Xmas do, Oh Xmas do…

Hi,

With missing the opportunity to be fancy last month – thank you sneezy cold πŸ˜‹ – I was feeling the need of some time in prettier garb. I think as I put in the comments for Wednesday – and your experience may be different – I think there’s an external view that for part timers like me, it’s just clothes. You know, you throw them on, along with the slap, and that’s some box ticked or pleasure centre tickled.

It isn’t. πŸ™‚ I would also add, as a left leaning apologist liberal πŸ˜‰ that if dressing floats your boat, you’ll get no judgement from me.

Personally, the time spent in my other clothing validates me. That while I’m mostly okay in Richard clothes, being restricted to that does not work for me. By being able to express myself and be accepted for either presentation keeps me on an even keel.

Despite trying to buy anything new, I did take a punt on two dresses and a top. Both dresses will go back such as it is with shopping online. One did not fit right and the material felt cheap. The second, a red lace dress, looked like it would work, but felt a little too large. Hopefully someone will now get a bargain in the sales.

By the luck of Uni lectures and the Ever Lovely Mrs J’s work calendar, for the first time in weeks, I had some time alone. Time to apply a bit more fake tan to my pins and check my toenail varnish was still party ready.

To the night itself, we had a few last minute cancellations due to health and clashing appointments. One member had caught COVID earlier in the month, so they were isolating (get well soon, J ❀️), while others had been hit by bad colds.

Despite the best efforts of the notorious Nottingham traffic, I arrived to get set up. Whoever had used the room previously – or perhaps the Centre’s cleaner, bless them – had put the tables and chairs out as per the new room plan. That saved me hauling tables upstairs, so I was really glad of that. Easy enough in flats, but not your party outfit. Still, better a party outfit than your birthday suit πŸ˜‰

Now, my plan had been to wear the red dress from the 90s. It felt festive and given the new veggie diet seems to have help slim my tummy, it seemed a winner. Given the lack of Wookieness feeling of my legs as they should look and sparkly toes as well, I was going to team the dress with sheer toeless tights and some nude strappy heels. I bought the shoes about three years ago in the sale and maybe the lack of wear was knowing what to put them with?

This will be my last Christmas as a 40 something and perhaps like other party goers, I worry about looking tarty or mutton dressed as lamb. Style is a lot easier as a bloke! πŸ™‚ Usually, my knees are by the hemline, covered by opaques or leggings, so I felt a bit nervous and on display. But sometimes, I think you need to accept the fear and try, for to play if safe means holding back.

The dress fitted, however due to bra straps and corsetry, it didn’t quite work. Cue a series of quick changes with helpful feedback from Nicole & M on my other choices. In the end, I decided on a sheer sleeved bodysuit and my velvet skirt. While dresses are easier, I think there’s something to be said about being able to mix separates up to create new looks.

It was then a case of mixing the face cement and balancing bold lip or fancy eye make-up. πŸ™‚ The Ever Lovely Mrs J had donated a pair of large hoop earrings, bless her, and with Steph’s restyling of my wig last month, it felt like things were all coming together. I felt pleased with how things had worked and perhaps most of all, comfortable in my own skin. That may be one of the key things about Chams: that the group can help you find self acceptance and to be okay with how you look.

I felt the evening went well with people mingling and having small group conversations here & there. Val had kindly hung up the Xmas LED lights I’d brought along, so we had a bit of a festive feel to the room’s lighting. It was really good to catch up with friends and everyone was looking cool in their choice of outfit.

As per, we had slightly overcatered, so the unopened goodies were put in the food bank box downstairs. That and the Xmas card to the Centre staff gained some very tasty looking mince pies.

Yeah, maybe I should’ve
editted out my Birkie tan lines

With conversation flowing, the night passed at the right speed: neither dragging or zipping by. At the end, we cleared up, wished each other a merry Christmas, and expressed our thanks in the group keeping going in these tricky times.

