Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Asymmetrical Fashion - Youthful

Asymmetrical Striped White Blouse

One of my other stops while in Ontario was St. Jacobs - A true country village. It is an end of week Farmer's Market destination, a Mennonite Village, a shopping destination and fun place to have lunch/dinner. All in a country setting. This trip I visited the market, had lunch and shopped at amazing, trendy boutiques. I entered one of the beautiful upscale boutiques and realized, as I wondered, it took up the whole block.  

The fashions were bright cheery, and different; some very conservative and others on the edge. A good example of the "edgy" is the asymmetrical top shown here.  I saw many in the St. Jacobs' boutiques and the look is growing on me. 

Sylvia van de Logt's fashion blog "Where Women Over 40 Go For Their Style" has a good post on "How to wear asymmetrical clothing – Asymmetric dresses and tops to fall in love with". She list 5 reasons why you will love asymmetrical dressing. My favorite is #2:

They are more edgy and therefore add a young and hip element!

Read "40-Style" to see the other reasons. Needles to say there are many inspiring photos and suggestion. 

I do not have anything in my wardrobe asymmetrical, however, I am considering the top/dress shown, for $26.00 from the site SHYFUL. The site has a good sizing chart and the payment option seem safe. I am thinking about wearing it as above, with a short black pencil skit and colorful heels.I will keep you posted.   

Photos from St. Jacobs
wall mural, resting in the warm sun between boutiques and the Farmers Market. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Stunning Transgender Woman Models Bridal Wear...


Nicole Gibson

Make Her Feel like A Princess

We need wonderful success stories like this one.  Enjoy and dream.  I had one reader this morning thinking this was about me and my "Feminine Differential - The Ultimate Dress" experience. No. However, read my account of visiting a bridal salon if you have not already. I did feel like a princess.  


By Claudia Joseph
February 2017

Stunning wedding dress model Nicole Gibson, 36, was born a boy named Glen, started taking hormones in 2010 and had sex change operation in 2013.  

It came just days after she stormed into the spotlight at London Fashion Week. She is now legally recognized as a woman on her passport and driving license. Nicole has told MailOnline:

I don't really refer to myself as transgender now. Even though I was physically a little boy, I've always felt female – my brain was that of a little girl, my soul was that of a little girl. Now I'm living life as a woman. My passport describes my sex as Female not Trans.

Her Instagram page is splattered with selfies in her lingerie, poolside pictures in bikinis, catwalk snaps in bridal gowns and images of her curled up on her bed with her dog.

Yet 36-year-old Nicole Gibson is not your typical Millennial model: raised as a boy, the 'Unexpected Star of London Fashion Week' had a sex change operation just days after making her modelling debut in the autumn of 2013.

Now the five feet 11-inch model is living life as a woman – she is legally recognised as female on her passport and driving licence. 

She has been signed by the new agency Classic Models, joined dating website Tinder and flirts with the boys at the local rugby club, where she works as a barmaid. 

Her transformation to a woman has been so successful, and so convincing, that Nicole claims even her sexual partners cannot tell she was born a man.

Nicole, who lives in a quaint cottage in the rambling countryside in Warnham, West Sussex, was not always so comfortable in her skin. 

Born as a boy named Glen, she always felt an affinity with little girls, fantasizing about dressing up in women's clothes and pretending she was Elizabeth Taylor in the 1976 film Blue Bird.

Bullied at her secondary school, Tanbridge House, where she was given the nickname 'Glenda the Bender', she eventually came out as gay when she was a student at Collyer's sixth-form college, where she studied English Literature, theater studies and performing arts, alongside TV presenter Holly Willoughby.

... Nicole has been signed to Classic Models, which has promoted her as a bridal wear model. The highlight, so far, was walking down the catwalk for Estilo Moda at Woburn Abbey. 'That was an amazing experience,' she adds. 'I was just away with the fairies'.

