ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the July 5, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] helgatwb, [personal profile] curiosity, [personal profile] mdlbear, [personal profile] technoshaman, and LJ user Paantha. It also fills the "Cuoio takes Salvo dress shopping" square in my 5-1-16 card for the Finish It Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by LJ user Ng_moonmoth and others in her pool. It belongs to the Cuoio and Chiara thread of the Polychrome Heroics series. It directly follows "Dress for Myself" and will make more sense if you've read that first.

"A Man with Decoration"

Salvo felt nervous and excited
as they approached The Mosaic.

He had rarely gotten the opportunity
to go shopping with anyone else,
and never quite like this.

When they arrived, Cuoio
trotted ahead to open the door.

Salvo hesitated.

Chiara put a hand at the small of his back,
not pushing him, just encouraging him.

Salvo wiped his hands on his pants
and stepped inside the store.

It was warm and vibrant inside,
the store divided into many niches
with the spaces marked out by rugs and
furniture, each holding different clothes.

A round, cheerful woman met them at
the door. "Welcome to the Mosaic," she said.
"I'm Marsala Tambini, the manager. Please
let me know if I can help you in any way.
Is this your first time here?"

Salvo's tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth.

"Yes, this is my first time," Cuoio said brightly.
"We're dress shopping today. Could you
point us the right direction for those?"

"Women's dresses are in the velvet room,
trans dresses right beside it," said Marsala
as she pointed to a cluster of couches arranged
around a mirror with an ornate golden frame.
"Check the casual and unisex areas too."

"Thank you," Cuoio said with a jaunty bow.

"I've been here before a few times,"
Chiara said as she followed him.

"I uh ... this is my first time,"
Salvo managed to say.

"All right then, be aware that the store is
organized roughly by body types and garments --
you should feel free to shop in any of the areas,"
said Marsala. "Customers cross over a lot."

Salvo looked around and suddenly realized
that he was not alone in the store. There was
a butch trying on a suit vest and someone of
ambiguous gender in a dress with red roses.
An androgynous couple were searching
for matching outfits with denim jackets.

Nobody was paying any attention to him at all.

That was enough to push down
the incipient panic attack and let him
scurry over to the velvet room.

Chiara had already dived into
a rack of black dresses, and Cuoio
was flipping through some red ones.

Salvo's panic spiked again,
despite the supporting atmosphere.

He loved the dresses, they were
beautiful, but just thinking about
them shortened his breath and
made his pulse hammer in his ears.
The idea of touching them in front
of other people was terrifying.

"A little fast for you, dear?" Marsala said,
coming up beside him. "You could try
the unisex or casual clothes instead."

"Yeah, that ... might be a good idea,"
Salvo said, and followed her.

Cuoio abandoned the reds to tag along.

"What makes clothes unisex?"
he wondered aloud. "I mean,
ladies wear bright colors and lace,
men wear darker boring stuff ...
so what does that leave?"

"Unisex clothes include things like
t-shirts which fit most body shapes,
and then there are clothes that mingle
markers for men and women such as
brightly colored suit coats or plain scarves,"
Marsala explained, pointing out examples.

This section was less daunting. Salvo
soon found his fingers drawn to soft fabric
and playful colors. But he couldn't help
remembering what he'd read about
the importance of wardrobe basics,
and the racks were full of things
that would be perfect for that.

He saw a short-sleeved ivory dress shirt,
and one in warm tan with long slender sleeves.
Salvo hesitated between the two of them.

"Just because we came for dresses,
doesn't mean you can't shop for other stuff,"
Cuoio said. "That brown one sure would
flatter your arms, and it wouldn't snag. But
the white one would show your muscles more."

"Not helping me decide," Salvo muttered.

"Just pile up what you want to try on,
and worry about whittling it down later
if you wind up with a mountain of clothes,"
Cuoio said. Then he checked the tags.
"Oh, never mind, you could fill a cart
with this stuff and not scratch my budget.
You should've seen Chiara in the boutique."

Maybe Salvo could make a decent start
on wardrobe basics after all. He needed it.
He hadn't brought much with him.

There were polo shirts in a playful shade
of seafoam that he loved, available in
long and short sleeves. Trousers of
sand or navy cotton would go with
the shirts he had already selected.

Then Salvo found the skirt-pants,
so long and full they looked like skirts
but were divided down the center. Once
upon a time, they were called riding skirts.

"My girlfriend Aniella used to love skirts,"
Cuoio said quietly. He'd gone pensive
again, which Salvo had noticed was
a habit, and it worried him. "She said
they were more versatile than dresses
because she could mix and match them."

"That's true," Salvo said. He should
probably get one, or possibly two --
they came in white as well as black.

