Saturday, December 30, 2023

The Right Fit!

By Tami Knight

About 25 years ago, I had started making some needed changes in how my things fit. I was also starting to blend women’s tops into my male wardrobe. I brought a couple women’s button-down shirts to a local dressmaker/tailor to improve their look. 

I had no idea how the tailor would react to a guy coming in with women’s shirts with darts that were obvious. To my surprise, Margret was happy to help. She pinned the waist just a bit, leaving the shirt bottom to accommodate my hips. Sleeves and shoulders were fine. This started a long friendship with her helping me improve almost everything I wore, while she watched my feminine presentation improve and flourish.

Besides being a very skilled dressmaker, Margret has a genuine interest in my transformation and seeing that any piece I bring her can be improved in both its fit and style. Yesterday, I picked up five skirts that needed attention. One was a simple hook and eye repair; another was sewing up the waist so the fabric would not roll. One was a very high slit over the leg that needed to be minimized. Another skirt from Joie (a 6 usually fits fine), was far too tight.  Because this skirt was so full, she was able to take a bit of fabric from the fullness of the skirt and add to it the waistband. More importantly, another A-line skirt I saw on Revolve looked great on the model, but on me, the A-line was not flattering. Margret pointed this out and insisted on narrowing the skirt to a more flattering silhouette.

I also dropped off a sleeveless dress I bought from Neiman’s on sale, so no returns. I had checked the size chart carefully and because I was not familiar with this maker, I tried to play it safe and ordered a size up. It turned out that I should have bought the 8, but Margret could easily take it in, arm hole down to the hemline, making it perfect.  

We got talking as I stood on her platform and I didn’t hear her directing me, until she raised her voice, “Turn woman!” I only visit her as Tami,and am treated like all the other women, sharing that space, mirrors and platforms as we change in and out of those pieces to be adjusted.

Don’t assume that an outfit off the rack is a good fit. Almost any dress, top or bottom, can be improved to enhance your figure.

Consider establishing a good working relationship with a tailor. Don’t expect the people at the dry cleaners to do any meaningful work beyond a hem repair. Find a skilled woman like Margret who can do just about anything and will make those large and small adjustments that really make you look great and will save you money as well. Clothes that fit look good and get worn. 

Many years ago, my wife suggested I try sewing and that my first project could be a simple nightgown. We picked out the pattern and cotton fabric together at JOANN Fabrics. 

Soon I was laying out the pattern and making my cuts which was more difficult than I thought. My first time at a sewing machine was fun, but sewing up an arm hole with a short sleeve attached is more complicated than it looks! I ended up with a mid-length gown, that was wearable, but certainly amateurish! I really learned to appreciate good tailoring and all the work that goes into it.

Source: Elie Tahari
Wearing Elie Tahari

J. Conrad Frank
J. Conrad Frank femulating on the San Francisco stage in Ruthless.

Friday, December 29, 2023

Zer0 to 80

I am having a lot of fun using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create images for the blog. I find it interesting how AI handles request to depict crossdressers. The results tend to depict crossdressers who present well, so they have a better chance of passing.

I ran a test to compare how AI handles crossdressers of different ages, from 0 to 80. Not actually 0, but 18- to 80-year-old, male-to-female crossdressers wearing little black dresses and high heelsHere are the results.

18 years old

20-something years old

30-something years old

40-something years old

50-something years old

60-something years old

70-something years old

80-something years old

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Mom Dressed Me


Did your mother ever dress you up as a girl (whether you were willing or not)?

With me the answer is yes and no. I’ve told this story here before, so here is the short version.

About 6 to 9 years old, I wanted to be a clown and smeared my face with cold cream to simulate a clown’s white face. My mother saw the mess and volunteered to do better, but she misinterpreted what I was trying to do thinking I wanted a girl’s face. So she made me up and when I saw her handiwork in the mirror, I was horrified. To preserve my “masculine” persona, I insisted that she remove the makeup rather than going to my sister’s bedroom to find a dress to wear.

Dressing me as a girl never happened again, although I found out later that my mother knew that I was crossdressing and I am sure that if I asked, she would have helped me. 

If I had accepted my mother’s invitation and gone to my sister’s bedroom to find a dress to wear, I wonder how that might have changed my life. Would girl-time be a regular occurrence (rather than sneakily dressing en femme when I was home alone)? Would my mother’s support have accelerated my acceptance of who I really am?

I don't know, but I would love to hear your stories if your mother dressed you en femme when you were a youngster. How did it affect you? Did it make a difference? Inquiring minds want to know, so write in the comments below or e-mail me to share your story.

