Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Friday, 30 September 2011

Am I Bovvered?

Now as a general principle we cross dressers are a pretty secretive bunch.   I suppose that it sort of goes with the territory, so many individuals, and society in general rather disapprove of what we do, well maybe not so much what we do but how we choose to dress to do it.   Most of us are in the closet to some extent, some in deep, others emerging like butterflies on odd days, some are more or less totally open, but will still have some areas where they daren't stray.

I considered for quite a while whether to put up yesterday's picture.   I prepared two versions of the post one with the photo, and one without.   In the end I decided that I like the photo and if anyone reading this blog recognises me from it, then I will question why they were reading the blog to start with.    So am I bovvered, do I care who knows about Paula, well in many ways I think my life would be a whole lot simpler if it were generally known that sometimes I like to wear women's clothes and go out dressed that way.   I know some people would disapprove, but I tell myself that that is their problem not mine.

On the other hand I know my wife would be absolutely mortified if she thought anyone else knew.   I love my wife and my daughter, and would not choose to do anything that would hurt them, therefore I have to be bothered (sorry I just can't carry on spelling it like that) for their sake.   We have to consider the feelings of others, the effects our actions can have on them as well as ourselves.   So if any of you do recognise me from yesterdays photo, but hadn't from the others already posted, drop me a line, but don't tell the wife.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

All the world's a stage (Thursday morning rambling)

I have many interests and like to do all sorts of things, I like to think that I am a man / girl of passions and one of my passions is food.   I love food, eating it, shopping for it, growing it, and cooking it.   Last night I was cooking dinner for 25, nothing too dramatic, just some pasta with a tomato sauce, grated cheese and some salad, like I said nothing too special.   Knowing that I was going to be cooking in a semi commercial kitchen I put on my chef's whites.   Unsurprisingly they are the perfect thing to wear when cooking, everything is covered up, cool and easy  to wash.

The important thing for me is that they make me feel like a cook, you know a "proper cook". just as an actor needs the costume to get into character so I find that what I wear changes how I feel, how I act, so it is important to me to dress appropriately for the activity I am engaging in, so when I am compere at the cabaret I dress as I am on the left. ( the face fungus is now a lamented part of my past) When I am riding my bike I wear full leathers, boots gloves and full face black crash helmet, I look the part, this makes me feel the part.   What I am getting at is that I dress for the role I am filling, or maybe playing, in normal life I will choose the clothes, my costume, to suit the role, and "get into character" through putting on the clothes.   But, when I am cross dressing, I choose the clothes I like, that I want to wear, and then find the character emerging.

This may all sound a bit odd, but just think if you are feeling a bit down, but then go and put on your sexiest, most glamorous outfit, don't you start to feel sexy and glamorous, or you could put on sweats and just feel totally ugg.

This is I think one of the joys that we as cross dressers have specially to ourselves, not only can we change role, our clothes bit also our perceived gender.   When Paula goes out next week, I know she will behave differently to Him, she will drink different coffee, wine rather than beer, and will be treated differently wherever she goes.   Maybe I am spending my life play acting, and I just prefer some parts to others, or maybe I am just rambling on, barking up the wrong tree.   Let me know if you think there may be anything in this, to be honest I'm less convinced now than when I started writing this post.

No semi colons today!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Animal Prints

A couple of days ago I posted a picture of a Zebra print court shoe, this is now on my wish list, I quite like animal print stuff and was inspired by this cartoon a while ago.
So while shopping at one of my favorite store, Matalan, I stumbled on this, and was very tempted, it is what they call their "Animal Ultimate Enhance Multiway Bra" it is very padded and will give the look of an extra couple of cup sizes, which is all I need.   Every time I go into Matalan, which is probably too often, I put a 38B in my basket, and then check to see if I can see any matching panties, of course I can't and I end up putting the bra back.   This is rather silly since this would be perfect for me in so many ways.   The print will bring out the grrrr in me, the enhancement would mean I wouldn't have to use any extra padding, and the multi way would be useful when I don't want my straps showing, so whats stopping me!   Wellll BHS have these along with a matching bra, but the bra isn't as nice, could I get away with the bra from Matalan and the panties from BHS.  
Of course then I go and make things even more complicated by looking on line and finding this set on the M&Co web site. I haven't used them before and am a little loath to get stuff mail order since it leads to inevitable questions.   While my wife is beginning to come round a little it would be very hard to explain why I need more bras than she does.   As far as I can tell she has a black one, a white one, and a grey one that used to be white, and a wonder bra I bought her over 15 years ago and have yet to see in use.   On the other hand I already have two white bras, a pink one and a black one. Maybe I should stop before I get myself into trouble.
I have most of Saturday to my self, but there are a lot of chores that need doing and a lot of Rugby that needs watching, life is just full of these difficult decisions, still one way or another I think I feel a small shopping expedition coming up before too long.



Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Things we didn't learn from Mother

We have a nice gender balance in our house, two women, two males, and me.   The two women are my wife and my daughter, the two males are the cats, but they don't really count as they've both been "done".   This gives me quite a lot of time to observe how the two women interact, I often think that they are more like sisters than mother and daughter, but that judgement is clouded by my experience of my own Mother.   They have a very easy relationship chatting and sharing.    This made me think about the things I didn't learn from mother, school friends and peers.   Much of what my daughter is learning almost by osmosis I have had to pick up from the Internet or through observation of others.

What do I mean, well how about the good old chestnut of how to put on a bra; how to put on a pair of tights without twisting or laddering them; how to walk in high heels; how to put together an outfit; how short a skirt you can get away with; and right up at the top of the list how to put on makeup and how much of it to use.

I see my daughter learning this all naturally as part of the growing up process, at the moment she is very good at putting on makeup, I just think she uses too much, but then so do most 14 year old girls.   On the other hand I of course am well past 14 but have to use too much make up for other reasons.   I am always worried that when I finish my make up I will end up looking like either the sort of clown that frightens small children, or a drag queen.   Of course what I want to like is just another nicely presented woman, I don't like to see women with a lot of "slap" on their faces, but I have to use more than I would like to see so as to cover the beard.   I do not think that a nice dress, high heels and a six o'clock shadow is a good look, so for me makeup is always a balancing act, enough to cover, but not too much to spoil the "look" I certainly don't want to look like a transvestite!  Sometimes I wonder if too much makeup attracts more attention than a less well covered beard would, only way to find out is to try, maybe one day when I'm feeling brave I will go out with light makeup and see.

Well what prompted these ramblings was a post that Stana put up the other day http://www.femulate.org/2011/09/she-gets-it.html   Last week while talking about clothes and things at home my Wife said to my Daughter, "Oh I don't know, ask your father he know more about fashion than I do" I'm still trying to work out if that's a level of acceptance or a veiled criticism.

P.S. I am dyslectic so rely on the use of spell checkers, I have to run two on this blog, there are words that the blogger one picks up and the google doesn't and visaversa, and by the way I used FIVE semicolons

Monday, 26 September 2011

Shoes

I wrote a little yesterday of my love of shoes.   I remember when I was very young I would "borrow" various items of clothing from female relatives, daughters of family friends, indeed any where I could, I'm sure you all know what I mean.   I would wear these clothes when ever I could, I even remember doing my paper round in a gym slip and tights quite a few times.   However I knew that something was always missing, something was never quite right and it was the shoes.

Now when I first got a pair of proper girls heels -ahh the joy - at the time this was the finishing touch (in those days I still had hair on my head and not so much on my face). I think it has stayed with me that without the right shoes I am just a bloke wearing a dress, get the shoes right and I am a beautiful woman!

For most of my life I have found buying shoes to be a problem, first because shoes really do need to be

tried on, and for most of my life I have been far to embarrassed to go out "en femme" after all the beard didn't help! so shoe shopping was very difficult I might get extreme heels and thigh boots mail order but ultimately that was not satisfying because this is not what women actually wear.   It is only since I have been well embedded in my middle years that I realise that a lot of what I am striving for is elegance.   Now I know that I am limited by the body I have been given but I can still strive to present an elegant well dressed figure when I go out, and the biggest factor in this is confidence, where do I get my confidence from, well yes it's the shoes.   I remember hearing a well know actor saying that the way they get into a part is to get the shoes right and the character follows, I am a bit like that, get the shoes right and the whole outfit comes together.

Now yes I love shoes, but I am selective although I lived through the 70s I never fully embraced platforms, and sorry Meg but I am having some difficulty with ballet pumps.   I did buy myself a pair but the soles were so thin and the heel non existent that I struggled to walk in them out side the house.

So if my fairy godmother is listening I want to be invited to a posh function where I need to dress up so I can get out the LBD and buy myself a special new pair of high heel black court shoes with a red sole, you know the ones, I just love that look, just give me the opportunity, please, pretty please......