"Do you have anything to wear
with that?" Cuoio asked.

"Not really," Salvo said with a sigh,
and put the skirts back on the rack.

Cuoio picked them right back up
and gave Salvo a gentle push
toward another rack. "Find some."

Salvo was still poking through
the near end of the row when
Cuoio said, "Here, this should
go with both of those skirts."

"This" turned out to be a short top
of white silk hand-painted with lines
in shades of blue, gray, and black.
It reminded Salvo of the time he and
his cousins had painted each other
with fingerpaints in playschool.

"All right," he said with a smile.

Then a flare of gold on black
caught his attention, and he
drew out a dark shirt swirled
with baroque arabesques.

"That's a little dressy," he said,
but hesitated to put it back.
It just looked so elegant.

"Do you have anything nice
to wear for dinner?" Cuoio said.

"I have suits," Salvo said.

"I like the white linen on you,
but that's a little too dressy
unless I wear a tux, and I don't
have one of those," said Cuoio.
"Get the shirt if you like it."

Salvo got the shirt, or at least
put it on the growing pile of
things he wanted to try on.

"Hey! They have workout clothes,"
Cuoio crowed. He held a pair of
jogging pants against his waist,
nodded, and started grabbing
more of them in every color.

"Ah ... you just picked up
the coral ones," Salvo said.

"Yeah, I go through these things
like candy," said Cuoio. "So when I
find some that I like, I get all the colors
and then I can tell them apart easier."

Salvo had never before had a boss
who would wear any shade of pink.
Even the women preferred colors
with more powerful connotations.

"We're going to need a cart,"
Cuoio said, looking at the armload.

"May I take those?" Marsala said.
"We have several fitting areas.
You can use whichever you like."

Cuoio hastily unburdened himself
of nearly a dozen workout garments,
then added Salvo's finds to the stack.

They looked through the warmer clothes,
where Salvo found a blue turtleneck
long enough to use either as a sweater
or as a dress, and another one made of
mulberry cableknit with just a little flare
at the hem. Those were pretty without
being too outrageous for him to wear.

Chiara strolled in with dresses dripping
from her arms. "I'm having a great time.
Have you boys had any luck here, or do
you want to try the dress room again?"

"Yeah, I'm finding things," Salvo said.

Cuoio was fondling a smart black jacket
with a trim woolen torso and overlong sleeves
made of butter-soft deerskin that scrunched up.

"Try it on," Chiara urged. "I think
you would look fantastic in that."

"Go on, boss, see if it fits," Salvo said.

No sooner had Cuoio handed it
to Marsala than the door opened.

Alto and Corto came in, the giant
leading his tiny partner by the hand.

Cuoio stiffened. Salvo dropped
the sweater dresses on the table
to step in front of his boss.

"Please don't pick a fight,"
Corto said in a low voice.
"This is the only place we
can shop that anything fits."

Cuoio looked at Chiara.

"Stores are neutral ground,"
she said. "Too many of us have
a hard time finding what we need
to buy. Besides, it gets hard on
the merchants if customers fight."

"If you have a problem, then you
take it outside," Marsala said firmly.

"Yes, ma'am," Cuoio said.
He looked at the rival mobsters.
"I imagine that we will be using
different parts of the store anyway."

Corto scuttled into the niche
for petite men, supervised by
a tiny Japanese gentleman.
Alto strode toward a section
with the big and tall clothes.

"Come and look at dresses?"
Chiara invited, turning to them.

"I am always up for that,"
Cuoio agreed, so they went.

The velvet room didn't seem as
intimidating now that Salvo had
been picking out unisex clothes
and slightly-feminine things (and
had seen his boss grab coral pants).

"There's even a section of dresses
for men," Chiara said helpfully.

Wanting to make her happy,
Salvo snatched the first one
that came readily to hand.
It was a roll of drab gray wool
topped with leather flaps.

"That is the most hideous dress
I have seen in my life," Cuoio said.

Salvo felt relieved that he
wouldn't have to try it on.

"That's not very diplomatic," Chiara said.

"But it's true," Cuoio said. "It looks
like a cross between a flour sack and
a set of mud flaps for a bus. Nobody
could possibly look good in that!"

Salvo giggled, and once he started,
he couldn't seem to stop.

"I know it's true," Chiara said,
giving Salvo a concerned look,
"but there are more genteel ways
for you to express your opinion."

"It's okay, I think it's hideous too,"
Salvo assured them. "Maybe
this wasn't the best idea."

"Look on the bright side,"
Cuoio said. "We just found
the ugliest dress in the world.
Therefore, everything else
in here must be better."

"Really, what were they thinking?"
Salvo said as he hung it up.

