transsexual Member of Parliament in European history.

Here are links to two galleries of photos from the pageant: on the Trans-Fusion Fund Facebook page and the WP.PL website.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying*

2012-08-27_window

I only think about being transgender when I am in boy mode. I seldom think about it in girl mode.

In boy mode, I feel a little uncomfortable; I am in a place that is wrong for me and I think about how comfortable I would be if I was in girl mode.

In girl mode, I am in a perfect place. I don't think about moving to another place and I can get busy living.

* “Get busy living or get busy dying” is one of my favorite movie lines; it comes from one of my favorite films, The Shawshank Redemption .

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dead Bug

I just received an e-mail from Fashion Bug informing me that their website will officially close on September 5.

"Uh-oh," I thought to myself, "If the website is going offline, what about their brick and mortar stores?"

A quick Google revealed that the new owner of the chain plans to close all 600 Fashion Bug stores by early 2013.

That saddens me. Over the years, I have done a lot of shopping at The Bug. Their prices were very reasonable and some of my nicest clothing came from their stores.

I guess I can take advantage of their going-out-of-business sales, but my heart won't be in it.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I See Girly Boys

2012-08-25_toyota

I refer you two videos featuring males who are so feminine that it makes a femulator want to trade in her Jimmy Choos for Birkenstocks.

The first video features model Stav Strashko wearing a string bikini in a Toyota commercial. I recommend reading Mary Elizabeth Williams' commentary that accompanies the video.

The second video features model Andrej Pejic in interview mode. It is four months old, but I just discovered it a few days ago. I originally viewed it with the sound off and was very impressed how feminine Andrej's mannerisms seem to be. View it with the sound off and perhaps you will agree.

***

Before I finalize my plans for attending simultaneous conferences in Atlanta next month, I am trying to figure out how to divide my time between the ham radio conference and the transgender conference (Southern Comfort).

Should I stay in the ham conference hotel or trans conference hotel? The conferences are 25 miles apart on opposite sides of Atlanta, so I have to choose carefully.

***

Just a thought... Monday I have jury duty. Should I go en femme?

***

I just moderated a comment on a July 2007 post titled "feminine skirts and dresses for men." Would you believe that that post has 172 comments? By far, that post has received more comments than any of the other 2,271 posts I have published here in 5-1/2 years.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Atlanta Bound


Atlanta is the site of  the Southern Comfort Conference and a ham radio conference on the same weekend next month. I plan to attend both.

If you are planning to attend Southern Comfort, I hope to see you there.

Maybe I can organize a Femulate reader get-together during the weekend if enough readers are interested. Let me know.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Boxboro No Go

Things did not work out, so I will not be attending the ARRL New England Division Convention in Boxboro, Mass. this weekend.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I Tweet, Therefore I Am

if someone tweets without followers, does anyone hear her tweets? twitter

That was my very first tweet on Twitter. No one heard it because I had no followers.

So please follow me by clicking on the “Follow @Stana_Femulate” button at the top of the left sidebar.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Scent of a Woman

Stana, May 3, 1995 I wrote here on Friday about my first aid training class and how the instructor picked me to help him demonstrate the modified chest thrust.

Before proceeding, he asked, "You don't mind if I have a little fun with you?"

"I don't mind," I said.

He began, "Instead of using the abdominal thrust on this student, we will use the modified chest thrust because he is eight-months pregnant."

I was taken aback by his "little fun," but went along with it and tried to act amused.

***

Commenting on my story, Pat wrote, "...the instructor may have been picking up a feminine vibe or aura from you in selecting you for the 'pregnancy' demonstration."

I had the exact same thoughts, but I did not write about it because I felt that it was a little too farfetched. Now I'm thinking maybe not.

All my life, I have given off feminine vibes.

It is not something I do intentionally; it is such an integral part of my natural persona that I don't even realize what I am doing that gives off those vibes.

The proof is in the pudding. As a youth, my peers made it clear to me that I was not a manly boy. Boys called me names, girls would not date me, and gays were interested in me. In high school, one of my teachers (a female) told me I should wear a dress.

