Nov 14, 2010

The Panting Cross Dresser

A little over a year ago, I promised myself and you, dear reader, that I was on the breathless threshold of a daring new fashion statement.

Pants. Slacks. Trousers. The lovely and troubling staple of the wardrobe that takes so much of the cross out of Cross Dressing.

Sorry to take so long. I have been a little busy.

I had steered away from pants in my wardrobe building exercises principally because I had been wearing them for, well, forever. It took me an awful long time to get to the place where I was able to say yes to the dress. All that struggle and now I was proposing to climb, by choice, back into pants. I am not an entirely normal individual, yes, but this seemed to me to be piling perversity on top of perversity.

There is more, of course. I had very real non-pant gaps in my wardrobe. I have been pretty diligent in filling in those gaps, covering the staples. A year later now, and the closet is fairly brimming over with hems at the knee and north thereof. Nowadays, often in the shops I find myself admiring a skirt on a hanger or a dress on a mannequin and hear an inner voice " … down girl… you already have that one…”

Yes, my dressing is starting to take on the air of a fad diet. All protein, no carbs. Not balanced or indeed practical. There isn’t a stylist on the planet who would willingly let me continue to live a pant-free life. I know this. I know furthermore that life is too short to have nothing to wear on a Saturday afternoon.

Damn daunting thing though. Every women I have even known has a love / hate relationship with pants. Typically they love 2 pairs and hate about 17. I cannot afford to hate that much of my wardrobe.

There are so many more variables to get right relative to the typical skirt fit: leg shape and length, thigh circumference, crotch-to-waist rise height, waist-to-hip aspect ratio and etc. Do the pockets flatter the figure or feature the faults? Too skinny for pleats, too short for flares, too much of this, too little of that. Torture.

Add the Cross Dresser to the mix, and things are ready to completely fall apart. With the exception of a nice bra, there is no garment that so dramatically features the lovely differences in body shape between men and women as a pair of pants. All of this looks to me like a recipe for failure, or on a good day, mediocrity. The odds of finding a truly epic pair of pants? A total cosmic crap-shoot.

Like so much in life, try we must, and try I did. On a recent drab shopping excursion through always reliable Macy’s Lennox Mall, I was both able to keep the First Shopping Commandment (Pay Ye Not Retail Unless Not Buying It Brings You Damnation), and managed to go 2 for 2 on my first two-legged at bats. Not just little singles either. Out of the park and way the hell down the street, grand slams.

First up, a stretchy, fitted black pull-on number from
I.N.C. They are quite high waisted, non pocketed and smooth throughout the midriff. They are clingy, true, but they are more substantial than a pair of leggings. There is enough structure and tailoring in them that one does not feel like one is walking around exposed in one's underwear. With the faux-leather panels inside the leg they give off a very Bridle Path / Jodhpur feel, an Urbane Cowgirl vibe. I immediately felt a desire to own a riding quirt and a smart new pair of boots.

The high pink, cropped jacket they are paired with has been unused, looking for an ensemble for the better part of 9 months now. I think they are made for each other. I have been dying to find a way to get a screaming loud color or two into my admittedly dark palette, and I love the way it flares out at the tail. The jacket set me back $23.00 (down from $100.00). The pants, my pants, my first pants ran for a mere $12.70 (down from $50.00) after all the coupons and etc. Tally Ho!

Next up the Alpha Challenge of the Pant Universe, the 5 pocket, low-rise classic denim style, skinny leg. Form fitting and unforgiving, the Halley’s Comet of the fashion world: if you live long enough and look hard enough, you may find the perfect pair once in your life.

I honestly do not mean to gloat, but I got them. On my first attempt. This is not at all fair. I know women who view the perfect fitting classic jean style pant as an imaginary thing, the Unicorn of the closet. Spoken of yes, perhaps even seen by someone in the dark mists of time or in a booze fueled hallucination. But not to be had by mere mortals. If I was not so damn happy, I would feel sad for all the women who still dream of perfect pants.

