Category Archives: Fashion

Reader request moment!

Well, it seemed a good idea to me at the time! Thankfully, Stacie came to the rescue, coming up with a couple of good ideas, so rising to the challenge

How to start your own blog

On a light hearted note, set up an account on WordPress, follow the instructions, and lo and behold, an option to start will appear. Seriously, as far as someone like me is concerned, there are far too many appearance options, but I’m sure some like to change theirs every week or two, but me…I found this lovely retro-fitted one, a long time ago, and have no plans to change. I like the design, I am very retro, so all in all…

But once that’s done, how do you start your blog? A brief introduction, giving away as little, or as much as you wish to, about yourself. Me, I probably give away a little too much, but hey, I’m trans, and proud, and want to shout it, so…

Then comes the big challenge, what to write about? I know some who focus entirely on one subject matter, and do nothing else. But in all honesty, if I was only to write about transgender matters, I’d have got bored by now, and stopped. So I write about a variety of subjects, generally to some degree personally related, and hope some people like them. A few do, clearly, though funnily enough, my kinkier version, which I started later than this, has about twice the visit numbers of this place, so who knows?

The other thing you have to do, to attract an audience, is regular postings. If people know that once (or twice) a week, you’re going to write, people will come back to find it. If you post once in a blue moon, you wont get a long term audience. So you need to write about something you’ll want to come back, and add to.

I would say, go for it, mind, its an interesting thing to do.

Vintage Fashion and why classy dress died

Not that I’m sure that Jean Harlow is the best example to use for this, given that when she had a choice, she preferred to wear slacks, rather than a dress, long before it became the norm. But yes, I love the vintage dress look of the 20’s, through to the 50’s, and at least at home, I tend to live in a dress, rather than trousers. But why did classy dressing die?

I suspect women’s lib played a major part in that. Before then, women were women, and knew their place, and it wasnt the workplace, back in the 50’s. I suspect thats why Stepford Wives ended up with a very 50’s look, and attitude, it was the last time when women always dressed prettily, and were submissive to their man.

So of course, when liberation came along, people went for the opposite look. So women moved into tops, and trousers/slacks, as opposed to dresses. Fine, it was a more practical look for their working life, anyway. Funnily enough, in the 20’s, when flappers cut their hair short, to look like men, they still wore (very) short dresses!

So fine, sadly, the classy style of dressing died to a major degree, when the lifestyle of women changed, when more of them started going to work, in great numbers. But do I wish I could wear a nice dress to work, and not look out of place, absolutely!

But yes, thats probably why I wear a dress at most opportunities, because I’m that vintage woman at heart. Turn me into a Stepford Wife? Yes, I’d love it. Obviously the robot version would be more fun for me, but the whole 50’s wife thing (albeit with modern equipment) would be absolute heaven, regardless. Mind, I would seriously have to start remembering how to actually cook things again, if I did!

The video, a tribute to those who wear dresses, maybe?

Finally, let me close by wishing all my readers a Happy New Year for 2016, and hope its a good time for you. Me, I’ll be trying to make it that way, I hope!

Choices, choices, how should I play this?

Or also known as how should I be balancing my current life?

I must admit, when I knew I was going to be made redundant, I decided to treat myself in a few ways. So yes, the Hollywood trip went up to 10 days, from 7, and I flew Premium economy, instead of coach class. And yes, I’ve decided that come what may, I’m flying in economy plus to and from Boston in September, though the difference between that, and coach class really isnt that large, principally because I’m still in economy, just the slightly better (and nearer the front, for the scrummage) seats in that range.

But beyond that, spend much at all, let alone rashly, no, I havent at all. Dont get me wrong, I have got a few little things I want to get when I get as job, but I’ve been saying not before then. A pair of those gorgeous Dam Hag (Lindy Bop) dresses for starters, for which the money is on the credit card, but…I’ve stopped myself from buying them, because I’m not yet back in work. So fine, I didnt expect that to take this long, but it has, and aargh…!

But I’d envisioned a few shopping trips (if only Charity shop hunts in Wakefield), or a day or two at the cricket, but so far I’ve done neither. Partly because I wanted to be here, should a potential employer (or agency) call, and partly because I have my old problem of having money, but in my head, I dont want to spend it, other than on necessaries. But is that the way I really ought to be doing things, or should I lighten up just a little, and enjoy my time off a little more?

