You Can't Do That With People

One Crossdresser's Journey Through Life

Stepping up to the plate – Her Room

The Internet is full of stories about lousy customer service, so for a change, here’s one about excellent service.

I bought a girdle (Rago 6210, for those who really want to know) from Her Room. Yesterday, I took it out of the packaging and was about to wear it for the first time when I noticed that something didn’t look right. The two front garters were missing. Not there. Not just the garters, the sewn-in loops to hold them. I checked with Her Room via their Twitter feed just to make sure that this wasn’t some sort of new innovation, and was given the e-mail address of their Customer Service Manager. This morning, I got an e-mail response, immediately followed by a no-charge return label. Additionally, one of their team called me just to confirm that everything was in hand.

Things go wrong from time to time – we’re human, and we’re not infallible. However, dealing with a problem is what sets a company apart from others. Well done, Her Room!

Final word: Her Room even has a little section with helpful tips for ladies like me 🙂

The Great Disney Lingerie Scandal of 2014

Earlier this week, I found myself involved in a very stimulating debate on Twitter regarding this subject. Also participating were such luminaries of the Twittersphere, blogosphere and various other spheres as Elisabeth Dale, Cora Harrington, and Ali Cudby. What sparked it all was this:

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You can read the full story behind this here. Disclaimer: my command of written and indeed, spoken Japanese is zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Or, as the saying goes where I come from, the square root of f**k all (if there are any mathematicians reading this: yes, I do know that the square root of f**k all isn’t really a number at all).

What this is all about is lingerie, possibly aimed at a younger market, themed on various Disney “princess” characters. It should be pointed out that it is, at this time, unclear whether these products are officially licensed/sanctioned by Disney. Some of the comments (not from the fine ladies mentioned above, I hasten to add) this has provoked have been along the lines that they shouldn’t be marketing “lingerie” to young girls. Here’s my take on this:

1) The word “lingerie” originates from the French word “linge”, meaning literally “washable”. Over the years, its English usage has gained sexual overtones. Mention of the word “lingerie” evokes, in many peoples’ minds, Victoria’s Secret, crotchless panties, corsets, suspenders and the like. Fact is, in the English language, the meanings of words change over time. Example: Those of us of an age to remember “The Flintstones” may recall the last line of the theme song. “We’ll have a gay old time”. 50+ years ago, “gay” meant “happy”, “carefree”, “fun”. Some would argue that it still does, but that’s a whole other debate. Although, this does raise an interesting point: how come both couples had a child, yet we never saw Wilma or Betty pregnant? What WAS going on with Fred and Barney? But, as I am fond of saying, I digress. These are pretty little bra and pantie sets, that’s all.

2) What’s here is all rather innocent. I recall, back in the UK, some 20-ish years ago the ASDA supermarket chain (incidentally, now owned by Wal-Mart) carried a range of undies for younger girls that were a little prettier than the usual things you would find. A little bit of lace here, a little bit of embroidery there. It wasn’t peep-hole bras for 12 year old girls, and neither is this. However, there was an outcry from the “usual suspects”. Churches and the like. My daughter would have been about 11 or 12 at the time, I didn’t have an issue with her liking something like this, and neither did my ex. We actually thought it was a rather cute idea.

Final thought: is there really something wrong with teaching our daughters, even from a relatively young age, to take a bit of pride in their presentation from the very basics out? I say no. What say you?

Rago

If you’ve found your way here, you’ve probably already realised that I’m not about to start 2014 with a dissertation about spaghetti sauce. No, gentle reader, I’m talking about something close to my heart, and various other parts of my anatomy: shapewear. And it’s not the kind that gets that name nowadays. either. (Side note: someone once pointed out that a pair of Spanx is like a small hotel in that they both lack ballroom. But, I digress…..)

