So, after a number of months in LockDown ™ England starts to open up a bit. And by that I mean beauty salons, cough, were allowed to open starting April 12th. Being honest I’d started to slip down the slope into serious black dog territory, but that’s understandable. The last couple of months have been hilariously shit, pardon my French, with a number of situations that would, by themselves, have reduced me to hiding under a quilt and waiting for the world to go away, but together, and on top of the fourteen months of silliness, pushed me into an odd place.
But, you’ll be happy to read, I think, and I say that hesitantly, that I’m beyond that. I’ve had the first jab and more importantly, as I assume you readers are interested in, I got to flex my pink soul again for the first time since December.
So this post is going to be lighter than the ones I’ve been writing recently, basically because I’m still buzzing from swishing around in various delightful outfits, all of which I’m going to share in this post.
I’ve been asked, directly and passive aggressively on occasion, why I go to Cindy’s dressing service so much. it always amuses me because I don’t think I go enough, or at least the pink-lady living in my cerebellum seems to say that a lot. The reason I go so much, when allowed of course, is that being Sarah is my ‘holiday’, my ‘new car, my ‘football with the lads’. I don’t do any of those. I don’t have kids. I have a good job. I literally never take time-off from my work other than to swan into London and let Cindy bring out the wonderful inner girl in me. It is my elixir; remember that I don’t get to dress at home at all. I have the makeup skills of an exploding balloon full of paint, and also I can’t get into the feminine mindset unless everything is *perfect*.
That may sound like me defending it; not the case. It’s just nice if people understand that this is my ‘out’, a time when I can relax away from the constant tension of keeping up the appearance of being ‘heterosexual-normative’ or whatever long words they use to describe the binary silliness we have inflicted on ourselves.
Dammit, almost slid into a rant then. So, a tiny bit of background; I’d been purchasing new outfits since literally the day after my last session, the 8th December, just before we plunged into ‘lock your doors, stay off the moors, stick to the roads’ etc etc, so my wardrobe was (and is) full of gorgeous new treats to try.
Not going to share the story of stress of the two weeks leading up to my session (long story short my car was off the road for three weeks, two of my cats were unwell, I destroyed my big toe on the left foot by over-walking) but suffice to say by the time it got to leave the house on Saturday morning, at 4:30am, I was more than ready for some fun.
Plus insomnia, mustn’t forget that. Due to the stress and general madness at the moment I slept about eight hours in total in the week leading up to the session, including a grand total of 45 minutes, cough, the night before the session. So I felt a little, well, odd in an ecstatic one moment, wanting to cry the next kinda way.
The drive in was fine, clocking in at three hours and thirty minutes, and after popping over to Starbucks to grab a coffee for myself and maestro, we kicked off.
Oh, forgot to say, my diet, obsessively done as part of the lockdown, was pretty successful so I was down to a size 16 which made me, well, happy in a way only a woman can experience. (Size 20 down to size 16, *squeee*).
Anyway, enough introduction; let’s see the looks and have some fun….
1: Early 1970’s babysitter look
Oh lord I love this dress. I left it at Cindy’s for others to enjoy; I’ve been searching for a mini-dress with an oversized collar and cuffs for ages and this one was just perfect. I loved the feel of the fabric, the sheer 1970’s of it all and, of course, the white PVC gogo-boots. It was just a perfect outfit, and the first of the day; Cindy had done a masterful job of making me look less tired and more giggly and it felt wonderful to flounce around, carefully because the length of that dress left nothing to the imagination.
As you know I grew up in the 1970s and this kind of look was vert prevalent in the UK around 1972 or so. I love the fact I look like a babysitter, or more appropriately the girls who used to babysit for me. There’s something delicious about throwing the twenty-first century away for a bit. Granted there was none of the powercuts, constant smoking and thinly veiled sexual predation but hell, it’s my fantasy.
2: Collectif Clothing’s new Season
You might have noticed that, gasp, my lipstick for the 1970s look wasn’t my trademark ruby red ‘CSLs’ (yeah, I like that Three Letter Abbreviation, it’s delightfully naughty as I may have said on too many occasions); we tried a more pink look for the first outfit and decided we’d stick with it for the second. This is one of Collectif’s new season dresses; the instant I saw it I knew I wanted to wear it. I love the vibrant floral print, the styling around the shape and, yes again, the oversized collar.
It had a nice feel to it as well, like a gentle skin. Felt like the perfect dress for a barbecue, sipping white wine while the husbands and boyfriends talk loudly about cars or whatever it is red-blooded males witter on about, while myself and the girls talk about Loose Women, perfume and, err, boys I guess. Yeah, I’m a renaissance man/woman but I tend to stray into stereotypes. It’s fun when you stand with one foot, in a patent heel, in one camp, and the other, a walking boot, in the male side.
3: Vivien of Holloway new season Tea Dress print
I’ve been waiting to wear this literally since the December session; it arrived in the post the day I had the session (grr?) which meant that it had to hang in the closet for four months. Plus a lot of the gorgeous retro-women I follow on Instagram seemed to have bought it, so it was both exciting and frustrating to see the wonderful pictures they did with it.
I was taken with one, Lacy Fay, who had a beautiful red hair do so, like all good copycats, I asked Cinders to try and recreate it. And she did a wonderful job. I think this outfit really benefited from the daft weight loss and, again a very female thing to boast, I had to order down a size for the first time ever with a VoH Tea Dress; because of my height and, well, over-50s beer gut in previous sessions I had to go for the XL. This was a large. Which equates to a size 16. Again, colour me chuffed.
4: Vivien of Holloway separates; Raglan Blouse and floral Circle Skirt
I bought a similar set a long while back, a white Raglan blouse and a red circle skirt with white polkadots, and did a lovely little Audrey Hepburn-if-she-was-a-slightly-tubby-transvestite photoshoot. I’ve been dying to try it again and when VoH released a floral skirt I couldn’t resist it.
Throw in a petticoat and a lovely little patent red handbag (again, from VoH) and Cindy’s little touches, like the flower, and it was hard to take this outfit off.
5: The Archetypal ‘WandaVision’ 1950s housewife
Oooo, I’m going to do a Frock Tales post on this outfit so just a quick peek. It was a lovely 1950’s shape house-dress from Unique Vintage; sleeveless, beautiful polkadot print with a flower motif, and just shouted 1950’s style. We decided to do some proper ‘housewife’ poses as well and it was just too much fun.
I’m going to do a couple of apartment sessions when the world opens up a little more, and one of them is going to be a day in this outfit. The petticoat combined with the light feel of the dress feels like you are wearing gossamer silk, and flouncing around an apartment in her element is something I desperately want a chance to do. While we were doing the shoot we were joking about Sarah having a husband, and Cindy gave him a name. For some reason that felt odd but exciting; having a name for a husband made it feel, well, more real. As I said, I’m going to do a whole post on this frock and the fun we had with it. My favourite look of the day, which says a lot about the inner-woman I have.
6: Suffragette Sarah
So, I saw this costume on a site and thought ‘do I dare?’. I love the Victorian/Edwardian feel to the dress and the addition of the sash was delightfully fun. I love the idea of historical women’s costume as well as the more recent retro style and, to be honest, I couldn’t resist trying this.
It’s not meant to be contentious; I’m a modern day man and I don’t have the masculine anger that seems to have been prevalent for so long, but I really liked the idea of this costume. Lots of black and white photos for more ‘realism’.
There’s actually another five or six outfits but I’ve run out of time today, so I’ll whip the other one up in a day or so. Still buzzing from the session and enjoying feeling, well, alive for a change.
Stay beautiful and let yourself have some fun; we’ve earned it….