The Occasional Woman

| Mar 27, 2017

Dear Readers, Howdy, and welcome to “spring.” Whatever.  When my dear friend Angela approached me with the idea of writing a column about style, dress and fashion for her esteemed publication, we discussed what might be the overall purpose of the column; We came to the conclusion that it would be my mission to help and advise her readers on ways to dress their best, share style, fit and shopping tips, and encourage you ladies to look and feel your best!  

I also feel that part of my aim is to be the “elder” you may not have grown up with, the mom who says “Girl, you are not going out of this house dressed like that!” And, you don’t have to obey me, which is the best part — but as someone who has dressed people and actors for a lot of my adult life, I hope you will allow me to help you look your most radiant. Here are some of my general guidelines!

If it doesn’t fit, don’t wear it. Does a garment tug, pull, gap, ride up or make you uncomfortable in any way? Don’t wear it! If you’re going to be yanking a hem down the whole night, people will notice and you will feel the “oh no she didn’t” spotlight. Does a neckline gap so that your bra shows, or is so tight that you (and others) can see the stitching on the cups? Give it to a girlfriend.

Sometimes even professionals can’t walk in those shoes.

If you can’t work it, don’t wear it! This is especially true for shoes, particularly of the Eiffel Tower-height heels. This is a cast-in-steel rule in our house. When my daughter was a teenager, she started to leave the house teetering on 4″ heels; her father stopped her and said that no daughter of his was leaving the house in heels if she didn’t know how to walk in them. He then proceeded to teach her how! It is so dreadful to see young (and not so young) ladies hunched over and mincing, often knock-kneed, almost waving their arms to keep their balance, completely ruining the illusion. If you wear heels but cannot walk elegantly, gliding like a siren, then you run the awful risk of seeing someone from my family tsking and maybe even yelling “If you can’t walk in ’em, don’t wear ’em!” from a speeding car. Ask Angela (or me) to help you learn the ways of heels.

Dress appropriately for your age, size, physical comfort and profession. If you are wearing a teeny, 11″ long leopard-print skirt, sheer mesh top and sky-high red shoes, topped off with a red Dolly Parton wig and are not going to a Tarts and Vicars Party or Henri David’s Halloween Ball, PEOPLE WILL ASSUME YOU ARE LOOKING FOR BUSINESS! I didn’t make the rule, and although I support your desire to express yourself and your female fabulosity, I have to tell it like it is. Consider your audience, and your personal safety.

Dial it back, Gertie!

Makeup is mean to enhance, with a degree of subtlety, your natural attributes; it is not war paint. Not everyone looks great in bright red lipstick; I suggest that you go to a professional makeup human being. It doesn’t enhance anything if you must use a trowel to apply gobs of blush, or an unrealistic shade of foundation. Someone who knows makeup can teach you how to use it, and help you be the stunning person you desire. I know a lovely lady named Cherrie, who works at the Urban Decay counter in the Macy’s store in the Cherry Hill Mall (New Jersey) She really knows her stuff, and will be happy to help you. If you are in the Philadelphia, Pa. area call her for an appointment, 856-665-5000, or drop in and check her out.

And fer god sakes, if you are a lady with some non-ladylike . . . equipment . . . to conceal, learn how to do it — and check your whole self out in a 3-way mirror, or have a great and truthful friend check out your look. If certain of your features are poking out of your skinny pants, or stretchy skirt, you run the risk of ridicule — or worse. There are many books, articles and online resources to help you learn how to integrate what your personal deity gave you into a lovely and successful look. (Editor’s Note: Lorraine is delicately suggesting that you learn to tuck your penis.)

Now a truly tough department — dressing your age. As a bodacious young lady, I frequently dressed in a . . . uh . . . trampy and/or risqué manner. Do I do this now? Not unless Henri David’s Halloween Ball is my destination! It worked on a 21 year old, 115 pound girly, but it looks absolutely stoopid on a %*#%-year-old, mother of several, semi-respectable broad. Do I dress “conservatively”? Hardly ever. No, I wear well-fitting, color-flattering, gross-stuff-hiding outfits which suggest my smoldering sexiness, without slapping it in the faces of strangers. My skirts are above the knee, cuz my legs are still pretty swell, but not all the way above the knee! My tops are fitted but the seams don’t pull; the necklines are a bit lower than they should be, but not all the way to my belly button. I love to wear red, sparkles, and leopard-print — but more as an accessory than an entire outfit. And always big earrings.

I hope this helps you to plan, buy, and dress your way to the most beautiful and believable lady you are inside!

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Category: Body & Soul, Fashion, Style

Lorraine Anderson

About Lorraine Anderson: 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. Visit my website, The Occasional Woman or my Facebook page.

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  1. Tasi Zuriack says:

    It’s sad that we still need to be giving this advice. Sometimes I wonder if they don’t listen or they don’t care or if it’s the attitude of the millennials coming through in this age of sloppiness. As you say, it’s knowing what looks good on your body, expresses your personality and fits.