A lovely versatile Café au Lait shade, cotton/modal and a dash of Lycra, slung gun-belt low on the hip and gorgeously, determinedly clinging to every inch of me all the way down to the nice eye catching exposed zipper at the ankle. The ruffled olive jacket and these pants supreme fell into my clutches for a mere $14.70 each or roughly 80% off retail. At this price, I could afford a failure of fit. This however seems to not be my lot. Perfect fit, throwaway price.

There is more though, something entirely unexpected.

Something captivating in fact.

I was not expecting to feel very immersed in the feminine, but once I buckled the belt and stood tall in my pumps, something happened. Ones walk changes, the stride a little longer, a little more hips out and feet forward. The walk is louder too, more certain on the ground, and it drives back up too, through hips, through back and shoulders. The change is there while standing still too, a different aspect, a different posture, everything different. I felt confident, and I could feel the very direct line between confidence and sexiness.

I honestly do not think that I have ever felt quite so convincingly feminine. I was so entirely not expecting this. For a moment I regretted having put this purchase off for quite so long, but I am rather more inclined to looking forward, and so I am looking forward to pulling more pants on.

And you, my friends? Diverse views on pants most welcomed here.


Lynn Jones said...

If I may say, the fitted black pair are very nice and suit you well.

Interesting - no really ;-) - that over the pond, pants are trousers (see also kegs or troos)whereas in dear old Blighty, pants = underwear and is slang for something rubbish. "That's pants!" :-)

I think a fair few trans folk steer away from trousers, perhaps to concentrate on skirts or dresses. Personally, a good pair of skinnies, leggings, parallel or cigarette trousers can be just as much good as a good skirt.

Halle said...

I hate hearing about the sales you have near you. Whaaa!

When you have a body like yours by dear, it would appear the ability to pull off wearing pants is all about cut, accessories and attitude. Your eye for clothing is amazing. The black fitted ones paired with the shocking pink top is a super combination. The shoes are just icing on the cake.

On top of it all, there is the Petra attitude. Well done!

Petra Bellejambes said...

Dear Lynn - I knew that you and others of my English, Irish and continental friends would be able to make the linguistic leap. Thanks for the nice words. Thanks also for your fashion forward thinking in the world of trousers. You have always been ahead of the curve, smart lass you.

And Halle - Yes the prices here are crazy. Shocking at times. Thanks so much for the kind words about the my fashion sense. None of it comes easily, getting it rights feels like such an accomplishment, and hearing encouragement from someone you respect just puts me over the moon.

Many thanks - Petra

G said...

Pants.. I think these are the trickiest staple of the feminine wardrobe for us wannabees to be able to wear successfully.
I think a magic wand is required to be able to pull off this trick..
Women in pants have that delicious swoop down in front that I'm afraid even if I nailed down, duct taped, tucked back till last Christmas I could never ever emulate - not even on a cold winter's day in Poughkeepsie with the wind blowing..!
I've tried pants and they're just too revealing of extraneous carry-on baggage.
Is there a trick I'm missing?

Petra Bellejambes said...

G - I think that the cut of the pants do have something to do with getting the effect you seek. Layering of shaping and smoothing garments beneath help me make the effect wearable and believable. Drop me an email if you would like some notes on the topic.

And thanks for your visit.


Anonymous said...

Petra, this is where your belle jambes make all the difference. You are blessed with femme-skinny and long thighs - I doubt I could ever quite pull that look off!

Nonetheless, I too have found surprising pleasure in pants after a lifetime of begging my better half to forego them in favor of skirts whenever possible. They do have a place in my wardrobe, albeit very limited.

I am interested in your reply to the preceding comment, or rather the private reply you promised. We don't want to expose such secrets to the world (or do we?), but I am interested in any new lessons I may learn on this delicate point.

Jerica Truax said...

God you're stylish girl =) Love love love the outfits!!! =)

Couture Carrie said...

Love these looks, darling!
I so rarely wear pants either, but you are making me rethink my dress addiction!


Laura said...

oh really amazing outfits! actually im not really into pants either but you look really good wearing them! :)

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