[SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby studyinserendipity » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:08 pm UTC

Hmm... sometimes I like to wear make-up to a more-formal/important thing (especially if I'm meeting with adults, like parents of students) because it makes me feel fancy - "Here I am at the important thing, wearing FANCY MAKEUPS because I am IMPORTANT and AWESOME" even if it is only, say eyeshadow and mascara. If you have a similar inclination, I'd say sure! But I wouldn't stress out over it.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Angua » Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:14 pm UTC

Cool, thanks. I guess I'll see how I feel tomorrow morning!!!
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby addams » Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:48 am UTC

Good Luck, tomorrow.

I know it has only a little to do with luck.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Angua » Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:07 am UTC

Thanks addams.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby NovaNatalia » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:30 am UTC

Just bought my first bra in twelve months. Was an 18B/C (40B/C UK), but since then I've lost a lot of weight (partly through an increase in exercise, partly through an eating disorder), and am now 16DD/E (38DD/E UK)! Starting out on hormones I was so hopeful that I'd manage to get B-cups ... oestrogen is awesome ^_^ Sorry, don't really have anything constructive to say, just so very excited!
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Fractal_Tangent » Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:40 am UTC

NovaNatalia wrote:Just bought my first bra in twelve months. Was an 18B/C (40B/C UK), but since then I've lost a lot of weight (partly through an increase in exercise, partly through an eating disorder), and am now 16DD/E (38DD/E UK)! Starting out on hormones I was so hopeful that I'd manage to get B-cups ... oestrogen is awesome ^_^ Sorry, don't really have anything constructive to say, just so very excited!


Sounds great! Good for you! :D
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Oraiste » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:34 pm UTC

Hello, I've been lurking the xkcd fora for what probably amounts to years by now, and have finally gotten around to signing up. o/

I have an odd question: how long did it take the cis ladies in here to grok the existence of their vaginas? I don't just mean learning that vaginas are a thing girls have, but proprioceptive awareness that there is a hole between your legs.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Angua » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:48 pm UTC

I don't really have any awareness of it being a hole other than when I'm actually having sex. Doesn't really feel like a hole.

I guess I just don't think about it much/at all?
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby suffer-cait » Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:49 pm UTC

I'm in the same boat as angua.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Shro » Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:23 pm UTC

Yep, same here as well. I guess I think of the whole vulva/vagina/pelvic floor almost as one regional entity.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Oraiste » Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:37 pm UTC

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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby ObsessoMom » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:58 pm UTC

Huh. I've always been glad I don't have a penis or scrotum, and could never figure out why Freud thought girls must have penis envy. Seeing boys rolling around in agony when hit or kicked there on the playground always made me pity boys' genital vulnerability. Who the heck would want THAT?

Also, my own orgasms seem much, MUCH more intense and pleasurable than my husband's. I have a wider variety of erogenous zones, too, so I am definitely NOT missing anything by not having a penis. More the other way around. I often wish I could switch bodies with my husband simply so he could enjoy all the fabulous stimulation I do--not because I want to have a penis. He was really envious of my body when I was pregnant, and when I was lactating, too (although the latter envy probably had more to do with the inconvenience of holding a hungry, screaming baby while waiting for a bottle of breast milk to heat up, as opposed to being able to quiet her within a few seconds).

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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby ObsessoMom » Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:45 pm UTC

I hasten to add the usual disclaimers that my experience is not necessarily everywoman's experience, that others' variant experiences are valid, too, that "normal" doesn't necessarily mean "the only way to be healthy and happy in life," that I am not implying that I *am* normal, etc. I just thought that my way of seeing things might be useful data as you consider this very personal topic, Oraiste. Best wishes on your own unique journey.

[Also edited to add--there are plenty of times when I'm experiencing technical difficulties of a gynecological nature, when my husband says, "Gosh, I'm glad I'm not a woman." So I guess it evens out.]