"Some men are willing to try
stretching themselves a little,
but they want a dress that doesn't
really look like a dress," Marsala said.

"Then what's the point?" Salvo said.
"When I wear a dress, then I want
to look pretty. Otherwise I might as
well wear men's clothes as usual."

"They feel it makes them unmanly,"
Marsala said. "I'm glad they're willing
to bend at all -- the real bigots won't."

Salvo snorted. "I’m still all man
when I decide to wear a dress.
I’m just a man with decoration."

Cuoio chuckled. "Then get
started decorating," he said.

The next one on the men's rack
was a little black dress with
a kangaroo pocket in front.

"Could be worse," Cuoio said,
but he still wrinkled his nose.
"You need something playful."

"I suppose I do," Salvo agreed.

He was surprised that Cuoio
had such good taste. In fact, he was
surprised that their boss hadn't sat himself
on a couch to read magazines and wait
for Chiara and Salvo to finish shopping.

Meanwhile Chiara had gone fishing in
the row of man-dresses and pulled out
something. "Here, try this one."

The dress was white linen with
a simple cut, its hem just above
knee length, but the whole thing was
covered in bird-of-paradise flowers.

Salvo rather liked it, even though
it was completely different than
the dresses he usually wore.
"I'll try it on," he decided.

After that, they explored some of
the more typically feminine dresses,
but nothing looked like it would suit
Salvo's slender figure. They were
cut with more curves in mind, and
unlike a lot of crossdressers, he
didn't pad his shape to look female.

He was a man. He just liked to look pretty.

"You might try the trans niche," said Marsala.
"Those dresses are cut for a taller body
with a less dramatic curvature."

"Thanks, that's a great idea," Cuoio said,
towing Salvo and Chiara in his wake.

Alto and Corto were arguing in the arch of
the big and tall section. Alto had a pair
of tuxedos, one a vivid burgundy and
the other the same wretched shade of
gray as the ugliest dress in the world.
Corto favored the former, Alto the latter.

"Oh, get the burgundy," Cuoio said
as they walked past. "You're huge,
you're not going to hide that behind
a boring suit. If you got it, flaunt it."

Corto laughed. "I said the same thing!"

Salvo hustled past in hopes of avoiding
a conflict, and escaped into the niche.

Most of the trans dresses were far too frilly
for Salvo's taste. "I don't want to look
like a fairy princess!" he protested.

"How about this instead?" Cuoio said.

Salvo turned around to find him holding
a white cotton sun dress almost entirely
covered in china patterns of delft blue.

"It reminds me of that Ming vase,"
he said with a smile. "I love it."

"We have sandals to match that one,"
Marsala said, pointing to a rack of shoes.

They were casual things, with wide straps
of comfortable blue-and-white fabric over
camel-colored soles. Salvo found his size
and added those to the stack to try on.

By then, Salvo was starting to get tired,
and they still had all of the fitting to do.
"Let's hit the changing rooms now."

It took them an hour to try everything on.
Salvo was amazed to find that either
what he had actually fit him, or if not,
came in another size that would.

Cuoio finished trying on his sportswear
quickly enough that he could help Marsala
ferry the replacements back and forth.
Salvo and Chiara discovered that they
could fit into some of the same clothes
from that stack, so at least they wouldn't
run out of things to wear while exercising.

Then they got to see what Chiara had found.

There was a little black dress with pearly beads
outlining a scoop back, and another black one
with swooping straps and an asymmetrical skirt.

There was a red one with rhinestone cuffs
slit well above the knee, and a blue clinger of
stretchy crushed velvet that hugged her form.

Sadly the black-and-white mesh and the one
with the lacy beaded back did not fit, and unlike
the new items that Salvo had been shopping for,
these were used so there weren't any spares.

"It's too bad, but I found this whole rack of
backless dresses, at amazing prices,"
Chiara said. "I have no idea why they're
so low, they should be ten times this price.
Even shopping for myself, I won't need
to pare down my pile of selections."

"Those came from a runway sale, dear,"
said Marsala. "You'll need to take them
to a seamstress to undo the hackwork
and tailor them to your body." She took
the red dress and poked her fingers through
a hole at the armpit. "Factor in that cost."

"Still a bargain," Chiara said.

"What about this one?" Cuoio said,
pointing toward a plain white one
whose tan trim shimmered with
gold threads. "It's not the style
of dress that you usually prefer."

"Beach dress," Chiara said
with a twinkle in her eye that
made Cuoio stand up straighter.

"Oh, definitely get that one," he said.

Salvo was really just learning
what his own style might be, and how
to express what he felt through his clothes.

He looked at the growing pile and
felt a little guilty. "You don't have
to spoil us quite so much," he said.