I was confused.

Even as an adult, I still give off feminine vibes. Adult males are a little more civilized than teenaged males, so they don't call me names, although a few have. Women often treat me as they would another women and gays are still interested in me.

I am less confused now because I think I figured it out, i.e., I am a woman. So I should not be surprised that the first aid instructor figured it out, too.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Don't Let This Happen To You

1995-06

That's me 17 years ago. An apt caption might be “Youth is wasted on the young.”

There I am dressed to the nines with minimal makeup (probably just foundation, lipstick, and mascara), yet achieving a passable femulation; ready to trip the light fantastic, but, oh so closeted.

Back then, the only time I went out en femme was to attend support group meetings because I feared that I would not pass in public. I was sure every person I encountered would see through my guise, then point, laugh, and inform the world that I was not what I appeared to be.

What a waste!

I have long overcome those fears.

When I am out en femme, I probably pass if no one is paying close attention to me, but close up and personal... not so much. And even then, I seldom, seldom, seldom get called on it. 

But passing is not important; experiencing life as the woman I really am is important.

I just so regret that I did not begin the experience when I was younger, when I still could be considered "hot" some of the time. Not like today, when I could be considered "not so hot" most of the time.

So don't let this happen to you. Get dressed. go out, and damn the torpedoes now!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Boxboro Bound?

Are any readers of Femulate planning to attend the ARRL New England Division Convention in Boxboro, Mass. next weekend?

There is a 50-50 chance I may go and it would be great to meet up with you if you are going, too.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fit to Femulate

The mailman delivered my dress order from ideeli today. Both dresses fit perfectly.

I did not realize that the Belted Crepe Knit Dress had an animal print, which is an added bonus!

On the other hand, I was disappointed in the Bali Powershape Torset Body Briefer that I ordered from Avon. It arrived Wednesday and I tried it on, but like every other body briefer that I ever tried, it was lacking in the shaping department.

I sent it back for a refund today.

Win some, lose some!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Memories

382z Yesterday, I took a first aid class at work and I am now an official card-carrying first aid responder.

Throughout the day, the instructor randomly selected students to demonstrate various first aid procedures.

When the topic was choking, he demonstrated the abdominal thrust (also known as the "Heimlich Maneuver") on one student, then he asked me to help him demonstrate the modified chest thrust. As I went to the front of the class, he asked, "You don't mind if I have a little fun with you?"

"I don't mind," I responded.

He began, "Instead of using the abdominal thrust on this student, we will use the modified chest thrust because he is eight-months pregnant."

Everyone in the class, including myself, laughed.

One guy mentioned that I should be wearing my office girl Halloween costume (see photo).

A woman said, "He looked a lot better than I ever did."

There were a couple of other comments that went in one ear and out the other.

Then the class settled down and the training resumed.

***
It has been nine years since I dressed as an office girl for Halloween at work and it surprises me that it is so fresh in the minds of some of my co-workers.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Favorite Thing

IMG_2983_cropped_web I went out en femme yesterday.

I wore the brown "draped brooch shift" dress and necklace that I bought at Dress Barn in June. I accessorized with my simulated snake skin bag and peep-toe slingback heels (see the first photo).

I learned something new yesterday: perfumes stain.

When I finished dressing, I dabbed on some Chanel Eau de Cologne No. 22. A couple of drops got away from me and landed on the hem of my dress. I assumed the drops would evaporate, so I didn't think anything of it.

Hours later, I noticed that the perfume drops had left stains on my dress. (I hope they come out in the wash.)

Dressed and out the door at 9:45 AM, my first stop was the Ann Taylor store in West Farms Mall in Farmington. I saw some attractive dresses on their website that I wanted to see in person.

Entering through Macy's, I walked through half the mall to get to Ann Taylor. On my way, a few women smiled and some said "Hello," a few guys looked my way, and no one pointed and shouted, "She's a man," so I felt confident about my femulation.

I entered Ann Taylor and a "saleswoman" greeted me and pointed out the racks of dresses that were on sale. (I put saleswoman in quotation marks because the two women working in Ann Taylor yesterday looked like high school kids to me. I realize they were not that young, but their ages were a lot closer to high school age than mine!)