'I got to the end of the catwalk and spun around like a princess. I've always dreamed of my wedding day. Now I just need to find my prince.'


Friday, May 17, 2019

Friends Friday - My Mercedes Club (March/April '19)

Photos from my last two Mercedes Club (Road Star Section) outings.   

Our March meeting was at the Mercedes Dealership located in North Palm Beach. We were given a private VIP tour of the dealership, including the maintenance shop. We had the owner and service manager's attention for over 45 minutes. There were lots of questions. Plus the dealership provided a nice lunch and trivia game with prizes.  

Our April meeting, thanks to Hartmut Fehyl, was held at  Renntech in Stuart, Florida. Hartmut is an amazing man who peruses his passion for cars; restoring, customizing, and racing. His specialty is Mercedes and he presented his recent tuning software enhancement. We saw many cars he is currently rebuilding, customizing and racing. Hartmut is shown talking about one of his race cars in the upper right photo. 

There were approximately 30 attending and following the tour at Renntech the group reconvened at Conchy Joe’s on the Indian River Lagoon in Jenson Beach for a very nice group lunch with prizes. 

I was the official photographer for these last two events. However, I was able to sneak into one by having someone take a photo. 

Coming up in May is our end-of-season bash; this year an elegant Saturday evening wine tasting. It will be held at a self storage wine vault where each wine vault is temperature controlled and has an individually decorated mahogany area with locks/alarms. According to their web site: "They go to great lengths and detail to provide your wine collection the best storage facility in Florida. Privacy and discretion is of the utmost importance to our clients. No one else can view your collection from the outside."  

This should be a fun and interesting evening. Stay tuned... 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Revolutionary War hero might have been a woman or intersex

Researchers noticed the Polish officer's delicate bone structure after the skeleton was extracted from the Pulaski monument in Savannah, Georgia.

By Corky Siemaszko  April 5, 2019

Polish soldier and military commander
Casimir Pulaski, circa 1775
Casimir Pulaski, hero of the Revolutionary War and the pride of the Polish-American community, may need a new pronoun — he may have been a she, or even a they.

Researchers who used DNA to identify Pulaski’s bones are convinced the gallant Pole who died fighting for America’s freedom was either a biological woman who lived as a man, or potentially was intersex, meaning a person whose body doesn’t fit the standard definitions of male or female.

That’s the eye-opening takeaway from a new Smithsonian Channel documentary titled “The General Was Female?,” which premieres Monday and is part of the “America’s Hidden Stories” series.

“One of the ways that male and female skeletons are different is the pelvis,” Virginia Hutton Estabrook, an assistant professor of anthropology at Georgia Southern University, told NBC News. “In females, the pelvic cavity has a more oval shape. It’s less heart-shaped than in the male pelvis. Pulaski’s looked very female.”

While the Pulaski skeleton showed tell-tale signs of extensive horseback riding and a battle wound on the right hand that the general is known to have suffered, the facial structure and jaw angle were decidedly female, Estabrook said.

Estabrook said her team is not the first to suspect that Pulaski might not have been a man. Others also noticed the delicate bone structure after the skeleton was extracted from the Pulaski monument in Savannah, Georgia. The general was only between 5-foot-2 and 5-foot-4 inches tall.

Told of the revelations about Pulaski, Richard Zawisny, president of the annual Pulaski Day parade, admitted, "I'd heard something about this before, but I'm a little shocked by this."

"But in this day and age, I don't think it will matter to most people," he said. "I really believe that the majority won't care, and it doesn't take away from the fact that Pulaski was a Polish-American hero."


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

More on Gender Blurring

 As Freud put it:

When you meet a human being, the first distinction you make is ‘male or female?’ and you are accustomed to make the distinction with unhesitating certainty.”  

As the Atlantic stated in the article "A Brief History of Unisex Fashion":  Had Freud lived through the 20th century instead of the 19th, he might have had good cause for hesitation. In an era when gender norms—and many other norms—were being questioned and dismantled, unisex clothing was the uniform of choice for soldiers in the culture wars.

