[Fashion] 2018 – a retro-retrospective

Going to be honest, I’m not a ‘new year’ kinda gal. I used to be; to me the end of the year was something special, the putting away of the memories of a year gone and the preparation for a brand new slate to come. Problem is I’m a little mad when it comes to superstition and the like, or at least I used to be, and I used to wait with trepidation for the chimes of midnight, and however I felt at that instant told me how the entire year would turn out.

That’s not precognition. That’s putting it out there for fate to fart back in your face. Let’s say I had a headache at the chime of midnight, which was often the case because I’m a one-drink, two-drink, ten-drinks kind of girl (and if you think that makes me an entertaining first date that’s pretty much why Sarah hasn’t been on a date with a man – I get the feeling her self-control would disappear by the fifth drink or the second complement), the whole next year would be blighted by Sarah’s last Mimosa.

So nowadays it’s just another tick of the year-based body clock that takes me closer to the inevitable trip to the crematorium. Oh yeah, that’s also why I tend to celebrate New Year’s Eve by putting myself to bed with some fun telly, every year I turn into Maudlin Maude.

But not this year, I promise. I’ve had a lot of experiences this year I’ve never had before, my look, courtesy of the beautiful and adorable Cindy at Boys Will be Girls, had gone from startled-tranny-in-headights-of-car to sophisticated-woman-with-hundreds-of-styles. In fact Sarah could be the perfect spy, aside from being six foot seven inches in heels and always smiling.

So, I thought a fun little hobble-in-heels down memory lane would be in order for the end of the year. Next year will be a little different – don’t panic, Sarah isn’t being locked back up in the padded but comfortable cell she had for ten or so years, but I’m going to make my Sarah time more important, more special.

If I left up to the drab idiot and the ditzy blonde that lives inside my skull I’d be Sarah every weekend, but that dilutes her impact on me. To me Sarah is someone special, a goddess I can transform into occasionally that satisfies my inner need to look pretty, to relax that hard tenseness that men are forced to carry with them in the society we have and embrace the perfume, the pink, the softness. Maybe I am a little transgendered inside (well duh, Sherlock), the way I feel when I step into a pair of heels, when the zip is closed on the dress, when the first spray of perfume hits my wrist, is indescribable and completely alien to the normal man in the street, but to me it’s my ultimate hit, my ultimate high.

And If I do that every time I need a hit, it will diminish. In fact it already has, which is another reason to ration my Sarah time in order to keep her special. Well, that or escalate, and escalation would lead Sarah down a path that drab me isn’t quite ready to embrace yet. The urge to escalate gets harder to resist every time I slip into a frock. Some day Sarah will end up on that date if I let her escalate (sofa-psychologists, spot the third person usage πŸ˜‰ ) and right now that fills drab him with dread, while conversely Sarah craves the attention of the ultimate fashion accessory, a man to hang off of.

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Pictured – ‘date material’

But I digress – next year I will have less Sarah time but make it more intense. I’m going to ramp up her retro wardrobe and try some radical things that I see other girls doing, heading out more often, maybe go to a meal as Sarah (although she already has back when she was discovering herself again; I had a wonderful meal in an Italian restaurant on Brick Lane with a lovely fellow woman from Edinburgh, where we talked about shoes and the impending vote on independence, which shows how long ago it was, and a beautiful young waitress repeatedly called me ‘madam’ when serving us), who knows what else.

But this year? This year was a riot.

I had twelve sessions at Boys Will be Girls, an average of one a month although most were two day affairs. I had two sessions in an apartment, where Sarah could roam free, do some housework, watch a chick flick or two, read her girlie magazines. I went to a fetish club which was an eye-opener. And more importantly the real Sarah emerged, a smart, pretty woman with a sense of humour.

But anyway, here are some highlights with some gorgeous photos to say goodbye to an interesting year, and hello to a new one where Sarah has lots of interesting and exciting propositions.

Torture Garden, June 2018

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Pictured – on the outside, kinky girl. On the inside, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I had kinda wiped Torture Garden from my memory before I started this blog post. Not for bad reasons, but because it was such a huge step for Sarah. And a last minute thing – we’d arranged a night at the Wayout, where cross-dressers come to be sexualised and dribbled at, but at the last moment Cindy remembered that Torture Garden was on. So, off came the retro frock, on went the tight Honour PVC dress, although dress is giving it way too much credit, fish-net stockings, f*ck-me heels, an extra fetish-y outer corset and the calling of an Uber.