I suppose I sort of decided that maybe I’m taking this “Don’t spend unnecessary money” thing too seriously this morning, when I turned down the chance of a trip out, simply because I felt I shouldnt be spending money I dont need to (only about £15), because I’m not working, and at the moment it feels like I have no idea when I will be. I know, it will happen, but…someone tell me if I’m doing the right thing, or whether I need to lighten up, at least a bit? To be honest, I suspect the job situation has so got to me by now that I’m not seeing things clearly.

Right, to finish, as always, the video. I’m pretty sure this is one job contract I’d turn down at present, all the same, but dont quote me on that. I suppose if he offered to literally turn me into Jean Harlow, I might, but…

Oops, I did it again!

Yes, fine, alright, stop laughing, so I managed to miss (again) where my appointment was yesterday afternoon, but it wasnt my fault, honest it wasnt! More on that shortly…

But firstly, back to Thursday evening…

Actually it was a good, fun evening, which I thoroughly enjoyed, even if you could strictly say I shouldnt have been spending money on something like that, when I’m not actually in work, but hey, a girl has to chill sometimes, so…The fashion show was fun, though in all truth, I’m probably glad I was only watching it, not taking part. Though there were some lovely outfits, but anyway…One thing that did come out of it, beyond wearing a nice dress for the first time, was having my hair styled. No prizes for working out what look! Fine, you want to see, well, OK…

Me in lacy dress

Anyway, then to Friday. Yes, finally managed to get the phone interview with Jet 2 sorted, and I passed! Assessment centre is on Tuesday afternoon, feel free to wish me luck! After that, and signing on at the Job Centre, I headed for Leeds, to register with a recruitment agency. Yes, I knew the address, and yes, I knew where it was, but… I was expecting it to be like the others, an easily recognisable office from the outside, oh dear!

So I walked right past the building, and did a loop of that section of Leeds. Then I specifically looked for the address, and discovered this huge, multi floored building matched the address. So I walked in, and there on the 2nd floor, my goal. Hey, I passed it 15 minutes early, and only got there 3 minutes late in the end!…facepalm!

Then, all duties done, I headed for home. Today has been calmer, beyond picking a few losing horses for a competition I’m in, watching England win in the cricket, and writing a new story for an anthology, its been a calmer day! Oh, and got an email, I actually sold 2 books today!

Fine, the video. Well, you have a choice tonight, or you could play both, I guess? Firstly, the Britney version, if only because of what she’s wearing

Secondly, and the version I would go with, is Post Modern Jukebox bringing out the Marilyn Monroe version of the song

And alright, lastly, the plea for support, so that the picture you have seen is of Stephanie Harlean Carpenter, not Stevie Lou Nicholls. Honest, its the last time I’ll annoy you until nearly the end, so…if you’re feeling generous…

https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/e10ypc/ab/c2hJdb

Well, in just 5 weeks from now…

Well, around the time I guess I will finish writing this blog, I should be at Atlanta airport, trying to grab a decent coffee (and probably some cake) before catching my connecting flight to Los Angeles, and my hotel in Hollywood, hard to believe it will be so soon. OK, fine, short of something amazing happening, this will be an out of work person heading for Hollywood, in a reasonably luxurious manner, but hey, I might as well get some pleasure out of the redundancy pay off, might be the only thing I do enjoy out of it!

Yes, the seats are a grade up on economy, for the second time in my life, though not as extravagant as I would have done, had I got the money, and already had a job lined up. So no, not business class, but what one calls ‘economy comfort’, and the other calls ‘premium economy’. The hotel at least, my normal sensible budget type, though I must say, for me, Quality Inns quite fit my needs.

But then comes the burning question, how wisely should I spend while I’m over there? After all, I’m only likely to get to Hollywood (and Beverly Hills) once, so…No, I dont mean in the sense of Universal Studios, and Disney, those things hold little interest for a vintage loving girl like me. No, what I mean, is if I get the chance to live the vintage life, should I do so, and to some degree, ignore the extra cost?