I like this look

My only wish - I were that young again.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Feminine Differential - The Power of The Shoe

Have you ever thought about the impact that just a pair of shoes has on your outfit? When paired with a skirt [or jeans skirt as above], shoes can take you from running an errand, to running a meeting. From stepping out to dance, to stepping out at the beach. 

If you imagine each of these shoes paired with the any skirt, you can see how each will take you somewhere new. 

Don’t ever dismiss the power of the shoe.  Cinderella did not.  (Inside Out Style Blog


Note: Top by CeCe Off-The-Shoulder Balloon-Sleeve Blouse by Cynthia Steffe found at Neiman Marcus $17.40.  

Monday, May 13, 2019

Singer Doris Day Dead at 97

Doris Day singing one of my favorite songs.

During her career and retirement, Day always seemed to adhere to the philosophy of her biggest hit, "Que Sera, Sera," which she initially opposed as a "kiddie song" but which became her signature tune.

"Que sera, sera.Whatever will be, will be;The future's not ours to see.Que sera, sera,What will be, will be."

Thanks for the songs and memories.

20 Lashes

Happy Monday!!!!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

A Mother's Day Tribute '19

Summer 1948 - I love my Mother's dress.  

My Grandmother and mother holding me; both courageous women. I miss you both and sorry you missed out on so much.   

A Mother's Day Tribute: The woman that was most mother to me was my grandmother. Due to my mother's illness and an early passing, the role of being my mother fell to my grandmother. For this, I am forever grateful. My grandfather and grandmother ran a very successful general store and both were highly respected in our little town. On this Mother’s Day, here is a story that speaks volumes about her.

While attending church with my grandmother, I literally had a front row seat to a religious freedom discussion. Time - the early 60's. Blacks under strong leadership were exercising their rights and letting the Jim Crow south know that discrimination was wrong on many levels.

That Sunday morning the question put before the congregation was, "What to do if a black person enters the church during a service and takes a seat?" As it was called back then, “desegregate” the church. The consensus plan was to sing the closing hymn and everyone stand and leave. Thus, not acknowledging the “intruder”. This was until my grandmother stood and stated that not respecting someone (any person) was not Christian. She then read to the congregation Acts 10:34-35:
 (34) Then Peter began to speak: 'I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism (35) but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right'. (New International Version -NIV)

That ended the discussion and the church decided that day to welcome all entering with open arms. I have never been more proud of my grandmother and still am.

I love you mom and love you so much Granny. 

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Friday, May 10, 2019

Friend's Friday - Your Story...

Sharing your story helps you to shed guilt, understand, and overall it builds community. Over the past few weeks I have had wonderful comments and I hope all are taking the time to read and learn from the intelligent/interesting readers who comment. Thank you. Please comment and above all, share your stories. We all have shared experiences that makes us realize, we are more alike than different.  

Live your story! Tell your story!
 Own your story!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Blurred (Gender) Lines

Here is a wonderful article written by a mom of an eight year old daughter. Just when you think the world if totally against even the slightest signs of gender incongruence, you see something that can warm the heart. This mom wrote an article "Blurred (Gender) Lines" on the blog Scary Mommy. I applaud the love and understanding she has for her child. 

I have cut out several paragraphs here and encourage you to read the whole article.


By: Claire Smith

I have a daughter. She is eight. I just want to repeat that for the record – she is EIGHT.

The thing is, my daughter is a tomboy. Not just a climbing trees, kicking a football around kind, but a 100% dedicated to EVERYTHING BOY kind.

From the minute she turned four, she refused to wear dresses. She joined Beavers when all her peers were joining Rainbows and her Christmas lists include skateboards, black skull duvet covers and Spiderman hoodies. She wears boys’ clothes, boys’ school uniform, boys’ shoes and tucks her long hair into a baseball cap. At our 10th wedding anniversary party, she wore a suit. Often, she wants to be called Sam or Ben. She doesn’t know Snow White or the Little Mermaid but some of her best friends are Batman characters.