Now that was a first as well. Every time I’ve ventured out on the streets of London as Sarah (and Julie, as I was when I first crept out of the pink-lined closet), I’ve been chauffeured around by understanding and friendly people (looking at you, Vicky). This time the club was over near Vauxhall, where I used to work with the, ahem, government for a time, and so an Uber was summoned.

Up until that point I’d never really been exposed to anyone that closely who wasn’t a: an admirer in the Wayout looking for a quick shag or b: someone who works around trnsgendered people. The Uber driver was a lovely old gentleman who didn’t bat an eyelid when a huge valkyrie-like PVC wrapped tranny squeezed herself into the back seat of his cab.

The ride there was hilarious because Vicky was determined to tease the guy – Vicky is a long-time cabbie in our glorious capital city and doesn’t really like Uber, so lots of questions were asked, on behalf of Vicky’s ‘husband’, which had me and Cindy in giggles in the back.

When we reached the venue my stress levels were obscenely high. I was now a long way from the safety of Cindy’s establishment, where my wallet and drab suit-of-armour were. Instead I was stood on a busy street on a Saturday evening, tottering past a kebab stand where a bunch of drunken ‘gentlemen’ stood before crossing a busy road and queuing to get into the massive club.

Cue a bit of searching from the bodyguards outside, so I can tick being touched in inappropriate areas by a man off of Sarah’s bucket list, then an immersion into a scene and environment that blew my mind.

I’m not a wallflower in drab life. One of my favourite memories is head-banging to Rage Against The Machine under the stars in a burnt out five-story building at 4:00am in the Sachsenhausen quarter of Frankfurt before falling asleep at the gated entrance to the U-Bahn (underground) as a young drug addict injected herself in the foot before falling asleep on top of me, so I’ve not exactly been a saint, but Torture Garden? That was something else.

Thirty seconds in and I find myself huddled against a bar, sipping cider through a straw and trying to look alluring while six feet away from me a woman wearing nothing but heels, stockings, lacy underwear and black crosses of tape across her nipples is noisily sucking off a guy while he holds her leash. That’s when I realised I wasn’t in Kansas any more, Toto.

The plus side? I had tonnes of lovely genuine complements from both men and women on the way I looked, which I gratefully acknowledged in the deepest ‘I’m really a man, isn’t this awfully silly’ voice, while Sarah sighed a lot inside.

See, whatever plan I make to let Sarah play when I rarely get out and about fully frocked out seems to disappear the minute I step out of whatever sanctuary I am in. Which is a shame, I’d love to be soft and effusive in a feminine way in the real world. But 49 (nearly 50, dammit) years of experience as a shy, sensitive, non-binary gender person living in a constructed shell to keep the world out means that all my defensive behaviours kick in.

Anyway, cue a couple of hours of hearing nothing, watching the denizens of Torture Garden enjoy life in a way that is out of my reach due to emotional scar tissue. One of the funnest moments was having a pee – we went to the girl’s room but there was a massive queue of subs and doms, all chatting, and there wasn’t a queue in the men’s room so I tottered up to the urinal trough, balanced myself on my heels, hiked up the PVC, retrieved the poor genitals from their tucked away position (and believe me, I’m not macho enough to claim to be well endowed but squeezing the tackle into the smallest area and then spending hours like that, after a day of tucking and posing, and the poor little sausage was doing a good impression of a little finger. Was very tempted to have an ironic ‘nice weather we’re having’ with the guy next to me at the stall, but he was definitely dom and there were free toilet stalls so I didn’t take that risk.

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Pictured – not helpful, Sarah, not helpful at all…

The ride hole was as scary, if not scarier. For a start, it was early in the morning on a Sunday, so the Uber took a while to pick us up. Cue standing around on a street corner looking very, very much like a transexual prostitute (yeah, another bucket list item ticked off for Sarah, she’s such a tart) and crossing the road back and forth a number of time to avoid drunks who liked the look of PVC, then back to the sanctuary of Cindy’s, the usual face scrub with makeup remover that leaves my eyes cloudy for ten minutes, and then an hour of playing guitar with Cindy to restore my heavy-metal masculinity (sigh).