The saleswoman loved my shoes, but admitted that shoes like mine hurt a lot. We discussed the perils of high heels, then she complimented my necklace. (Yesterday, I received a lot of compliments for my necklace.)

I noticed that all the dresses in the store topped out at size 14, whereas larger sizes are available online. Eyeballing the size 14s, they looked like ample size 14s, so I found three dresses to try on.

I managed to slip into all three dresses and close their zippers. The dresses were gorgeous and would look very nice on me if they were one size larger (or I was one size smaller). As is, they were just a little too tight, so I left Ann Taylor empty-handed and disappointed.

I decided to walk to the other end of the mall to JCPenney. They have a huge dress department and I almost always have shopping success there. I spent about an hour in JCPenney looking through the dress racks and trying on my finds.

During the hunt, I was very surprised to find the exact same Dress Barn dress I was wearing for sale. I had assumed incorrectly that Dress Barn and JCPenney did not sell the same lines of clothing, so I learned something new twice yesterday.

My hunt ended with two dresses making the final cut, a purple ruffle dress ("Flowing ruffles add a feminine flair to this sheath dress in a comfortable matte jersey") and a sleeveless black/teal color-block sheath ("Bold colorblock print adds a modern twist to this classic silhouette.").

Trying on a dress makes all the difference in the world when shopping. I knew the ruffle dress would look good on me assuming that it fit, whereas the color-block sheath was one of those dresses I was not sure about. I grabbed it as a "what-the-heck" pick since I was going to the dressing room to try on some other dresses anyway. Turned out it was one of the nicest dresses (on me) that I tried on yesterday. So, you never know.

I took my finds to the cashier and she asked if I wanted to use my JCPenney credit card.

I said I wanted to pay cash.

She asked if I had a JCPenney credit card.

I said I did, but have not used it in years.

She tried to convince me to sign up for a new credit card and get a 20% discount on all my purchases that day.

I knew I would have to show a photo identification to apply for a new card and I was a little reluctant to out myself whether or not the cashier had already figured me out. But the 20% discount was hard to resist, so I relented.

As I handed the saleswoman my driver's license, I commented that I looked a little different than when the license photo was taken.

She glanced at the license and then said something to the effect that my hairdo was now much bigger.

For a fleeting moment, I wondered if I had not outed myself afterall and that she thought that the license photo just showed me, a woman, with a short female hairdo. But there is a big letter "M" next to the "Sex:" on the license that is a dead giveaway.

I'll never know what she thought, but whatever the case, she was very pleasant, treated me politely throughout our encounter and that's alright by me.

After leaving the dress department, I passed the jewelry department and checked out the earring racks for those rare hard-to-find clip-ons. There were a handful and I found a retro style pair that I purchased with my new 20% off credit card.

A saleswoman rang up my purchase and mentioned that they were getting in some more clip-ons from Monet.

I told her I would be back and I am sure I will be.

My day out as a woman was going very well except for one thing: I felt lousier as the day progressed. By the time I exited JCPenney, I had an intense headache and was so tired that I could have taken a nap right on the spot.

I decided to call it a day if I did not feel any better by the time I walked the length of the mall back to Macy's where my chariot awaited me. I stopped briefly at a couple of stores along the way, but more or less made a bee-line to Macy's.

I did not feel any better, but I thought the fresh air might help. It was now raining, so I sprinted to my car as quickly as my high heels would permit me and regrouped.

It was hot and stuffy inside, so I turned on the ignition and cranked up the air conditioning. The AC did not help; I did not feel any better, so I decided to return from whence I came.

Upon my return, I took a short nap (I rarely nap during the day unless I am ill). I felt a little better afterword.

Before I returned to boy mode, I took some photos wearing my new dresses. (You can compare me with the models on the JCPenney website in the second and third photos. By the way, I did not cut off the model’s head --- JCPenney did it)

I was disappointed that it was a short day out en femme, but it was a day out en femme and that is a wonderful thing!

