Allison M.

A crossdresser's thoughts on life, fashion, fabulousness, and (oh yeah) dressing up

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Allison’s fashion summary (11/14/2017 edition)

Time to catch up on a subject I have embarrassingly left fallow on here:  Tidbits about fashion.  Or, at least this time around, tidbits about clothing that you can get some mileage out of.  A question for all of you:  Do you tend to wear clothing that could be well suited for spring or summer into the fall?  And more germane to the below photo, do you tend to buy something usually more suited for the warmer months but are not found in the markdown racks at at least 50% off?  Those questions were percolating in my mind when I spotted this Liz Claiborne display at JCPenney over the weekend.  Note the floral patterns on the shirts at center and right.  Usually, when you think “floral patterns on clothing,” you’d presume they would be only for the warmer months.  But the colors featured on this shirt are clearly not as bright as you’d expect for a floral pattern.  Not that color or pattern would matter when you’re in need of a casual top to wear.  Oh, this is definitely casual in style, perfect for cleaning house, running errands, or just lounging and relaxing with friends.

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My night at the Halloween party, 2017

[*cue rumble of thunder and eerie organ music*]  Salutations, ghosts and goblins and non-conforming.  I’ve gone on the record on here once or twice about not getting into the whole dress-up thing for Halloween very much.  Since I’m a crossdresser and normally appear as my usual male self before the public eye, any day of the year can be a day when I can put on that “costume” I call “being Allison” and bring my feminine character to life.

But that’s not to say that I’ve never dressed up for Halloween, at least as an adult.  Matter of fact, this past Saturday night, I dressed up to the nines for a Halloween party.  And here’s proof:

Black gown on Halloween

This dress may look familiar to you regular readers of this blog, and it’s true, you’ve seen it on here before.  This is the very same black lace-and-beads dress and accompanying bolero jacket I found several years ago at the Savers thrift store and have had in my closet ever since.  At first, I didn’t have any thoughts about attending any Halloween party this year (more on the party in a little bit), and even when I decided to go, this outfit wasn’t my first thought for a costume.  Instead, the first thought of a costume that came to my mind was a certain yellow-and-black sexy taxi driver outfit, an homage to a friend of mine on Facebook who occasionally wears such an outfit as part of her work.  Alas, I could not find such an outfit that was in my size.  And with the party coming up very quick, I went with Plan B (and, no, I’m not talking about the nightclub) and got all formal and classy.

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Allison’s second… er, uh, third live performance

It’s Wednesday as I finish this post, and while I try to process my long weekend out of town and my return from work afterwards (a topic for a forthcoming post, I promise), let’s devote this post to the big weekend I had exactly one weekend previous — Saturday the 23rd of September, to be exact.  As you can tell from this post’s title, I did indeed perform poetry as Allison once again.  But was it my second performance or my third?  Well, I guess some clarification is in order:  The first time I performed in front of a mic was during a poetry event at Mother Fool’s back in early July.  A few weeks after that, on the last Saturday night of July to be exact, I was actually back at Mother Fool’s, though not to read poetry.  Instead, since it wasn’t exclusively a night of poetry, I did a little bit of freeform spoken word storytelling about how I first found that sack of women’s clothing.

Saturday the 23rd, however, was all about the poetry.  And instead of Mother Fool’s, we did our thing at another coffee house in town.  (I’ll get to the significance of the “we” later.)  The business in question is Cargo Coffee, a locally- and family-owned coffee shop that has two locations here in Madison, one on the south side and the one we performed at on East Washington Avenue, a few blocks northeast of the State Capitol.  Cargo Coffee’s East Wash location is part of a major redevelopment that’s been occurring on the avenue the past several years (well, it’s happening throughout Madison but it definitely applies to East Wash):  Older, smaller, and generally decrepit buildings, ones that housed businesses ranging from repair shops to an automobile dealership, have been replaced by more modern buildings and shops (including restaurants, a swank hotel, and a supermarket) and condominiums and luxury apartments that cost a pretty penny.  And the redevelopment isn’t done yet:  A new music venue is under construction just kitty corner from Cargo Coffee; further up the avenue, a separate redevelopment is turning a long-empty and neglected plot of land into a mix of apartments, shops, and a UW Health clinic.

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#TBT: Parachute pants, a stepbrother, and a duffel bag

Before I go any further, a couple of things:  First, this is a story I originally posted on a previous journal site, and I wanted to tell it again here with a few embellishments.  Also, this may seem to you that I’ll be going off in multiple directions in this post, but they all tie in to this story.  Anyway here goes:

As I’ve hinted/mentioned/downright owned up to on here, I am indeed a child of the 1980s.  And if you recall the 1980s, that decade had a number of clothing styles to remember.  Leather outfits were one such style; in my opinion, leather skirts are an ubiquitous classic that, when tastefully styled, will never go out of style.

But, let’s admit it, the ’80s also produced several fashion styles that did not withstand the test of time, among them:

  • Leg warmers (“Just coming back from dance class, I see?”)
  • Noticeably wide shoulder pads (“So, you trying out for the football team in those?”)
  • Members Only jackets (something I didn’t see a lot of in my small town; it must’ve been a big city-only thing).

Times have changed for sure (oh, sorry, “like, fer SURRE!”), and you’ll likely find these old outfits in a vintage/retro shop.  If you’re like me and you come across them, you’ll think one of three things:

  • “This is still a classic”
  • “Oh, boy, this look did not age well”
  • “I think I may snap this up for some real or imagined retro dress-up party I may or may not attend at an indeterminate time in the future.”

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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.


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


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