I was confused because all around me I saw daughters with ribbons in their hair, wearing Cinderella dresses and playing with Barbies. Then there was my daughter dressed in army camouflage, her face painted as a demon and her skull ‘n’ cross bones wellies – constantly being mistaken for a boy.

Then something happened which gave me the slap round the face I so needed. I was discussing her with a friend who cut me off mid-sentence and said “Claire. I’m not having this conversation with you now. She’s eight and she’s happy. If she’s a teenager with real issues, then we’ll have this discussion.”

It was exactly what I needed to hear. In those few moments I realized that my daughter is very special, indeed. She is unbelievably happy in her own skin and as for having “issues with her self esteem” well, hey, – she knows exactly who she is. I needed to concentrate on her, forget what other people think and sort out my own mistakes.

After all, even if she does turn out to be gay or want a sex change or damn, well anything else – what does it matter? Isn’t it better for a child to be open about what they want and who they are than to spend years hiding it away? I honestly don’t care as long as she’s happy and I’ll be there for her, no matter what.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Casual for Cruising '19

The above items scream effortless style: cool, comfortable and pulled together. I love the tops. The top on the left is a Ralph Lauren off-the-shoulder, jersey knit that can go with everything. The other is a simple tie-front cotton top that can be found almost anywhere. The site "Soft Surrounding" is a great source of many tops like this and similar. The featured item is the Madewell's "Chambray Patio Button-Front Midi Skirt" in Weatherly Wash or for the rest of us "light blue". The sizes run from 00-24. 

The other featured items are Tory Burch. Her designs are quickly becoming my favorite. I love rich leather items in their natural tan colors. The Tory Miller Hobo bag I found at Nortdstom. I am still debating on purchasing, but do know it is sold out almost everywhere else; an investment item. I only wish Tory's fashion were not so expensive. I have two Tory stores close by; one at my local mall and the other on Palm Beach's, Worth Avenue.     

This or something similar can make you look pulled together and ready for spring to summer.  Or, maybe a day of cruise ship excursions in an exotic port? Stay tuned; more on that coming up.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Transgender Opera Singer

Lucia Lucas Makes US Debut In ‘Don Giovanni’

From: HuffPost
By: Ronald Blum - AP

The more authentic you are are with yourself, the more authentic your art will be.  Lucia Lucas 

Lucas long felt uncertain as a male.

“As soon as I knew that there were boys and girls, I knew,” she said. “I didn’t have terminology for it. It was mid ’80s, so it was a little difficult. If I had a phone with Facebook and Instagram and all the things that exist now, I would go: This is me. I would find a video and show my parents and say: This is me. Please help me.”

Harbour sang at Germany’s Deutsche Oper Berlin and Italy’s Teatro Regio Torino in 2009-10, spent the following season in Heidelberg, then shifted with artistic director Peter Spuhler to Karlsruhe and stayed through 2015-16. At first the roles were small, but some were led by famous conductors, including Wagner’s “Tannhäuser” with Semyon Bychkov in Italy.

Lucas made the decision in November 2013 to transition and started taking estrogen and anti-androgens in July 2014. Facial feminization surgery followed that September and gender confirmation surgery in 2016.

She worried how the transition would be received by administrators, colleagues and audiences.

“In the beginning, it was scary,” she said. “And I think that there are people who are still not necessarily on my side and may never be on my side. But what are you going to do? You gravitate towards the people who like you and you try not to worry about the people who don’t.”

By 2016, her roles had grown to the toreador Escamillo in Bizet’s “Carmen” in Karlsruhe and the four villains in Offenbach’s “Les Contes d’Hoffman (The Tales of Hoffmann)” at Opernhaus Wuppertal , a staging that had her start as female for Lindorf, become male for CoppĂ©lius, then switch back.