I highly recommend it to everyone.

jcpruffle&me_web

jcpsheath&me_web

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Out Today

I am going out en femme today.

This is a spur of the moment decision, so I have no specific plans except to spend the day as a woman.

I have no idea what adventures await me, but I am confident that I will have a wonderful time.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Face Time

That's my face on Facebook.

After over a year's absence, I have decided to try Facebook again.

"Stana Stana" is my Facebook name; www.facebook.com/stana.stana.3 is my home page.

I will be on the road most of the day today, so catch you later!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Stana's Fashion Trands: Preppy Shoes

I like these shoes from Payless. Known as the "Kimmie Mary Jane Pump," it has a 2.5" heel.

I own a similar pair in black from Payless and they are very comfortable. Maybe I should own a pair in brown ("cognac") and be very preppy!

2012-08-12_Kimmie-Mary-Jane-Pump

By the way, Payless is a transgirl's friend.

They sell shoes in sizes that our dainty feet require (up to size 13, frequently in wide widths).

They sell shoes that are relatively inexpensive, which is important if you have to budget for two wardrobes.

Payless is trans-friendly. I have never been hassled in any Payless store trying on women's shoes whether I was in girl mode or boy mode.

And they are everywhere --- Payless stores seem to be in every strip mall around here.

Half the many shoes I own are Payless. I own Payless flats, mid heels, high heels, platform heels, strappy sandals, and boots and I seldom have had a complaint --- most are all-day-long comfortable.

If you have never shopped Payless, plan to do so and you will be pleasantly surprised.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Importance of Being Lady Bracknell

Gyles-Brandreth---TIOBE---stage-UK---2011---Daily-Mail Since it is Lady Bracknell Week in The Femulated slot, Anne N sent me a great article from the Daily Mail titled "I just love being a woman..."

The article describes how actor Gyles Brandreth lived as a woman full-time 24/7 for two months last year to prepare for the role of Lady Bracknell in a UK production of The Importance of Being Earnest.

He wrote, "Above all, I am discovering that the essence of being a woman is being aware of others... I don’t believe women are naturally more intuitive or sensitive than men. They just seem that way because they look and they listen more carefully than men do and consequently they see more and hear better.

"I want to cross the male-female divide and step inside the mind of a woman because it’s an interesting place, and full of surprises. But I only want visiting rights, though, I don’t plan to live there permanently."

I’ve heard that before!

You can read the entire article here.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Frequent Flier

Today, I am happy to present a guest post by a “daily reader of Femulate,” Paula Gaijkowski. I am sure you will identify and sympathize with her words; I know I did.

Paula_G I’ve been up since 4 AM, an early flight, I tell everyone it’s so I can get there in time to prepare for my meetings the next day. If they knew the truth they would be surprised, or perhaps “shocked” would be a better word.

The airport has energy, a vibe, a current of movement and change. People are in a state of flux, business deals, money made and lost, love found, divorces, farewells, reunions, new babies and trips homes for a funeral, a river of life. I watch them, businessmen and women, grandparents on a visit, tourists, college students, and the visitor whose brief return is over. But I mostly focus on the women; in them I see myself.

You see that’s my secret. How I envy them and long to be a member of their sorority. The anticipation in me grows; soon I think I’ll join them. I will shed this facade of masculinity that I have been forced to wear. I’ll leave this city, this life, and role behind. I sigh and close my eyes trying to sleep as the plane lifts off. It will be a busy day, I’ll need my rest.

The baggage claim, the rental car bus, the ride to the hotel, it’s a different city, but the same routine. I smile and exchange pleasantries with the hotel clerk.

“Welcome” she chimes, “Are you in town for business or pleasure?” she asks.

I hesitate slightly before responding, “Actually both, I have a meeting tomorrow but today I’m meeting one of my sisters for and lunch and shopping.”

I laugh to myself, If she only knew what I meant by “sister.”

