Mar 3, 2009

Shouldering the burden. Cross Dressing and the Bra.

Here at Voyages en Rose, I periodically poll the proud, the few and the fabulous otherwise known as, well, you. On most occasions I find myself unsurprised by poll outcomes, and mostly in the majority view.

One recent poll surprised me more than a little, and found me in a distinct (if not elegant) minority. This poll had to do with favorite garments. To refresh your memories, or introduce you anew, here are numbers and my high barstool analysis.

Private, unseen and only barely at suggested garments ran away with it. Underthings, not visible to outsiders are the favorites. Panties barely eclipsed the brassiere, by a single breathtaking vote.

Gorgeous, finished exterior things, feminine in full, the dress, hosiery and heels were left in the dust. The garments we show the world if and when we present female in public hold a less precious place in our wardrobe and hearts.

This set me to thinking. I have of late been taking a bigger interest in the bra. I recently acquired a fine new pair of silicon breast forms. They behave differently then my own very inventive home-made full torso prosthesis. They have rendered my current bras just wrong in fit and feel and appearance. They have exactly the size and feel that I have wanted forever though, and so providing them with the perfect foundation garment has become increasingly important.

All of this helped me do a little pondering on the bra, its’ place in our psyche and its place around our chests. Tendered lovingly here.

The bra is a great garment. As a teenager, there were few feelings better than executing the thumb and forefinger flick expertly beneath the girlfriends sweater … the elastic snap, the sudden yielding of fabric and flesh and the frenzied explorations that followed. I was jealous of the girlfriends wardrobe and in love with the sight and the touch of everything that was poured into it.

As a cross dresser the feelings are less exciting but perhaps just as intoxicating. Just fastening a garment behind ones own back sharpens the senses. You know without doubt that you are crossing a line, unmistakably cross dressing. There are no drab garments that we fasten from behind. It is deliberate, it takes concentration. Hooks and eyes meet, mate and seal surely. And then, even the most comfortable bra reminds you with your every move that it is there. Breathing is a touch more constrained. The gentle tug of strap that never fully lets up on the shoulders. The underwire that settles in place and fixes your forms in place.

The bra is a private refuge of lace, or floral patterns, of fabrics smooth to the touch – all characteristics that drab wardrobes simply do not display. The bra creates an opportunity for pure self indulgence. Function is often sacrificed for purely hedonistic ends.

The bra demands attention and care from its possessor. It domesticates its owner in very subtle ways. When hand washed, when shaped and dried patiently, when carefully folded, it responds lovingly with longer life and better performance of its unrelenting work.

The bra merchandises a part of the anatomy that I believe has deeply held aesthetic appeal to all of humanity, straight and not, male and female and everyone in between. We all are mammals after all, and so its only natural that we get a little hung up on the mams that we conceal and emphasize and support and pay tribute to with the mighty bra.

And so back to my newish pair of breast forms. They need a better embrace. I am ready to put myself, quite literally, in the hands of a professional. There are a couple of local shops that are reputed to take the brassiere seriously. I have heard some chatter that I can expect to be treated well when I stroll in en femme. I plan on phoning in advance to find the warmest embrace, and visiting for a fitting sometime in March. You can expect a happy rhapsody on the experience here in the not too distant future.

If you do live or shop here in Atlanta, and can recommend a lingerie shop for the likes of we, please leave a comment here.

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