Category Archives: Fashion
To venture out once more that is. Now that Fall has finally arrived in the south, I can finally continue working on the progress I had made at the end of Spring earlier this year. This past Winter and Spring was full of several fun events to get me out of the house and enjoy the company of great friends and continue working on my goals. But once Summer hit, it was time to pack away the wigs, heels, and take it easy for a while. Needlessly to say this Summer was longer and hotter than usual and I’m happy to see the changing of the seasons upon us, and as with many women out there, this season is my favorite. Yay Fall!
Since last Spring I had made a good friend, Shari, on Facebook who happened to live 30 min away from me and we simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet face-to-face and get to know each other. It definitely feels like the trans/genderfluid community in Memphis is smaller than what it looks like in other larger cities, but it’s a community I hope continues to grows over time. Last weekend my wife and I had a chance to meet up with Shari over drinks and dinner in the hip Cooper-Young neighborhood of Memphis and spend some quality time together. We started off by enjoying a couple of rounds of beer at my favorite pub, which I frequent quite often but this was the first time as Katie, and then we enjoyed some great food at a restaurant next door.
This particular meet up was a bit different than my other times out because it was a casual evening with my wife and a friend, and not a big event at night, like I’ve posted in the past. This meant I needed to tone down my makeup look and try to wear something a bit more casual and appropriate for the occasion. I tend to do a lot of bold makeup looks, which are more appropriate for a special event or a night out, not so much for something laid back during the afternoon. So I kept the false lashes at home, toned down the eye makeup, and went with a subtler lip shade. As for the outfit, I had found this Fall look on Pinterest and was obsessed with it, so I knew I had to wear this out before it got too cold to have bare legs, and with flats it was appropriate for the occasion.
It was a great evening with Shari, catching up, sharing stories, thoughts, and making some fun plans. Towards the end of the night we made plans for our next outing and the possibility of another local trans woman venturing out with us. The idea is to try and meet up once a month, or whenever our schedules work out. Being more visible out in public and doing normal everyday things is the kind of activism I can get behind with; one encounter, one interaction, one conversation, and one drink at a time, and all in the company of great family and friends.
Much love to all,
As someone who is a natural introvert, the last couple of weeks have been quite a nice and healthy change to my normal routine. My wife and I (as Katie) went to visit some good friends in Mississippi while also making some new ones, and we also went out to see a local theater group putting on a drag variety show, which was so much fun.
I usually get a chance to dress up as Katie 2-3 times a month, and over the last couple of years I’ve only been out on the town just a hand full of times. I usually like going out as Katie with a group of close friends, as I like having that comfort and support of a group. This of course is not always easy to schedule, especially when so many friends around us are nurses, who have all kinds of crazy schedules.
When we made the plan to visit our good friend MP in Mississippi, someone who I came out to early on and has shown so much love and support, I brought up the idea of Katie making the road trip down, since it had been a long time since she had see her. This trip would also give me a chance to meet MP’s boyfriend, N, who would be meeting Katie for the first time. I was a little concerned about N’s reaction, even though MP had told her boyfriend about Katie, and he was totally cool with it. Even still, I was a little worried. My concerns melted away as N and I had an awesome and deep conversation, talking about Katie and gender before the conversation moved to friendships, and finally food (since he’s a chef, yum!!). This experience again instills the idea that when you talk to someone one-to-one, great things can happen, and new friendships can develop.
At this event, there was another good friend MM, who was new to Katie as well, but was completely supportive and lovely. About 5 min away from arriving to the event, MP texted me saying that MM was bringing a guy to the party who no one had met before. In the past this simple thing would have twisted my stomach up. What would happen? What’s he going to think of me? But I didn’t mind, and told her that it was all good. I was confident in myself (getting my makeup and outfit down pat really helps with that) and I was amongst good friends.