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Shopping

I have a big problem with shopping, I enjoy it too much and don't have the money or the space to indulge this as a pass time.   Most of my clothes I buy from charity shops.   Since I do not expect to get a great deal of wear from my them this makes sense to me, my sister in law tells me that she uses charity shops because she gets bored with clothes quite quickly, so then she just takes them back and buys something different, more like renting than buying.   Of course since she is still very athletic and I think a size 12 or 14 she has quite a good selection to choose from, whereas I am a 16 or 18 top and more like a 14 bottom I tend to take what fits.

I already have too many clothes a few dresses (including two LBDs) three or four skirts three jackets, an over coat and of course more undies than you can shake a stick at.   But perhaps my biggest problem is shoes, I just love shoes, especially high heels, I love the look of them, I love the way they make me feel, there is some so very special about their pure impracticability.   Compared to mens shoes the variety is stunning, but of course the big difference is that men's shoes are made to be comfortable and hard wearing (within a price) if they don't look too ugly that's a bonus, women's shoes are made to flatter, to look good and to make the wearer look good.   The right pair of shoes makes an outfit, the wrong ones will ruin it, shoe shopping ahh pure joy....

OK I'm no Emelda Marcos but still I have;-

Boy Shoes                   Girl Shoes
Black lace ups                              Black mid heel court             
Black safety shoes                        Black high heel court
Brown Brogues                              Black knee high. high heel boots
Moccasins                                    Black low heel ankle boots
Oxblood loafers                             Black pixie heel ankle boots 
Walking Boots                              White canvas flats 
Work Boots                                  White wedge heel sandals
                                                    Black and white open toe court
                                                    Black gladiator wedge heel sandals

And I have a suspicion that the loafers are actually ladies although I bought them in the men's section of one of my favorite charity shops.   It was actually the purchase of these shoes that prompted this post.   I have more or less got over the embarrassment of buying my girl clothes while in drab, but I saw these shoes, a style I had been after for some time when I was dressed, I actually felt more embarrassed buying these "men's" shoes than when I bought girl shoes in drab!

As I say I am very limited by space so I have got to be more selective, and have told myself that I should not buy anything unless I am prepared to get rid of something else, only time will tell if I am listening.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Cartoon time

I love cartoons, films, short TV, printed, and on line.   Unfortunately there is never quite enough time to engage all my interests so apart from a few I follow each day I miss a lot of good stuff.   This is one of my favorites I found about five years after it was first published.   Sometimes you can just chance on something really good, like this, simply by following links on different sites.   Of course other times you can find yourself in some pretty unpleasant places instead.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Terrible Fashion

No I don't mean that I find fashion terrible, more that there is a growing fashion in my neck of the woods that I find, well awful, maybe even a wee bit disgusting.   What are the offending items - well primarily leggings.

Not just leggings in general, I think leggings can be quite nice, especially if worn under a flouncy frock or with a nice tunic top, indeed I do have some myself, as you can see on the left, and I rather like the look; a nice way of being casual without resorting to jeans and remaining very feminine.   What I am objecting to is a sight I have seen too often over the last couple of weeks. 

The first time I thought that I had just spotted a girl with a serious wardrobe malfunction, but after the fifth or sixth time I think it might be a trend.   Leggings worn with a top that only reaches to the waist so that the shape of the bottom is clearly visible is a bit tacky, combined with flat or no heel shoes I do not like, but the really nasty bit is when the leggings are so thin that the girls pants are clearly visible through the material.   It just looks as though the girl is wearing tights and has forgotten to put on her skirt.

My daughter assures me that the fault lies with Primark, in their efforts to keep prices lower than ever they are now marketing leggings that are actually thinner and more see through than a lot of tights.   There are situations where I might quite enjoy seeing a girl in her underwear, but not walking down Sidcup High Street at ten in the morning!

Three questions come to mind
  1. Do these people have mirrors?
  2. What are their parents doing letting them go out dressed like that? (they have all bee teenage girls so far)
  3. How cheap and nasty does something have to be before no one will buy it?
So if any of you have these nasty cheap leggings please please get rid of them now, or at very least make sure that your knickers don't show, it's just not nice.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Under Cover

Last night I had to go out to a rehearsal, one of my other passions is wind band music and I play in quite a successful local community band, - but that's more for my other blog.   The point is I had to go out, in drab and just wanted to rebel.   Just the thought of being so boring, continuing with the same drab clothes I had been wearing all day got to  be too much for me.   So I resorted to the good old standby of cross dressers the world over of under dressing.   Nothing extreme just some nice soft panties and some hold up stockings under my normal men's jeans.   I also wore a female denim jacket (buttons on the left, no side pockets snugger cut etc.)