The hotel, is quiet and empty; everyone is out and about. As I ride the elevator up, my enthusiasm and expectation grows. I push the huge suitcase down the hall the wheels sticking on the carpet. Finally we arrive at the door. I insert the card, it clicks and we are in. I toss the suitcase up onto the bed. It opens, and out from underneath the slacks and BVDs I pull a black bag, I lay it across the bed and unzip it.

It’s good to see them again, my purse and the pink makeup case, a pair of pumps, several skirts, tops, bras, panties, pantyhose and jewelry. A sales receipt spills out from my last trip. It’s from Nordstrom. Oh, yes, I remember now, it’s from the M.A.C counter. I had bought new foundation. The sales associate, her name was Lisa, was so friendly and helpful.

“Thank you Lisa,” I say to myself.

I read the date it was over a month ago. That’s too long… much too long.

I let the warm water of the shower melt away any uncertainty. That part of me from that now distant city protests “Why are you doing this? You’re foolish! You’re a man, a husband, a father!”

But I don’t listen to that voice anymore, I know better now. The feminine scent of the shaving cream and the unveiled smoothness of my legs calm me. I feel her take hold inside me.

I dry myself off, then spray on some perfume, I breath the aroma in, the scent is satisfying, almost like a drug, I feel it trigger certain parts of my brain, as if they were dormant, but now are called to life, they burst forward igniting senses and desires no longer forced hidden.

I become a little hurried now. As I put on my foundation garments, a female silhouette takes shape in the mirror, the padding and forms do their job. I feel a slight disappointment that I need them at all. My eyes go to juncture of my thighs, the curvature of my lower abdomen, it looks so female. Maybe, I think, someday… it will be.

I sit down and start my makeup. I‘ve become practiced, better than most women, the foundations goes on with a M.A.C brush. Oh, yes, I think, I have all the tools. Then I apply powder. I brush it off softly creating an even matte finish; next I contour, then I highlight.

Slowly I trace the brows; their arch brings another hint of femininity to my face. This time they came out perfect, I’m pleased.

The eyes are important; I take my time getting them just right, the shadow, the liner and finally the mascara.

The lips are next. I trace a cupid’s bow with the lip liner bringing my upper lip closer to my nose, an important feminine feature. I finish with two shades of lipstick; my lips take on a fullness and depth. Some blush, and then a touch-up and I’m done.

Not bad, I think, but there’s still more. I clip on my earrings, a gold bracelet, a watch, a diamond engagement ring, and on the other hand a birth stone. Today I’ll be wearing a skirt with a red jacket. I step into the skirt, pull it up and then zip it. It fits nicely. I smooth it running my hands over the curves on my hips. Then I slip a dark blouse over my head I pull the buttons close over my bust, yes, my “bust,” I muse; I like the way they look. Next, I put on my jacket.

Finally the icing must go on the cake, I lightly place the wig on my head; “boys have short hair girls have long hair” I mouth these words softly.

I step toward the mirror; there she is “Paula,” a huge smile flashes across my face, a giddiness takes over, a sense of relief. I primp in the mirror then pack my purse, credit cards, license, cash, and room key. I primp in the mirror again. My nails! I forgot my nails, it takes a few minutes, but they’re pretty, a press-on French manicure --- just the right feminine detail.

I check my purse again. I’m nervous, there’s a bit of trepidation as I stand in front of the door. Faintly I hear his voice pulling me back. “Noooo I shake my head!"

I look in the mirror, she smiles at me. You can do this. I’m out the door; there is a sense of wonder I’m doing it. I ride down in the elevator, the doors open and I’m in the lobby. I walk over and grab a bottle of water from the market. I ask the clerk softly, “Can you put this on room 314?”

“Sure” she smiles, “Anything else Ma’am?”

“Ma’am,” I say to myself, yes, she said Ma’am --- my heart sores.

I’m out the door and the cadence of heels on the pavement announces a woman is here. I’ve escaped, if only for the day, but I’m free and I’m flying!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Stana’s Fashion Trands: A Closet Update

Added to Stana’s Closet 
Ponte Heart Print Dress from Julian Taylor (via ideeli)

Solid ponte knit sleeveless dress with a wide scoop neck, center front and back heart-printed panel, buckle detail over left shoulder and hidden back zipper closure. Not lined. 35" long.

