Many of my lovely members are unable to dress as frequently as they would wish, nor as overtly as some of us do. As a result I sat down with Bernard my photographer, and went back through my photo albums to look at ideas that were likely to succeed for those whose family life prevents them from indulging the way I so often do.

“Oh Fiona,” he mused as we looked at images from across the years, “you really do like to do it at every opportunity, don’t you!”

“I’m sorry, Bernard?” I said reproachfully.

“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean…”

“I should hope you didn’t!” Bernard needs to be chided from time to time. It keeps him in his place, and makes sure he remains attentive.

We looked at many images, and they are what really has reminded me of those days when I found it harder to indulge my desire to dress all the time. And so, these suggestions come from a tried and tested foundation. I sincerely hope you’ll find them to be of interest.

As we perused the pictures one thing became quite obvious. It’s often not so much what you wear, as how you wear it. For example, a sweater and jeans can look very masculine.

Switch it up a little, and a pale colored sweater, with a pair of jeans and sandals and you could almost be crossdressing. Switch the sandals for heels and you definitely are crossdressing. Add a little makeup and you’re really in business.

So, we can take things a little closer to that edge now and then. A good start is to begin to replace the hard colors in your wardrobe with softer ones. With sweaters, beginning to find pastels and occasionally a striped sweater, will achieve a somewhat softer look. In the case of jeans, avoiding the 501’s and looking for a more fashionable tighter higher waisted pair is likely to once again take you toward the centre of that spectrum. Personally I love Mavi jeans — they are suitably cut to make one feel very feminine, whether choosing the male or female lines.

On the one hand the clothes should be essentially male, yet on the other they should feel more androgynous. One can do much the same with tee shirts — allowing the colors to be softer and more gentle. Adding a lower V neck tee shirt can achieve the same result. You know very well that should you wear a necklace, that would clearly be a feminine look, and yet to the casual observer it’s really all quite innocent. Even showing a sense of style and good taste. Ironically, these days many women’s fashions emulate a male look. That leaves plenty of middle ground for the androgynous look.

There are many outfits that with the addition of heels become crossdressing. These are that middle zone that can become very comfortable for those of us who love to crossdress in plain sight. And of course, there’s always the utilikilt. The kilt is sometimes hard to justify, but a Utilikilt — either brand name or knock off — is a delightful and completely justifiable addition to any wardrobe.

I know I would not be the first crossdresser to claim I had an uncle Hamish, and that the family tartan has a deep meaning for me. When such a claim comes from an Africa/American and it’s said while wearing fishnets at a drag bar this may test the bounds of credulity somewhat, but who the hell cares in a drag bar anyway?

A soft color, a pair of carefully selected pants, and beneath them any combination of male/female underwear — it can all be crossdressing when done just right. Add a gentle scent and some eye make up and you will feel delightful, without a trace of guilt or awkwardness. Dressing toward androgyny is neither something one should feel awkward about, nor something that will betray the fact that you really long for that corset top, sophisticated panties and a long skirt. Your secret is safe with me.

Fiona

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