Saturday, 15 March 2014

Disco diva discourses on dresses and skirts

Since last summer I've started to wear skirts more than I have hitherto. Now that's interesting, because for a long time I tried hard not to. Wearing skirts - brightly coloured printed ones for instance, but especially miniskirts - was no way to differentiate oneself from the stock image of the transitioner. One needs a waist, and prominent hips, to look natural in a skirt, and although I was better-endowed in the hip department than some, I was highly conscious that I wasn't by any means a perfect female shape. So I usually played for safety, and turned to leggings and jeggings instead. It was boring but safe.

Dresses were always an easier proposition than skirts, and if the occasion were suited to a dress, I had fewer qualms getting into one. And dresses could look expensive, stylish and even elegant, conveying a message about the wearer that might generate interest and some respect - at any rate, the kind of interest and speculation one stirred up when sporting a very posh, desirable handbag or some other gorgeous accessory. And because dresses hung from the shoulders, one's body shape did not matter quite so much. I wore nothing but dresses while going through my inevitable disco-going phase in 2009. None were pink, but some were frilly. All were cheap and loud. This, for instance, from March 2009:

For a short while - a few months only - club discos or special events served a definite purpose. One went to them not for the so-called music, nor to have a drink, certainly not to chat (who can in a noisy disco?), but simply to be somewhere where super-feminine attire was the expected thing, the celebrated thing; and nobody was going to bother you, no matter what you wore. Places where being over the top was entirely the norm. So it was no surprise to be faced with this when turning up at some event:

Nor to encounter this kind of dress code within:

In October 2009, with a possible visit to a London nightclub in mind, I equipped myself with a red rubber dress from Lust in Brighton - complete with a spiked collar and lash:

I never wore it. It's long gone. (Into the bin - I baulked at taking it to a charity shop!)

My very last gasp at the LGBT disco scene was in December 2009, at the Brighton Oceana, a multi-disco extravaganza at which Boy George was a guest DJ. By this time, my notion of suitable attire had developed just a little:

All those days are well in the past. I stopped needing special events because I could be Lucy all the time, every day, 24/7, and I had acquired sufficient know-how and confidence to dress in my own style, and to vary what I wore without fearing public ridicule.

It became possible to wear dresses and skirts often, and look credible. I am packing a good selection of them for my West Country holiday, now only days away. And when I return in April, there will be the issue of what to wear at the Speed Awareness Course. It'll be ho-hum jeggings only if the weather is foul. Given a lovely sunny day, I think a dress will be perfectly in order. And obviously a dress for the Wedding in May...


  1. You look good in a dress Lucy. I won't wear anything that isn't a skirt or a dress, nothing to cover my legs except nylon stockings. Been that way ever since I transitioned. I even gave up wearing jeans at work. I will wear overalls when and if required though for obvious reasons! They will be covering my skirt and stockings though! LOL

    Shirley Anne x

  2. I've yet to experiment much with dresses, but I love skirts and have never let the absence of feminine hips bother me. Many years ago, when I was still firmly in male mode, a fashion-conscious friend unwittingly told me that I had an A-line figure and I've followed her advice.

    You look lovely in that first dress, Lucy, but I'm glad that the rubber one is no more. Dear me, the things we do whilst 'growing up' and discovering our true selves!

  3. I had no idea I was supposed to have a disco phase! Did I miss much?


This blog is public, and I expect comments from many sources and points of view. They will be welcome if sincere, well-expressed and add something worthwhile to the post. If not, they face removal.

Ideally I want to hear from bloggers, who, like myself, are knowable as real people and can be contacted. Anyone whose identity is questionable or impossible to verify may have their comments removed. Commercially-inspired comments will certainly be deleted - I do not allow free advertising.

Whoever you are, if you wish to make a private comment, rather than a public one, then do consider emailing me - see my Blogger Profile for the address.

Lucy Melford