"I want to," Cuoio said. "I like taking
care of my people. Besides, you're
picking out mostly basics that aren't
very expensive, and Chiara found
bargains to buy for myself. I have
some new workout clothes that
aren't boring. Everyone wins."

"Mudita," said Chiara. "Unselfish joy,
or the good feeling you get from making
other people feel good. It's a fine virtue."

A nervous flutter stirred in Salvo's belly,
then settled down again. "All right,"
he said, "but I'm done shopping today."

"Checkout," Cuoio said to Marsala,
who expertly corralled the clothes
and transferred them to a register.

Alto and Corto were there ahead
of them, the tiny man perched atop
an antique ladder with a high seat
so that he could watch the process.

Beside him, Alto was knee-deep in
a trap door so he didn't have to stoop.

For all its quirks and risks, Salvo
loved the Family and its facilities
for the fact that they accommodated
everyone without making a fuss over it.

As Marsala began laying out their purchases,
Corto reached down and snagged the jacket
that Cuoio had coveted, then dropped it
onto the pile that Alto and Corto had.

"Hey! Give that back!" Cuoio protested.

"A little bird told me that I owe you
a jacket," said the smaller man.
"My treat, and call it even?"

Cuoio hesitated until Chiara
discreetly elbowed him in the ribs.

"We're even," Cuoio agreed, then
shook hands with Alto and Corto.

Salvo enjoyed watching Cuoio and
Chiara grow together, the subtle play
of their emotions as they learned
how to work as a partnership.

He liked the idea of fitting himself
into the team forming around their boss.

Before long, the previous sale was
completed and Cuoio had his jacket.
Marsala began ringing up the new pile.

On the way down from the ladder,
Corto said to Salvo, "I saw you in
the china dress. It's good on you."

Then he trotted away before
Salvo could articulate his feelings
enough to make a reply.

"Don't worry, dear, you'll get
used to the compliments eventually,"
Marsala said. "You do look charming
in that dress, and the rest of them."

Chiara nudged him gently.

"Thanks," Salvo managed to say.

The thing was, he had been
dressing for himself for so long,
he had forgotten to consider
how other people might respond.

He wasn't entirely sure how he
felt about the compliment,

but he thought he liked it.

* * *


Marsala Tambini
-- She has fair skin that tans easily, hazel eyes, and straight ash-brown hair cut above her ears. She is short, with a round face and a chunky body. She comes from the Piemont region in northwest Italy. Marsala manages The Mosaic clothing store, with new and used clothing for people of eclectic gender expression. As a hobby, she paints murals, mostly in rustic or classical Italian styles.
Origin: She was born with her superpower.
Uniform: Casual women's clothes. When she dresses up, she wears corsets to create a dramatic hourglass figure.
Qualities: Master (+6) Fashion Store Manager, Expert (+4) Gender Studies, Expert (+4) Helpful, Good (+2) Dexterity, Good (+2) Muralist, Good (+2) Visual-Spatial Intelligence
Powers: Good (+2) Tetrachromat
Motivation: To make people feel special.

Alto (Lodovico Dioli) -- He has light olive skin, brown eyes, and short curly brown hair with a beard. He is a giant, standing about nine feet tall, but with normal adult proportions. He only speaks Italian. Alto works for the Mob as an enforcer. He is partners with Corto. The two of them are inseparable and make a formidable team in the field. Alto is not particularly smart or quick to respond to a changing situation. He customarily relies on Corto to handle those factors.
Origin: His superpowers developed in childhood.
Uniform: On duty, he usually wears a business suit, as many mobsters do. Off duty, he likes fashionable men's clothes. Alto and Corto often dress to match.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Enforcer, Good (+2) Navigation, Good (+2) Partners with Corto, Good (+2) Reliable
Poor (-2) Slow on the Uptake
Powers: Average (0) Big and Tall, Average (0) Super-Strength
Motivation: Security.

Corto (Hadrian Tivoli) -- He has olive skin, dark brown eyes, and straight black hair. He is tiny, standing about three feet tall, but with normal adult proportions. He speaks English, Italian, and Japanese all at high speed. Corto works for the Mob as a gunman. Among his favorites is a Ladysmith. He is partners with Alto. The two of them are inseparable and make a formidable team in the field. Corto always has a joke or a quip ready. Although he knows how to use his small size to advantage in a fight, it still puts him below waist level for ordinary people and makes it easy for him to get lost simply because he can't see where he's going. He customarily relies on Alto for navigation, and Corto often rides on Alto's shoulders while out walking.
Origin: His superpowers developed in childhood.
Uniform: On duty, he usually wears a business suit, as many mobsters do. Off duty, he likes fashionable men's clothes. Corto and Alto often dress to match.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Gunplay, Good (+2) Fast, Good (+2) Funny Guy, Good (+2) Partners with Alto
Poor (-2) Gets Lost Easily
Powers: Average (0) Malleable, Average (0) Tiny
Although he does not have true Elasticity, Corto can squash his body more than usual and squeeze through almost any gap.
Motivation: Money.

