With missing the opportunity to be fancy last month – thank you sneezy cold 😋 – 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. 🙂 I would also add, as a left leaning apologist liberal 😉 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 😉
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! 🙂 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. 🙂 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.
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 🙂
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? 🙂), 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. 🏳️🌈