No, I dont mean drinking champagne at the swanky hotels. Well, not unless someone has fallen for my charms (ha ha), and is paying for it. What I do mean, is something like this.

http://americancinemathequecalendar.com/content/17th-annual-film-noir-festival-closing-weekend-party-the-guilty

Now, that would be fun, but given I should be spending pennies wisely at that time (of course I could find a job between now, and then, but no breath holding around here), is that just a silly spend of money I should be saving? I know what my ‘inner Harlow’ would say, go out, have fun, and enjoy yourself, just for once. But my ‘outer, practical Yorkshire lass’ is likely to have a fit at spending money on something like this, at a time like this. Of course, going to something like this might be my big break in the movies, so… (yes, I am joking at this point)

Mind, the funny thing is, if I’d still been in my job, I wouldnt have been extending the trip, and couldnt have gone anyway, it would have been happening the evening I landed in town. Technically, the other practicality should be, packing of clothes, especially nice dresses. And yes, normally when I go away for a week, I can pack comfortably 1 case going out, and just about squeeze everything in coming back. And yes, this time, its 10 days! Thankfully, because I’m travelling in ‘luxury’, I can take 2 cases. No, I’m not planning on 2 large cases, I’m not that strong. But 2 medium cases, given that I will get taken to the airport, and collected at both ends (that wonderful person, Nicole at this end, and one of those shuttle things in LA), I wont have to get cases too far. So, packing an extra dress, or two…?

The other thing that concerns me, is going somewhere like this, when I will quite literally, as a visitor to town, know no one. Also, I’m a non gambler (well, apart from Grand National), and like Ms Harlow, I’m not a good dancer. But…the chance to dress up, 30’s style, in Hollywood, can I seriously resist that? Possibly not! I know, Jean wouldnt care less, and would soon make friends, but this is me, so…just let loose my inner Jean, I guess, and see what happens?

So, if anyone just wants to post a comment, telling me I really ought to just go wild, and enjoy myself, feel free to do so. Hey, use a false name, or anonymous, just say something! I know people read these, I see the stats! I feel I should, but its just the thought of spending money, in this way…aargh!

OK, piece over, lets cut to the video. A group I love, recorded in LA, of a song I love too.

Boop, boop a doo!

Well, I’ll warn you now, if you’re looking for 500 words of wisdom, wait for the next blog. A bit like a Trans Pennine Express train, it will arrive, err, sometime soon! I could jokingly say that today, and tomorrow are the only days in the year that their trains aren’t late, and thats because there arent any! On the other hand, if you want a picture of ‘the dress’ and a couple of other shots from today, you’re in the right place!

So getting started, at long last, here is a picture of that delicious pink, flapper style dress, complete with bared knees.

flapper dress 2

Next, a picture of a wonderful present, a necklace that is absolutely gorgeous, and fits in with the look

necklace close up

Yes, as you might quickly spot, this was taken before I changed, and I’m wearing a ‘most expensive’ grey/silver dress, which is lovely to look at, and equally nice to wear. I’m kidding about the cost, its one of my charity shop specials, and did not cost a fortune! A full length shot of it next

full length grey dress

My thanks to Nicole Woodhouse for taking the photos for me.

And seriously, thats it, holidays over, back to work tomorrow morning! I still havent made the final call, tempted to wear a dress to work, possibly the grey/silver one here, though I would have to wear a top underneath, to fit in with dress regulations re bare shoulders. I do have a couple of other dresses I might wear, the blue one being the favourite, as its the warmest one I’ve got. Equally, I might just go for blouse and skirt, I’ll make the final call on that later, or in the morning. Heels for definite, either way.

Handy, isnt it, having a taxi to and from work lol, I can be a little rebel, wont have far to walk outside!

What else can I say, a wonderful day, a wonderful meal at lunchtime about sums it up.

The video, well, the song is actually from the 30’s, but sums up things so wonderfully

And back to reality

Yes, I made it home safely, not without a little entertainment from a stubborn air passage thing at Manchester this morning, that refused to budge for about 10 minutes, but after that…its back to work tomorrow! Just hope I’m not too jet lagged, in all honesty. Normally work decides to give me the Monday off, to get over it, but this year, in their wisdom, I’m working tomorrow, then off Tuesday. Then working Wednesday, off Thursday, yes, great logic there, isnt there?…rolls eyes…

But besides that, what is there to say, beyond hi, and letting you know I got back here. Oh, the fact that I spent a silly amount on a dress, maybe? I went in Macy’s at the local shopping mall, and there was this most wonderful, blue, 20’s style flapper dress. What I would term cleavage cup style, so I wouldnt even have given away any trade secrets when wearing it. Fine, its only a 12, but thats a US 12, so should fit. Snag, its a zip up type at the back, and they can always be a challenge. So it proved, I couldnt quite get the zip to do up, aargh. I should have taken that as a sign, I really didnt want to spend $100 on a dress anyway, and leave it at that.

No, I cant do anything that easy, can I? There was a pink dress, equally flapper style in look, but with shoulder straps, instead of strapless, but…they had it in a size 14! Yes, it fitted, and yes, I bought it! It is gorgeous, but both were above the knee dresses, so I ended up having to buy hose as well, due to the state of my knees, not a pretty sight.