* * *

“[Richard] remembered asking Tommy once why he didn’t want to transition into a woman.
“And lose my cock, balls and prostate? Are you kidding me? Honey, I’m still all man. I’m just a man with decoration."
--Tommy Wilkins, A Very Tate Christmas (Tate Pack #3)”
Vicktor Alexander, A Very Tate Christmas

See the exterior of The Mosaic / Il Mosaico. It has niches for casual wear, men's wear, butch wear, dresses, trans dresses, unisex, women's big and tall, men's big and tall, petite women, and petite men.

Shopping for clothes can be a fun social activity with friends, a girlfriend, or a boyfriend. Communication and courtesy help keep it pleasant instead of frustrating. There are tips on how to shop for men's and women's clothes. Understanding colors can help you build a remixable wardrobe.

Crossdressing is a desire to wear garments customarily assigned to another sex. Due to intolerance, crossdressers face many challenges. The fear of getting caught makes many of them afraid to shop for the clothes they really want. Supportive friends can help, but it takes time to work through the fear. You can see Cuoio mostly following Salvo's lead, but giving gentle nudges to get him over the hurdles.  Here's some advice for taking a trans friend shopping.

Building a good unisex wardrobe takes some thought, but actually makes a good core for anyone. Wardrobe essentials usually focus on women and men. Here are pictures of women's essentials. Here are images of men's essentials. There are a few suggestions for androgynous, genderfluid, and unisex basics too. This is much cheaper and simpler than trying to double your whole wardrobe. Here are some tips for crossdress shopping.

Much of the advice on androgynous dress is for female-bodied people who want a more masculine look.  For male-bodied people who want a more feminine look, it takes more digging.    However, clothing spans the full gender spectrum.  Here's a look at large-size men and women in androgynous dress.  Look into styles of menswear that are more colorful, sophisticated, and expressive.  Consider the dapper, dandy, and bohemian modes for inspiration.

For casual wear, see Salvo's ivory unisex dress shirt, tan unisex dress shirt, spearmint polo shirt in short sleeves and long sleeves, cotton pull-on trousers in sand, and navy unisex pants. For dressier wear, see Salvo's skirt-pants, unisex black-and-gold silk shirt, and painted silk blouse. He also found a couple of sweater dresses, one mulberry scoop-neck and one blue turtleneck. Many genderqueer folks want some clothes in the middle range, especially if they feel too nervous to go as far as they'd like in a particular direction.  Seafoam is a pale shade of blue-green.

Sportswear includes comfortable garments such as tracksuits. There are tips on choosing the right workout clothes for women and for men. Casual wear includes things like polo shirts, khakis, jeans and a t-shirt. Learn how to pick out casual men's and casual women's clothing. For sporty people, the two categories often run together.

Here are Cuoio's jogging pants and their colors, sweatshirts, wool and leather unisex jacket.

Men's suits customarily come in a limited range of traditional colors. However, suits and tuxedos are also available in brighter tones, such as this burgundy tuxedo.

Dresses come in many different styles. Understand how to learn about fashions.

See the ugly gray man dress and the black man dress. Salvo's bird dress is much more charming without looking too girlish. His china dress is beautifully feminine. It creates the impression of an hourglass figure even though the bodice is nearly flat and the waist nips in only a little; it's the long flowing skirt that does the trick.

Chiara's jackpot includes the black beaded dress, long black dress, white linen backless dress, red jersey backless dress, mesh party dress, turquoise velvet dress, and lacy beaded dress.

Learn how to create your personal style and express yourself with clothes.

Mudita is a word from Sanskrit and Pali that has no counterpart in English. It means sympathetic or unselfish joy, or joy in the good fortune of others.

This is an Italian folding library ladder from the early 18th century, made of pine with iron hardware. The Mosaic routinely serves customers of widely ranging sizes, so they have adaptive equipment available to account for that.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-23 04:02 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
This whole series is great fun!

It's encouraged me to start experimenting with sarongs, which are kind of awesome in their versatility. I've gotten a couple at street fairs.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2016-08-23 04:28 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
>> gender-neutral clothing in their original context. <<

That was appealed to me in the first place. That, and the fact that last year's West Seattle Street Fair fell on a blisteringly hot day (for Seattle, but still). Plausible deniability is useful, though I still haven't had occasion to make use of them out of the house. They're great for that, though -- even quicker to put on and fasten than a yukata, which is the other gender-neutral thing I like to wear.

