Wednesday, 22 March 2017

the troube with trousers

The trouble with trousers

In todays modern world it has become more acceptable to see women wearing trousers or trouser derived items such as leggings , Capri pants and such like. The reason given is normally that it offers the wearer comfort, freedom of movement and protection from unwanted attention.

For me I can sort off understand this argument being a wearer of trousers for most of my life. However I do think this fashion has taken some of the mystique away from women and mad them more acceptable as one of the lads so to speak.

Not sure this is a good thing partly because I feel that familiarity with guys means that the respect men have for women has changed to the more negative. I will explain.

Years ago men looked at females as people who needed to be looked after and cherished (I know an old fashioned view) men were the knights in shinning armour opening doors. giving up seats, being polite in female company and such like. Yes I know some men were pigs and treated women as second class citizens.

With the equality with men in fashion it has spawned an equality in society too. Men respect women if they can drink a guy under the table or they swear like a trooper .men think it is ok to make rude and lewd comments to girls. this in turn has given rise to a lost respect for those women who still like the old values.

Now I do wear a lot of dresses I prefer them over skirts and jeans and I can see how I am treated differently according to what I am wearing.

For example if I wear a something like I am wearing in the image on the left. I get treated in a an old fashioned way men will open doors, smile engage with me. women are also more amicable towards me once they have got past the "what the heck is she wearing" thoughts.

When I dressed more like I am in these photos I get treated totally differently. its like I become invisible doors are left to close in my face no one makes eye contact and if I am struggling with something people just walk on by. Even shop keepers look straight through me.
 Not that I dislike this kind of look

Over the past few months I have been wearing jeans and leggings a lot more often and even went out for an evening with some friends where I wore a leggings and an off the shoulder top and I have to say it probably one of those occasions when I felt super feminine .

So The trouble with trousers could really just be in my head. 

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Going all retro without knowing

Its about time I updated this, I am sure its been over a year how bad is that?

Well the journey continues and the road ahead still looks pretty clear with no pot holes to fall into.

Over the past year I have noticed my look switching backwards and forwards from my normal everyday Helen hippy girl next door to 50s house wife!!! I am really not sure when I started going retro it sort of just happened. One day I woke up with a silly idea in my air head that it would be fun to be the picture perfect house wife from days gone by.

Here you see me taking it easy as only a lady of leisure can sitting upon the lawn wearing a rather gorgeous fit and flare 50s inspired dress from Quiz teamed with a white full petticoat and bolero jacket and don't forget those timeless T bar shoes.
Yep a real pain to walk on grass with.  

Not sure how or why I got into this style as its so far removed from the time periods I grew up in, I should really be more a girl from the late 70s and 80s.
I suppose its the whole glamour puss image we had fed to us over time The exported American dream of big cars, massive fridges and perfect Barbie doll women. The media view of the period very much made the woman into a domestic goddess although this was far from reality.

Can you imagine doing all the cooking and cleaning dressed like this and still looking perfect for hubby as he walks through the door?
Still the fantasy is well worth experiencing. That is wearing pretty clothes and not being at the beck and call of your partner.
Something about this style makes you feel so really feminine and its not just a trans thing either!
My partner who only wears dresses and skirts and doesn't own a pair of trousers has embraced the who retro look and loves it, She has even taken to wearing these styles to work and it has changed her whole self view for the better.

 For me the style just works so well for my body shape it gives me curves in all the right places. A nice waist that leads to slightly curvy hips then down to rather shapely legs if I do say so myself.
Head north from the waist the bodice accentuates my not so small assets and this helps to give the illusion that I am indeed a woman.

This is one of my favourite dresses the colour and material really reacts well to the lighting in a room as can be seen in this photo,

So would I wear this kind of style out in public?

Ok yes I would but maybe not as over the top as the dresses above and maybe not with a full petticoat even though saying that both myself and my partner did take to the shops in Manchester with me wearing the above dress where I am sat on the lawn and she wore a pink halter neck full skirted dress also with petticoats. we both got some wonderful comments on our turn out.

This is more what I would wear just for going out in. It still has that retro feel and still makes me feel great about myself.
So it seems the retro bug has bitten and the look is here to stay for some time.


Sunday, 19 July 2015

The real world and my/our place in it

The transgender elephant has once again walked into room and is becoming harder to ignore with every visit, The recent emergence of Caitlyn Jenner onto the world stage has made the world sit up and listen once again, even if they don't embrace Caitlyn's action they are discussing the transgender phenomena.

But is all this publicity really doing the trans community any favours or are we just becoming a royal pain in the backside to the normal world just like the gays were back in the 1980s?

