Allison M.

Thoughts on life, fashion, fabulousness, and (oh yeah) dressing up from a full-time male who's a part-time female


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Stepping out in PVC

It’s already the middle of May (already?!), and the other day, I finally — finally! — did something I hadn’t done all year:  I dressed up and snapped some pictures to share with all of y’all.

Piano shirt, jacket, and PVC leggings

After a busy Friday of work in the morning and volunteering in the afternoon, I headed home late afternoon with one more personal commitment, a meet-up with fellow CD/TG people that evening.  Rather than just slap on a wig and jeans, I decided to take a bit of a stylish route, starting with a nice cream colored jacket I bought several years ago at Forever 21.  It does have a nice combination of spring feeling and stylish attitude.

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Allison’s (not entirely about) fashion summary (2/22/2017 edition)

Despite the title of this post, I’m devoting this post less to fashion and more to catching up on a couple of comings and goings (literally) at the mall a mile from where I live (West Towne Mall, for the record).  Well, it’s not so much comings as it is comings, as it involves two formerly-significant clothing stores that have fallen on hard times as brick-and-mortar entities and have left the mall, and two stories that I’ve been meaning to bring up on here.

Let’s begin with Aéropostale.  If you recall this post from last October, I mentioned that Aéropostale was in the process of closing many of its stores as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.  And though it wasn’t part of that early list of closures, the Aéropostale at West Towne turned out to later be among them.  It was a weird sight strolling past the mall during the last holiday shopping season and seeing not only signs saying “Store Closing!” and Entire Store 50-70% off!” but also “New Arrivals!”  Oh, and a “now hiring seasonal help” sign as well.

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Bisou Bisou colorblock dress

Hey!  Two days in a row I’m writing about something in my closet.  And this is one I think you’re going to fall for.

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If you recall my Christmas post from a couple of days ago, I mentioned in passing that I treated myself to a new dress to add to my closet.  Well, this is that dress.  I went to the JCPenney location down the road from my apartment, browsed through the women’s section, and immediately fell in love with this dress.  It’s a Bisou Bisou creation, and though you can see it at JCP’s website at this link, I’ll talk it up a little more here.  I’ll start off with the fabric, which is polyester/spandex and feels so comfortable.  The body-contouring design and size (8) feels so truly flattering as well, not loose yet nowhere near tight or constricting. Continue reading


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Allison’s (not entirely about) fashion summary (10/8/2016 entry)

Just a couple of real quick fashion-related tidbits I encountered today.  Well, I should clarify this:  This won’t be specifically about some hot dress or blouse spotted on some rack somewhere, so please accept my apologies if the title of this post misled you in some way.  With that out of the way, let me start by noting that a new clothing store had its grand opening of its newest Madison location today.  It’s the first Madison area location for this particular retailer (it’s these folks, for the record), and it’s part of their big expansion into previously untapped states such as Wisconsin, where they went from zero Badger State stores at the beginning of 2015 to 13 stores as of today.  (Can you say “rapid growth”?)  But the huge promotional push they put on prior to the opening (mailers, signage, etc.) made it feel like the equivalent of The Beatles arriving in America.

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Pink and black dress

Just a very quick post to tell you about a couple of new photos I added to my Flickr stream.

Pink & black dress

About… oh, I’d say 14 months ago (yeah, long time), I spotted this dress on a sidewalk display outside Princess of India, a dress shop downtown on State Street that specializes in imported women’s dresses and accessories.  Many of the dresses Princess of India sells are on the extravagant yet affordable side, and when I was browsing through their sidewalk racks, my eyes were captivated by a gold (or was it silver?) sequined dress on display.  But I decided not to put too much of a dent into my credit card & bank account upon seeing the price tag (affordable, yes, but not affordable for me at that moment).  Luckily, this dress was on the next rack over.  I really dig the pink, naturally, but also how it compliments the black on the skirt portion; it has a ying-and-yang kind of feel.

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Allison’s fashion summary (8/20/2016 edition)

DP0404201617025203MI haven’t written a new post in a few days, and I haven’t written about fashion in a long while.  So with the urge to resolve both of those situations, I thought I’d spend this Saturday morning at home and surf a random fashion website.  Like, say, the women’s section of JCPenney’s website, in particular the jackets and blazers subsection.  The blazer you see on the right is part of the Black Label by Evan-Picone collection JCP has available.  I love the color combination in this particular photo; black is a perfect accenting color, and especially with the spa color of the blazer.  (Yeah, the website’s entry for this item describes it as “spa” though I tend to call it light blue or aqua.)

You notice that though the blazer is designed for a woman in mind (well, of course!), it is clearly inspired by a men’s style blazer, from the notches on the lapel to the twin buttons on front.  Note, too, that there do not appear to be any front pockets or offsetting trim that demand attention (like, say, those on this blazer).  It also gives an image of professionalism to the bystander.  That makes this blazer and outfit perfect for, say, someone running for public office.  Indeed, if I were in charge of a certain presidential candidate’s wardrobe, I’d add this to her closet.  That is, of course, if it’s not in her closet already. Continue reading


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Tank top, jacket, & leopard print skirt

What do you think when you see this photo of yours truly?