One of the things I’ve never mentioned about the out-trips is I make an effort, because of both a career of doing this kind of stuff and a fear of being arrested for some reason, to have no ID on me. So every time I go out I have a purse with a phone with a pay-as-you-go pre-paid SIM, a stack of cash, perfume and, err, condoms. If I’m ever pulled over I will have a terrible time explaining how I’m not a prostitute…..

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Pictured – I’d never dress and pose as a prostitute, no, never. Cough.

The ‘Warm-up’ frock

Have I mentioned I get stressed? Once or twice? Anyway, I get really, really stressed before a session. I look forward to it, absolutely, but due to the pre-baked guilt, the kinky thrill of emasculation that turns to guilt and, yes, more guilt, I tend to get very stressed. That and waiting for the door to click at Cindy’s, when I’m stood in the street freshly shaved, face-naked as my other half says, a bag of femm-goodies on my back, feeling the micro-seconds pass between pressing the bell and the glorious click that tells me I’m about to cast aside the drab grey life for a couple of hours of fabulousness and heels, it all adds up.

So I hug Cindy, and am always amazed at how little there is to her – I get the feeling if I did my usual Viking bear-hug she’d snap, take off the shoes, drop the heavy bag of girlie-swag and collapse, a jelly-like quivering mass of stress and urges, while Cindy rustles up an Irish-ed coffee (fully functional alcoholic breakfast of champions) and I peel off the masculinity, then sit in the torture-chair, or ‘makeup chair’ as you girls call it, for a couple of hours of intense makeover, hiding the stubble and beer-detritus beneath a layer of silky and beauteous chemicals that smooth away the man and highlight the woman.

But I’m still stressed. It takes a good three or so hours of pampering and staring at the girl in the mirror before Sarah clicks in properly. So I always bring a ‘warm-up frock’.

This year saw something different emerge which was a surprise but a wonderful one. For some reason the warm-up frocks, always a kind of throwaway outfit just to get Sarah’s juices flowing for the main event, turned out to be gloriously wonderful.

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Pictured – ‘just’ the warm-up frock

Take the above picture for example – this was my warm-up frock for the last session I did. It’s been hanging in my wardrobe for over a year, bought on a whim from Pretty Retro, a 1940s party dress. Looked, well, alright on the clothes hanger and didn’t have a zip, buttons or any of the other fiddly stuff most dresses do. But put it on and wow, I *loved* the look. It’s pretty much Sarah to a tee – lovely pattern, flattering style and yes, one of her go-to dresses.

It was an eye-opener. And yes, I feel in love with the girl in the mirror again. Was a real challenge taking it off as it was ‘only’ the warm-up frock. And now it is in my wardrobe waiting for another chance for swishing and flouncing. Thinking of going out in it in 2019, it’s the kind of look I think Sarah could almost get away with in the real world.

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Pictured – another ‘warm-up’ frock that has become one of my all-time favourite dresses

Again, this dress hung in my closet for a long time before I took her out and wore her. I bought it from Dolly and Dotty because it looked almost identical to the first dress I ever ‘borrowed’ from my mother’s collection and again it looked a bit naff on the clothes-hanger. But once on, wow, it just made me so happy.

See, that’s the effect that women’s clothes have on me. It makes me happy to wear them. I don’t get that at all with bloke-wear, perhaps because I’ve been wearing the same heavy-metal style of clothes since 1984. Or maybe just because, although a frock is restrictive, although heels are nigh on impossible to walk in (or run, which is another dark thrill), although it’s a faff to get ready as a woman, it just feels deliciously wonderful to be completely frocked up.

Playing ‘dress-up’ in 2018

Something Sarah did a lot of this year was trying different things, a bit of fun, that would have been unthinkable before. Once you get a degree of confidence in the way you look, it opens a flood-gate of opportunities to mess about.

I’m into retro, which means for most people my looks are playing dress-up already, but this year myself and Cindy started experimenting, and it was a riot and a half.