Manchester Debenhams
It seems at every turn someone is jumping out of the closet and hitching a lift on the trans band wagon! not that I have a problem with all this publicity but how does it effect the lives of the thousand's of everyday trans people in the world.

Clacton on sea Essex
I know amongst the trans community I am part of the girls feel the Caitlyn Jenner circus is viewed with somewhat disapproving eyes because she hasn't it seems, been through what the average trans person goes through getting to the point she is now at. Lets face it having your first public outing on the cover of vanity fair is hardly the tentative walk around the block at the dead of night while wearing the most non descript outfit you can find.
Our own Kelly Maloney is another example of a trans woman who all of sudden appears has facial surgery and starts to become the voice of the trans community. At lest Kelly hasn't got a multi million pound publicity team behind her and as such she comes across as one of us.

So have these two women made my life any easier can I do more today than I could two years ago? I am not so sure they have.

The people who have made it possible for me to sit in the middle of Debenhams having a makeover are those unsung T girls who braved the law back in the 50s and 60s without those brave women the next gender bending generations ( I love that term gender bender) would not have been able to step out The gender fluid stars from the glam rock scene helped push the gender envelop further still with Trans related songs hitting the charts. The Beaumont society also did and still does help to promote a positive view of our community.

I have been lucky to meet some of the early pioneers who are now in their 60s and 70s. these women cut the path though really tough times. they tell tales of secret meeting places. a flat rented by a number of dressers so as they had a safe place to dress and express themselves. Being arrested for breach of the peace and being put infront of the judge and jury wearing the female clothes they wore and not being allowed to shave or makeup for the appearance. How things have changed.

So can we safely enter the real world without getting abuse, beaten up or treated like freaks?

It all depends on where you are and how you look! by how you look I don't mean you are a super model or 100% convincing I mean how you dress, talk and interact with the surroundings. Dress in a maids uniform, walk like a man and wear a rubbish wig while doing your Tesco shop then expect a little bovver.
I am lucky I live in the UK and for the most part it is safe to be whoever or whatever you want to be.
Above are a few photos of how I typically dress when going out and about. I try to look right for the task I am doing and not stand out for the wrong reasons.
Being 5ft 11in makes it a little hard to blend so rather than hide I tend to try and look as good as possible, walk talk and look the world in the eye. So far this has worked for me. Talking is another issue and something we all will have problems with. you might look stunning be short and totally passible but one you speak the whole world knows the truth. This is the one big problem area because up until now you have passed. What is that shop assistant going to say how will she react what about the people around me. Most people don't care just as long as you stay calm talk a little lower and move on. In fact I have found once I have been read the ice is broken and I talk more freely with people and they respond the same way back. Its looking promising so far isn't it maybe we do have a place in the real world.
With every outing I push the boundaries so much so that I can do pretty much everything a woman can. I use public transport, go to mainstream bars, use changing rooms and even use the ladies restroom. In all the times I have been out I have never had a problem. But then I don't look out of place.

Being accepted looks to be very possible, In the high street, some bars, restaurants. shops and most public places we are accepted and in reality not really noticed that much.

Do you think a trans Woman or Man can find work out in the big wide world? I do know of a few trans women with a mainstream job but that has normally been because they transitioned while doing the job they currently do. It might be easier for a trans man to get employment mainly because jobs for men tend to be invisible while jobs for women tend to be more public facing. How would you react to a trans nurse? I think we still have a long long way to go before we start seeing trans people in the workforce in any great number. This is one area where we are not viewed favourably.

We do have a place in the real world but we have to work for and not demand it. We need to be seen as normal and to be viewed as such, we need to look and behave like real women. we need to be seen as fitting into society and paying our way. the big thing we need to do is to give a positive impression of who we are. show the world we can be compassionate, caring, gentle yet strong when we need to be.
I have a good feeling about the future. sure a number of people will hate but most won't.
We need the Caitlyn's and Kelly's in our life to give the headline stories so as we don't fall out of sight. But most importantly we need to keep putting ourselves into the public domain so as the public get use to seeing a transgender walk past them.

In all truth I just want to be able to be me and me can be whoever I wake up as in the morning!

Friday, 17 April 2015


Well its been some time since I've put fingers to keyboard here on my blog, It seems I have suffered writers block or just become lazy. Probably the latter!

So what shall we talk about?

How about what makes us happy? If like me you work far to hard all week and end up dog tired at the end of the day, finding time to be happy gets a tad difficult. My normal route is to buy happiness! a little spending spree bring a little bit of joy into my life especially if my treasures are pretty clothes or sparkly trinkets. I am something of a Magpie if it sparkles I must have it,

Sadly the shopping trips are tinged with disappointment as cloth sizing is a hit or miss affair. One outlets size 16 will be just right while another's would be closer a size 12 this makes me sooooo angry why oh why can't the fashion industry stay true to sizing? if its a 12 here it should be the same there! OK I live in a fantasy world.