When MM arrived with this new guy, I was again a little concerned. When this guy introduced himself around the room, he came up to me and asked “what’s your name?”. In the past, I would have said they could call me by my male or female name, I didn’t mind. But this time I told this guy “you can call me Katie”. It was quite an empowering experience actually, asserting myself like that. After the introductions and the conversation with N we had a great time playing some Card Against Humanity, a great game for people who don’t mind being inappropriate. 😉
Before long, it was time to drive back home, but before we left we made plans with MP and MM to go to a drag variety show the following weekend. We had plans to make an epic girl’s night out, with the idea of wearing my new red dress and favorite jacket.
So now fast forward a week and the preparations for the big night. Unfortunately, our friend MP was really under the weather and couldn’t make the drive to Memphis. Now it was just going to be my wife and I going to the show, which started to stress me out as worry started to settle in again; going out in public, just the two of us, not in the best part of town, at night, wearing a dress and hells. I just hope that with the more I do go out, the easier it will be and the less stress I put on myself. I worked myself up so much I had to make repeated trips to the bathroom.
In previous years, doubt might have gotten the best of me and I would have thought about either not going or not going as Katie, but this time doubt only got a piece of me. I wasn’t going to wear that dress, I was going to wear something that I felt comfortable in. At least I’m making some progress I guess…. Anyways, we made it to the theater, taking a moment to take a picture in front of a popular Memphis sign, and then heading into the show. The lady taking the tickets said with a smile “how are you, gorgeous?”, which just made my day. It was at this point that the worry melted away and I began to ask myself “why did I work myself up so much?”. I really need to stop doubting myself so often and realize that there is nothing to worry about.
The show was amazing, with many beautify, talented, and hilarious local performers. We really do have some amazing theater groups here in Memphis, many more than in other cities, and we were more than happy to support these groups. After the show, we had to walk a couple of block back to the car, which again wasn’t without worry given the neighborhood, especially as we walked by a random guy walking down the sidewalk while loudly talking to himself. Yikes! We made it home safe and happy that we had watched a very entertaining show.
So, while I had a great time out to a friend’s house, and out to a show, I still have some work to do for myself. I have to work on not doubting myself so much, and work on not always relying on the comfort of a large group, as it’s not something that we can often plan. As a good friend would say, people with pitchforks aren’t going to hunt you down, and that was certainty not the case the last couple of weeks. Instead of pitchforks, it was love.
Much love to you all,
For a while now I’ve been thinking that I’m well overdue for a new wig. A synthetic wig only last so long, and I’m assuming much less when you’re new to the world of wigs and don’t completely know how to take care of them. I’ve only owned a handful of wigs, and my favorite one I use all the time is my Jon Renau Zara wig. It was my first expensive wig, and after spending a lot of time online researching colors, styles, and brands, I was rewarded with an amazing head of hair. So, when it came time last month to take advantage of amazing online deals, which new wig would I go for?
Looking back now to when I first purchased my Zara wig, almost two and a half years ago, I’ve developed a style around it that has represented who I am. A lot of the style comes from the clothes I choose for my figure, along with the style and color of my hair. With that said, I found it very hard to picture myself wearing a different style or color, especially since I’ve gotten many compliments already with what I have now. It was at this point that the decision was clear to me, I would purchase the same wig in the same color (130-4), and I couldn’t be happier.
I thought it would be a great idea to show how my wig has changed over the course of its use when compared to a brand new one. It’s important to note that during the first year I had my original Zara wig, I don’t know how to take care of it at all and I’m sure its current condition reflects that neglect. I now wash my wigs on a regular basis with the proper wig shampoos and conditioners. The only difference between the two is that I was able to find my new Zara wig in a larger cap size, which works great for my head.
One of the biggest differences I’ve noticed is from the lace-front part to the wig. The old wig has thinned quite a bit over the years when you compare it to the thicker cap of the new one. Another noticeable difference comes from the condition of the fibers, especially towards the ends. The old fibers are rough and frizzled, compared to the smooth fibers of the new one. One of the surprises I found was that the color of the old wig didn’t fade much over the years, if at all.