Read the whole article here.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Political Cartoons 5-5

I cannot tell a lie - George Washington
I cannot tell a lie from the truth - Donald Trump 
Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) April 29, 2019

The Real Photo and the Real Photo

Fox host (Chris Wallace) slams attorney general for “protecting” Trump from Mueller report

Page 214 of 448 of the Mueller Report
(I looked it up to be sure.)

Friday, May 3, 2019

Doctor Specializes in Facial Feminization Surgery

MARCH 21, 2016

When you meet someone new, you scan their features. If the eyes are narrow, brow prominent, and jaw square, you recognize the person as male. If the eyes are rounder, nose slimmer, and chin pointier, you register the person as a female. According to Dr. Vartan Madirossian, gender detection happens in a split second.

Madirossian is one of the country’s leading plastic surgeons specializing in facial feminization surgery. He reshapes male features to make them more feminine. Madirossian’s goal is to trick the brain’s subconscious gender-detection scan so transgender women can appear as the sex they identify with — not the one they born with. Over the past seven years, he has treated more than 600 women in his Palm Beach office. After Caitlyn Jenner popularized the facial feminization surgery last March, Madirossian is noticing an uptick in requests for the procedure.
“Life is so hard for transgender people. They have a much higher rate of suicide than the general public,” Madirossian explains. “What better than a surgery to enhance their confidence?”

A before and after photo of one of Dr. Mardirossian's patients.
Madirossian was born in Armenia but has moved a lot. With each move, he says, others were quick to designate another heritage to him. “Inside, I felt Armenian, but no one believed me,” Madirossian remembers. “The way people label one another bothered me.”

In 2009, he started his practice in Palm Beach. Madirossian has a soft spot for people who try to overcome labels forced on them. “Society is always trying to label us somehow,” he says.

The doctor says his surgery is not just for transgender women. “This surgery, though, is not about making people look younger but more attractive,” he explains.

Facial feminization surgeries were pioneered in the 1980's and 1990's, but these days, only a handful of surgeons are specialists. As a result, Madirossian sees patients from all over the country.

The surgery can cost tens of thousands of dollars and is not covered by most insurance.

Facial feminization can take years, Madirossian says. He regularly performs consultations over Skype. He stays in touch with all his clients for follow-ups.

“You can change their lives with this surgery,” he says.

Mardirossian Facial Aesthetics!

Note: Vartan is my doctor, business associate, and friend.  

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Feminine Differential - The Ultimate Dress

In my post "Feminine Differential - The Ultimate Occasion" I mentioned an escape I was planning:

Always being up for a challenge, on a previous trip I set up circumstances to visit a bridal shop. I was forthcoming in my reasoning/motivation/craziness and received a yes. An appointment during a non-busy time was open and the owner/fitting expert seemed open to me coming in. Maybe my chance to say "yes" or at least "maybe" to the dress. Definitely, the ultimate "All dressed up with no place to go..." scenario.

Without exception, I can unequivocally state that this was one of the most intoxicating feminine experiences ever! The absolute ultimate escape!  

I arrived early, just as the Burlington, Ontario beautiful bridal salon "Promises & Lace" was opening. The time I picked was a Monday morning, hoping that the shop's weekend madness would be passed. I hoped for a quiet time to have the owner's full attention. The time worked out well.

The shop was the most absolute feminine sanctuary one could ever imagine. It was like I had fallen into some white feminine cloud of elegant taffeta, chiffon, silk, sateen, and lace. Lynn, the owner, and I discussed options and she selected one of the most absolutely stunning dresses imaginable. I assume that this was one of her top tier dresses based on price, and it was beautiful; beyond any dream. She selected the correct size (years of experience), and we discussed appropriate foundation garments which I had worn that morning. I was then sent to a fitting room to be taken away by a magic spell.

