Long time followers of these Voyages en Rose have suffered through my long ruminations on life in the drab lane, observations on cross dressing lifestyles tendered from the observers deck and my fumbling recent entry in Limerick form. Bless your big hearts, you clearly have the stamina for a long day in high heels.
Me too. Had a nice one yesterday that I want to share with you. So much to say, it will be broken into appetizer size portions, the holidays are well nigh upon us and a girl must watch her figure after all. This post starts with some advice and a big note of thanks. Here goes.
Go out with a friend. Here is mine. Even the most experienced pilots have a co-pilot along with them for their voyages. It makes the day safer and more sociable for cross dressers and flyboys alike. Yes, Wonder Woman flew solo, but Wonder Woman I most certainly am not. And if you are Wonder Woman, pray tell, what exactly is that lariat for?
I have made mention of my friend, Ramona before. She is the proprietress of Explore Your Feminine Side, a top-to-toe Transformation Service for the male-to-female Cross Dresser / TG set.
So, Ramona is my co-pilot on my too rare en femme outings, and I suppose that I am one of her many apprentices in matters of Femulation© (Hi Staci Lana!). Just about 1 year ago, after many years of rather furtive and less than convincing cross dressing on my part, I struck up a relationship with Ramona. This relationship has super-charged my experiences and heightened my enjoyment of our shared gift of gender interest. I have had a discrete little link to Ramona here on the blog forever, but today I want to put her front and center and encourage you if you live in or near Atlanta to give her a call and just talk a little. Perhaps she can help you enjoy your gift more. Ramona is pictured here at the recent Southern Comfort Conference, just glowing too, around the same time as I was up to my axles in flood water. She was clearly having more fun.
IN any event, her salon is located in a beautiful home in a gorgeous leafy neighborhood, she has wardrobe to fit (hello size 13 ½ pumps) and all of the foundation garments, wigs and outer layers a girl of any dimension could want to use. As to make-up, she is first rate. Believe me, I need a great deal of help to not scare the women and children, and she is more than up to the challenge. Out of town friends may be interested that Explore Your Feminine Side also offers a Bed and Breakfast package that features a fully appointed private suite, surrounded on all sides by the stuff of dreams.
Beyond the technical skills and the well furnished setting though, she is just so in tune with people like we. She has a good sense of what drives us, and what hopes we have when we start exploring our own feminine dimensions. Yes, it is a business, but a business with a genuine heart. And don’t just take it from me: She is a respected friend of Sigma Epsilon / Tri-Ess, and a very well received presenter at our annual Southern Comfort Conference too.
You can email Ramona for more info, or just call toll free to (866) 901-5383 to start the better adventure. So there. You know what to do.
And now, back to yesterday. The ensemble for the day was the newish Ann Taylor animal print sheath over countless counterfeiting and concealing layers of padding. On the legs, a nice new pair of Hue opaque tights, (noir, naturalement) and all of this perched on a smart new pair of Etienne Aigner closed foot 3” bootie pumps . The brand new shoes were a treat for the full 9 hours, and my Hue’s never for a moment even thought about losing their smart, clingy elasticity. And where, O where, did this ensemble lead me?
- back into Ann Taylor, as the swans (or is it swallows?... ) return to Capistrano.
- into Intimacy for my first proper Brassiere fitting,
- off to The Tavern at Phipps for a light lunch and a mid-day glass of wine
- a brief intermission at Ramona’s for a call of nature that the previously mentioned layers would not allow me to easily execute in a public loo
- a fitting session with a tailor for some newly acquired things, and
- finishing the day off at the Stage Door, a lovely bar welcoming of all sorts of unique people, and
- home lastly, done too soon, but with my cup clattering over in joy.
The only catch in the day is that my inventory of press on nails is only at 9. I am missing a pinky somewhere, god help me. Its always the little things is it not?
In any event, I will prose on about all of these loverly chapters in soon to follow posts. The bra fitting is of course a real highlight, and as one of my official Stations of the Cross Dresser, deserving of its very own and very detailed exposé.
Today, a deep dive on the Ann Taylor visit. Ann has offended some of her longer term customers this season with a refreshed line of merchandise that has thrown some loyalists a curve ball (a googly for you girls from cricket playing nations). With that said though, the new designer seems to have had me expressly in mind. I do not think I can make up the revenue shortfall, but I promise to try. I love everything in the store. It is not an inexpensive shop, but for quality, clean lines and just all-around gorgeousness I maintain that Ann represents the very summit. Less important than the clothes though, is the treatment one receives here while en femme.
Gentle welcomes upon arrival, and enough space left to us to just generally look about. I had had my eyes on a terrific be-ribboned skirt that had suffered a slight mark-down owing to general global economic circumstances, found it, a couple of other smart items and, with arms loaded was properly introduced to Robyn.
“ Terrific, here dear, let me take those and prepare a room for you …”
And in a perfumed hush she glided off to the fitting rooms with my selections. Now, let me describe the fitting rooms. Lovely finished carpentry with ample bench space and hooks galore. Measuring 6’ x 8' spacious and airy. For you girls living in New York, that makes a 48 sq ft studio with panoramic mirror views and sleek Scandinavian interior styling in a great location that you could probably swing for about $1,000 monthly given retail rental costs in Gotham. Free wi-fi and very fashionable neighbors and dead quiet after 9:00 p.m.. It’s a steal really. Mention my name to the landlady.
I think that the thing I wanted to mention was just how natural, private and respectful the whole experience was. The fitting rooms circled a large, well mirrored salon area where I was simply one of the girls trying a few things on, putting a critical eye on my appearance and exchanging pleasantries with other shoppers. I needed to make a couple of sorties back to the racks to switch out sizes and then retire smoothly back into my private realm for the quick changes. There were no questions posed, nothing along the lines of “how often do you dress?”, or “my that looks good on you (for a guy) ...”. I was simply a valued customer. Nothing out of the ordinary.
It might seem strange, given that cross dressing is not really a normative behavior, but the experience I most seek once transformed fully into Petra is to simply disappear into that persons life. To not ruffle feathers, to not challenge society, to not stand out for anything more than the notice people typically get in their every day lives. Ann provided that to me, and has in return earned my deepest affection.
I ended up being between sizes on the desired skirt, and it is far too elaborate in construction to consider tailoring. Zounds though, I did find a beauty at 20% of list price just a couple of inches above the knee with lovely elastic shirring that I believe to be a real flatterer, aching for a really dressy night out. There was of course the nice sheers that will be reviewed in full in next weeks Panty Hose Parade, and a warm, happy sense that I had found what I wanted and more after all.
There will be more notes on this special day showing up in posts as time allows over the next few days too. I wish all of you and everyone you love as much joy as I had yesterday.
Happy dressing and everything else…