2012-08-09_JULIAN-TAYLOR-Ponte-Heart-Print-Dress-front

Added to Stana’s Closet
Belted Crepe Knit Dress from Julian Taylor (via ideeli)

Crepe dress with cap sleeves and V-neck, bold print and solid side panels, side elastic detail on waist seam, optional skinny belt with studs. Not lined. 38" long.

2012-08-09_JULIAN-TAYLOR-Belted-Crepe-Knit-Dress-front

May Be Added to Stana’s Closet
Palm Jacket and Stretch Flounce Skirt from Ann Taylor

jacket - Wear-now style: a fresh take on suiting makes a chic summer statement in noteworthy neutrals inspired by natural textures. Pair with an embellished top for an irresistibly feminine touch. Front hook-and-bar closure. 3/4 sleeves. Besom chest pocket. Front flap besom pockets. Lined. 20" long.

skirt - A ruffle hem imparts a delightfully feminine flounce to this alluring skirt, finished with a hint of stretch for a truly flattering fit. Hidden side zipper with hook-and-eye closure. Lined. 18" long.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Visiting a New Salon

2012-008-08_new_salon I needed some storage containers for stuff stored in the garage, so I went to the nearest discount store during my lunch hour on Monday.

Leaving the store, I noticed a sign in the window of the hair salon next door advertising a special: on Tuesdays, they cut men's hair for $12.

I needed a haircut and although I am not really a man, I can pass for one, so I returned to the salon on Tuesday.

I had never been in that salon, so I did not know what to expect.

My hairdresser was a vivacious middle-aged woman named Staci. It turned out that we grew up in the same neighborhood and although she is ten years younger, we knew some of the same people.

I almost mentioned that Staci used to be my femme name, but I decided to save that for another time.

After she finished doing my hair, she asked me if I'd like her to do my eyebrows. No hairdresser ever offered that service before and I gladly acquiesced.

She quickly buzzed each brow with an electric razor over a comb and saved me the trouble of trimming my brows.

Her hairdressing skills were excellent. I gave her a generous tip and I plan to patronize her salon again in the future.

Hung Up On Hangers

Hung-Up-On-Hangers I have bought a lot of clothes online from Spiegel and Newport News in the past, but now I can’t recall the last time I made a purchase from either outfit.

In the past, Spiegel and Newport News offered different lines of clothing; the Spiegel line was more expensive and usually of better quality than the Newport News line.

“Since 2004, Spiegel and the women's fashion catalog Newport News have operated under the name Spiegel Brands, Inc.” (source: Wikipedia)

During the past few years, the lines have been merging. I first noticed the merger in their footwear offerings; shoes Spiegel sold were also available from Newport News and vice versa. Now it seems their clothing lines are merging, too. As a result, Newport News' offerings are as expensive as Spiegel's offerings.

That doesn't bother me and is not the reason I stopped buying from Spiegel and Newport News.

Besides buying more in person in brick and mortar stores, the other reason I have not been buying from Spiegel or Newport News is because I do not like the way they display their clothing.

In the past, they showed models wearing the clothing they sold. Today, they show most of their offerings without models; their clothing looks as if it is on invisible hangers.

I don't know about you, but I prefer to see the clothing modeled by models, not wire hangers because I get a much better idea of how the clothes look on a real person when they are worn by a real person.

Buying from a catalog that does not use models is like buying clothing off the rack without trying the clothing on before purchasing.

Sure I know that the body of a model in the Victoria's Secret catalog in no way represents my body, but at least I can see how the clothing is supposed to look on a real person and gauge how it might look on me. Whereas clothing displayed on a hanger in a catalog tells me nothing except how it will look hanging in my closet!

Fashionista Trivia

How many fashionistas remember when Newport News was known as Avon Fashions?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Importance of Femulating in Earnest

Regular Femulate contributor, Aunty Marlena e-mailed me about a femulation in a 2011 New York City production of The Importance of Being Earnest. In it actor Brian Bedford played the Lady Augusta Bracknell.