Tank top & leopard print skirt

Yeah, you’re probably thinking, “Gee, Allison doesn’t look very stunning when she’s all tarted up like this.”  And you know what?  I think you’re right.  Pairing this tank top with this leopard print spandex skirt I found a while back in the retro section at Ragstock, then topping it off with this stringy red hairdo does not make me the most glamorous crossdresser on the planet.

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Random stuff: You Can Play and the CFL

An article I came across while writing my previous post involves three things that I’m pretty cool about:  Sports, anything Canadian, and LGBT support.  It was announced last week that the Canadian Football League — you know, the league that plays 3-down football on a 110-yard field — have partnered with You Can Play to launch a clothing line.  So, how does the line look?  Well, here’s one item that’s on sale:

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So, you’re saying that’s just a hat?  You’re also saying it doesn’t look like much?  Well, look at the three words on the front panel:  You.  Can.  Play.  As in “You Can Play.”  That’s the logo and name of an organization whose mission is to promote environments in organized sports where participants are judged by their skills, work ethic, and spirit regardless of their sexual orientation.  You Can Play launched in 2012, and one of its co-founders is Patrick Burke, the son of longtime National Hockey League executive Brian Burke and brother of the late Brendan Burke.  Before his death in 2010, Brendan Burke, who came out publicly one year earlier, was known for his efforts to combat homophobia in hockey through his role as student manager of Miami University’s hockey team (the team gave him warm support in his coming out, as did his brother and father).  You Can Play was established in Brendan’s memory and continues his efforts.

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In the pink (dress)

Okay, enough of being scared over the week’s bad news.  Time to do finally do something I’ve been meaning to do on this blog:  Show off my moneymaker:

Pink polyester dress

On Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, I finally got around to dolling myself up, putting that blonde pixie hair on my noggin, and hauling this pink dress out of my closet.  The dress comes from Charlotte Russe, but I did not buy it at Charlotte Russe.  I found it in the women’s section at either Goodwill or St. Vincent de Paul, I can’t remember exactly which (though I’m starting to think it was the latter).  The feminine cut and pink color was the main attraction, of course.  It was also a size medium which can sometimes be an iffy proposition when it comes to looking decent on me.

But I was really, really falling in love with this dress.  So, thinking I had a chance to squeeze into it just right, I made a covert mission into the store dressing room (with nobody looking, of course) to try it on.  Perhaps it’s the smooth polyester stretch fabric the dress is made out of, but the dress fit perfectly!  Like a glove!  Yeah, I was pretty giddy by how it fit me. Continue reading


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Allison’s “act your age” fashion summary (5/31/2016 edition)

Okay, time for a real quick addition to my blog’s fashion category.  I say “real quick” because I’ve been kinda busy the past couple of days with work and relaxing and… wait for it… editing new photos of yours truly!  Yep, I took time out over the holiday weekend to get all dolled up and take new photos.  They will be coming to my Flickr photo album soon, I promise you.

But back to the subject of fashion and the reason I added the phrase “act your age” to this post’s title.  I will be turning 47 years old in August, and while I may feel like, as I express it on my “About Me” page, “21 years old and holding,” my drivers license says otherwise.  So, I figure that I should broaden my feminine wardrobe to include styles that would be more suitable for my age.  Outfits like, say, these:

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The weekend before last, right after I had an eye examination (which I talked about here), I strolled over to the Boston Store at West Towne Mall and checked out the women’s wear section.  The outfits you see above were a display of the Alex Evenings line.  As you can probably guess from the glittery detail and the generally conservative cut and design, these are designed for an evening on the town.  They also are designed for a more mature (or mature acting) woman. You can also probably guess that these are somewhat expensive.  Indeed, the price tags at the store and on the Boston Store website mark these twinsets — that is, jacket plus matching sleeveless tank — at $129.  That price doesn’t include pants or skirts from the same line, which run in the $59-69 range.

5-21-2016 1114-44amWhat I also immediately thought when seeing these outfits, apart from thinking these are perfect for that dinner date with your gentleman caller, that these could be perfect for the other of the bride to wear at a wedding.  Indeed, I almost imagined my mother would have wore something like this when she and my stepfather walked my sister down the aisle at her wedding 15 years ago.  But then, the glitter in these sets are rather noticeable (especially on the black jacket), and Mom has never been one to wear a lot of glitter.  At least there was the same outfit in this same section that tones down the glitter.  That outfit is shown at right, and notice how the sandy tan color really tones down the glittery accents.  Add that matching skirt and you have a flattering, understated outfit that does add a little hint of glitz.

Now, at this point you may be wondering, will I be adding this to my wardrobe?  Well, not quite yet.  A total price tag at just under $200, this is something I may want to wait on purchasing until it gets replaced by newer merchandise.  You might say that all that glitters costs gold.  But an outfit like this is something I should consider as I get older.  I mean, I can’t wear body constricting dresses, tight skirts, or lycra for the rest of my life without getting snickers and a “Why don’t you act your age?” comment from someone on the internet.  So, outfits like this will have to start rising to the top of my “outfits to keep an eye on” list in the future.

What do you think?  Feel free to add a comment or two, or even an outfit suggestion, below.  Thanks for reading!