For instance…

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Pictured – less ‘call the midwife’ and more ‘call the police!’ πŸ˜‰

Before people get too over-excited about cruelty to children it’s a doll. It’s a realistic doll for training new mothers how to hold and breast-feed their screaming offspring, but I got it for exploring a different side of Sarah. We’ve used it in a number of photoshoots and it’s always been, well, interesting in the sensations it brings, This time I bought a retro-nurse uniform/costume and we did a ‘Call The Midwife’ shoot for a giggle.

And….

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Pictured – ‘masculinity’ at its finest

My hips still hurt. I’ve never wanted to be a ballerina, it all looks like too much work, but we had a laugh and a half with this one. Plus, if I may say so myself, I have good legs in that picture. And remarkably good balance.

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Pictured – ‘my name is Talula’

Very surprised how much people don’t like this look. I love it – the dress was a dream to wear, heavy with sequins, the whole 1920’s ensemble a gas, as they used to say, but admirers don’t seem to get the retro-retro, Shame as it’s one of my favourite looks of the year.

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Pictured – sexual-objectification, what’s not to love?

One of Cindy’s suggestions this, with a 1970s twist that made it delightfully retro. being honest, not the most comfortable outfit to wear, but again, that’s the point. Thanks Heff for setting back feminism a couple of decades (irony). But something about this look stirs something in me.

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Pictured – yeah, I get a kick out of seeing Sarah as the demure School-teacher

I *love* this frock so much it hurts. It has a black silk underskirt and bodice that you can see if you look closely, chiffon sleeves, gorgeously prim and proper lace collar with a little silk bow and a lovely dainty butterfly pattern. Plus that book is a laugh to read – every article it reprinted as-is from 1950s magazines and boy, did women have it bad back then. Articles like ‘Housewifes should not be educated’, ‘A woman at 40 should start to dress appropriately’ and many more. I found myself both intrigued and appalled as I sat, legs crossed, skirt carefully placed to avoid showing my undergarments, fumbling with the pages and my over-long, cumbersome red nails, constantly brushing hair from my eyes and disentangling my long lashes from my long tresses, careful not to touch my lips so as not to smudge my lipstick. Yeah, women had it hard in the 1950s. πŸ˜‰

Looking forward to 2019 – some resolutions I will try very hard not to break

Well, oddly enough, I’m not going to over-plan my time with the delightful Sarah in the forthcoming year. I intend to go back to the Wayout (30th March for anyone planning to meet me), I have some gorgeous new 1950s style American frocks on the way, Vivien of Holloway has promised an animal-print Kitty (which is pretty much all my boxes ticked).

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Pictured – imagine this style in Leopard print? Dribble….

In terms of escalation? Well, for a start I want to meet some of the lovely people I talk with online in person. Maybe even have a photo-shoot with Sarah and an admirer, just to see what she would look like as the prettier part of a couple.

But who knows? One of the lovely things about Sarah’s 2018 was that a lot of stuff happened that wasn’t planned. I had some terrible moments with the sessions due to external factors, and I had some wonderful moments that will stick with me forever.

I think the last photo below sums up 2018 for me – a pretty girl looking into a mirror and amazed at the person she sees there.

Stay beautiful, have a wonderful 2019 and be yourselves as much as you want to.

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Pictured – Sarah Lewis, 2018

 

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3 thoughts on “[Fashion] 2018 – a retro-retrospective

  1. Hi Sarah, X
    Loved this post sweetie! A great recap of a wonderful year for you. πŸ™‚ XX
    And I loved how you looked back on your fabulous outfits and looks. 😘 Though why no one liked the flapper girl I’ll never know! You look stunning! 😍
    And I can totally understand your Sarah plans for next year too. No one wants to burn out on the things that they love and enjoy do they? XX
    And just so you know about that meeting Sarah business? I’m going to throw my wig into the ring and say that if I am able, I would happily be a gentleman companion for you. X
    If however ‘Rochelle’ comes along, you might not escape with your morals intact! πŸ˜πŸ˜‰πŸ˜˜ XXX
    I want to wish you all the very best for the New Year and hope that 2019 brings you wonderful delights and fabulous experiences! 😘
    Fi-Fi
    XXXX

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your blog is a wonderful read that is both funny, genuine and holds many truths.

      Have a wonderful 2019 and if you fancy dinner or drinks let me know as I love helping other girls when I can,

      Aunt Steffie ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

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