You Can't Do That With People

One Crossdresser's Journey Through Life

Archive for the month “October, 2013”

Joanne’s Website of the Week – Ivy Leaf’s “Tribute to the Corsetiere”

Running a bit behind posting-wise this week, so without further ado, a review of this week’s winner.

For some reason not immediately apparent to most people, many of us have an affinity for what I call “traditional” shapewear – you know, girdles, corselettes, the sort of thing your mother may have worn and your grandmother probably did, as opposed to the modern garments called “Spanx” and the like. For some of us, that affinity extends beyond just wearing them and goes into the whole history of such garments. There have been a few websites dealing with this over the years such as “Zona” and, of course, dear, sweet Lyn Locke’s “Girdles and More”. Today, the go-to place for the history of foundation garments is Ivy Leaf’s “Tribute to the Corsetiere”.

Ivy (I’ll explain where the name comes from in a bit) is a charming Dutch lady who lives with her husband in rural England. They also happen to own one of the largest vintage shapewear collections in the world! The site is regularly updated, and is an absolute treasure trove of information about styles, manufacturers, anything you could possibly want to know about girdles, corsets etc. The collection itself is occasionally brought out and modelled by Ivy’s friends for what has become an annual calendar, the proceeds of which go to help worthy causes. There’s even a section tucked away on the site for those of us who crossdress, called “The Other Side of Corsetry“.

Oh, and the “Ivy Leaf” name…..that comes from the club that Spirella Corsetieres could join. This site is a must-see! Click on the golden corset to check it out, but be warned – you’ll be there for hours!.

Golden Corset Award 3

Joanne’s Retailer of the Week – AmpleBosom.com

It’s nice to report a success story, and this is most certainly one!

Back in 1999, farmer’s wife Sally Robinson founded the company in rural North Yorkshire, England after one of the farm staff was bemoaning how difficult it was for her to find the right bra for her wedding day. Sally fully understood the problem – as a fuller-figured lady herself, there were options available, but mostly very plain, frumpy ones. There was no questioning Sally’s business acumen, as she had already diversified the farm business with six holiday cottages. So out of this, and some help from her bank, AmpleBosom.com was born.

Today, the business has grown into one which stocks a wide range of sizes (bras go from 28AA to 58N!) in all sorts of undergarments (even the fellows are catered for!), plus a full range of swimwear, nightwear ad a nice little selection for those special occasions. One very nice touch is that the vast majority of bras on the site have matching briefs available to, as Sally puts it, “complete the look”. And, they ship worldwide!

Congratulations to Sally and her team on becoming my second “Retailer of the Week”! Why not click on the logo below and see for yourself what’s on offer!

 

ab-logo

 

Stockings, Suspenders and other such things…..

Firstly, a note to my US reader: “Suspenders” are, at least in this context, something a lady uses to hold up her stockings, as opposed to something a man uses to hold up his trousers. There is a story related to that which I will tell on here some day. “Trousers” are what you call “pants”, which is what we sometimes call our knickers. This is all getting very confusing. What was that about “two nations separated by a common language”?

However, back to topic. Let’s begin with a few observations, based on what I see day-to-day:

  • Most women don’t wear skirts or dresses
  • Most of those who do don’t wear hose
  • Most of those who do wear hose probably wear tights (For my US reader, pantyhose….Oh Lord, here we go again)
  • Most of those who wear something other than tights probably wear hold-ups or thigh-highs

Now, looking at this from a different perspective:

  • Most CDs wear skirts or dresses
  • Most of those who do wear hose
  • Most of those who wear hose wear “traditional” stockings which need suspenders

If you’re still awake, here’s what I’m getting at: has anyone tried to buy “traditional” stockings in a “bricks and mortar” store recently? If you have, at least here around La-La land, you’ve probably come up empty-handed. I’m of an age where I recall the department stores having extensive hosiery sections – indeed, the shoe shops even had a reasonable selection. I even recall the shoe repairers (remember them, back when there were shoes worth fixing?) often had some on display. Now? You’ll find a very limited selection of tights in the department stores, perhaps thigh-highs, but stockings? Forget it. Shoe retailers? Not a chance. Thankfully, a place called The Internet was invented by Al Gore, and stockings can still be found there, as can I. Here’s a selection of online places  who will be more than happy to fill your hosiery needs, assembled from personal experience and recommendations of others. I’m confining this to places which fall within reasonable pricing – obviously, there’s more exotic stuff out there if you want it.

Essential Apparel  – I’ve used them a couple of times and had good service. They sell the Berkshire brand – check out my review of the Berkshire Sexyhose range. Often run free shipping and 25% off “specials”.

National – I used to get the occasional catalogue in the mail from these folks, but had forgotten about them until someone recommended them. If you wand a good, basic everyday stocking at reasonable cost, this is the place. Six pairs for $19.95 or 12 pairs for $37.95!

Stocking Store – I’d never heard of this one, but it comes highly recommended. Prices and selection seem reasonable.

eBay – Of course, you’ll find them here. Two sellers (both local to the LA area) I’ve used and had good service from are ProfBloodGood and Youresosexylingerie-leather

If anyone has additional suggestions, feel free to comment!

Joanne’s Website of the Week – Betty Pamper’s “Pamper and Curves”

Well, having recovered from the euphoria of last week’s inaugural “Golden Corset Award” (for those of you have asked, the inaugural winner, Elisabeth Dale, has fully recovered after fainting upon learning of her award), please welcome the next “Website of the Week”.

