Four False Words – ‘They are only clothes’

Five days down and the rush and the itch is still with me, which is rather like getting drunk on Saturday and waking up not sober on Wednesday. It’s subsiding a little, and by a little I mean I only check Flickr and the other sites every sixty minutes now, rather than the fifteen or so for the last couple of days.

So how to deal with it? I’m working this week, hard as per normal, and that lets me throw my mind into another gear, but it’s hard to shake Sarah’s presence so I need to give her the occasional hint of pink to keep her happy.

I’m in a wonderfully fortunate place right now. I’ve shed weight (turns out if you stop eating crap you end up being hungry, and when you are hungry things taste much better, who’d have thought it?), I have access to a wonderful facility for dressing, I have the explicit permission of the one I love to do it whenever I want and I’m at that age where you know what you want and enjoy and can start to focus on just that.

So, to keep Sarah from singing in the back of my mind (which she does just to annoy me – if I hear ‘Let it go’ from Frozen one more time I swear I’m going to stick a pen in my ear until she stops) I’ve switched to acquisition and planning for the next session.

The next session is going to be a little different. I’ve got hold of a breastplate, which means I can wear some more revealing outfits, and I’m doing two sessions, one around some fun looks using the breastplate, and the other a dress-and-go with a visit to the WayOut club in good old London.

For the WayOut I’m already pretty sure I know what I want. I love Sarah’s ‘French’ look, the modest navy-blue polkadot dress, black wig with bangs and retro/sexy makeup. Why am I typing it, here’s the one I mean:


I love this look on her. I mean me. She looks like someone I’d like to have an intellectual chat with. Hell, she looks like the kind of teacher I’d have loved to have had, and secretly had a crush on.

But I digress. That’s the look I’m hoping to take out into London’s Trans scene, so wish me luck with that.

The other session, well, I’m going to have a little fun.

I’ve missed out on the normal little things that T-Gurls get to try, the costumes, the archetypes. I’m sad to say that I went a long time without Sarah, in that I made a conscious decision to not think about it, to throw myself into the standard masculine role, and for a while it worked. I think between 1999 and 2013 I didn’t dress once, never had the urge, never admired the flow of a dress on a woman as she clicked down the pavement on four inch heels.

And yeah, I was miserable as f*ck. Looking back now it’s completely obvious as to why, especially given the rush and happiness I’m enjoying at the moment, but then I just put it down to the drudgery of being a middle-class white Englishman in the 21st century.

But it wasn’t. And to quote the title of this blog post, ‘they are only clothes’ is a blatant lie.

For people like me, and all T-Gurls are different in their own ways, it’s not just the clothes. It’s the mindset, it’s opening up your horizons.

A good friend of mine who is also T once said ‘I felt less of a man when I finally understood and accepted my situation’. I really want to grab her and hug that out of her, because it doesn’t make you less of a man at all. If anything it makes you a much better man, you get perspective, you get to see the world framed by long lashes.

I love women. They’ve had it tough, which is a terribly sexist and macho thing to say, but it is true. The stronger sex will always exert authority over the weaker sex, and women have had it rough. It still stuns me that some of the absolutely excellent software people I work with who happen to have internal genitalia can get less pay for doing the same job as me, and we don’t burn down the offices.

I don’t want to be a woman full-time, because it’s a sh*tty job. The least we can do is to make life easier for them where we can, and hopefully do it in a way that doesn’t come across as condescending.

But again, I digress. My point was I see myself as a much more rounded human being because I’ve felt that shift, that internal feminism that shaves off the rough, angry edges of a male mind. I’m peaceful when I’m Sarah, I’m more emotional, I’m more open and I’m more loving.

Anyway, my point was that by suppressing the urge to flex my feminine muscles for so long I missed out on all the usual staples of cross-dressing. I never wore a wedding dress, a nurse’s uniform, a maid’s uniform. I never got to play dress-up.

And now, as I’m discovering and exploring Sarah’s styles and urges, I want to try it. Just once. To see what it’s like and whether it is as good as I think it will be.

Retro-styles are her thing. My thing. I can’t go on enough (although you may disagree) on the cut, the feel, the sheer girlie-ness of some of the old fashions, and that’s the way I’ll be until either my hormones change or I die.

But I’m going to have some fun.

So, my plan for the next session is to go nuts on the costume side. I’ve already acquired an official Disney Alice in Wonderland costume (one of my first memories as a kid when the whole gender-fluidity was kicking in was aching to wear Alice’s dress as I saw it on films, literally aching to be her) and an official Cinderella Princess frock. Just because. Disney princesses are a manufactured ultra-focused vision of femininity and hell yes,  I want some of that.