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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Oraiste » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:34 am UTC

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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby NovaNatalia » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:50 am UTC

Gender can be really hard. But don't forget your 'options' (such as they are) don't extend to only feminine cis-woman and trans-man. There are many other expressions of cis-woman, and then there are many options outside the gender binary — the queer group at my university has quite a few asexual, genderfluid, genderqueer and other non-binary people, all of whom have vastly different gender presentations. I don't want to insinuate that these are things that you are, but things that you may want to consider while you puzzle about your gender.

I will also llink you Zinnia Jones' Because I Choose It, video (also a script if you prefer to read). The important aspect that she establishes is choice — she was on the fence between being a cis-man and a trans-woman, and ultimately made the choice for what she thought would make her happier even though she felt no burning desire one way or the other. I'm not suggesting this means that choosing to transition is the only choice for those who don't necessarily feel gender strongly, though — there's just as much choice involved in being a cis-woman.

I guess what it boils down to is: if you were formless, what would you choose? That is not necessarily an easy question to answer, nor do I expect you to do so in reply.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Angua » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:51 pm UTC

Personally, I was never (and am still not) very feminine. I don't really shave my legs unless I absolutely have to (and, when you only wear trousers / occasionally opaque tights{I've recently started experimenting with the occasional dress}, that's not very often) and that's more to stop people making fun of me, not because I enjoy it. As can be evidenced pretty recently in this thread, I don't really wear make-up that often, and still don't feel that comfortable in it. The main thing that triggers my 'i'm a girl' response is when a group of guys that I'm with says something like 'girls don't do x' and I'm all 'I do x' and then they say 'you don't count'.

I didn't really start really being able to properly internalise that I'm just a woman who expresses their gender differently, as opposed to feeling like an outcast, until I'd spent a lot of time around this forum, because there are loads of people on here who identify as women who all express themselves in different ways. Some don't shave their legs, some do shave their legs, some have short hair (or no hair) and some have long hair, etc etc.

Not that I'm saying that you have to accept it, as you said that a lot of people have told you that. Just that for me, it required a lot of exposure to other awesome women who do not fit the stereotypical roles that society/media has deemed are a lot more normal (eg, look at the multitude of movies where geeky girl in glasses and frumpy trousers becomes popular after wearing dresses and getting contacts - there aren't many where they just stay the way they are).
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby ObsessoMom » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:01 pm UTC

Oraiste, I sympathize. It's hard to break out of the loop of a.) feeling bad about yourself, and then b.) feeling bad for allowing yourself to feel bad about yourself, and then c.) feeling bad about feeling bad about feeling bad about yourself, etc.

Been there, done that, even though my hangups are different from yours. And I've found that most advice seems to reinforce b.) and c.) rather than help with a.).

I'm not sure what to advise that wouldn't sound like telling you how to feel (or not feel). How 'bout just telling you that I admire your willingness to begin the hard work of finding your own answers to this stuff? And it is hard work. But ultimately worthwhile, both for yourself and others. Someday you'll be able to give someone else in a similar situation some really valuable advice and encouragement.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Oraiste » Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:13 pm UTC

Thank you all for the encouraging words.

(I planned to write a proper post, but as I can't think of anything that isn't just more self-indulgent whinging right now, I at least wanted to acknowledge your great responses.)

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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Enuja » Sun Feb 08, 2015 4:31 pm UTC

Oraiste, your question about vagina mental mapping is a really interesting one. I don't think of my vagina as a "hole" most of the time, just as I don't think of my asshole as a hole most of the time. That's because, most of the time, both of them are not holes, because both of them are closed. And, unlike the asshole, which is connected to a continuous, albeit extremely convoluted pathway all of the way to my mouth, my vagina is a dead end (well, my uterus is a dead end, but the idea is the same). Also, in our culture that shames women's bodies, and thinks of the genitals of children's bodies as the "adult parts" of their bodies (which they are not: children's genitals are integrated, child parts of children's bodies), most people raised as girls grow up with a very poor understanding of their bodies. It took me until I was 28 years old, and learning to use a menstrual cup, to find my cervix. I learned the anatomy of my vulva earlier than I learned the anatomy of my vagina, but that took a mirror when I was in my teens.

