Clothes maketh the (wo)man…

I was thinking about clothes the other day, well, I often do. In particular the acquisition of women’s clothes when you’re not a woman.

I managed to get by for years on cast off clothes – the idea of going into a shop and actually taking them up to the counter horrified me. As a consequence I vividly remember the first item I bought in a shop for myself. It was a pencil grey wraparound mini skirt from H&M in Parkhead. £2 in the sale and it actually fitted me. I could never get a top to match so I didn’t end up keeping it and I don’t think there’s any photos of me wearing it. My wife periodically clears out her wardrobe and this was my main source of attire. I had a special fondness for one of the skirts I inherited this way as it was the one she was wearing when I met her. For a while this was one of my favourites. I suppose there is an added frisson with the second hand clothes because I know that an actual woman has worn them. It’s like they’ve been validated.

I tended to stick to the internet as it was a little bit more anonymous. The price paid for anonymity however was the occasional piece of ill-fitting clothing or dissatisfaction that it just didn’t look that good on. But the latter complaint can apply to shop bought clothes as well of course.

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This ensemble looks fine but if you were to ask me to turn round you’d see that the zip on the skirt doesn’t go all the way up.

And sizing can be problematic as well, this dress here looks nice in the pic, but if I stood up you’d see how ridiculously short it is on me…

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Before Christmas I had a rare solitary jaunt around the West End of Glasgow and came home with a grey dress I cannot categorise or adequately describe. I can’t get it to work with anything but I can’t seem to rid myself of it. Here it is, on the hanger…

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One of my other early purchases and one that I still have and love is a pleated tartan micro skirt. It’s scandalously short and I love it! It was well worth the terror in TK Maxx  (£14.99 as I recall and it’s longevity is assured if I maintain a relatively svelte appearance). Here it is on the hanger…

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and here it is in it’s prime (with added hooker boots)…

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I did eventually grow braver each time, partly because I tend to stick to the same outlets; George @ Asda and Primark. Hopefully the turnover of staff in such places preserves what remains of my embarrassment. It was in Asda that I discovered heels that fit me. In man shoes I tend to be around 10 – 10 1/2 but I can get away with a 9 in woman’s shoes from George for some reason. I can understand women’s love for shoes. Presently I have 6 pairs (all black); mid heels, 5 1/2 inch heels, ankle boots, court shoes, knee high boots and a pair of ballet pumps.

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That seems like a lot for someone who only occasionally wears them but I do like to have a wide choice. Obviously I’m mainly housebound so theoretically these shoes will last me for years and the wear on them will be quite negligible. The mid heels are the ones I usually plump for as they are rather comfortable. They’re not too high and I find I can wear them for hours.

Shoes were something I didn’t get until later on. As I recall I inherited a pair of what I can only term ‘hooker boots’ from my, at the time, fiancee. Her mother had got her a pair of black pvc knee highs with a block heel for a present one Christmas and she never really wore them. They intrigued me greatly and it was only a matter of time before I tried slipping my feet into them and zipping them up. By rights they shouldn’t have fitted me but for some reason they did. I would still have them now but wear and tear prevented this. The area around the zips developed a split that soon spread and eventually ruined them.

I loved my shiny black hooker boots.

Back to clothes…I mainly find myself in a skirt and top combination though I seem to have several dresses. Because of my manly shape I am a little limited in the ones I can get away with. A skater dress seems to be one of the more ideal types I can wear as it creates an illusion of a waist. That’s why I prefer skirt and top as certain skirts create that illusion too. I always intend to scale down my dresses but it’s so hard as some of them are really nice. Also if you were to peak inside my wardrobe you’d see that they were slowly taking over…

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Anna’s taking up a good third of the cupboard these days (and that doesn’t include the ‘drawer’) but hopefully if you were to take my drawers full of T-shirts into consideration it wouldn’t look so bad!

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