No, I’m talking about what used to be called corsetry. Foundation garments. Girdles, corselettes, that sort of thing. The sort of thing your mother or indeed, grandmother would have worn. If you watch TV shows like “Mad Men”, “Pan Am” or more recently, “Masters of Sex”, you’ll have seen them. Most of what you see in those shows comes from a company called Rago, and it’s readily available. Here’s a couple of my favourites:

9357

Model 9357 – I own two of these, and have a third (in mocha & black) coming tomorrow. I’m tall, and the issue folks like me usually have with an “all-in-one” style garment is that it doesn’t come down far enough. Not this. Ideally, it should just leave the merest, naughtiest hint of cheeks exposed at the back for those of us who, like me, wear their panties over, and that’s just how it fits me. This is Rago’s firmest open-bottom corselette, but I’ve never found this uncomfortable, even after wearing it all day. And, it looks oh-so-sexy! Of course, there are six suspenders to keep your stockings in place.

1294

Model 1294 – a high-waisted girdle with a hook and eye fastening which then zips up. Again, this is Rago’s firmest “traditional” girdle, but it’s very comfortable and supportive. I usually team this with a longline bra, which I’ll post about separately.

My buying tip for these sort of things is very simple: get a proper measurement, either by doing it yourself or by a professional, and buy your actual size. Don’t be tempted to go a size smaller to get more control – it doesn’t work that way.

If colours are your thing, both Orchard Corset and Girdlebound will dye white garments in any one of a range of colours for $10 when you buy them.

Finally – I recommend following @RagoShapewear on Twitter. They’re always willing to answer questions and are very appreciative of input. Stay sexy, ladies 🙂

2013

Well, the year is drawing to its end. Lots of interesting things have happened. Joanne acquired a name and emerged from the shadows she had spent some 43 years lurking in, had lots of exciting experiences and in the process, made many friends.

2014 will surely bring new adventures. It’s going to be fun.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Philomena

It’s not often that a film jumps out at me as a “must see”, but being an adoptee, this real-life story certainly falls into that category. And, it has Dame Judi Dench.

As a teenager in the early 1950s, Philomena got pregnant. A problematic situation in itself, but in the Republic of Ireland, a nation where the Catholic Church and Government were as one, girls like Philomena were pariahs. Social outcasts. Philomena was sent off to a convent where she would have her baby, a little boy named Michael. She was allowed to see him for one hour a day. That was until, without warning, he was shipped off to the USA with a little girl who was his best friend.

Philomena never gave up hope that she would find Michael one day. Without giving too much away, she did ultimately fulfil that goal. If you see this film, you’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You may even rage. If you’re a Catholic, you may well be ashamed to admit it after seeing this.

I mentioned that I’m an adoptee. Some years ago, I met my birth mother, and continued a relationship with her. I believe that doing so brought her some closure on that particular episode of her life. I told her that she had done the right thing. Of course she did, given her circumstances at the time. She passed on Friday, December 27, 2013. She is now at peace.

Joanne Reviews…..The Custom Maid 612 High-Waisted Long Leg Pantie Girdle

I’ve never really been a pantie girdle wearer – that probably comes from my Mother, who wore a conventional open-bottom girdle all her days. However, I decided to give this formidable-looking garment a try.

612

As can be seen, it certainly justifies it’s “high-waisted” tag! There’s a zip on the left side which pulls up over a hook and eye closure, and unusually (at least in my limited experience of LLPGs), it has six suspenders rather than the usual four.

Getting it on was easy, but one “observation” was that closing the hooks and eyes was difficult because my left boob prevented me from seeing the closure! The full length mirror in my hotel room proved very helpful. I found the thighs a good fit (something I’ve found not to be the case on other LLPGs), and the lace is a very pretty touch. My only criticism would be with regard to sizing – the sizing is, on the face of it, the same as Rago’s, but I found it a bit on the loose side. If I buy another one of these, I’ll go down a size or two.

Overall, this is a good choice if you like “traditional” shapewear but occasionally want to wear something different from an OBG. You can find it, and lots of other goodies, at the link below. Remember, keep your suspenders taut, girls!

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It’s been a while……

I hadn’t realised just how long it had been since I had written here! That IS going to change.

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!

 

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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!

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