I occasionally will wear a yukata at a con -- both of mine have dragons on them.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-23 05:31 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Sarongs are amazing. I love multipurpose clothes. And so many different people look great in a sarong! Although, really, everyone is more pleasant to look at when they feel relaxed and happy, whatever they are wearing or not wearing.

Re: Yes...

Date: 2016-08-23 05:42 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
>> It's especially vital for genderqueer people, because they may feel uncomfortable in all the clothes for different reasons. <<

Yup. I know how to dress for a lot of things - though my anxiety and my poor maintenance skills and my limited means makes me feel I am doing it badly - but dressing for myself is an adventure of trial and error anytime I'm not wearing what amounts to pajamas.

Re: Yes...

Date: 2016-08-24 12:41 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline

Base pieces are very useful. I wear a lot of unisex colors but it gets read as drab, casual, or poorly done feminine attire, which, no, I am very colorful, I just don't feel comfortable trying to flaunt my fine feathers AND pull off "professional" AND manage comfort in my price range AND not get even more feminine stereotypes applied to me. (There's a rant attached to this, but I don't want to derail the poem-discussion right now.)

Re: Yes...

Date: 2016-08-24 06:43 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
I have many outfits I like for fun stuff from super-casual all the way to dressy, (although dressy tends to blend into "costume" (or cosplay) for me, because some characters I can play have more style than me) although I don't always manage the organization and spoons to have them all ready to go for an appropriate occasion.

But my work outfits need some updating; I'm trying to manage with some pretty basic things and having to increasingly shuffle things around to hide wear and tear. My size has changed a little, some sensory concerns have gotten bigger, the exact demands of the workplace have varied... Budget is an issue though.

I think this year I may end up with a nature/forest and/or beads and buttons 'theme' to my new (thrifted) choices, because kindergarten. Using themes but choosing somewhat subdued attire within that category with a fun accessory lets me sort of port over my sense of how things go together from categories where I naturally have it, to an area where I don't. But while I can follow rules and subdivide by usage scenario (slacks should be neither tight nor baggy and look ironed even if they aren't; comfortable close-toed shoes, but they have to look like women's dress/work shoes unless sneakers are explicitly OK) I still have to have a fashion consultant to tell me if an overall effect looks stylish/flattering/etc or not. I have put the information in my head over and over, and it keeps falling out, and at this point it's better to look for decent workarounds.

What they are doing in the poem - dressing together for a party - sounds like fun. I hope someday to do that with someone who is my sort of weird. *wist*

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-23 05:29 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] chanter_greenie
More later, when I'm not tired, but oh goodness. I'd absolutely shop at The Mosaic/Il Mosaico, and I might not even feel weird doing so. Normally I can't stand shopping; I'm told that in general I shop like a boy, and I sharding hate trying on clothes. (That mainly comes from the company I tend to keep while trying things on, mainly out of necessity. I need to knock that off and get better shopping companions.) But this particular shop... intrigues. <3

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-23 05:32 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
I would also shop there.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-27 01:22 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
I love watching all the characters' different approaches to shopping and clothes! And yes, I'd also enjoy shopping at a place like that, although I fear the prices would be mostly out of my range. But to explicitly have a section for women my size (and up) in a high-fashion store is both intriguing and reassuring.

I looked at your links for androgynous and genderfluid wardrobes, but they both appear to be written from a female POV. I'd be interested in seeing one from a male POV because Russ has been slowly moving in that direction over the last few years. He's already got a fair amount of con-wear that fits the "androgynous" label, but he's still working on a daily wardrobe. The problem is exacerbated by the need for him to present as acceptably male in much of our day-to-day life just because of where we live. :-(

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-23 01:48 am (UTC)
ext_3294: Tux (Default)
From: [identity profile] technoshaman.livejournal.com
It bugs me that men's clothes are ordinarily from so limited a palette (and furthermore so limited in form)...

I am tempted to ask my interviewer - an Englishman - tomorrow what might happen if I walked into his office in a kilt. I will probably choose the better part of valour and wait until after the offer, but still. One is tempted.


Date: 2016-08-23 03:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> It bugs me that men's clothes are ordinarily from so limited a palette (and furthermore so limited in form)... <<

I agree. ;) Now go look at what Cuoio and Salvo wear to the dance in "An Extension of the Personality."

