The Occasional Woman — Keep it Cool

| Jul 13, 2015
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sweatDearest Readers,

I write to you from directly in front of the air conditioner. Why am I there? Cuz it’s effin’ HOT, that’s why! So, I am moved to discuss ways to look cool when one is actually sweating like a water buffalo.

My Grandmother used to say “Horses sweat, men perspire, but ladies just glow.” If that is true, then I am glowing like a pot-bellied pig! I can hardly bear it…. So I have decided to address the topic of heat-sensible yet fashionable dressing.

My first bit of advice is: Natural fibers. Cotton, silk, rayon, bamboo and the like. These lovely fibers breathe, and allow your skin to do so to boot. Un-natural fibers are much like wearing a trash bag; the close-knit pieces trap the sweat (or glow) within their folds, making you get even hotter. Also, they tend to hold odors and stains, so I’d say to avoid the Hefty Bag look and switch to real fabrics.

Not good in the summer heat.

Not good in the summer heat.

Easier said than done, you may say? Yeah, I know. Many of us purchase clothing from the “plus-sized” world, and they seem to think that if one is over a size fourteen, one wants to wear crappy polyester duds, with gathered necklines, colors and prints not found in nature, and elastic waists — but NOOOOOO! We want to look elegant, cute, sexy and fashionable, just like our slender sisters! For this reason, I have generally avoided Catherine’s, Lane Bryant and other plastic bag purveyors, and generally make my own clothes. And hey — y’all can hire me to do the same for you!

Ann Taylor linen blend 3/4 sleeve top.

Ann Taylor linen blend 3/4 sleeve top.

I have surveyed many clothing emporiums, and I have to say Ann Taylor has some swell offerings, especially in their Tall section. Too expensive, you may say? Not when the clothing is fashionable, classic, well-made and comfortable. A well-made skirt, dress or top from Ann will pretty much never go out of style. A simple piece, say, a black linen top, can be dressed up with pearls, or ho-d down with a naughty mini-skirt and audacious jewelry. I like the tops and bottoms at good ole JC Penney, good selection of natch clothes, and, oddly enough, K-Mart! They have great natural fiber tops that are not always frumpy and dowdy.

Of course, if one is sporting a skirt or dress, one’s legs ought to be nicely landscaped — if you can afford (and tolerate!) leg-waxing, which is a convenient and long-lasting way to be hair-free for a good long time. Or, if your leg hair still has color and you are willing to get laser hair removal, that would be wonderful. My friend Kristyn does this, and swears by it. You can wax body hair yourself — if your neighbors don’t mind the blood-curdling screams and strings of expletives.



Pantyhose? HATE ‘EM!  sure, they look really good, but yowsuh! Putting your nice legs in tight plastic bags! Noooo. Thigh-highs can be a godsend, If you have taut, muscular legs. Otherwise, they will slooooowly creep down to your pumps and puddle around your ankles. I know this from personal experience. (At a job interview, no less.) The age-old stockings and garter belt combo is fairly heat-friendly, is rather titillating — you might feel like a retro scarlet woman, and if you can handle it, well, go ahead girl!

Also, remember to pumice and cream up your feeties, or get yourself a pedicure — we don’t wish to display ashy, cracked heels with our sling-back Manolo sandals! Make ’em pretty, ladies.

And do try to keep some blotting-paper tissue-y things in your Michael Kors bag — blot that sweat and stay fresh-looking. Think cool, stay cool and I’ll see you on the flip side.

Contact Lorraine via email for info on her seamstress service, The Occasional Woman.

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Category: Style, Transgender Fashion, Transgender Opinion

The Occasional Woman

About the Author ()

I am a native Californian who has been based in the Philadelphia area since 1984. My first CD fashion creation was a gold lamé dress for the now esteemed editor of this publication. Since then I have made tons of fabulous frocks and other fashion apparel for the crossdressing and transgender community. Contact me for custom clothing or alterations via email: Visit my Facebook page, @alterationsbylorraine

Comments (4)

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  1. Linda Jensen Linda Jensen says:

    One of the things that many crossdressers have to consider is whether or not what they wear in the summer will reveal any body and leg hair they must retain. I have met some who will not go out in summer because their closet situation is such that they cannot shave their legs or remove body hair.
    My first summer excursions were in London England where luckily it was cool enough to wear leggings and high neck blouses. At the time I had quite heavy hair all over.
    My next time out was in New York in 96 degree August heat to go to a Joyce Dewhurst party. I wore two pair of panty hose, a skirt and a long-sleeve high-neck blouse with a long brunette wig. I only had a short walk from my hotel to the party club but by the time I was half way I was drenched in sweat, really drenched. Sweat was pouring down my face and my bluse was drenched in sweat leaking out from under my boobs. It was awful but thankfully the club had its air conditioning going fuill blast. After a long time in the ladies’ room I was dried out enough to make my appearance.
    Not long after that I took care of the problem by regular waxing of my body and leg hair.

    • Nadia Nadia says:

      There is also the option of going au naturel. I am a full-time trans woman, not a CD, and I will never go back into male presentation for any reason, but I refuse to shave or wax or whatever it is that American or 1st world women do to their natural body hair. If I had been born physically female, I would have been exercising my right to go au naturel, and I am doing the same as a trans woman, all rules be damned! I am a woman of 2nd world nationality and political persuasion (think Cold War), not American or any other 1st world, and I proudly wear and display my natural body hair (the same body hair which I would have had as a GG) as if it were my Communist Party ID badge. 🙂

  2. Aydene Aydene says:

    Physicality has to be considered. Consider too, that your sense of self as male and as female if a CD, or if dealing with 24/7, you’re going to start out many years behind a genetic born female. We each pass through equivalent developing years, teen years, twenties and so on. I am a 75 year old completely transgendered woman.
    I went from red to silver, my make up has changed accordingly. You folks who are very tall, avoid dresses and go for slacks, nice heels, don’t hide your height. I’m fortunate to be 5’4. Your hair style has to fit the shape of your face. Seems the long, long sexy hair is the look, but sometimes just isn’t sexy at all with a long male chin and square jaw. I’m not a professional stylist, hairdresser or make up artist. But, alas, I am an Artist and Aydene is a creation oof my soul. ciao

  3. j2emily j2emily says:

    a lot of truth in this article. many of the styles in the stores mentioned above are like tents. 2 items affecting me being a slim 170 but 6’1′ “:
    Have shopped them all but cannot find anyplace that beats Ross Stores. Lots of quality and style at discount prices.
    If you are tall and longlegged thigh highs are out unless your skirts are mid calf or longer