By the fabulous Alexandra!
I know. Yet another photo of me in this dress. Clearly, I’m farming a much depleted source of archived photos. But, at least this one is of me smiling, a rare thing 😀
As I mentioned earlier (in a previous Flickr post), my wife and I recently went on a trip to Belgium and Switzerland. Among the many things that grabbed my attention was women’s fashions, both as a heterosexual man who likes beautiful things and a closeted crossdresser aiming to improve my look. For the most part, one could pick up most people we saw and plop them into any U.S. city and the transition would be seamless. People looked pretty much the same – reasonably well-dressed and a diverse lot. The other way around, not so much. We were able to pick Americans out of a crowd pretty easily (nothing says “American” like bigness, a pair of crocs, and some infantile team-branded t-shirt or ball cap). I admit I’m snobbish. No apologies there, either. We’re Americans ourselves, and proudly so, but our nature is to be humble and modest as well as respectful of the culture we are visiting.
Anyway, what I noticed and started to like more and more were women across the age spectrum wearing long dresses (maxis), often with a slit (which I find sexy), complemented with a jacket or shrug and, weirdly, sneakers. I say weirdly, but mainly because of its prevalence; this look has been around for a few years. But I don’t see it as much on U.S. sidewalks. A scarf was also sometimes worn, but it was less apparent as it tended toward the very hot during our stay. Anyway, I’m inspired, so I look forward to securing one or two of these maxi dresses, some sort of light jacket, and a pair of cute sneakers. I think I will avoid wearing clunky boots, something I saw a few times, even combat boots – I’m not keen on the Olive Oil look, if you get the Popeye reference.
As for makeup, it was relatively minimal. Most wore very light foundation, a bit of eyeliner and a touch of mascara, and matte nude lip colors. Few, if any, wore false lashes. There were a handful of women that puffed up their lips in disfiguring ways or enhanced their eyebrows in a manner befitting a clown, but this seemed rare. Tattoos, which in most cases are unattractive, were almost never seen. Same for ridiculously colored hair. A major exception was our visit to the H.R. Giger museum, celebrating its 25th anniversary – that event attracted a fascinating mix of decorated folk, as you might imagine 😀
Thanks to Kim McCallum for taking this photo. It is another in a stream of snapshots taken against this wall, including this one. A few interesting technical notes: 1) Kim encouraged this particular pose, which reduced the appearance of broad shoulders, 2) my tucked left elbow promoted the hourglass illusion, 3) no weight applied to my right leg deemphasized muscle definition, and 4) smile. The warmth of the hallway did cause greater blood flow to my hands, so the “man hand” thing was unavoidable 😀
Dress: SHEIN, Shoes: Bandalino, Hosiery: Orublu