Well, I’ll wear it for the work Christmas do, I might wear it again if we all go out for Christmas dinner, but after that…? We will see!

Oh, and last week taught me one other thing, my knees prefer me wearing a skirt, far less restrictive on the joints than trousers. To be honest, I changed into a skirt Sunday, didnt wear trousers again until coming home Saturday. I know, modern women wear trousers to work, but I’m tempted. The high heels, no, I dont think I’ll be wearing those to work though lol!

Right, the video. No, nothing to do with the blog whatsoever. Just that its a brilliant band, a great song, and I love the gold wig. Well, you could say its about the 2020’s I guess, and my look is 1920’s lol!

Modern film, old story

Yes, The Great Gatsby has been remade again, and in honour of what I saw last night, its the subject matter for tonights blog.

Incredibly, the first film of this story was made in 1926, but sadly, beyond a one minute trailer, none of it has survived the test of time, thats all we have nowadays. That was almost the video tonight, but I fell for the charms of this one instead, cant think why! Watch it, if you cant guess already lol!

After what had been a pretty typical Saturday at work, I went off to get the train home, tired out. But despite that, what I saw on the train both made me smile, and very jealous. Clearly a young couple had been off to see the film, and she had dressed up for the part, looking truly amazing, it must be said. The only fault, as far as I could see, her hair was far too long. Otherwise she looked just like she had been whisked forward from the 1920’s, to the modern day.

And alright, I wouldnt have looked anything like as good as her, age, transgender, and everything else would count against me, as would my knees, if wearing a dress that short, but anyway… Yes, I was jealous, and would have loved to swap places, and looks with her, but ah well…Made a wonderful sight for me though, after a long Saturday at work. I’m not saying I was the only one on the train who got the significance of her look, but given it was the usual Saturday evening crowd, its probably not that far from the truth!

Maybe I should go to see it, though where I find the time to do so, I have no idea. And yes, alright, I’d love to dress up like that when I go, but thats even more unlikely, its fair to say.

The video, yes, its a 20’s thing

York Races

Well yes, we’ve come to that point in time of the year, the first big race meeting at York. To be honest, its about 20-25 years since I last went there, so have no idea what its like now, I only know it was a lovely place to go racing back then. The funny thing is, despite my job, my main concern about it over the next three days will be all the extra people on the trains, heading to and from York. Lets face it, they are crowded enough at the best of times, and it will be even worse then! Fortunately tomorrow, I’ll miss it all, as I’m on an early shift, so the only crowding I will face either way is of the commuting type, because I finish at 5, the same time as the last race, so will be gone by the time they come through. Friday will be the same, only less so, as I’m finishing at 4. Thursday might be ‘more fun’, not going into Leeds, they will all be through by then, but I will catch up with the stragglers at 9.00 in Leeds, thats for sure, far worse for drink by then, I’m sure.

No, no tips, havent a clue.

The thing that amuses me though, is all the dressing up that will be done, by the ‘fine folk’, and ‘less fine folk’ heading for the races. Yes, all the lasses wear dresses, and heels, and probably a hat too, and put on a fine show. Well, most of them do, at least until the alcohol kicks in, and then for some at least, all bets are off!

But yes, you’ve guessed it, what really tickles me, is the thought of what would happen if I turned up dressed suitably for the races. Yes, I could put on a dress, you’ve seen the evidence in pictures before, and I could certainly wear heels too, if I had to, though more likely wedge than high, especially as my knee is a bit tender at present, having given way for a few moments last night. No, its fine now, just a few scrapes really, thats all, but…

Would they let a transgendered woman into York, in a dress, with not a word? I guess it would depend on the ‘test’, and the persons attitude, wouldnt it? In a way, I suspect the greater challenge would be the other folk in the stand, especially when they’ve had a bit too much to drink, or lost a bit too much money? I have no idea whether any trans folk have gone to Royal Ascot or not, and what the reaction was. I suspect not in the Royal Enclosure somehow, but I suppose it might have happened, someone young, and very convincing…?

No, I have no plans to find out anyway, as you’ve already gathered, I’m working the next 3 days, so not going to get there anyway. I havent actually been racing in this country in about 12 years, and its not likely to change soon, unless I get invited by someone. Might actually be fun, getting dressed up and going to the races I guess, but for now I’ll settle for watching it at work.

The video, absolutely no relevance to the blog at all, just simply a video you must watch if you havent seen it already

Oops, I did it again, and again seemingly!