As luck would have it I get over this minor problem as can be seen by some of the following photos.

This dress was a nice little find and a cheep one at that. Most days I will pop into one of the many supermarkets we have here in the UK to have a look around the clothes department. Last week It was the turn of Asda to have a visit. While most of what was on display wasn't really me this little number above most certainly was and cost only £18, How amazing is that? to my surprise the fit and quality was very good. the shoes I had sitting around waiting for such a dress to be teamed with :-)

This dress on the other hand was a totally different story Being the same size as the black and white dress you would expect it to fit and being a phase eight item you would think it would be far superior to a supermarket item. Wrong!  the fit was poor being to tight and the construction was not great with lose threads and odd seams. all in all a disappointment as they didn't have the next size up. Still it is a pretty dress but not worth the £160 asking price.

Now this dress almost went home with me and I so wish it had ! not only was the fit good but it was also very well made. the dress fitted really well and was comfortable to wear. I think it helped that the sales lady in Laura Ashley was just amazing and so helpful making me feel very special. and the dress was a snip at £80 down from £120 but being poor at the time it had to stay in the shop.
The big thing that came out of my little shopping trip was that Laura Ashley turned out to be way ahead in customer service and quality of goods at a reasonable price for top end high street  goods.

Monday, 8 December 2014

dream dress

Hiya All

What is it about wedding dresses ?

My earliest memory of a dream dress was from when I was about nine, My parents had been invited to a wedding reception and dragged me along, not my idea of fun how wrong could I be.

When we arrived a vision of beauty befell me. Yeah the bride was pretty but her dress was just so captivating, It was like nothing I had ever seen long elegant covered in embroidery pearls and sequins it had full length sleeves with a big puff at the shoulder  and buttoned by seven or so buttons to the wrist. the train was about a mile and a half long....ok a few foot but it just flowed from the rear of the dress.
I sooo wanted to be that bride! What was I thinking? but she was gorgeous as was the dress and I wanted to be wearing it. This is was what set me on the road to being attracted to these wonderful dresses.

So what was the attraction?
I don't really know! maybe it was how the bride was centre of attention, maybe because she looked amazing but in all truth it was the dress that made the girl. it controlled her every move. How she stood, sat, walked and breathed.

It was many years before I would ever get the chance to wear such a gown. for the time being I had to make do with the fashion of the day and oh how dull the fashion was.
You see I am bit of a romantic I love flowing dresses and flowers in my hair. I blame my parents for this. Darn hippy types!
Jump forward nine years. I have my own job and car and money to spend. My wardrobe had started to expand but I was still missing that one elusive Item the wedding dress.
As luck would have it I was driving past a charity shop in Wembley London when I saw in the window the dress of my dreams an almost identical one to that I saw all those years back.
Well I parked up walked in and enquired about the size and cost. It was a size 16 ( yeah) and only £60. Oh my I was in heaven I had to have it and did indeed buy it.
Problem! How on earth do you get a boxed wedding dress into the house when you live at home with your parents? I went away for the weekend booked a room lol. well it had to be done.
I hung it up to let the creases drop out and looked at it. The dress was white satin with pearls, sequins crystals and lace it was high necked as was the fashion with full length puffed sleeves a long train with button detail up the back the last ten buttons being real.

Not the dress that started it all.
This one I came across by chance and it was given to me to be converted into a Victorian style dress I wanted to make
 As you can see it never got converted.

I really like the jacket it gives an otherwise plan dress that something special.

 I am often asked what the compulsion is to want to wear a dress that is so totally impractical.
Well I can tell what it does for me.
After looking at the dress for an hour of so I finally got down to getting ready and as you will know what one wears underneath is as important as the dress its self.
So a nice bridal Basque with stockings was put on first followed buy the underskirt. By this point I was already feeling special the Basque was hugging my curves what curves I had and the tug of the stockings felt wonderful topped by the full four layered undershirt encapsulating my lower body I was beginning to know how that young bride must have felt.
After doing my makeup I stepped into the dress. Ok that was a lie No way was my underskirt going through the unzipped dress so it was an over the head job! putting my arms through the sleeves the dress started to fall into place. I puffed out the skirt over the underskirt and started to zip it up, with every inch I felt the dress becoming part of me. from the small of my back to my just below my shoulders was a struggle but after breathing in and holding my breath the zip slid up those final few inches. 