Philosophically, I kinda hate gender. But I love being a woman. I don't shave my legs or underarms, pluck my bushy eyebrows, or shave my downy mustache, and I routinely shave my head. I really, really don't conform to gender roles or expectations. But I strongly identify with being a woman. I enjoy being "sir"d on the street, but that's because I enjoy messing with people's ideas of gender, and I often answer the people who sir'd me in a very feminine voice. It's hard for me to explain what feels right about being a women, how or why I am so convinced that I am cis gender. I don't have language for it. But it's an important part of who I am. My twin sister also doesn't like gender, but, unlike me, she doesn't identify strongly with being a woman. But my twin is not trans gender. Just as the binary of male/female doesn't encompass the true diversity of people's gender identity, the binary of cis/trans doesn't encompass the true diversity of how people feel and interact with their gender. Some people are very much trans, very much one gender born in the wrong body. Other people are very much cis. And yet other people don't fit clearly into either category. That's OK. You don't have to be either trans or cis to be you.

Oraiste wrote:Realising that womanhood is an inherent part of who I am -- even if it's far from *all* I am -- really hurts. And I don't know if that's because I'm not a woman, or because I'm refusing to let go of my old, misogynistic mind-set.
Womanhood is NOT necessarily an inherent part of who you are. Having been raised as a girl in a misogynistic society IS an inherent part of who you are. My friends who are trans men were raised as women, and that gives them some very interesting insight into culture. Whether you are trans or cis or neither, you can't change your past experiences and past culture. But you can change the people you hang out with in the future, and have less misogyny in your life, whatever gender you happen to eventually settle (or not settle) on. I'm so sorry to hear about all of the awfully gender policing things people have said to you while couching their advice as promoting "self confidence," instead of advice to conform to gender expectations.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Oraiste » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:47 pm UTC

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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Moo » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:12 pm UTC

I think it's great that you are raising these questions here, and thinking through this stuff, and being brave enough to trust us with your vulnerability. I hope I'm not out of place for saying so, since I've been off the forums for a long while, but I've always loved the frank openness of the woman thread and it sounds like these are very important issues to discuss and, if not solve, at least gain perspective on.

That said, may I please and hopefully gently make you aware of how much negative language you're using about yourself? And I don't mean your gender identity. I mean you couch everything in terms of "maybe I do this too much" or "maybe I should just learn to something". You are second guessing yourself a lot and I wish I was doing a better job of expressing this but: you don't need to. No-one here thinks you're being stupid or self indulgent or seeking attention. Or that you're a freak who's asking weird questions the rest of us have all figured out.

I'm not saying you're not allowed to do that, either, but my wish for you is that you'll get to a place where you feel like you're allowed to think these things, to wonder these things. Because it sounds like you might be struggling with that.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Oraiste » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:55 pm UTC

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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Fractal_Tangent » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:46 pm UTC

Woah, woah, woah. You are very down on yourself & I bet that you are way better than you think (honestly, I pretty much live in a bubble of thinking that I'm pretty terrible). Try some self care, do nice things for yourself! You'd be amazed what some self care can do. =]
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby meridian » Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:20 pm UTC

Questioning, examining, and challenging the status quo does not necessarily mean that you are trying to convince yourself of something that isn't true. It means you're taking a close look at yourself. It's something to be admired. If your conclusion is that you are cis woman, that is fine. You went through the process and found a truth you can hold on to.

However, I feel that people are driven to question when they do not simply fall into a conventional slot in society. Whatever conclusion you end up at, I doubt it will be simple or 'just' anything.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:18 pm UTC

Often we are far more judgmental toward ourselves than we would be toward others feeling the same distress, Oraiste. I don't think you would you callously trivialize someone else in your situation a "stupid cis girl", or deem her pain unworthy of compassion. Doing so would make you a jerk, and I really don't get the impression that you're a jerk.