Oh, and of course there’s the end of evening photos πŸ™‚

There’s another photo of Val, Nicole, and myself but that isn’t mine to share and is one for the memory box. ❀️

It’s now Friday afternoon and while my feet are reminding me I’m usually in lower soled footwear, I feel at ease. Yes, it’ll be a while until the next meeting in 2022 (why does that date seem futuristic? πŸ™‚), but to see good friends and feel right in yourself, there’s a Christmas present right there ❀️

Whatever you are up to, I hope you stay safe, have fun, and feel amazing. πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ

L x

16 Comments

  1. I have to say Lynn you look fabulous, good choice of skirt and top, I love the heels as well! I’m pleased you had a great time and everything worked out well……. To you and all your readers have a fabulous Christmas!!………

    1. Thank you, Andrea. I had help from friends in picking. The heels were higher than I am used to, so it was a case of small steps and take extra care on the staircase! πŸ™‚

      Wishing you a fab Xmas too πŸŽ„

  2. If you’ve got the pins, flaunt them.
    And 50 isn’t too bad. It’s the decade I really started to find myself.
    Love the toes.

    1. If you’ve got it, flaunt it. If you haven’t, accessorise! πŸ˜‰

      The age thing is a funny thing. I think I might have started this blog in my early 30s. Now, umpteen years later – but not until late ’22 – I’ll hit 50. Well, if I’m lucky πŸ™‚

      Go to read you really found yourself in that part of your life. I did read a style blogger – also of the 40+ side – that she found herself giving less of a sh** about certain things (quality phrasing πŸ™‚) and that disconnection freed her to be more herself. Something to look forward to perhaps!

      PS: I am loving the colour and it’s been on since Monday. Having something just for yourself is quite lovely.

      1. Absolutely. After the half century mark I slowly came to the decision that I was too old (or had a lot less to lose) to worry any more about what my neighbours/workmates/boss [delete as applicable] might think. Plus you can quietly smirk when contestants on game shows say they don’t know the answer to a question you answered instantly “because it was before I was born”.

  3. YAYY! I’m so glad the party could go ahead and you had fun. πŸ™‚

    As for the outfit …WOW! Love every single item, from the sheer top to the pretty painted toes. Great figure, hon, and great legs.

    And I also can’t help noticing (re the earrings) that, as the years pass on YATGB, Mrs Jones is coming to accept Lynn more and more. Which seems very positive, too.

    Have a nice weekend.

    Sue x

    1. The last hurrah of the year for Chams due to how our meetings fall. After all the on again off again malarkey of last year, it’s been really good to have such a long run for the group. I heard from one member yesterday, that another T group had pretty much only just restarted. Again, time to count one’s blessings!

      Thank you for the lovely, kind words about the outfit. The curves are most definitely faked, but everyone needs a little help here and there πŸ™‚ With Mrs J’s health issues, bless her, we’ve gone mostly veggie and I’ve been drinking alcohol free stout since the summer. All of that, plus perhaps the long walks with the hounds, seem to help keeping on the side of trim I prefer. I may never look as I’d truly like, but to be okay and mostly happy with what I have is a very good thing in my book.

      As to the earrings, it was a dream of mine – like smooth pins and acceptance. Mrs J and I were talking about the T situation and she accepts a lot (or puts up with, perhaps). She said she had made peace with it and given how other men she knows behave towards their partners (and kids), it could be a lot worse! πŸ™‚

      Sure, she’s not seen me in Lynn mode, and I’m okay with that. I’m not sure how I’d feel if asked… πŸ€” But, Mrs J’s love, wisdom, and acceptance help me in so many ways. I do feel guilty now and then, but then I hear that from cis friends about different things. C’est la vie πŸ™‚

  4. First off Lynn what a lovely photo, you look great. I love your outfit, I think the separates look great together and the heels go well too. I like your accessories too, the earrings, watch and bangle all work well with the outfit.

    Do I see black nail polish on your fingers? I like the way you’ve mixed colours, dark polish on the fingers and sparkly red polish on the toes.

    I’m glad you had the opportunity to get glammed up and enjoy a Xmas party in good company, I’m so jealous!!!! (in a nice way though lol). I’m not sure there are groups like that up here in Merseyside.

    I get the ‘tarty’ and ‘mutton’ thing, I feel like that, especially when Lotte loves the younger fashion and I’m only a couple of years of the big 50! I don’t think I can ever see myself in a granny frock.