What was a little different last night was the lack of socks, and the stockings were very sheer.   A couple of times I looked down at my feet and could see that it was quite obvious that I was wearing sheer hose, at one point I even slipped off a shoe and you could see that my toe nails were polished.   The outcome no one noticed.   This lends strength the idea that people see what they expect to see, they see a man in denim and don't look further, I wonder how far I could push this, if I were to wear my skinny jeans and a shoulder bag but no make up or wig would I start to get the odd funny look?   What would happen if I were to wear overtly women's shoes?

Although my aim is generally not to look androgynous, but feminine it would be nice to be able to go out knowing I'm wear fem without having to go through all the extra presentation work (shaving, make up, foundation garments, wig etc.); I think the look on the left is best left for younger and slimmer women than me.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Uxbridge English Dictionary

Many of my on-line friends are of the American persuasion, this of course means that we have a different language in common.   I have been wondering just how many of the terms we use in clothing are different I have come up with a few, but would welcome any suggestions for others that may cause confusion.

English English             American English
Tights                              Panty Hose
Opaque Tights                 Tights
Suspenders                     Garters
Braces                            Suspenders
Vest                               Undershirt
Waistcoat                       Vest
Garters                           ?
Trousers                         Pants
Pants                             Panties
Boxers                           Shorts

Well just a few to start you off with, but I'm sure that you can come up with plenty more. (Wonder Woman was the most overtly American if camp, image I could come up with)

Monday, 19 September 2011

Am I bad

Today I went to a friend's funereal, this was not a sad occasion but a real celebration of the man's life.   There were a lot of his friends there, some I knew others I didn't, so often on these occasions you feel as though you are at the funereal of somebody else, not the friend you knew, but today really reflected Chris' life.

Now I have to be honest there is absolutely no trans connection here other than me, I couldn't help but notice how the ladies were dressed.   For men a funereal is generally a simple matter of a dark suit white shirt and black tie.   For ladies it is much more interesting.   One girl in particular caught my attention with a black shirt dress sheer hose and black high heels with a white trim.   Very elegant, very understated, and I have to say very sexy.  

Most days I have to drive past the crematorium at least a couple of times and I often notice the girls going in and out.   Now most men have a dark suit, but I think just about all girls have an LBD and that is often the only black they have so I very often see ladies wearing their short LBD fine hose high heels and looking absolutely stunning.   At one point my musing wandered to the thought of attending a funereal dressed just like those ladies, in my LBD and high heels, in truth I don't think I would do this for anyone other than my trans friends, and I would probably be too sad to enjoy the experience, but this is just another of those many occasions when women's clothing is much more interesting, fun attractive and simply nicer.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Vanity, all is vanity

Like many of my sisters I love to take pictures of myself, partly so I can see what I actually look like, partly as a record of my adventures, and partly as a record of some of my outfits.   However I suspect that a great deal of it is simple old fashioned vanity.   Anyway he point is that over on the left I have added a link to my flickr album so now you to can see lots of pictures of me.

They are not very organised yet, but maybe sometime I will manage to get them into some sort of order.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

A day out

Well I didn’t make it to the National Gallery.   I just spent too much time faffing around and getting myself ready.   I suppose I could have spent less time ironing, and sorting out my wardrobe.   But I have so few occasions to do these things that I had to take the opportunity.   By the time I was ready to go out it was nearly mid day, so I went to a more local venue, the Dulwich Picture Gallery.   For those who don’t know it this was the UK’s first public gallery, with an excellent collection built up over the 200 years it’s been around, for more just follow this link http://www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk/

Eventually I made my decision on what to wear and managed to get myself ready.   After a few experiments I opted for my light green dress, with natural hose, black and white pumps a nice fitted grey jacket.   I felt very good, classy, classic well presented, yes very good.   I had lunch in the gallery restaurant, which was very nice, and it was a joy to be treated like a lady at all times, the staff in both the restaurant and the gallery treated me with friendly respect just like any other visitor.
 
After the gallery I had a few chores to do, I had to get a replacement cash and carry trade card, pay in at two different banks, and still find time to pop into a couple of shops.   Throughout I never felt as though I was getting any more attention than any other customer would have.   While it is nice to be noticed and appreciated it is also very nice to just blend in.

My last two shop visits were first to a craft shop to buy my wife some scissors, but while I was there I had a look at their jewellery section, and had a thought – erm I find it difficult to find nice clip on ear rings, so lets try making some, more will follow on this.   My last visit was to one of my favourite shops, Matalan, I tried a few shoes on but the only ones I liked I would never have a chance to wear.   Killer heels just are not street wear when you are 5 ft 10 to start with.   I also tried a couple of dresses on, a fairly plan grey one that just didn’t work for me,
and a black and white number that I loved, but feared that it was too short.   I didn’t buy it but would love to go back with someone else who could advise me, that is something I

would love, but can’t see it happening any time soon.