Betty (real name Perelandra, but I’ll stick with Betty) is a professional makeup artist who lives with her husband and insanely cute seven-year-old daughter on the Wirral Peninsula in England. For those of you who don’t know where the Wirral Peninsula is, it’s that sticky-out bit across the River Mersey from Liverpool and is, among other things, home to Tranmere Rovers Football Club. Yes, there is actually a place called Tranmere. For those of you who don’t know where Liverpool is, it’s where The Beatles came from. For those of you who don’t know who The Beatles are, click here. No offence, but you really don’t belong here. However, I digress…..

Betty also happens to be “plus size”, and she’s not ashamed of it. She regularly features fashions for the fuller figure, and it’s not of the rent-a-tent variety. Betty is happy to share lots of tips on makeup, and can often be found on weekends doing the needful for entire bridal parties. She’s also very adept with the “social media”, and I strongly recommend following her @BettyPamper on Twitter, where you can sample her uniquely wicked and self-deprecating brand of humour. One regular source of amusement to Betty is the search terms used to find her website – she was tickled to learn that some months ago, a search for “plus size hottie suspenders” turned her site up as the number three result on Google!

So, without further ado, please join me in congratulating Betty Pamper, this weeks winner of the “Golden Corset Award”. Please click on the corset to see what all the fuss is about. You won’t be disappointed!

Golden Corset Award 2

Joanne’s Retailer of the Week – Optique by Cynthia & Christine

I know a little bit about glasses. I got my first pair in mid-1961. That’s 52 years ago. Like I said, I know a little bit about glasses. I want the best service I can get.

When the time came to get a nice feminine pair of glasses, I wanted to find a store which could meet my particular needs. Optique by Cynthia and Christine jumped out at me, being in West Hollywood and having lots of great reviews. I contacted them and explained what I was looking for, and was told to stop by any time. So, I headed over there one Friday. Little was I to know just what an adventure it would be!

Cynthia and Christine are sisters – they’ve worked at the store for a good number of years, and now own it! I met Christine on my first visit. Very warm, friendly person who wasn’t just there to sell me a pair of glasses, but wanted to find out about me as a person in order to help in selecting what was best for me. I spent almost two hours there! When I went back to pick the glasses up, I got Cynthia. Same story. Cynthia was very interested in finding out just how someone like me lives day to day. Again, two very enjoyable hours.

If it’s cheap you’re looking for – keep walking. If you want a small, family owned and family run business where they genuinely care about you and your specific needs, and believe in good old-fashioned customer service – stop right here for all your optical needs.

Optique by Cynthia & Christine can be found at 8947 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069, and they open at around 11 AM (12 on Sundays). Metered on-street parking has been readily available when I’ve visited – WeHo’s meters do take cards, but bear in mind that there’s a two hour limit in the area. Give the girls a call on 310-271-1313!

A momentous occasion….The Inaugural “Golden Corset” Award

Having given the matter some thought, I have reached the conclusion that there should be some recognition for my “Website of the Week”. In view of this, it is my pleasure…..no, privilege to present Elisabeth Dale with the inaugural “Golden Corset” award for her site “The Breast Life”. Click on the picture to find out just why this prestigious award has been bestowed. Oh, and for those wondering why I chose a “Golden Corset”: Have YOU ever tried to find a picture of a golden garter (that’s a suspender, for my UK reader) online?

Joanne’s Website of the Week – Elisabeth Dale’s “The Breast Life”

And you thought this blog had an odd name…..

Elisabeth is the daughter of a breast cancer survivor. Add to that the experience of giving birth to and nursing three children, and it’s easy to see where her interest in….well, you know, boobs came from. Almost exactly six years ago, Elisabeth published her book “bOObs: A Guide to Your Girls” and since then, has become a much in demand speaker and authority on the subject. Additionally, if you’re looking for an alternative take on the whole “pink ribbon” campaign, you’ll find it right here, and Elisabeth certainly doesn’t pull any punches on this issue. I positively encourage my reader to sign up for her newsletter and podcast.

However, “The Breast Life” isn’t just about boobs. Elisabeth is something of an aficionada of fine lingerie, and she both visits and reports on numerous trade shows. There’s also an online store where a selection of products ranging from books (including hers!) and DVDs right through to bras and shapewear are available. Keep a special lookout for products with the “Breast Life Seal of Approval”!

Oh, and one other thing….Elisabeth absolutely hates pantyhose, and much prefers stockings! That alone qualifies her site for my first ever “Website of the Week”. Visit Elisabeth Dale’s The Breast Life!

Update, October 6 2013 – I am deeply saddened to report that Elisabeth’s mother Edith passed peacefully yesterday. Please Keep Elisabeth and her family in your thoughts and prayers, if you do such things, at this difficult time.

Joanne Reviews…..Berkshire Queen Silky Sheer Sexyhose Stockings – Sandalfoot 1361q

Originally submitted at Essential Apparel

Spice up your stockings with Berkshire’s Lace Top Sexyhose! Product Features: Elegant lace top stockings Designed for garter belt Very sheer Lycra leg Requires a garter Invisible Toe SOLD IN QUANTITIES OF 3 Made in U.S.A

Gorgeous!

By Joanne from Los Angeles, CA on 10/1/2013
5out of 5

Sizing: Feels true to size

Pros: Stay In Place, Comfortable

Best Uses: Formal Occasions, Office, Everyday

Describe Yourself: Romance Driven

Was this a gift?: No

I absolutely adore these! I’m an every day stockings wearer, and I always make a point of keeping stocked up on them. With care, you’ll get numerous wearings out of each pair. One thing to keep in mind about the Berkshire range is that the height recommendation is very accurate. I’m 6’1″, and anything with a 5’10” maximum height really means just that! Overall, very comfortable with that touch of sexiness from the lacy top.

(legalese)

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