    What a kind gesture too, donating unwanted food to the food bank downstairs, nice touch that.

    Best Wishes

    Lotte x

    1. Thanks Lotte. Are you looking for a group in your area at all? I do feel really lucky to have found Chams. They’ve made such a positive difference to my life. ❀️

      Looking at the outfit piece by piece, it starts off light and gets darker. Perhaps like most of the jokes I know πŸ˜‰ The nails were the preglued type by Elegant Touch and I’ve had them quite a while. If you are careful on removing and storing them, they do last well. They’re also handy – no pun intended – in that you don’t need to paint your nails nor worry about residue post clean up.

      I guess the years of trying things and having a small collection of stuff that you can add to an outfit can help. I think the right jewelry can certainly alter your outfit, perhaps in the same way some shoes or makeup styles can too.

      The granny situation, Granny J is certainly of that age and I remember her saying their were fashions she’d refuse as she felt they were tired or frumpy. It is that danger zone, if you will, where a cute dress has a not quite right pattern or cut, and it’s frumpy. Equally, clothing that when added with certain other items becomes less than flattering for your age – oh, and that can be someone younger looking too old, or someone older looking too young. πŸ™‚ It does seem to take a while to pick up on such things.

      I’m hopeful the food bank makes use of the few items we put in. Sure, it wasn’t a lot, but at least it wasn’t another bag of pasta or more beans! πŸ™‚

      1. I have thought about a group Lynn but I don’t think there are any nearby, especially in and around Merseyside.

        I’ve seen stick on nails but wondered if they were any good. Some reviews of them seemed to indicate that they fall off too easy. The idea of them is good though as you can take them off with minimum fuss but I must confess I love the smell of freshly painted nails πŸ™‚

        1. I’m no expert on the North West, although GIRES and Trans Unite mention “Trans Warrington”. I guess it depends on travel time.

          Umm, stick on nails? Well, personally, they work okay for a night at Chams or if I’m at home. The ‘stick’ seems good enough to hold them on, but not too much to make removal difficult or painful. Like you, I’d rather paint mine too, so the false ones are good for a very different look or if you’re short of time.

  5. Oooh! Looking super glam there Missus!

    Also, try to ignore the “mutton” thoughts. That’s decades of sexist/ageist nonsense from men not wanting to be “tricked” by older women who just want to wear nice clothes

  6. For what it’s worth, I think your knees look fab. And those shoes are just… well, lovely.

    I see what you mean about jewellry making a difference to an outfit and, well, I think you looked proper glam in those photos. I’ve been trying to track down some nail polish in purple but I doubt I shall ever show off my toe-nails without some attempt to cover them over!

    I would never have assumed that ‘part-timers’ were all about the clothes. Indeed, I assumed that wherever clothes took on any significance it was primarily as signifiers of something deeper and more fundamental. Like, anyone can survive wearing the ‘wrong’ clothes or none at all (well, you know what I mean) but having that avenue of expression… that makes all the difference. Anyway, no one is a ‘part-timer’ really – we all live our gender all the time, whether we acknowledge that or not. And, well, gender is spectrum around a point rather than between two extremes (as much as I understand it) so…

    I think what I’m trying to say is, you look fab and it’s great that you are able to express yourself in so many different ways at different times and feel that comfort. It’s the little things, isn’t it? Except that, when we do them for ourselves, they aren’t so little at all. πŸ™‚

    1. Last time I looked, Boots and Rimmel had a good set of purple colours available.

      “…we all live our gender all the time, whether we acknowledge that or not…”

      Wise words and while I’m always me, there are times when I’m all I can be, rather than just certain aspects.

      I think the old school terminology of TV/TS made the former ‘just about dressing up’ and as things have moved in massively – by the T community coming up with their own stories and descriptives, I think we have better understanding and phraseology. To be genderfluid, for example, sometimes the tide comes in like a winter storm and you change or do you best to hang on. On better days, the sea rolls in and you step lightly into the water, welcome, and ready. It’s just a swim, you can still see the shore, and you can paddle at the edge: not completely dry nor needing to swim.

      PS: thanks for the kind words.

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