I’ve written about how I never thought I would be able to get out in the summertime. For me, going out meant hose and heels and a dress. It would be too hot for hose (can’t show my bare legs!) and the wig is a big time heat source. I couldn’t imagine clearing those hurdles.
But as with everything else, we evolve. As I go out more often (I’ve probably been out over three hundred times the last five years), I’ve gained more confidence and I ask myself “why not?”. I’ve also had a voice in my ear (more accurately texts from my GG friend Renee) suggesting that “I get out of my comfort zone”.
I’ve had two more stimuli to venture out in the summer.
One is my bi-polar life (pun intended) because with an Australian wife, in pre-pandemic times, I would swap two months of winter up north for two months of additional summer down under. If I wanted to dress while down under, I needed to adapt.
Two is our monthly St. Louis Gender Foundation lunches, held at a variety of restaurants in the St. Louis metro area. I have fewer conflicts during the summer months, so I can attend more often. As I have lots of girl clothes, and not that many places to wear them, the more opportunities the better.
Scratch that, I have three reasons. Summer wear is cute and fun–once you get past the fear of showing a lot more skin. Like bare legs and bare shoulders. Bare guy legs and bare guy shoulders.
There are issues, like body hair (shave legs, shave arms, the occasional Nair, and getting my back waxed by my GG friend Michelle, who owns a salon) and tan lines (going running with my shirt off occasionally, to even out my tan, and trying to cover the tan lines from my bike shorts with enough length, be it shorts, a skirt, or a dress).
Spaghetti strap tops are cute and much cooler. They also show bra straps. Solution? Wear a padded bra (with lots of padding) and tuck the straps under the top!
Over the past two years, I began buying summer wear. A top here, a dress there. Michelle helped by gifting me some sundresses. I went from “I can’t wear that” to trying it on and thinking “that looks pretty good” (maybe my eyesight is declining?). After buying and wearing I found that bare shoulders makes things a lot cooler and offsets some of the added heat caused by the wig (not all, but a fair amount). I definitely prefer air conditioning to direct sun during the summer, but I’ve found the heat is manageable.
And did I mention that summer wear is cute and fun?
I bought the green dress a couple of years ago in Chicago (Nordstrom, of course) and it’s a nice summer dress. I wore it to our August lunch meeting, and then changed into a croptop (another item I thought I would never buy until I tried it on and liked it) with a skirt, to find a suitable bottom for the croptop (and ended up with some button-fly jeans).
For the September lunch my outfit was a black Princess Highway dress (my favorite Australian brand) that I found at a Savers in Melbourne (yes, there are Savers outlets down under, just like in the US). I’ve gotten a compliment on that dress when I wore it previously.
My final summertime adventure was when I had a Sunday afternoon tennis match in St. Louis. I had a couple free hours before the match so I got dressed and walked through Forest Park. I had intended to go to the zoo, but couldn’t find parking close enough, so I just walked some of the trails. The dress was one I bought at a Windsor store (I am definitely NOT in their demographic), with a strappy back and crossover straps that I have some difficulty putting on, but it is colorful and cute and I love it. It was a bit warm walking around Forest Park (mid-80’s), but I didn’t melt into a puddle.
I do like my summer outfits, more than I ever thought I would..