The dress was starting to hinder my movement now. It held me tight around the waist pulling in my stomach and arching by back pushing my rather insignificant breasts forward and caused my to take short shallow breathes my legs no longer felt like they belonged to me the skirts basically stopping me falling over.
My next task was to button the back upto the small of my neck followed my the ten buttons on each cuff. The dress was now on fitted like a second skin when I moved it moved only slower. Doing my hair was next and that was finished by fitting the veil and a tiara this all came with the dress.
Only the shoes to go. a nice white satin heeled slingback with sparkly buckles.
Moving to sit down was a task trying not to knock things over and gathering up miles of skirts so as I could get my shoes on was a game in its self. But the end result was worth it.

The feeling I got was one of safety! this dress was like a suit of soft white satin armour nothing or no one was going to get to what was beneath it all. It made me feel beautiful and the reflection in the mirror agreed. my happiness was unequalled. But then I started feeling vulnerable  the dress restricted me I couldn't run or move freely and my breathing was so shallow I thing I would have passed out if I had to. all these emotion combined are what makes wearing a dress like this a wonderful experience.

These are from a recent set I did. this dress is a lot easier to wear and less restrictive but still makes me feel special .

 Sadly I will never get the chance to be a bride not that I want to marry again! or even do an outside photo-shoot! and as the years roll on dressing as a bride is becoming rather sad.
Looks like it will have to be mother of the bride or grandmother of the bride.

 Maybe I should just start ballroom dancing. They have nice frocks and I could do with the


Monday, 13 October 2014

a place called home

I took a visit to where I call home. It's not where I now live but the place I was born. Well the area I was born for my mum didn't give birth to her little angel in a public park or at least I don't think she did!
Any way this is the view from Primrose Hill in London, this was, during my time living in Camden my own piece of heaven, I would come here to get away from the struggles of teen life growing up in a rough area and growing up with being well different! I didn't know what kind of different I was back in those youthful days but I did know that I wasn't the same as my friends,
Growing up being transgendered was in hindsight a very difficult thing to do because it is always connected with being Gay and I new That I wasn't that way inclined. back in the 80s you never saw a crossdresser except those on the television and they were always the butt of some joke or the other. if someone knew a TV they would say so in a hushed voice like they were talking about some top secret government experiment ( maybe that's it we are an experiment gone wrong) or you would pick it out from the lyrics of a song. No wonder I was confused and didn't know what was wrong with me.
At times when it all got to much I would come up here and just look out across London for hours on end. The shear enormity of the place tended to put things back into perspective surly I wasn't the only freak on the planet why did I so much want to be a girl.

Jump forward some errr many amount of years and I find myself as Helen standing atop primrose Hill with a very smug look on my face! feeling as proud as punch that here I am standing amongst a gaggle of tourists from all corners of the globe and not one is bothered my the woman standing beside them. That woman is me :-)
The above photo was taken the other week and it kind of sums up how I use to feel all those years ago. the feeling of joy being Helen but a insecurity at the same time of the fear that someone might find out that I was different in the wrong way!

This is from last Sundays outing and here you find me sat in a mainstream pub, not a Gay trans friendly pub but a good old fashion boozer in fact I use to live in the same road this pub s in it even had the foot ball on the TV. No one took any notice of me at all. That says a lot about our society and how accepting and tolerant we are as a people.
I do however have a little advise for those who want to follow in my footsteps and that is be sure of your surroundings dress appropriately and chose wisely where you go.


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

When is short too short

Hiya all

I was facing bit of a dilemma the other night over if I should wear a dress I have that is well a tad short!
Its not what you would call tarty or racy, but it is very short and when you are forty five like I am! has the time come to say good bye to these dresses? Something seem to happen to woman when the hem of her skirt or dress is way above the knee. It seems we become some kind of object of desire I really don't know why for nothing changes other than our legs are displayed for all to see.
The casual onlooker makes an opinion that the woman is free and easy and looking for a good time. when in all truth we are just wearing an item that makes us feel good about ourselves!

At my age I suppose dressing to my generation would be an idea but how dull that could be! and what is the fashion for my age group?

Its not like the Jane Austin's day when it was all laid out for the women of the day, everything was set in stone and the law should never be broken.

Now We shop in places like New Look, River Island and Top shop! these should be the safe haven of the trendy teenager but now we have taken this territory as ours lol,

It wouldn't be unusual to see a teenagers mum wearing the same outfit as her daughter and this brings us back to am I too old to wear a short dress?


Well here is the little number in question I don't think its too bad at all really yes its a bit shorter than I would normally wear and OK if the wind got up it could be somewhat embarrassing but does that in all truth matter after all it make someone's day!

I suppose I could just stay with the long maxi dress look more befitting a middle aged woman