Carollyn Faith Olson is the author of several books on Crossdressing Tips and Tricks, a contributor to Sister House, Owner of the Yahoo group, the Mature Woman, and an all round classy lady. She stands at 6-0 ft and weighs 180 lbs. Lets hear what Carollyn has to say about style.
Interview with Carollyn:
What is the secret to great style? I’m a very conservative dresser. I just try “to do the best I can with what I have.” I strive to be myself. I don’t push the limits of my appearance. I don’t show a lot of cleavage, even though I could with certain sweaters or dresses. I love short skirts, but will only wear one if it “works” with the entire outfit and the occasion. I want to look good, blend in and I hope to “be read” as a woman.
What is the one thing you would spend a lot of money on? Shoes!!! I’m a shoe maven. I “must have” a pair of heels to match every outfit. Why I don’t know. I just love shoes. I have only one or two pair with lower than 3-inch heels. However, I always look for sales and seldom pay full price for anything, other than my makeup. Yes, I’m a bargain shopper.
What is the one thing you wouldn’t spend a lot of money on? Gimmicks intended to make me look better. For me, “What you see is what you get.”
How do you balance new trends with a more timeless look? I buy items that look good on me, no matter what the style. If the “latest” fad does not work, I don’t force it. Who decides the “fad” anyway, some designer sitting behind a desk who doesn’t know me? Why should I try to look the way they want me to look? That’s not me.
My theory is that styles repeat in 20-25 year segments. I still have my first pair of heels and they are just as stylish today as they were over 30 years ago.
What is your current obsession? Flats and skirts. It may be hard to believe, but bought my first pair of real flats just this summer. I just love wearing them with an assortment of flowery skirts for a more casual look.
Who inspires you? This is simple. Female Impersonator icon Lavern Cummings, who performed at Finocchio’s in San Francisco in the 70s and 80s. She is my inspiration since I was a teen and first thought about cross dressing. Her beauty, style and total femininity was unmatched. The first time I saw her on television, I was hooked. I have also been fortunate enough to become friends with Lavern and another Finocchio’s star David de Alba, who are both retired in Las Vegas.
Do you have a signature piece or style? I love seasonal V-neck sweaters with just-above-the-knee skirts, belts, and, of course, matching heels.
What’s your secret to making yourself stand out? By wearing classy, stylish and conservative clothes. I try my best to create an image that doesn’t over-shadow other women, but to blend in to my surroundings and the people around me. I believe in wearing what is appropriate for the time and situation.
The one piece of advice most cross dressers need but don’t get? I know I’m preaching, but…”Never over anything”…never over dress, never have breasts that are not proportionate to you body, never wear too much make up, never make a scene if out- and-about…never do anything that is questionable in your thoughts, words or actions. Look like a woman, not a drag queen or a slut.
What’s the best piece of style wisdom you’ve ever received? From my first mentor, JoAn Torres, owner of I Love It Girl in Fremont, CA: “Be yourself and nobody else.”
What is your favorite trend? Skinny jeans and a fashionable sweater with a cute belt and heels for the fall and winter. Possibly add a scarf instead of a necklace.
What would you not be caught dead in? Something that is not me, too revealing and/or makes me look hideous.
What are your favorite web sites?. For dresses: Venus and Sheinside, although I buy most of my clothes at the local Macy’s or JC Penney. For some reason the styles at Penney’s fit me best. For shoes: Anywhere where I can find size 11-12. For wigs: The internet site Named Brand Wigs (up to 50% discount over the local salons). I wear a Noriko Sky. I also love looking at the models at Suddenly Femme. I’m also a representative for Glamour Boutique and a Fashion Consultant for Sister House.
How would you describe your personal style? Conservative, but stylish. I want to blend in and not stand out. I love dresses, jackets, sweaters and skirts. I don’t enjoy wearing blouses, except for one sexy black top in my wardrobe. I strive to wear what other women wear when they are out and about.
Who are your style icons? Lavern Cummings will always be my favorite. She could make any dress look good. Other than Lavern, not really any other female stands out, maybe because I’m just good ol’ me and can’t be anybody else.