No, dont worry, nothing serious, just too much shopping over the years without sorting it out…until today! Facepalm moment lol!

Yes, I had a pile of bags in the corner of my room, some dating back several years that just never got sorted into my clothing collection. Today, rashly, some would say unwisely, I set to the task! Yes, they are all sorted out now, but I have far more tops, blouses etc in my collection than I could ever have imagined. Oh, and several short dresses that at my age, and height, are only ever going to be used as tops, believe me! Err, and a short blue leather (or leather look) skirt that I have no idea when I might wear it, but hey, its a fun item, I kept it. its funny isnt it, I recently found a full length, definitely leather skirt in a charity shop that I’m far more likely to wear. Oh, and I discovered that I have enough skirts to keep me going through the summer too, some of which were hidden, because I never used to wear such things in public, but now…grin! Not sure I’ll be wearing the black leather one to work, all the same. The others though, oh yes! When the weather warms up anyway. Did get a new pair of work shoes today, via Nicole and the Charity shop, but they were needed. Yes, they are heels, but not of the high type lol!

Oh, and I cleaned out the wardrobe too, that was fun. I’ll be honest, its one of these ‘put together’ ones, and the rail gave way under the weight of all the tops I piled on top of it, not blamelessly in the slightest I might add, but…At the bottom, I found a pair of high heels (4″ or so?) that I could just about move about in, but not really walk far, and a pair of stillettos, which I couldnt! Both, along with several other items are now in several bags, heading for a local charity shop that Nicole works in. Quite a lot of it were ‘man things’, a few of which were never worn, a couple still in their wrapping. Yes, thats how long I’ve had some of this stuff, it must date back more than 10 years, eek!

Oh, alright, no, I dont think there is any item of clothing I need in the foreseeable future, but going through with knowing that, when I see a bargain, hmm…? Must resist, must resist,…maybe? 😉

So to the video, and no, I havent got an outfit like this one lol. I know, I know, its Britney, but we all have to suffer at times. Would I have one if you offered? Hmm… Oops, nearly did it again lol!

Gold!

Well, in case anyone was wondering, the shopping trip to Manchester was fruitful, in more senses than one. As Meatloaf would have said, two out of three aint bad when it came to present buying, the third, I need to keep looking lol, and hope for inspiration. If not, nothing original I suspect! No, I’m not saying what, they might read this!

Oh, and the Aqua Massager thing comes highly recommended, its been a long time since my back has been as totally pain free as it is at present, and thats after just 10 minutes. Even the knees, and shoulder were aided as well, just a shame there isnt one of these more local. Mind, I should be fine for a few days anyway, had a more standard massage as well today, the body doesnt know whats hit it, I suspect!

No, I didnt find one of those fabulous flouncy ballgowns over Manchester, not that I was terribly surprised by that, but anyway…What I did find was the most perfect flapper dress in TK Maxx in the Arndale Centre, but I didnt get it. Two reasons, the main one it never went further than just off the rail, thats the price, it was £99! Probably good value for what it was, but for a one off for me, nope! Also it was a size below mine, so I probably wouldnt have fitted into it anyway. But before we say too much about sizing… I had spotted a lovely gold dress in River Island, distinctly 20’s style, but not in a 14 (UK, for foreign readers), only 12, or 16. £45 full price, so not really in my price range for a one off item anyway. But, there was a 12 there, half price because the gold waistband was twisted (I wouldnt have known if they hadnt told me), but me get into a 12, especially one with a waistband, couldnt see it. But yes, I went and tried it on, and it fitted, just about. Now I knew I’d lost a bit of weight, but… 🙂

And yes, readers, I bought it. Alright, because the bottom half is a bit transparent, I’ve had to buy a cheap pair of gold leggings, but…still a good deal. So now it looks like Stevie Lou, the flapper will be going to the Christmas Dinner. Hey, I even got my toenails painted today to match, though as I will be wearing shoes on the big day, most wont know lol! Now I’m pondering bobbing my hair, but not too short a look, dont want to look too much like a guy, do I lol? Shame I cant do the Brooksie helmet style fringe, that I’d love, but…my hair has its limitations. Someone did suggest a cloche hat, but you can hardly wear that at the dinner table, can you? And I will stay blonde too, think I might be in trouble if I dont somehow lol! I might look out for a hat anyway, just in case. 😉 Unless someone has one laying around I can borrow for the night?

And so, after the good news, the music video. The dress colour, and the title to this piece might be a giveaway

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntG50eXbBtc