I don't even think you're a jerk for being hard on yourself. I think, in a way, you're actually trying to take care of yourself by pre-emptively trivializing your problems; that way, if someone else tries to cheer you up by saying that your problems are nothing compared to what other people have to deal with, you can answer, "Yeah, I know--see, I already said so! I know I really don't have anything to complain about, and should just get over myself."

I recognize the pre-emptive self-deprecation strategy, because I still catch myself instinctively using it.

But there isn't a finite amount of compassion in the world. It's not as if someone more pathetic than I am will somehow go deprived if I get some. (And appreciating a little compassion now and then doesn't automatically make a person "pathetic" in a negative, pride-and-dignity-destroying sense, either.)

Yes, this goes against most of the messages I grew up with in my family, and my conditioned responses die hard, but I'm slowly learning to grow comfortable with the idea that I am inherently deserving of respect and dignity, and don't have to meet some nearly-impossible threshold of worthiness first.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Sungura » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:42 am UTC

Well I am a little late but here are my thoughts...maybe they will help some.

I grew up in a very religious household and didn't grok the fact i had a vagina until I first used a tampon in my mid/late teens. And I first menstrated at 11 years old. I've had crappy periods and crazy levels of flow for my entire life (this will be finally fixed next month - yay!). It wasn't until my mid 20's I got a little more comfortable with it. I am not always aware of it's existance but then again I don't always think about my tongue either. If I am thinking about it, it's there. If I am not, it isn't. I am much more aware of my uterus than my vagina and that is due to the inordinate amounts of cramping. I don't think awareness of vagina really plays into gender identity. Because a vagina does not make me female or not.

I am "male" in many ways. My activities and hobbies are mostly "masculine". Heck I would even rather mow the lawn ("male") than garden flowers ("female"). I don't wear a lot of makeup. I am straightforward in my speech and don't play social games. I never got the "Oh me yarm he is so hot" thing girls in school do. But these things are things society says is "male" or "female" and as we all know society kinda sucks ;) I don't believe we can look externally to determine our identities, only we can know ourselves. And to do that, and this is key - we cannot judge ourselves.

I've been struggling with gender identity lately myself. I am okay with female pronouns (would prefer to use neutral ones, but, that is kinda hard to do and I don't care that much to make the struggle of that worth it, for me) and present very much female and I like my boobs ^.^ so to the world I will always look what their idea of female is. Do I feel fully female? no. I have hated my uterus since I was 11. I don't want any of my internal plumbing so to speak. Mentally I feel more masculine. But so what. I know who I am, and right now, I have not a single word to describe it. There have been some words that come close and one I liked but I can't remember what it was so it must not be good enough because I have forgotten it.

Anyway. Maybe some of that helps maybe not. Just what i have learned/struggle with.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Oraiste » Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:19 am UTC

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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Oraiste » Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:58 pm UTC

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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Moo » Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:48 pm UTC

Oh, good; even the foodbloggers are having second children all around me, like I am proving steadfastly unable to :(

(Sorry, I feel a bit sorry for myself but can't put this crap on Facebook)
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby suffer-cait » Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:22 pm UTC

*hugs moo*
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby PictureSarah » Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:31 pm UTC

I'm sorry it's difficult for you, Moo! I would give you my (surprising) fertility if I could, I don't think I'll be using it anymore!
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby suffer-cait » Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:01 am UTC

And now my brain wants to set up fora surrogatecy.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Fractal_Tangent » Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:56 am UTC

*hugs* for Moo. Sorry that you're having such difficulties.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Sungura » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:00 pm UTC

Moo I am happy you are back on the fora...and I'm here if you need an ear. (hugs)
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby paulisa » Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:12 pm UTC

I have a dresscode-question for all the knowledgable ladies here, since I'm not good with subtle distinctions in this area.