>> I am tempted to ask my interviewer - an Englishman - tomorrow what might happen if I walked into his office in a kilt. I will probably choose the better part of valour and wait until after the offer, but still. One is tempted. <<

Well, which do you want more: to get a job, any job; or to get a job that suits who you are? If the former, do the expected. If the latter, be yourself. Companies that welcome diversity are usually much better places to work in general.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2016-08-23 04:11 am (UTC)
ext_3294: Tux (Default)
From: [identity profile] technoshaman.livejournal.com
*sigh* I wish I could afford to be pickier.

The dance there is less formal, and Italian men amongst themselves have a more flamboyant culture....

Perhaps that's why so many Northern Europeans get involved in the SCA.... COLOURS!

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2016-08-23 08:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> *sigh* I wish I could afford to be pickier. <<

I wish that too. People are much healthier and happier in a job they like, or at least tolerate.

>> The dance there is less formal, and Italian men amongst themselves have a more flamboyant culture.... <<

So very true. :D And Cuoio is just getting started.

>> Perhaps that's why so many Northern Europeans get involved in the SCA.... COLOURS! <<

LOL yes.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-23 02:29 pm (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
Though there's considerable variety in Hawaiian shirts, for less formal wear.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-23 02:40 pm (UTC)
ext_3294: Tux (Default)
From: [identity profile] technoshaman.livejournal.com
*nods* And in more tropical climates, one is more encouraged in less-formal and a brighter palette in general. It's just your bog-standard east-coast business and formal wear that's boring as watching paint dry.


Date: 2016-08-23 04:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
Given Italy's shape, much of it has a warm Mediterranean climate, and none of it is very far from the beach. So that influence spreads pretty far.


Date: 2016-08-23 04:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
... but those are so loud that most men don't like them. Only the frustrated peacocks or the guys who don't care how they look are attracted to those. The vivid colors and busy patterns of Hawaiian shirts can be beautiful if done well, but often they suck, and at that level of complexity it is very difficult to understand why one looks good and another doesn't, or how to put together a nice outfit with any of them.

Re: Yes...

Date: 2016-08-24 03:55 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
Well, I'm fairly picky about them. What I mostly go for is interesting rather than loud. But I don't care very much about how I look, either.

Re: Yes...

Date: 2016-08-24 04:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
I have found that many men enjoy bicolored Hawaiian shirts, particularly color-on-white. Far fewer like the multicolored ones.

When I look at Hawaiian prints, I find most of them poorly composed. Some of the bicolors are very nice, but my favorites are multicolor where the values are similar, often on a yellow or sky blue background. I'm also partial to patterns with recognizable plants and animals instead of nonsense images.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-12 07:54 pm (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
A certain Pacific Northwest author has a *suit* made out of Hawaiian print fabric, bright blue background, I can't remember the color of the flowers.

He had it made after a publisher insisted that he had to wear a suit when visiting their offices. He wears it to cons a lot too.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2017-05-13 02:35 am (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
>>What a douche. It's one thing to insist on a dress code for safety reasons (i.e. no synthetic underwear for firefighters) but that's ridiculous.<<


And the safety info just raised a major *yipe* here. I've had injuries in the "underwear area" (never flip bacon in the nude!).

I've also had a "melted and sticky" injury. From, of all things, a *marshmallow* on a camping trip. It caught fire and I moved a bit too fast to bring it up to my mouth to blow out the flames.

It slid off the stick and landed on my throat. Ouch.

It wasn't too srious. Some small blisters and the like. But I wound up with this *huge* gauze pad taped to my throat. and had to put up with joke about hickies for a week. And then vampire jokes given the placement of the last two blisters to heal.

Ah well, at least it was *friendly* jokes.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-23 05:14 am (UTC)
ext_12246: (Default)
From: [identity profile] thnidu.livejournal.com
This is working out very well. I like Cuoio and Chiara, although I'm sure I wouldn't if I met them in their pursuit of their profession.

• 50 Chiara had already dived into
> Delete line number

• a playful shade / of seafoam that he loved
> I had to look that up, because I had no idea what color was meant by "seafoam". Evidently neither do a lot of other people, because that was the top suggestion on Google's list. Here's a page full of samples.

• do / you want to dry the dress room again?"
→ try

• "I supposed I do," Salvo agreed.
→ suppose


Date: 2016-08-23 08:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> This is working out very well. <<

Yay! :D

>> I like Cuoio and Chiara, although I'm sure I wouldn't if I met them in their pursuit of their profession. <<

Well, it would depend on the application. Chiara's is perfectly genteel unless someone else picks a fight or puts a hand where it doesn't belong. Even Cuoio's is rarely in the public eye. The Marionettes don't make trouble from scratch, and they don't like to spill it on the sidewalk. Even in Terramagne, there are mobsters who'll shoot up a public street, but these are not them.

I have corrected the typos and added a reference to seafoam.

Re: Fixed!