In all I

have to say that it was a very good day, I had a lot of fun, and just enjoyed myself being out and about as Paula.


Friday, 16 September 2011

Going Out

It's my Birthday, it's a nice day, and I'm going out! - YEA

Last night I did the preparatory shaving etc, this morning I'm just going to get ready and head up to town, I think the National Gallery needs me.   I will take my camera and get some photos for you, but now I'm off to enjoy myself.

Getting ready

Well, last night I broke a nail, yes tragedy I broke a finger nail, knowing that I am going out tomorrow I thought I had to do something about this. I have some strengthener so I thought I would use this today, no more broken nails just before going out.   After putting on the undercoat/strengthener I got a little carried away and applied a coat of pearl to my toe nails. mo one will see this but I know!

This evening I used "Nair" to clean up my torso and cleaned up my legs (armpits are always clean, I just like it that way) so I am all set for the morning, I just still need to decide where I am going, maybe Eastbourne

Monday, 12 September 2011

Belt Tightening

Like many families at the moment we are feeling the financial pinch. I am self employed and my wife in pretty low paid part time employment, we both have occupations that we enjoy, but unfortunately are not very remunerative.   Add to that the cost of a teenage daughter who goes to  stage school every Saturday and there is a recipe for disaster.   I have just found out that my daughters stage school want an extra £100 on top of the terms fees so that she can be in a show they are putting on, this is to cover extra rehearsals and costumes.   This somehow feels all wrong to me surely these costs should be inclusive, but if I complain then I get into trouble with both wife and daughter, anyway with things this tight I am going to have to exercise serious restraint with Paula.

For many of us ladies shopping is a pass time enthusiastically embraced. it is so much more fun shopping for girl clothes than drab that it is easy to spend more than planed and to end up short later.   Just now I simply cannot afford for this to happen so no more shopping trips for a while.   I still plan to go out on Friday but also still have no set plans as to the what or the where.  

It's my Birthday on Friday  and over the last few years I have got into the habit of taking the day off and have mostly gone to the RHS Gardens at Wisley.   I am a member so no entrance charge and there is always something new to look at I may well go there again if the weather is good, otherwise I may take a trip to the Dulwich Picture Gallery, which is quite close, either way I will have a full report for you next weekend.

Last year when I went to Wisley the Surrey Sculpture Society had an exhibition in the gardens, this was a piece that particularly caught my eye.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Not a lot

No not a Paul Daniels routine, more to say that not a lot is happening in Paula's life just at the moment.   Family, church and band commitments keeping her well hidden for a bit.   That doesn't stop me thinking and musing though.   On Friday week I plan to go out into the big wide world, but at the moment I don't know where I'm going to go or what I'm going to do.   I think that makes us a little different to most people (Yeh like that's all!) when we have the opportunity I will grasp with both hands, most people plan what they are going to do, then when they are going to do it, I get a free day and I want to make sure it is a Paula day.

What I will do depends very much on the weather, if it's a nice day I shall go out somewhere nice with gardens and maybe some seaside, I may well wear this dress since it will very soon be too cold for it, and I've only had a couple of chances this summer.   I like it! it is very lightweight, very cool, and very comfortable.   The simplicity of the style is nice, and with a little jewelry it can look quite dressy.

If the weather isn't so good then it will probably be my new suit and a trip up to town, to an exhibition or something like that, I am open to suggestions (nudge nudge wink wink), no seriously if you know a good place or event in or around London to go to on the 16th September during the day let me know.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Opportunities

I don't get many opportunities to get dressed, a rather strange sounding comment, but  one I think you will understand.   Although my wife does know about Paula she is not ready - and may never be - to be introduced.   Because of my wife's sensitivities I am staying pretty much in the closet, I do go out but am not out.

This means that my outing are pretty rare, so maybe all the more precious when they do come.   This also means that I may not have that many personal adventures to relate, I know blogging requires a major commitment I just hope that I can find enough to write about to keep things interesting.   I think I may go back and relate some of my earlier adventures, and just talk about what's on my mind - on trans matters - I have another blog for other things.

I enjoy reading other blogs and hope that other people will follow and enjoy Paula's Place as much as I enjoy Femulate and Call me Meg, These are my Blogging heroines and I strongly recommend them, I have put links at the side.