Saturday, 5 November 2016

Out in a dress...


Its been a really busy week with little opportunity, other than last Monday, to have Rhiannon time.   Last week we were away on holiday.  On the way back, a mad thought entered my head: I wanted to go out, in normal day time, wearing a dress.   Given that I regularly present female, you might be forgiven for thinking that this is a regular occurrence, but it isn’t really.

Last Monday's attempt...
I don’t know how you feel about it, but I’m always very self conscious about wearing a dress when I go out.  Many women in the UK don’t wear dresses very often, or skirts for that matter.  There is much more of a likelihood that you will see them wearing either jeans, trousers or leggings.  Wearing a dress immediately attracts attention because it is relatively rare.  There are definitely times of the year where it is more common, or if someone is doing it for work, but even so, its still infrequent.  My aim in dressing is always to blend in and to be noticed as little as possible, so I tend to wear what I see most other women in their early 40s wearing too.  So going out actually in a dress would represent a really big push out of my comfort zone.

Despite this mad thought being unusual for me, it grew and grew and I knew that by the time I reached Monday, knowing I’d have Rhiannon time, that only a dress would do when I went out.  So when I got dressed that morning, on went my black skater dress, heeled knee length boots and patterned tights.  Accessorised with some purple jewellery and my dark blue cardigan and blue scarf, I was feeling very happy.

Different outfit, same dress (2011)
I had some errands to run while I was out: the first one being that I needed to pick up my wig which had gone back to be washed and blow dried by the lovely Andrea.  It was, as usual, so fantastic to see her - she is just full of energy and literally makes me feel happier every moment I spend there.  We discussed the dress I was wearing and she said that she thought it was very appropriate and that because I was wearing opaque tights, it worked very well.  Very appropriate for the season.  Confidence built up a little bit, I headed on.

The second and final errand was that I wanted to pop out shopping.  I’d seen several tops that I liked online and I wanted to go to the shop to take another look.  It was weird really, I went through with it and was comfortable, but not perfectly comfortable.  Most women were dressed as I described before: jeans and a jumper and I felt a little too overdressed, despite being happy with my choice.  But because I stood out, I guess my default concern of dress=noticeable=obvious trans-person kicked in and I found it very hard to relax.  I walked around the store, but for some reason felt like an alien who had landed in planet ladies clothes shop and that I shouldn’t be there.  I know that its only by doing this and continuing to challenge myself that I’ll grow and my confidence will improve, but it was more difficult that day than I expected, I guess is what I am saying.  The good thing which shows there has been movement forward is that I wished I’d been there in my top and jeans because I’d have been more comfortable.  I didn’t for a moment, as I have in the past, felt like I shouldn’t be there at all.  I suppose its just another step out, you get used to it, you grow, and its another thing within your repertoire.   Wearing a dress and feeling comfortable is something that I really do want to become happy with doing.

Since that day, I have seen a number of women out and about in similar outfits - and I’ve been kicking myself for not believing Andrea - that it really was appropriate and that I looked fine.  I’m breaking this down quickly and getting more used to it, but still a way to go.   I'm definitely out and about in Rhiannon mode in a week or so, if not before, so I will be wearing a dress again.  I really want to conquer this.

6 comments:

  1. If I look at the school run outfits, most mums are in jeans, leggings or work gear. The latter is equal parts skirts, trousers or dresses (NB: not literally a mix :-) ). It seems similar at work too, although we're not very officey.

    I'm with you on clothing nerves and not wanting to stand out. Could I say that I think your outfit choice is very nice. You wouldn't look out of place in our HR team, who dress a little smarter than us keyboard botheres ;-)

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    1. I'm channelling my inner HR person, clearly - years of specialising in that department is clearly rubbing off! :o)

      I'm glad its not just me that prioritises appropriateness! And whilst I do, I still think that I need to get the point where I can wear what I want within the context of knowing that I'm not going to be out in a mini-skirt, low cut top and thigh high boots! I'm very cautious in my clothing choices and occasionally I want to set the inner girl free!

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  2. You look very cute in the photo from Monday! And you can never go wrong with a black dress like yours (I love black!). :D

    Hugs,
    Cass

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    1. Thank you Cass, I really appreciate it. I really want to get comfortable wearing what I want to wear - so small steps to start with are good :o)

      Take care,
      Rhi x

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  3. It entirely depends on the circumstances. And the weather! Except in the summer, I tend to keep skirts for comfortable wear in the house, dresses for 'occasions', and otherwise it's leggings and a top, with a short skirt if it's cold and I need an extra layer. It's rarely important to wear 'statement' clothing. All this is the result of being me 24/7. Clothing has ceased to be an end in itself. But if I had to ration being me, it would be quite different. Then I'd want to get the most concentrated feminine experience possible in the time available, and leggings plys some drab top just wouldn't do.

    Lucy

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  4. Great photo of you Rhiannon in Monday's attempt. A very feminine portrait, I'm somewhat envious.

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