I was recently confronted with the problem of dressing for a presentation in an all-male environment, where the dresscode was not known to me in advance. So I decided to go conservative and wear a black pantsuit with a longsleeved top and low-heeled ankleboots since it was cold outside. I felt ridiculously overdressed, since the men turned up in cordouroy pants, striped shirts without ties with plain dark pullovers over them (with minor variations). So I started wondering what the female equivalent of this style of dress would be, and how bad of an impression I may have made by being overdressed.

I'm also interested in where non-black pantsuits would fit on a formality-scale, and wearing a non-black blazer with black pants.
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NovaNatalia
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby NovaNatalia » Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:20 pm UTC

I actually have a dress code question myself. I'm going to the theatre on the weekend for a matinée session, and it will be the first time I go to such a thing en femme, and I have absolutely no idea what's appropriate. Does anyone have advice (keep in mind 'a nice top' means absolutely nothing to me, and I really don't think I can pull off a skirt/dress)?
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Angua » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:09 pm UTC

@NovaNatalia - Do you have any dresses? I tend to wear a dress over a nice (ie plain colour, not torn) pair of jeans - but that's because I'm extremely self-conscious about my legs, so if your problem with dresses is not the legs, then I'm not that useful. Seems to look pretty dressy. I have a small black, kind of see-through cardigan (this doesn't feel like the right word) that goes with pretty much anything for over the top of that to be a bit warmer.

@paulisa - As for the environment when guys are in cordoroys, I think I would probably just wear a blouse and just the pants from the pant suit?

But seriously, I am probably one of the least fashion-knowledgeable people. So take anything I say with a large pinch of salt.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby NovaNatalia » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:48 pm UTC

Angua wrote:@NovaNatalia - Do you have any dresses? I tend to wear a dress over a nice (ie plain colour, not torn) pair of jeans - but that's because I'm extremely self-conscious about my legs, so if your problem with dresses is not the legs, then I'm not that useful. Seems to look pretty dressy. I have a small black, kind of see-through cardigan (this doesn't feel like the right word) that goes with pretty much anything for over the top of that to be a bit warmer.


I don't actually have any dresses, or jeans for that matter (I have rather large thighs, and haven't been able to find a pair that fit without being half a metre too long in the leg and twice as wide at the waist). My problem with dresses is that I've never worn one before, and have absolutely no clue about them in general — I've only been wearing women's clothes full-time for about four months — although I do accept that whatever I need I'll have to purchase, since I certainly won't have it in my wardrobe.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby Angua » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:58 pm UTC

Fair enough.

Dresses with jeans has been great for me, because it looks pretty classy while being extremely easy so long as you're flexible enough for the bloody zipper up the back. My dresses (2) come down to midthigh? Just above midthigh? Somewhere there. Another plus with that outfit is that you can then wear pretty much any type of shoe with it - flats, boots, sneakers, whatever.

I find jeans are a nightmare for me. Try see what you think of 'boyfriend' jeans if you get a chance- they are the loosest style for jeans that I've found and nice and comfy, though I realise it might not be the look you're going for!
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Re: [SAFESPACE] Woman Thread - All Things Women. Period.

Postby PictureSarah » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:45 pm UTC

NovaNatalia wrote:I don't actually have any dresses, or jeans for that matter (I have rather large thighs, and haven't been able to find a pair that fit without being half a metre too long in the leg and twice as wide at the waist).


Sounds like you need a good (comfy, stretchy, opaque) pair of leggings! They can be really forgiving with "non-standard" shapes, and while they are quite revealing of said shapes, wearing them with a dress or tunic can be very nice. Old Navy has decent ones. Worn with, say, a chambray shirt dress, it can be a semi-dressy look without being girly.

e4f18f087f7531c0119f39ea8585fec0.jpg


Maybe something like this, although I personally would go with a longer dress because I'm uncomfortable with my thighs/lower belly.

I think I would put together an outfit like this:
http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.d ... =641271002
http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.d ... =170654012
http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.d ... =144909032
http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.d ... =118031002
http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.d ... =122183052
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