Modern vintage… beautiful!

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I have been traveling a lot lately, and haven’t had much time to read, write or post anything for awhile. But I am now back at home and after some “catch-up” time will soon be able to fall back into my routine of life.

What my travels did allow for was some very interesting conversations with different people from around the world, and their take on life, sexuality and gender was NOT what I was expecting it to be. I found out a few other interesting things as well. I will organize my thoughts on the topics (best that I can, anyway) and post on it soon.

What I did stumble across while away was a great picture of Mila Kunis. You all may know her as Jackie on “That 70’s Show”, or the voice of Meg Griffin in “Family Guy” or even the girlfriend of Ashton Kutcher. What I will always think of her for going forward is this classically inspired Dior advertisement she had done back in 2012.

I always thought she was cute/pretty, but never down-right hot as many guys have proclaimed over the years. But in this picture I do find her to be beautiful! I’m sure it’s the 50’s/60’s vibe that she has that won me over, but I love it.

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Usually it’s the classic Hollywood starlets of the 50’s that I both want to look like and find attractive. The modern ladies of Tinsel Town are pretty, but don’t affect me like the classic ladies I reference in many of my posts. Maybe it is as much, or maybe even more, about the clothes and images of the times that attracts me to a woman as it is the woman herself. That is, presentation and personality more than just physical beauty alone.

Anyway, this got a little deeper than I really wanted to go in this post. I just wanted to share the photo and let you see more of what beauty is in my eyes. I hope to see more modern ladies in photo shoots like this. Class never goes out of style!

Let me add… I know I could never get my wife to start to dressing like this, just not who she is. She is a modern beauty and truly my soul mate. Actually, 50’s style aside, I still I own many more skirts and dresses than she does (like 20:1)… and I’m OK with that!

-ValS

Just a little in the middle

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One of the things I have struggled with as a cross-dresser over the years is body weight. I have been up and down for a variety of reasons, but this time I think I am finally headed the right way.

Way back when I first started dressing in my mother’s skirts and blouses, there was a point where my growing male body fit perfectly into her things. The waist sizes, the shoulders, and even the shoe sizes all worked out right. Those were some great times, as I had literally had access to a full female wardrobe. Unfortunately genetics decided to put an end to this as I began to outgrow almost all dimensions of my mother’s things. Sadly, I came to the realization that I needed my own female things, or I would end up ruining my mothers.

One thing I have always been very good at is gaining weight. Actually, it might just be my greatest talent. I love to eat all kinds of foods and that pleasure is only matched by my love of all kinds of beers/ales. With this in mind, I was able to effortlessly put on weight.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t really want to gain weight… it just happened. The older I get, there more effortless it became. Now to be totally honest, at one point I liked the weight gain, because my whole physique became soft and round. Even though I was plus sized, there was nothing powerful or muscular about my build. My adams apple was completely obscured (not really very big anyway) and I was able to create some impressive cleavage using a boob belt. All these things helped me to feel exceedingly feminine, but only to a point.

Being brutally honest, I didn’t like being fat. I enjoyed the cleavage, but there was really little else good about being big. I topped out at about 260 lbs (118 kgs or 18 stone, 8 lbs).

I didn’t feel great, couldn’t keep up with the kids in anything, and probably wasn’t too healthy. Any of these realities should have been enough of a reason to make a change in my lifestyle, but they didn’t… at least not by themselves.

I could (and did) get women’s clothes in larger sizes, but they weren’t the feminine articles I really wanted. Once I had come to the conclusion that the fashions of the 1950’s were where my heart was, I started focusing on those vintage skirts and dresses. The problem is that women in the 1950’s were smaller on the average. Most of the items I found and fell in love with were simply too small for my larger frame. It was the desire to get my hands on more of the real vintage fashions that pushed me to lose some weight (sad but true).

So I have been at it now for about eight months, and to date I am down about 55 lbs (25 kgs or 3 stone, 13 lbs). I do feel much better and I am losing dress sizes! I am seeing a much greater selection of vintage items available in my range, but I know there will be even more as I continue to lose more weight. I actually get excited when I weight in and see I have lost some more weight and know that means the selection of vintage clothing is increasing conversely.

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One thing that has not escaped my attention is that most of women wearing the fashion I prefer (full skirts and petticoats) have that iconic “wasp waist” look that at this point I could only dream of having. Tight tops, tiny waists, and full, poufy skirts are so enticing to me. That 50’s hourglass silhouette… it is the look I really want, but once again genetics will be working against me. Guys, even ones in great shape, just don’t achieve Barbie doll thin waists.

Betty Brosmer... the original living Barbia Doll.

Betty Brosmer… the original living Barbia Doll.

Truth is most women didn’t achieve those wasp waists without some assistance, namely the corset. So now I am infatuated with the idea of getting a corset and beginning to train my waist down several inches smaller than what I could achieve through normal means. I have just started reading and researching the subject of “waist training” and I have a lot to learn, but I am truly enamored with the idea of wearing a tight laced corset.

This would be the type worn just at the waist, not right up to the breast or under-breast. So far I know that to be truly effective in training, they need to be worn at least 12-14 hours a day (i.e.) almost every waking moment. The idea of wearing one to work is not so ideal, especially when feigning a masculine existence! So I am thinking of wearing one at all times, outside of work and mostly at night. I haven’t quite figured this all out yet, but I gather for some reason wearing a corset at night while sleeping is much less effective. Figures!

Another thing I have considered and not yet figured out how to handle is my wife. I’m pretty sure she will not be in favor of the corset plan. Once I have a bit more understanding, I will have to explore the idea with her. Just based on experience, I am sure she will think I have fallen a little farther down into the rabbit hole and oppose the idea. But we shall see. Of course I still would have to hide it from everyone else in my personal life, and that would still be a challenge. The good news is it should be easier under all the winter clothing that will soon be coming out of the closet, even if I am not.

After writing this, I took a minute to think about the corset idea and all that Valerie has become. Once again I have taken the cross-dressing to a new level (or would like to). Again, I have to wonder… just where will it end?

-ValS

I am SO excited to get this !!!!

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I am so excited about this that I just had to share. I just ordered a book entitled The New Look, The Dior Revolution which could have also been called The Valerie South Encyclopedia of Inspiration.

The book is 176 pages of pictures and history of the revolutionary Dior look that came about in 1947, after the close of World War II. The silhouette was characterized by a small, nipped-in waist and a full skirt falling below mid-calf length, which emphasized the bust and hips. At a time of post-war fabric restrictions, Dior used up to twenty yards of extravagant fabrics for his creations, favoring luxury textiles. The New Look became extremely popular, its full-skirted silhouette influencing other fashion designers well into the 1950s, and Dior gained a number of prominent clients from Hollywood, the United States, and the European aristocracy. As a result, Paris, which had fallen from its position as the capital of the fashion world after WWII, regained its preeminence. The New Look was welcomed in Western Europe as a refreshing antidote to the austerity of wartime and de-feminizing uniforms, and was embraced by stylish women such as Princess Margaret in the UK.

Anyone who has read my blog basically knows that Dior’s “New Look” is South’s “Old Look”. I am excited to read deep into the history and style, and to check out the hundreds of pictures, which I love. I can’t wait for this to arrive so I can waste countless hours poring through it.

Grace would be pleased…

-ValS