I mean, who doesn’t want to be a princess? Oh, most red-blooded males? OK, point made. Here’s a picture to emphasise my point though 🙂


I’ve also sourced a proper Bavarian Dirndl. For those of you who don’t know what one of them is, it’s a traditional blouse and dress worn by women in Bavaria, and it’s a personal favourite of mine. Everything about it is feminine, and if you’ve ever been to a Bierfest (Oktoberfest is the commercial nonsense in Bavaria, go to the Heinerfest in Darmstadt for a proper one) these are the outfits the waitresses wear. I think they are possibly one of the most sexy and feminine pieces of clothing I’ve ever seen. ‘They are only clothes’ is again proven false.

I did look at some of the other staple archetypal Trans-experience outfits. Lingerie, nah not really. For a start I don’t have the body, she said immodestly but truthfully, and there’s something sexual (well duh) about lingerie. Same reason I dismissed the Bunny Girl look. That would be fun but, and I’ll sound like something of a soppy romantic, I don’t want to overly demean Sarah right now. At least until she has forgotten the banana photos.

So I’m scratching my head as to what other outfits would complement having cleavage. I’m going to leave the uniforms for another time, I have a real thing for proper uniforms as opposed to the hen-night costumes and that makes it a little trickier to find. But while we are on the Amazon wish-list of fantasy costumes I need to get a proper air-hostess uniform. Or at least a Pan-Am one.

Sarah is staring dreamingly out from behind my eyes now, imagining the feel of a Pan-Am stewardess uniform, and while she is distracted I’ll finish up here.

‘They are only clothes’ misses the point by a huge margin. They are a new skin, a way to see the world from someone else eyes, a way to put aside the gender forced upon you by society and birth. I can’t describe the visceral thrill I get when a dress get zipped up on me, that moment when the dress is on, when it shifts around your shoulders and hips, flowing over your legs. That’s not clothes, that’s mana from heaven.

Stay beautiful sweeties, be nice to one another and zip yourself into something beautiful whenever you can.

I’d like to leave you with something different. This is an image from when I had just decided to come back out of the closet. It’s important to me, not because I hadn’t discovered the retro-look yet, but because she went out and about in London. She spent eight hours window shopping in Brick Lane, sipping red wine and chatting with a wonderful part of T-Ladies who did everything to make her feel safe and comfortable, and finally had a lovely meal in a tiny little Italian restaurant served by a friendly waitress who called her ‘madam’. I did it once and it was thrilling and utterly terrifying, and looking back I don’t see where the courage came from. I’m just hoping that ‘French’ Sarah can have as much fun as Brick Lane ‘Julie’.



6 thoughts on “Four False Words – ‘They are only clothes’

  1. ‘French’ Sarah I have only been to your blog now for a couple days after finding you from another “girls” Flickr page. Do you have one because I like to see more pics of your works? I’m commenting this morning because of your wonderful writing talent and how you are able to put into words how we feel when the zipper is closed and the shoes start to click. I have enjoyed your two latest post and will continue to read as you prepare to share your next experiences. Thank you Sarah.

    Jennifer Lynn Trainor

    Liked by 1 person

  2. you only check flickr every 15 minutes? wow, that is amazing restraint (*hits reload on other tab* nothing, damn).

    hmm, i didn’t know about these crossdresser staples, i suppose i’m a bit out of the loop. i guess i’ve always wanted to try the schoolgirl look (a uni was one of the first things in my wish list. no fruits, though). and maybe, just once, a very frilly, girly (ok, sissy) style. but nothing else very stylized or typecast – not that i wouldn’t be open to it.

    until very recently, i’ve treated (non-lingerie) clothing much as i do in drab mode – a necessary afterthought. perhaps that’s as a result of buying everything in a thrift shop, you take what you can get. since i’ve started picking out my own, new clothes (only since march, really), i’ve had a lot more fun with it.

    speaking of fun, your next session sounds amazing! what fantastic ideas! are you going to get your official disney licenses revoked? and ooh, a stewardess uniform would be a treat! i hope hauling that breastplate doesn’t complicate the commute too much (you could always wear it…). 😉

    brick lane julie is a cutie – there’s your everyday look. would love to share some red wine with her as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hiya sweetie – going to keep it short because I’ve literally just got in after another 17 hour day (I may blog about it if my caffeine keeps me awake) – the breastplate will be a riot to get across town as it does weigh a tonne. I’m looking at a very sweet low-cut proper retro dress from a place I used to use – it’s expensive but the style is beautiful and I reckon I could rock it with cleavage. Very interested in what you think –

      Brick Lane Julie was a cutie – when I showed a picture of her to my other half she said ‘Aww, I’d be her friend. She looks lonely.’ which I thought was sweet….

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was thinking dress, petticoat, blue flower for the hair and maybe a bangle or two. I *love* Viv of Holloway’s frocks, they are so well made and feel utterly delicious on. 🙂


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