The Importance of Being Earnest with a crossdressed cast, Washington, D.C. 2010

I thought that was cool and I searched online for an image of Mr. Bedford in the Lady Bracknell role to use in The Femulated sidebar of this blog.

I was surprised to discover that over the years, males have often played Lady Bracknell. Online, I found 18 other productions of the play in which a male actor played Lady Bracknell. And I even found a 2010 Washington, D.C. production in which all the roles were played by the opposite sex (see photos)!

As a result, I will feature the better Lady Bracknell femulations in The Femulated slot all this week.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Stana’s Fashion Trands: Fringed Boots

I love these new fringed boots from ShoeDazzle!

ShoeDazzle-Callia-2012-08-06

Named "Callia" and available up to size 11 in red or black, this fringed faux-suede ankle boot has a 1.25" platform, 4" heel, and side-zipper.

ShoeDazzle-Maki-2012-08-06And there is “Maki,” a faux-suede peep-toe ankle bootie with tassel accents and back zipper. It has a 0.5” platform and 3” heel and is available up to size 11 in black, brown, and purple (I love the purple).

I can’t decide which to buy --- Callia or Maki!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I'll Be Brief

My foundation wear these days consists of a Bali cami torset top, which is a cami with the front cut out to allow me to wear whatever bra I wish (usually something from Victoria's Secret). Below I wear a Bali high-waisted brief.

I have been very satisfied customer of these Bali Spanx clones, however, something new (to me) has appeared on the shapewear horizon. Bali has combined their cami torset top and high-waisted brief into one single piece of shapewear: the Bali Powershape Torset Body Briefer (see photo).

Avon has begun selling this new product and I ordered a sample. I will let you know how it works out as soon as I can.



 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Prehistoric Femulate

2012-08-03_mainframe Out of the blue, I received an e-mail asking that I moderate a comment for a short-lived blog that I started almost two years before I started Femulate.

I was very surprised that that blog was still on the Internet, which makes me wonder what else is still on the Internet that I have forgotten about. (Archive.org’s Wayback Machine might have some other forgotten gems.)

If you are interested in viewing my prehistoric blog, here is the link: http://staci-staci.livejournal.com/

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chickenman

2012-08-02_chickenman He's everywhere! He's everywhere!

This is my story about X, the fast food chain that sells chicken and whose owner has come out against same sex marriage.

Up front, you should know that I will not be boycotting X since it is highly unlikely I would ever patronize X because...

1) The closest X is over 70 miles away in New Jersey.

2) I seldom eat fast food. I think the last time I indulged was on my Dayton roadtrip in May.

If you have been reading this blog long enough, you will recall that three summers ago, I attended a four-day weekend creativity workshop in Manhattan. I spent over four days 24/7 en femme in The City and it was an epiphany for me. You can read about it here.

There were about 20 people attending the workshop. Most of the attendees were from the teaching, writing, and art fields, however, there were three guys who were ducks out of water: they were managers from the Atlanta home office of X.

Back then, I had never heard of X and I knew nothing of its owner's regard for the LGBT community. These three guys made it clear that they did not want to have anything to do with me. Whereas, the other attendees interacted with me throughout the workshop, these guys avoided me.

The only time any of the three interacted with me was when I was paired up with one of them during a workshop exercise. That one was polite, but all business. After the exercise, he would at least say “Hello,” but his two companions continued to avoid me.

That was my only contact with X, but it left an impression on me and the current brouhaha does not surprise me.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lana, Gore and Stana

2012-08-01_lana-wachowski Yesterday, I referenced a report on The Huffington Post about the transition of film director Lana Wachowski (photo right).

Today, I refer you to a commentary about Lana’s transition written by Andrew O’Hehir on Salon.

Titled “Lana Wachowski’s quiet coming-out party,” it is well worth reading.

***

In other trans-related news, Gore Vidal, the author of Myra Breckinridge, died yesterday at the age of 98 86.

Oh, how well I remember reading Myra back in 1968 when I was a young budding femulator. The book was an eye opener and funny, too.