It took a few minutes to get the silk column underdress in place. It was beige with a light gold cast, low cut in the front and very low cut in the back with very thin spaghetti straps to hold it in place. It fell to the floor in front with a very short train in the back. Next came the lace overdress. Lace straps over the shoulder, going down to an almost completely open back. It was tight through the bodice and did not start to flair until it reached mid-thigh. There the magic began; opening up to a full lace embroidery train, making nearly a full circle - short in front and long in back. 

Late addition: The dress is from the Italian designer, "Eddy K" Dreamers 2018 collection, titled - Filipa. 

Movement was restricted as it should be and delicate steps were the only option. The train had to be positioned and considered with each turn. Lynn found a mesh veil and attached it into my hair. I had it fall just off the shoulder and it was like a crown had been put in place. The netting of the veil extended nearly to the floor.

Lynn and I now revisited foundation garments and she suggested that the corset was not needed. I was hesitant. After returning to the changing room and taking off the whole dress (under and outer), removing the corset and then getting everything back in place, the time and results were worth it. She was correct, and all of the back buttons could now be closed. I put on my heels, walked to the back of the store and stood on a riser with mirrors on three sides. At this point, coming very close to tearing over, I studied the person looking back at me.

Who is she?  

For a few magnificent, magic moments I was transported to the kingdom where dreams can come true. Lynn, my fairy god mother for that morning waved her magic wand and transformed me into someone so beautiful that even after blinking away the tears, I still did not recognize her. A wedding dress is the most intimate, body defining, ultimate feminine, and personal item I could have ever dreamed of wearing.  

Thank you so much "Promises & Lace" and Lynn.

"I always imagine myself as a bride wearing a gown, with a long train and veil."


There are additional photos and remembrances from the day.  Let me know if there is any interest in more information.   





Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Wearing A Denim Skirt After 40

Deborah at her blog "Fabulous After 40" last week posted on THE GROWN UP WAY TO WEAR A DENIM SKIRT. She states: "For some gals our age, summer wouldn’t be summer without a cute denim skirt. And that’s just fine, so long as you don’t make the mistake of wearing the same style of the denim skirt, the same way you wore it when you were twenty-five."

I love the denim skirt and it is a wardrobe stable.  Nothing can hug your body better because of it's weight and can be cut in so many different ways. The problem, if not done correctly, you come across a pretending to be a middle-age-teen.  

First let's discuss shape - The pencil skirt and straight skirt tapers towards the knee; the A-line flares. A straight and pencil shaped skirt tend to make a figure curvy and wider. Compared to an A-line which helps draw attention away from your belly. It give you a leaner body frame which is important as you get older to avoid looking frumpy.  

A-line shaped skirts are also great for making your shoulders and chest appear smaller. So keep this in mind the next time you're shopping for skirts that flatter your figure and age. 

Here are Deborah's 7 style tips for how to wear a denim skirt, the grown-up way:


A-Line Denim Skirt 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Fashion in the Wild - Pride in Shopping

Style does not have to break the bank and can still involve shopping at quality stores/online merchants.  The centerpiece of this outfit is the top.  It is still available for purchase and black goes with everything. The other pieces have been in my closet for a number of years. Investment shopping can scan seasons and trends.   

First the top. It is Boston Proper's " Slub keyhole boyfriend tee".  I got it a few weeks ago for $17.00 and this week it is now available for $12. It is sexy and I got many complements last evening at the Colony, Palm Beach, where the photo was taken.  I have good luck with Boston Proper, although many of the items, shall we say, tend to be youthful. Choose with caution.   

The heels are Cole Haan, purchased in wide a few season ago and are wear-all-night comfortable. It is well worth waiting for Cole Haan's sales. The skirt is also from a few seasons ago and was purchased at Banana Republic. Again, always watch for their sale. Banana Republic will randomly offer 50% off new merchandise.  The belt is a stretch number from Amazon.