Now that I have two Zara wigs, I plan to use the old one for days I’m just being lazy around the apartment, and use the new one for days I go out on the town. With the experience I’ve gained I’m sure I’ll be able to better care for my new investment, and I’ll have to see who the new Zara looks like in two years.
Have a great week everyone,
Summer may technically be only a few days old, but here in Memphis, it’s been summer for a month now. It’s a time when I don’t dress up as much, and when I do, I stay close to a fan and enjoy a cold beverage, which of course brings me to one of my favorite hobbies, home brewing. We recently wrapped up our summer line of brews, perfect for the summer time heat, and classy enough for any girl.
First up, our “I Hope It’s Kölsch” brew (a beer typical of Cologne, Germany). A beer light in color, malty sweet, refreshing, and with enough complexity to enjoy slowly. Next is one of my all time favorites, our “El Hefe Muerto”, a blood orange hefewizen (a German style wheat beer). The yeast used gives the beer plenty of fruity notes, and the added blood oranges (which we usually find in the stores in January, then store for the spring) give it the sweetness to help with the relentless sun. The last brew is a classic American pale ale, made popular by brewers like Sierra Nevada. It has some sweetness from the malt, and the heavier hop dose gives it its bitterness and hop aroma. Soon, it’ll be time to plan the fall beer lineup. All in all, a hobby I would recommend to anyone interested in what goes into making beer.
At least with the cool down, I have a chance to try out some new clothes I got from the Express end of season sale. K and I got some insane deals, including 60% off this pink blazer I love, and some other tops we can share in our collective wardrobe. I’m really looking forward to going out in these new outfits, once fall arrives that is. Until then, stay cool my fiends!
As a guy, being 6’1″ has its advantages at times. I help out around the apartment and at stores, reaching for things out of reach of my 5-foot-even wife. At concerts I have no problem seeing the stage, peering above the heads if others. However, in the past couple of years I’ve realized there are some drawbacks of being tall, as a trans/crossdresser. I have a hard time finding shoes that fit, and when they do, I tower over everyone in my heels, helping draw a lot of attention when out and about. Jewelry is also a problem, having a hard time finding rings and bracelets that fit my finders and wrists.
The other day, while spending time on Pinterest looking for accessory ideas, I had the idea that I should make my own jewelry. I have often bought elastic rings, thinking that the elastic string would help to fit my larger fingers, only to find that they cut off the blood supply to my finger. Not my idea of a good time! So a stop to our local Michael’s was in order. I wasn’t sure what I would find, or how much they had for jewelry making, but I was surprised with the quantity of options available. I bought some adjustable ring blanks, large pendants, some silk flowers, and my first glue gun.
As you might guess, Glue Gun and I will be close friends. I absolutely love the rings I put together, and will be wearing them out soon. I also bought some elastic sting to fix my other rings, which were too tight. Now that I have these tools in hand, I keep coming up with other custom jewelry ideas!
This past weekend, my wife needed a much-deserved spring break from all the schoolwork, so we packed up our suitcase and headed down the road, to Nashville (or Nashvegas as our friends call it). We took in the sights on Broadway, listened to live music, had a few drinks, and enjoyed the company of some friends who joined in on our trip. Our friends took us to a great piano bar call “The Big Bang”, where the audience can request any song, and the band would play it, for a price of course. It amazed me the extent of music knowledge the band members needed to know in order to keep up with the requests. We even enjoyed an SEC tournament basketball game, watching a back and forth game between Florida and Alabama.
Besides The downtown scene, we took full advantage of our shopping options. We went to a few liquor stores, where I found some awesome hard to find and interesting beers (it’s like an adult scavenger hunt). We also enjoyed some local beers and a Yazoo brewery tour. Thankfully we were only a short taxi ride away from our hotel.
