Glancing in a shop window on a windswept road, I saw two dresses on hangers inside. They were amongst other items of clothing on offer in this pop-up second-hand shop, which had previously sold gas fittings and boilers. One black & white number was particularly inviting, and soon I returned for a better look – attired in a way more acceptable, perhaps, for such a purchase: makeup, skirt, and stilettos rather than faded jeans and stubble.

Buoyant with confidence, I asked, “Could I see that dress in the window?” in a convincingly girlish voice. At least, there was no strange reaction from the woman behind the counter. There was also a bright red pair of high-heeled Mary-Jane shoes, although a practised glance told me they were far too small. Size matters for the comfortable cross-dresser!

The dress of my desire was cotton, in a stylish floral print, and fell just short of the knees. “Four pounds,” she said; so I bought it.

The red shoes stayed in the shop a while longer, attracting my eye but pointless to buy. Then the place closed down, taking the shoes with it. Wherever did they end up? I passed by many times later, as a man, remembering the dress and how I had acquired it. Of course, I had done that sort of thing before.

It was the summer of 2011, and Brighton Pride was approaching. I had missed out a couple of years, for unpleasant and unimportant reasons. Usually, I liked to go in a beautiful outfit – either a Goth-type look with black lace or a more innocent Alice in Wonderland style. By now, I had become familiar with the Lolita fashions of Japan – as seen in Brighton’s Anime Festival – and tried to mimic this approach, albeit cheaply.

The black & white dress would figure in a big way. Thick petticoats puffed it out, with a blouse and purple ribbon tie. White tights and chunky shoes added to the look, along with the pink jacket I had bought, embarrassingly, as a man. Adding a blonde wig, owned for years, I became a wonderful vision for the sunlight.

Joining the parade in the town centre, I was stopped for a photo or two like the latest novelty. My look was a far cry from the bare-chested hedonism also on display, but I found it delightfully chic. An Asian girl selling fizzy drinks beheld me in wonder, saying I looked so pretty – or words to that effect. I used a male voice to speak to her and she was astonished I was not a girl. As we reached a local park for the main festival, I met Sam – another cross-dresser – as we did on and off, unpredictably. Soon, it was time for refreshing tea and mutual admiration.

En Femme Style

 

 

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Maive O'Neal
Lady
Active Member
22 days ago

Such a wonderful story Polly!! It’s funny how a lot of the cloths and accessories we buy have a story behind them and how the memories come with wearing them. Sounds like you had a lovely day thank you for sharing!!!!!

Tia Wells
Lady
Active Member
22 days ago

@Polly Jocelyn Lovely outfit! I’ve found that if you see something you like, you need to get it right away. So many times I’ve looked at something that has been a little too expensive then gone back later to buy it and it is sold or, as you said the store is gone. I’ve never been to an anime festival but, it sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing.
Love Tia

Angela Booth
Member
Trusted Member
22 days ago

Well Polly I believe we all come to the stage where we see a bargain and somehow know it is the right size and style. As if there is any space in my wardrobe for more a cute dress or other item is bought on instinct. Your dress really works in the context you wore it in and to get positive comments is always lovely. You look really good.
It doesn’t matter where the clothes come from, charity shops have to be looked in as they can be a wonderful place to find some real bargains.

Anna Redhead
Baroness
Trusted Member
22 days ago

It’s always nice to find a bargain and you really did. That is a gorgeous outfit. I’ve always loved shopping in Brighton and did bag some lovely items on my last visit there in March. One day I will summon the courage to shop round the North Lanes in Anna mode.

Joanna Berry
Duchess
Active Member
21 days ago

Hi Polly
I love your outfit 💕 I’m constantly looking in charity shops there really are some great clothes to bag at very reasonable prices…pity I’ve just not had the courage to step in and buy something – (yet) 🤭
joanna x

Stephanie Silk
Lady
Member
18 days ago

@Polly Jocelyn I love to shop, whether it is for bargains, new items or something that I cannot resist.  Half the fun for me is the hunt.  I’ve learned the importance of returning frequently to check the inventory, especially for shoes in my size.  If I were single, I’d be in danger of spending all of my money on clothing.  I love to look nice!

Vera
Member
Vera
16 days ago

Polly , I just Love the dress , pink sweater and white tights and heels 

Kim Natasha
Lady
Member
11 days ago

I love your clothes. You look amazing!! Go girl!!!

MeMyself
Lady
Member
7 days ago

Hi Polly ! You nailed it and look tastefully feminine on the picture.

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