Introduction to DonnaKelli
Hi Ladies. Tasi and Sister House have graciously asked me to write a column about style for the “Putting it Together” section here in the Dressing Room. A thank you from DonnaKelli to Tasi for thinking of me and hope you all enjoy the information. I will do my best to guide all of you girls, whether you are a veteran, nearly fulltime, or only dress once in a while in private. All girls deserve to look their best no matter where they are going.
I will begin by illustrating how I select my own styles, as this column progresses I may focus on different body types, styles, casual, club wear and of course personal preferences.
Personal preference is your individual choice and style, the focus will be on you looking your best in your style and feeling fabulous, when you feel great about an outfit you want to take it out and show it off.
I am planning to have friends explain and show how they chose a particular outfit or style and explain why it works and how they determined their own style. A woman’s style is her signature and she needs to be true to herself and recognize what works for her. You never want to buy a garment that looks great on the hanger or on someone else but does not work for your style.
Some clothes are fabulous in the pages of magazines or in the boutiques but when you hold it up to yourself it looks wrong. I do this almost immediately when shopping and have become very quick at finding items that work for me even in a pile or rack of sale clothes. My wife loves to take me shopping for her work clothes and casual clothes, she has to dress up for work, I select suits, skirts, pants, shoes and occasionally jewelry, she always looks very put together. We are very much alike and wear the same size shoes and dresses so it is easy for me to identify items that will accent her best features. This is what I hope you will develop from this column, the ability to shop for yourself in a very positive way, enabling you to buy only the items that accentuate your natural beauty and who you are.
We have all purchased items from catalogs and been disappointed when they arrived, either because of sizing, style or quality. Many girls have told me they don’t bother to send the things back, I always take the time to send them back and I assure you most women would. I have shopped most of the catalogs and online venues and can tell you an important tip to save you sending things back if the catalog has a phone number call prior to ordering and ask specific questions regarding actual color, sizing and material. I have done this with a few vendors and learned that the ones you should deal with take the time to answer all questions. Several of them have the garments available to measure for length, width and can tell you the quality of the fabric. Calling also provides a great opportunity to practice your female voice, this is one of the many ways I perfected my voice.
To the boutiques, I shop places you will all recognize, Marshalls (great bargains but be willing to hunt), Kohl’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom’s, New York & Co., Jones of N.Y. and Brighton are among favorites at our local Malls. I shop there enough that many of the clerks have got to know me.
Passing while out shopping is a topic sisters ask and talk about. I never get asked if I’m a boy, I sometimes ask my wife how I look; she just laughs and tells me I look like her and that nobody will mistake me for a boy. I don’t tell people and they don’t ask. If you shop and focus on what you’re doing you will feel less conspicuous. Remember, you are presenting a female image. I know many of you reading this are accomplished TG’s and CD’s but for those just venturing out, don’t focus on yourself but what you are shopping for. Concentrate on the fact that you are enjoying your day. It will surprise you how much this calms the anxiety you feel when first going out.
Also, remember that girl in the mirror…? It was you when you left your house. Concentrate on the fact that you are her. It’s easy to drift back into feeling like your boy self because he has been the one out there for all these years. If you remind yourself you are that girl, or look in the mirror before leaving your car you will be more convincing.
I have seen many girls who seem to forget they are dressed as women and when reminded the woman comes out again. This is a way you can improve.
Some of the questions I have been asked are, how I managed to get the walk, the Voice and my individual style. Some of the ways I practiced when I was young and learning about myself are, listen to yourself and recognize the girl inside you. She has a style and wants to find a way to show it on your frame, whether you are tall, short, skinny, heavy or any combination of these. She also wants to look great in make-up. Learn what colors work for you most make up counters will take time to work with you if you ask. Get on a skincare regimen and stay on it, I have always taken care of my skin the same way most women do. It allows make up to look all the more finished. I have never used heavy cover makeup or beard cover; I attribute this to having a skincare program. If your finances avail you of estheticians services such as facials, waxing etc. then do so.
