All the pictures on this blog are rather recent, I think the oldest one is from November 1999 or so. There is a good reason for that. During my first few years, I had little time available — the odd day or so, and one-week vacations here and then. I also wore a beard, and people were used to see me having a beard — a short one, but still one that took a week or so to grow. This meant that I had to take a week off just to be able to cross-dress one or two days — and that wasn’t always easy to fit in my very busy schedule.
Also, full cross-dressing was at the beginning done at hotels. Hotels, if you know, have “cleaning times”, and it means that during those times, I wouldn’t want to “get caught”. So, figuring out the appropriate times for cross-dressing weren’t easy — as well as getting the “right” place too change. It should be remote enough, but not too remote; and since I was on holidays anyway, it should be a relaxing and inviting place anyway!
In 1999, I had already accumulated some interesting stuff. The wig is still the one I use today — it’s made of human hair, which is usually expensive, but nothing can beat it for a realistic look, since it’s real hair you’ll be using, not plastic. Sure, there is a big difference between real European hair or real Indian/Chinese hair (which is less expensive), but it has a completely different feel than a wig made of “plastic” hair, no matter how good they are these days.
The latex breasts have long been discarded. I’m on my second set of silicone breast forms, and would love to be able to afford the newest technology. The pair I own is the “next-to-newest” technology. Lots of companies have entered the market for silicone breastforms, sadly because of so many genetic females buying them after mastectomy. These very same companies also understood that there must be a market for cross-dressers as well, since these breastforms are clearly designed for cross-dressers: they have velcro bands that can be attached to a surgical adhesive which is placed on your skin. So you can attach them when you wish to dress up, but detach them very easily if you need to wear male clothes. They are very realistic in terms of weight and “bouncing” — silicone has the same density and consistency as human flesh, and even the texturing is similar. The nipples used to be glued separately, but current forms have gotten more and more realistic ones. The previous generation had to be glued directly on top of your skin; believe me, that is an experience you will never forget, especially if you just have a few hours to cross-dress. Fortunately, for the ones in a hurry, specially-designed bras will hold your breastforms inside — one thing that has become more and more easy to find, as even genetic females are using all sorts of silicone “props” to enhance their cleavage.
And then, of course, the inevitable waist cinchers and corsets, and a gaff to hide your male genitalia. I was rather perplexed and anxious about the corsets, having read, like most people, how bad they were in Victorian days. It seems nowadays that there is more “myth” than “science”; of course, a badly adjusted corset is not really recommended, but a good one will very likely benefit your stance, since you’ll be always standing and sitting in a very correct position. Also, a regular use of corsets will do marvels to your belly — this is called “waist training” (getting your abdominals to contract properly and keeping your tummy in, like your mother probably told you when you were a child!) — and it’s definitely much safer than any chemicals or pills you take to reduce your appetite and force an unnatural diet.
Not long ago, even men wore corsets. Today, there is a slight revivalism of the female corset, but it’s not widespread. In any case, it’s something you wear under your clothes and will be mostly invisible most of the time, if worn properly — but, of course, the tremendous change it’ll do to your figure will be immediately recognisable!
I also used to worry about eventual damage to internal organs — yes, that can happen if you get too aggressive with the fastening together! What most people recommend is a “gradual” tightening — never too much that you can’t breathe! — since your body will adjust to it. After an hour or two of wearing a corset, you’ll be able to tighten it another inch again, since your body will “fit” better into the corset. This is a rather amazing effect, and much less bothersome than most would think. Most people tighten their first corset too much, and naturally, they’ll dismiss it as being too painful. Indeed, the trick is always doing it gradually.
In my case, I have lots of similar things to help to get a proper figure, and I don’t wear them all. I’m lucky enough to have very reasonable legs, so I don’t need to hide them; I have also a rather large bottom for a male, so, although I still have some garments with padding, these days I don’t use them any more. Sure, I have no wide hips — but a large bottom, plus a corset, will give me a reasonable enough “hourglass shape”. My major problem are the too thick arms — although with little muscle — and, of course, the very wide chest, which is impossible to hide.
Cross-dressers, when shopping for breast forms, tend to buy the largest ones they can find. Lots of anedoctal evidence show that they get very unhappy because it simply doesn’t look so good on them, and they should buy smaller sizes instead. Aware of those pitfalls, the first pair I bought were C cups. But I didn’t take into account my wide chest. I have bought D cups since then — they look huge — but they work rather well because of my wide chest. They even look small, if that is altogether possible!
This is, I believe, one of the largest issues on “buying from the Internet”. On one hand, it is very easy, you get really good bargains (most with high quality), and packaging is discreet. You also get lots of options. The downside, of course, is that you won’t ever know if things “fit”. Sizes vary so much across countries and even shops, it’s almost impossible to know if you’ll buy a pair of shoes that is, indeed, your size — even if the friendly shopper provides you with all sorts of charts and measuring guides.
But what are the alternatives? For me, not many — in my country, cross-dressing is unorganised, there are almost no support groups, and most are targeted to fetishism cross-dressing anyway, and frown upon cross-dressers that are not interested in having sex with them. So it’s harder on me. Other countries have all sorts of local support groups, as well as many shops catering for the needs of cross-dressers. This means that they are “safe” environments where you can try out things on your own, and make sure everything fits properly — and even get a professional opinion.
I’m lucky, since my Significant Other helps me out saying what is “plainly wrong”; she’s rather critical of my “antiquated” tastes and has encouraging me, over the past, to adopt a more casual look — sometimes even shopping for me. I think she’s right — you can judge from the pictures what you prefer — but I also like the glamour of an evening dress. And although she thinks that I’m not ready to “pass” in the streets, at least she managed to give me a more “passable” look. Things can only improve with training!