My love of MAC Cosmetics was only reinforced through this trip. Anytime I’ve been to a MAC store and I asked for assistance in finding products for me, not just for my wife, they have always been so helpful. The makeup artist in Nashville even suggested a couple of local clubs that feature Nashville’s drag queens (future trip?!?! Definitely!). Thanks to Pinterest, I had a game plan ready for the malls of Nashville and was able to pickup some new tops, which will help fill out my wardrobe. Including these outfits into my photo album has been helping me keep a record of which pieces work together, and it helps keep outfit ideas ready for anytime I decide to venture out.
During my time in Nashville, I began to realize and feel that I have been neglecting my male self. I have spent a lot of time over the last year, building up my Katie wardrobe, and working on putting outfits together. During this time I have done almost no shopping for me, the male side. Now that I have a decent wardrobe for Katie, I have begun to feel that I need to put that energy towards improving the guy side of the closet. I’ve been wearing the same clothes to work for years (some with holes in them), and it’s definitely time for an overhaul.
I like to think that I am good at balancing things in my life, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. Time to realize the imbalance and work to correct it.
I was recently introduced to Pinterest by a close friend and I’ve become addicted ever since. I thought I would pass along this useful resource, as it has been so useful to me. Learning to put together outfits has been a tough lesson to learn, but with the women’s fashion section of Pinterest, this has been made much easier. It’s easy to save outfit pictures to a phone and have a game plan ready when you hit the mall. I hope that my days of buying flashy clothes without a plan are over.
There’s nothing like a little shopping to make a girl feel great, and gurl let me tell you, I’m feeling just fine. I’m siting at my computer, writing, jamming to some music, and wearing some new threads I got yesterday. I did some online shopping and found an awesome deal on a Calvin Kline top, which should be here sometime next week. Yesterday, after a long time of not doing much shopping, my wife K and I went to our favorite second hand shop in town. This shop sell used name brand items at prices I can love. We sometimes get in trouble when we go there because K loves Coach purses, and they have a wide selection of them. Anyways, this weekend was tax-free shopping, so we took advantage and bought some nice clothes. I got some guy clothes and some clothes for Katie. I was able to get an awesome silk top, which feels great for the summer time, and my first dress.
We then headed over to the mall to get some help from my good friend at the MAC cosmetics counter. I have a Maybelline lip stick in my favorite shade, and my friend was able to help me find a MAC lip stick (Dark Side) and lip gloss (Decorative) in a similar shade, and they feel great on my lips. After that, we hit up an ice cream stand to cool off, and headed home.
After reading a post from Nadine, over at Unordinary Style, I’ve decided to start keeping a photo album of each one of my outfits. I’ll be able to learn how to better build an outfit with the pieces I have if I try on different combinations each time I get dressed, and keeping a record will help me learn what works and what doesn’t.
With that said, I hope you all had a great weekend.
So I logged into my Amazon.com account today and was greeted with the picture below as my home screen. It seems that Amazon thinks I have some sort of shoe addiction or something (guilty as charged). 🙂 Sometimes when I go to other websites, Amazon and Zappos.com are following me close behind with ads for more and more lovely heels. Don’t they know that I’ve already got a nice collection, plus I think my wife would kill me if I had more shoes than she did. It’s just too bad there’s not a wide selection of size 12 and 13 shoes out there. Everything in moderation……
One of the things I love about crossdressing is the infinite options when it comes to clothing. So many colors, styles, textures. But it can also be one of the things I struggle with. Early on in my journey, my wife and I went to a secondhand store to buy some clothes for Katie. The first mistake I made was that I didn’t have a clear plan of what I wanted, I guess because I was still working on which clothing styles work best for me. When we got to the store, I became so overwhelmed by the choices that I froze up and we ended up not getting anything. Later that day, we went to the mall to see if I had better luck there. Walking by the stores, I would look at the mannequins and tell my wife “I really like that, let see if we can find that in my size”. This store had a more manageable selection, arranged in away that made sense, so I was fortunate to pick out some nice pieces. Read the rest of this entry