Some girls have asked if because I take care of my face/skin if that makes people read me as a TG or CD when dressed as a guy and the answer is no. I do get asked occasionally if I’m a celebrity on TV when in male attire. My daughter says it’s because I take good care of myself and dress nicely as a man. You are important, take care of your skin and dressing as a woman at any age will be more fun and exciting.
This column is going to focus on style, thus far I have been introducing myself and answering some of the questions I’ve been asked about my life. I am not full time but do dress about 60% of the time. Some family and friends know about DonnaKelli.
My Personal Style
My personal style has changed over the years and is now primarily aimed at being an elegant/classy woman. I almost never wear the styles I wore some years ago, this does not mean I’m going to dress as a boring little old lady as I age. It means my style has changed and will continue to adjust a bit to suit my age. I never say I look younger than my years, but do say, I think I look good for a woman my age, I credit this to style and skincare.
Selecting your style can be easy if you do a true assessment of yourself, then watch women on television, movies or media who are near your age and body type. Focus on the ones you think match you and really analyze what they wear, colors, necklines, dress lengths, makeup and movements. We all seem to want to be someone other than the woman we can achieve in ourselves, don’t fall into that trap, work and find your style that suits you and your confidence will soar.
I’m going to concentrate this column on two outfits I wore recently, the first one is casual for a night out at Gilley’s line dancing. It was easy to choose but planned carefully, I didn’t want to end up looking like a cowboy in drag. I wore skinny jeans in natural blue tone from New York and Co., a top I found on sale at Marshalls in a neutral color/print with a crossover neckline that would focus on looking feminine. I chose to wear boots with more chunky heels knowing I would be line dancing. The boots were from Macy’s and the brand is “Fergie”, color is natural or med brown. I added simple silver jewelry and rings so not to overpower the outfit with stones or gold.
The second outfit I’m going to review is one I bought for myself, but it seems like a gift from a wonderful girlfriend. Many months ago my friend Lena emailed to the Vanity club (I’m a member #346 since 1999) an article about a Weather-girl dress and how inexpensive it was. I read the article online with great interest and decided to try two of the dresses in colors that I thought would work well on me. My friend Lena emailed me and told me these dresses were perfect for me and I would make a wonderful Weather-girl. Wow, what a compliment and what a sense of style she has, not only for herself but choosing clothes for others, like me.
The dresses arrived (from China) and I worried about sizing because some clothes from Asian countries tend to run small. I’m small by U.S. Standards, dress size 6 shoe size 8 1/2, and 5-7 tall, but questioned the fit. I got ready and tried the first dress in black and white with 3/4 sleeves and a slight open neckline. It fit like it was painted on, and I mean that in a good way. The sizing was very much like Calvin Klein or Jones of N.Y. dresses; I was very pleased. I paired the dress with a pair of black Aldo 3 1/2 inch heels with a snake print and a black Coach purse. I again used Silver jewelry but added a necklace and bracelet with white stones to add some elegance. This dress got many compliments from friends and Facebook friends as well as my sisters at Vanity. I wore the dress to the Hardrock Hotel lounge in Palm Springs Ca. with my wife and two friends.
Another night out with girlfriends at a club in Palm Springs I decided to give the other Weather-girl dress in blue with black trim a lap on the track. I wore black Nine West pumps with it and dark chocolate sheer hosiery. I used almost the same silver jewelry and thought it looked great. It received many compliments online and in the clubs we visited that evening. I want give the credit for me finding this particular dress and look to my friend and sister Lena from Vanity club, she is one of the nicest and most stylish women I know.
Hopefully I can write about other TG and CD women in my following columns and give insight to you about different body types and ages to help you choose what feels right for you. Please remember this about you and making you the very best version of you as a woman possible. We all feel the same about our love to be women, we just look different. Please be safe out there ladies.
Note from Tasi: Donnakelli was selected as a Sister House Stylish Crossdresser and you can read her interview here.