Source: Bebe
Wearing Bebe

Christian Clavier
Christian Clavier femulating in the French film Santa Claus Is A Stinker.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Men’s Night

Last minute Christmas shopping over the past weekend reminded me of “Men’s Night” when the local stores would be open one weekday evening during the holidays to cater to men who were at work and unable to shop during the day. I remember my town doing it back in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Maybe your town did it, too.

One store in my town, Worth’s, took it a step further. They sent their female staff home for the evening and only used males as sales associates on Men’s Nights. The idea was that male customers would be more at ease buying gifts for their ladies if the sales people were male.
But Worth’s did not stop there. The males working on Men’s Nights crossdressed as female sales associates!

Evidently this stunt was very popular and Worth’s was very busy on Men’s Nights. Even my father, who hated shopping, took advantage of Men’s Nights and the next day, would mention the “sales ladies” at Worth’s. I always wondered if any of the male customers showed up as crossdressed female customers, but it being circa 1960, I doubt it.

I tried to talk my father into taking me along on Men’s Nights, but he never did because Men’s Nights’ extended past my pre-teen bedtime.

And so it goes.

Source: Cynthia Rowley
Wearing Cynthia Rowley

Patricia Sánchez
Patricia Sánchez, Madrid, Spain

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Friday, December 22, 2023

Secrets, Socks and Self-Discovery: A Sugar Plum Haven Story

By Paula Gaikowski

In the early morning mist of 1635, the good ship Lollipop gently nudged the sandy shore of what would soon become the town of Sugar Plum Haven. Aboard this vessel were a group of pioneering souls, a diverse collection of individuals who sought refuge and a fresh start in the New World. As they disembarked, they clung to a vision of a better future, one where they could build a community that was not just tolerant, but truly loving and welcoming to all, regardless of their differences.

Before setting foot on the untouched land, they gathered to draft what would become known as the Sugarplum Haven Compact. This document was more than just a set of rules; it was a heartfelt promise, a roadmap to guide them in creating a place where diversity was celebrated, where everyone could find a home and build a life in peace and harmony.

Over the centuries, Sugar Plum Haven evolved into a haven for those who were considered different, particularly those who identified as gender diverse. The town grew, and its reputation for tolerance and acceptance spread far and wide. It became a sanctuary where people from all walks of life could find refuge, solace, and a chance to thrive. In this town, the spirit of unity and diversity flourished, proving that when people with open hearts come together, they can create a community that truly embraces the beauty of individuality.

Stana, a prominent figure in the town of Sugar Plum Haven, was not just a matriarch but a beacon of strength and resilience. She was a direct descendant of Captain Christine Jorgensen, the leader of the pioneering group that had arrived on the good ship Lollipop. Stana came from a long line of Femulators, individuals who had been at the forefront of championing gender diversity and equality. Her family's legacy was a source of inspiration for her and a reminder of the importance of acceptance and progress.

Stana was not only the editor and publisher of the local newspaper, “The Sugar Plum Gazette,” but she also served as the town's mayor, a role she had taken on with passion and dedication. Her leadership extended beyond her official duties, as she was actively involved in numerous civic affairs, from organizing community events to advocating for policies that promoted inclusivity and understanding.

Her presence in the town was a symbol of the values that Sugar Plum Haven held dear – a commitment to love, tolerance, and embracing the diversity of its residents. Stana's life and work were a testament to the idea that progress and acceptance could be achieved when individuals like her, carrying the legacy of their ancestors, worked tirelessly to create a better, more inclusive world for everyone in their community.

Seymour Fraud, a right-wing politician known for his divisive rhetoric and messages of hate and intolerance, had gained notoriety with his aggressive stance against various groups, including the LGBTQ+ community. One of his primary targets was the town of Sugar Plum Haven, with its annual Sugarplum Fairy contest during the Christmas festival drawing particular attention.

Seymour had made it his mission to campaign against what he viewed as "indecency" and an attack on traditional values. In his fervor to support his cause, Seymour had a devoted young mentee named Paul Gaikowski. Paul was enthusiastic and impressionable, and he ardently believed in Seymour's messages, particularly those directed at Sugar Plum Haven and its mayor, Stana. 

To read the rest of the story, click here.

Source: Venus
Wearing Venus

April Ashley
April Ashley, circa 1960

Thursday, December 21, 2023


Source: Joie
Wearing Joie

Waiting in the restaurant for the other ladies to arrive for our luncheon last week, I took this selfie. Not bad for a 72-year-old, soon to be 73-year-old lady. The gold herringbone necklace was my mother’s and I wear it whenever I go out if it works with the rest of my outfit.