Date: 2016-08-23 08:43 pm (UTC)
ext_12246: (Default)
From: [identity profile] thnidu.livejournal.com
Ahh. Thank you for the Chiarificazione.


Date: 2016-08-23 09:03 pm (UTC)
ext_12246: (skull)
From: [identity profile] thnidu.livejournal.com
I have a browser add-in called WebOfTrust that rates sites for assorted dangers and risks, aggregating from malware-reporting sites and posting users' review. When I clicked on your "seafoam" link, WoT threw a warning popup over the page and a danger message at the top of the window. Take a look there, and you'll probably want to change that link. https://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/newsonair.org

There are three reviews there:

'Iranian hackers created six "personas" who appeared to work for a fake news site, NewsOnAir.org, which used content from the Associated Press, BBC, Reuters and other media outlets.'

(source: haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.595949)

 'cyber espionage'
See isightpartners.com/2014/05/newscaster-iranian-threat-inside-social-media

domain identified by iSight partners report:
(same link as above)

Fake News site owned by Iranians. My ESET antivirus triggered a malware download alert upon visiting the site.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-12 07:50 pm (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
Oh, I'd *love* to shop there.

Half my closet is women's stuff I don't get to wear often enough, the other half is mostly t-shirts and mens shirts.

The social disapproval is why I don't dress in public much. Mostly a matter of wanting to pass if I'm going out. Which takes extra effort that I often don't have the spoons for.

Unlike Salvo, I think breasts are a nice "accessory". I know someone who got implants but has no desire to transition. Zie's had zer 15 minutes of fame when zie became mayor of Silverton, Oregon.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2017-05-13 02:45 am (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
>>> Half my closet is women's stuff I don't get to wear often enough, the other half is mostly t-shirts and mens shirts.<<

A lot of mine is unisex, like t-shirts, and I buy men's wear when I can find some that fits. I have some very nice argyle cardigans and vests too. Underwear is all boxer briefs. But a lot of my clothes are women's wear for body shape reasons. <<<

I go for panties most of the time, because the flies on mens underwear are pretty much useless to me. besides the length issue, they tend to not close the same way after use (or even stay closed before use) so I have loose skin getting *pinched*.

>>>The social disapproval is why I don't dress in public much. Mostly a matter of wanting to pass if I'm going out. Which takes extra effort that I often don't have the spoons for.<<


>>Unlike Salvo, I think breasts are a nice "accessory". <<

They are, for some people.<<<

Well, I want to "look right" so even when I have the spoons, it's limited because my face doesn't like being shaved. One day is ok. Two is tolerable. the third day my face feels like I used a cheese grater.

>>> I know someone who got implants but has no desire to transition. Zie's had zer 15 minutes of fame when zie became mayor of Silverton, Oregon.<<

That is so cool.<<<

Yep, made the national news. Zie was the first openly trans mayor in the US. And in a small town no less.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2017-05-13 05:18 am (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
>>>I go for panties most of the time, because the flies on mens underwear are pretty much useless to me. besides the length issue, they tend to not close the same way after use (or even stay closed before use) so I have loose skin getting *pinched*.<<

That sucks. I need underwear with legs, now that I'm not underweight anymore. The tops of my thighs rub together, which requires fabric for protection. And of course, I'm metasexual so I like wearing men's clothes.<<<

And my thighs *don't* touch, even though I'm more than a bit overweight. Weird, huh?

>>My body doesn't tolerate any type of hair removal. I was obliged to try a bunch of those in junior high. I hadn't wanted to do it in the first place -- I bump into things with my whiskers cut off -- and I quickly tired of cutting myself or having all my skin come off. I decided that getting harangued hurt less. Eventually people gave up.

By college I had discovered that body hair was the awesomest asshole filter ever: it repelled guys who were no good. The handful left were definitely worth considering. :D<<

Shaving elsewhere goes ok, mostly. Of course, I discovered I was trans *after* my inheritance ran out. So I couldn't go for permanent removal. Though I think I'll look into it sometime in the future.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2017-05-14 04:57 am (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
>>>Of course, I discovered I was trans *after* my inheritance ran out. So I couldn't go for permanent removal. <<


Yeah, and it was fairly close too. I was starting to crossdress (after some encouragement from some dom friends) while I still had lots of money. But I didn't finally decide that I wanted to do anything permanent until after. :-(

>>>Though I think I'll look into it sometime in the future.<<

While ruinously expensive, it has the advantage of being done piecemeal. An individual session may be affordable from time to time.<<<

Yeah, I plan to start out with the hard to reach places like back and shoulders.

I'll probably leave the beard til almost last because I do look nice with a beard, and I can shave it if I'm only doing things infrequently.


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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